Common name: Deciduous azalea, Chinese azalea
Rhodendron mollle flowers in late spring, and it is deciduous, unlike most of its neighbours along the Rhodo Walk. Many visitors ask what is the difference between an azalea and a rhododendron.
Rhododendron 'Loderi King George' is a large shrub found in the Loderi bed near the Minotaur. It was probably named after King George V whose reign coincided with the development of these rhododendrons by Sir Edmund Loder.
(Photo: rpaterso from Oak Bay, Canada from Wikimedia Commons)
Common Name: Paperbark maple
This member of the maple family, native to China (and now endangered in its native habitat), is spectacular in winter when its thin copper-coloured bark peels away to reveal the cinnamon-colored wood beneath. The seed for this tree was brought back from China to England in 1899 by Ernest Henry 'Chinese' Wilson, and shortly thereafter it was introduced into North America by the Arnold Arboretum. 'Acer' is the Latin name for maple, and 'griseum' means 'gray', a reference to the greenish-gray down on the underside of new leaves. Unlike typical maples, the leaves are trifoliate (divided into three distinct leaflets) and coarsely toothed. Several specimens are found along the Rhodo Walk.
It opens green, turns white and then turns green again.
The word ‘hydrangea’ comes from the Greek ‘hydor’ meaning ‘water’ and ‘angos’ meaning ‘jar’.
Most species are deciduous, and we have a wide variety in our Garden, with a special hydrangea bed midway along the Rhododendron Walk. The flower heads come in various shapes: the mophead blooms are like big pompoms whereas the lacecaps have flat, unshowy, albeit fertile, flowers in the centre and bigger outer flowers which are sterile. More about types of hydrangeas. The most common colours of blue, pink and purple depend on the ph of the soil and can change over time. The language of flowers gives the hydrangea several meanings. Hydrangeas are moderately toxic if eaten, with all parts of the plant containing cyanogenic glycosides.
(Photo by KENPEI [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)])
Common Name: Oyama magnolia
Magnolia sieboldii is one of the latest-blooming magnolias, flowering in early summer after its leaves have appeared. It is named after Pierre Magnol, French botanist and Philipp Franz von Siebold, German plant collector. The common name comes from the name of a town in Japan (not Oyama, BC, which was is named after Japanese Field Marshal Oyama Iwao).
Common Name: Leopard's bane
Doronicum columnae (also known as D. cordatum) blooms along the western end of the Rhodo Walk in late spring. Its spiky yellow flowers turn into interesting seed heads. Doronicum comes from the Arabic word for this plant. The common name refers to the practice of dipping arrows in its juices when hunting leopards.