In botany and horticulture, deciduous plants, including trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials, are those that lose all of their leaves for part of the year. This process is called abscission. In some cases leaf loss coincides with winter—namely in temperate or polar climates. In other parts of the world, including tropical, subtropical, and arid regions, plants lose their leaves during the dry season or other seasons, depending on variations in rainfall. For more, visit Wikipedia.
Acer is a genus of over 125 trees and shrubs, commonly known as maple Our garden has a number of species, many of which are found in the Maple Garden at the north end. A. negundo, known as the Manitoba maple in Canada and box elder in the US, ranges from central Canada to Central America. The peeling bark of A. griseum makes it a good tree for winter interest. A rubrum, found in the Eastern North America Garden, is one of the most abundant trees in the east. Other maples can be found in the Eastern North America garden.
Ailanthus altissima: The tree of heaven can survive just about anywhere, hence its use as a metaphor in the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Ours are near the Stone Garden.
Albitzia julibrissin 'Rosea' is the hardiest of the species, introduced in 1745; it is found growing from Persia to China, with mimosa-like fluffy pink flowers.
Alnus: Alnus rubra (Red alder) grows along the West Coast from Alaska to California. Added 2015: There are several Manchurian alders, Alnus hirsuta var. sibirica, growing alongside the ginkgos at the east end of Livingston Lake.
Carrierea calycina: We have two goat horn trees in our Garden, one along the Rhododendron Walk and the other in the Sino-Himalayan Garden.
Castanea dentata: Our specimen of the American chestnut is one of the few survivors of the chestnut blight that has wiped out nearly all these trees, except for the ones, like ours, that live far outside the range of the fungus.
Catalpa bignonioides 'Aurea': This gorgeous golden catalpa was planted on the opening day of the Garden in 1975. It is also called 'cigar tree', 'fish bait tree' and 'Indian bean tree'.
x Chiltalpa taskentensis 'Pink Dawn': This tree is an intergeneric hybrid (hence the 'x' at the beginning of the name) of Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) and Catalpa bignonoides (southern catalpa). The flowers are reminiscent of its Catalpa heritage, but its leaves and drought tolerance come from the Chilopsis side of the equation. The flowers attract pollinators, but it is sterile, so there are no bean pods. It was initially hybridized in Uzbekistan in 1964, introduced in the US in 1977 and planted in our Garden along the path from the Maze to the Stone Garden in 1993.
Cornus: The dogwood is a feature of our late-spring Garden. The 'dog' comes from the Scandinavian word 'dag' meaning a 'dagger', often made from the hard wood of this tree. Anthracnose, caused by a fungus, attacks it. Visitors often admire C. kousa 'Satomi' whose pink flowers are an early-summer feature of the Bentall Garden. C. nuttalli is the BC provincial flower. C. 'Eddie's White Wonder', hybridized here and nearly lost in the 1948 Fraser River flood, is a cross between C. nuttalli and the eastern C. florida. One of the original 'Eddie's White Wonder' specimens is in the Canadian Heritage Garden. The dogwood tree has important cultural references. Some believe that Christ was crucified on wood from this tree. In Victorian times, a woman who accepted a dogwood blossom indicated her interest in the giver. C. mas (cornelian cherry) is a vision of small yellow flowers in late winter; in late summer it produces a sour fruit eaten in the countries of Asia Minor.
Cotinus coggygria: There are several smoke bush trees (or smoketrees) in the garden. When flowering in summer, they have a smoke-like aspect. Look for beautiful specimens along the eastern rim of the Stone Garden or in the Black Garden. C. coggyria 'Royal Purple' has dark red leaves and purply-pink flowers, while C.coggygria 'Ancot' GOLDEN SPIRIT has lime-green foliage with whitish-pink flowers.
Crataegus: The hawthorn, or May-tree, is a member of the rose family, and you can find several species in the shrub rose bed above Livingstone Lake. The tree has important cultural significance and is used in herbal medicine. Cutting down a hawthorn is considered bad luck, and some say this is the reason for the demise of the Delorean car company. C. monogyna ‘Biflora’, the Glastonbury thorn, is said to have sprouted from the walking stick that Joseph of Arimathea planted in the ground while introducing Christianity into Britain. It is called 'Biflora' because it blooms at Easter and around Epiphany (January 6). Every year the mayor of Glastonbury sends the queen a spray of branches at Christmas.
Davidia involucrata: The dove tree has white flowers that consist of two large white bracts surrounding a small round flower head. Other common names include ghost tree, handkerchief tree and laundry tree.
Decaisnea insignis: Dead man's fingers, located just south of the Waterfall, has blue sausage-like pods in early fall, just in time for Halloween.
Franklinia alatamaha: Several specimens of this member of the tea plant family (Theaceae) are growing in the Eastern North America Garden. Their orange-red fall colour adds a spark of interest to the Autumn Stroll, and the blooms are a rare treat in the fall. More about the Franklin tree.
Ginkgo biloba: The ginkgo dates back 270 million years, but every fall its deep golden leaves take one's breath away. Unlike most other deciduous trees, the ginkgo loses all its leaves at once. The name originally meant 'duck feet' in Chinese, referring to the shape of the leaves.
Gymnocladus dioica: The Kentucky coffeetree can be found in the Eastern North America Garden. The tree often appears dead because it produces leaves later in the spring ('gymnocladus' means 'naked branch').
Hamamelis: The Garden boasts many beautifully scented and flowering witch hazels in winter. Hamamelis mollis lining the Rhodo Walk emits an almost overwhelming fragrance. Along the Winter Walk, H. 'Brevipetala' has shorter-petaled yellow flowers with a red base. More information can be found in team study notes. Often overlooked in autumn is H. virginiana north of Cypress Pond to the west of the wood chip path. While not as fragrant as its winter-blooming cousins, its rounded yellow leaves shelter delicate little flowers worth searching out. It is the source of medicinal witch hazel.
Heptacodium miconiodes: The Seven Son Flower Tree is a large shrub/small tree with clusters of seven flowers in late summer.
Juglans cinerea: The butternut walnut is featured in our Eastern North America garden.
Koelreuteria paniculata: The mass of small flowers on the goldenrain tree form a yellow halo around the tree in mid-summer and are followed by lantern-like, parchment-paper seedpods which give the tree winter interest. It is also called ‘China tree’, ‘pride of India’, and ‘varnish tree’.
Liriodendron tulipifera is known as the tulip tree for its tulip-like flowers high up in the canopy. It is a common street tree in our city.
Magnolia is a genus of both deciduous and evergreen trees. There are a number of differences between the deciduous and evergreen species over and above leaf loss. Deciduous varieties feature beautiful flowers that emerge out of large furry buds, often before the tree leafs out. Evergreen magnolias sport shiny green leaves all year round and have elegant large white flowers. Fun facts about magnolias. Some deciduous varieties in our Garden include: - Magnolia 'Apollo' has large deep-pink flowers. - M. denudata, also known as Yulan magnolia, has been cultivated in China for more than 1,500 years. - M. x loebneri 'Leonard Messel', and M. grandiflora. - M. macrophylla, the bigleaf magnolia, whose flower is shown in the photo above, has the biggest simple leaf of any North American tree, and its large white flowers can be seen from the Plaza in June. It is sometimes call the cucumber tree, but, in fact, its fruits are round, and it is the nearbyM. acuminatawhose unripe fruit resembles a small cucumber. - M. salicifolia, the willowleaf magnolia, was planted in 2015 in the Japanese Bed by our mayor and the mayor of Yokohama, our sister city. - M. sieboldii is also known as the Oyama magnolia and blooms in early summer, one of the latest bloomers.
Morus: The black mulberry (Morus nigra) formerly at the western end of the Rhododendron Walk (removed in 2016 due to storm damage) produces juicy dark berries in summer. However, silk worms prefer the leaves of the white mulberry (Morus alba) planted in the Fern Dell. Most of us grew up chanting the 19th century nursery rhyme "Here we go round the mulberry bush."
Nothofagus: Three species of southern beech are found in the Southern Hemisphere Garden, all native to that part of the world. N. antarctica is the southernmost tree of the world, found on Hoste Island in Tierra de Fuego. N. dombeyi likes to be near water. N. obliqua is also called the roble beech.
Parrotia persica: There are several of these trees around the parking lot. They are related to witch hazels and have a very dark red flower in late winter.
Paulownia tomentosa: The Princess Tree, also known as the Empress Tree or Foxglove Tree, was named in honour of the Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia who became the wife of Prince Willem of the Netherlands. A deciduous tree native to China, it was first brought to Europe by the Dutch East India Trading Company and subsequently to North America in the 1830s where it was planted extensively as an ornamental tree in city parks and gardens and on large estates. The May blooms on the trees in our Garden reflect those of its uphill neighbour, Rhododendron augustinii, and the seedpods which follow provide even more interest. More about Paulownia.
Populus tremuloides: The trembling aspens are located near the First Nations’ Medicine Wheel in the Canadian Heritage Garden.
Pterostyrax hispida: The fragrant epaulette tree has one-sided panicles of flowers that hang down like epaulettes, the ornamental shoulder pieces on military uniforms. Dried seed clusters often persist on the branches in winter. Like others in the styrax family (Styracaeae), this tree has fragrant bell-shaped flowers. The epithet 'hispida' refers to the bristles on the fruits. Wikipedia says that the correct name is Pterostyrax hispidus. More information is found in the Oct. 8, 2016 Weekly Update.
Quercus garryana: The Garry oak (known in the US as the Oregon white oak) is the dominant species of the Garry oak ecosystem that extends from northern California to the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The Garry oak in the Western North America Garden by the Plaza was planted by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in 2009.
Quercus robur: This large tree has several names: common oak, European oak, English oak. It is also known as the Royal Oak in England because it sheltered the future King Charles II during the English Civil War.
Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia': The golden false acacia holds pride of place in our Garden, its chartreuse foliage a stunning contrast to the dark-green background of the native conifers.
Sassafras tzumu: The Chinese sassafras blooms in late winter and is found at the entrance to the Fern Dell.
Sorbus hupehensis 'Pink Pagoda': This local cultivar of Sorbus hupehensis sports pink berries in the winter, and its small nectar-filled flowers attract hummingbirds in late spring. It is sometimes called a mountain ash or rowan (in Britain), but these common names are also used for other members of the Sorbus genus, which is part of the rose family.
Stewartia monadelpha: The orangebark or tall stewartia has beautiful white flowers with gold stamens in early summer, and its graceful structure makes it a feature of the winter Rhododendron Walk. In Britain the genus is sometimes spelled Stuartia.
Sycamore is the common name of several different trees, so it is better to use the botanical name when talking about a particular tree. The British sycamore is Acer pseudoplatanus, and its seeds are poisonous to horses.
Taxodium distichum: The bald cypress is deciduous, a relatively rare trait for a conifer. Its delicate needles change colour before being shed in the winter, leaving the tree 'bald' until spring.