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Plant of the Month

'June Snow' Giant Dogwood Cornus controversa 'June Snow'

Location: Grid T-10 along the east side gravel road across from the bottom of the upper pond

This tree is also known by the common name Wedding Cake Tree. That name works pretty well, especially when the tree is flowering. The tree grows in a distinctive spreading shape, with layers of branches covered with clusters of white flowers in late spring.

Giant Dogwood <em>Cornus controversa</em> 5-24-16
Giant Dogwood Cornus controversa 5-24-16

The flowers are much different than the more common Flowering Dogwoods that are so popular in Lewiston. Instead of individual flowers with showy bracts, Giant Dogwood has large clusters of small white flowers. Those flowers are followed by blue/black fruit that birds love to eat.

Giant Dogwood <em>Cornus controversa</em> 5-24-16
Giant Dogwood Cornus controversa 5-24-16

As the name suggests the tree has the potential to get quite large. Most references talk about it reaching 50 feet tall. The tree in the Arboretum was planted to commemorate the Borah Symposium in 2000 (so it has been in the Arboretum the same time I have!) Ironically, this tree is native to Asia, whereas a somewhat similar tree known as the Pagoda Dogwood is native to the Eastern United States. The Pagoda Dogwood has a similar growth and flowering habit, but will only get about half the size of the Giant Dogwood.

Monthly Projects

The month of May has flown by as usual with everything happening at once. May is usually our biggest month for new planting and it is also when we start up all 143 irrigation valves and of course the grass needs mowed and the weeds need to be controlled as much as possible in between all the other activities.

Grace Yenni memorial Iris garden, the plants in the foreground are heirloom cultivars from her garden 5-25-16
Grace Yenni memorial Iris garden, the plants in the foreground are heirloom cultivars from her garden 5-25-16

Hopefully by the end of the month we will finish planting the new trees and shrubs as well as the approximately 1500 annual flowers that we plant every year to add to our summer color.

Bristly Locust flowers <em>Robinia hispida</em> 5-24-16
Bristly Locust flowers Robinia hispida 5-24-16

Upcoming Events

June 4, 2016
Arboretum Associates Annual Plant Sale
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Palouse Ice Rink, Latah County Fairgrounds
Plant Sale List

'Pablo' Decorative Dahlia. One of lots of new plants at the sale!
'Pablo' Decorative Dahlia
One of lots of new plants at the sale!

June 18, 2016
Science Saturday in the Arboretum
Raptors with the WSU Raptor Club
10:00 am at the Red Barn

July 11, 2016
16th Annual Summer Breezes
and Sweet Sounds
Free Concert in the Arboretum
7:00 p.m. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs

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