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Plant of the Month

'Peppermint' Swiss Chard
Beta vulgaris 'Peppermint'

Location: Grid O32 back of the annual bed

I hesitate a little bit to plant any edible plants in the Arboretum because we use re-claimed water for irrigation. I don’t think there would be significant residue left from that—but, I also do not want people eating things from the Arboretum and finding out otherwise.

'Peppermint' Swiss Chard 7-24-14
'Peppermint' Swiss Chard 7-24-14

However, I really do like to use unusual plants in the annual flower bed, just to demonstrate what can be done. 'Peppermint' was a new form of Swiss Chard released this spring, that sounded like it would be fun to try (one catalog said "consider 'Peppermint' for a stunning edible plant display").

'Peppermint' Swiss Chard 6-14-14
'Peppermint' Swiss Chard 6-14-14

I can also justify by thinking that Swiss Chard is not a plant that most people would just pick and nibble.

Monthly Projects

It has been a busy month in the Arboretum, with the first of the Science Saturdays, the annual concert and numerous tours. The first Science Saturday was very successful with about 30 children and their parents watching a presentation from the WSU Raptor club. The concert was perhaps even more popular than usual with over 50 performers and around 300 in the audience. (we printed 250 programs and ran out while people were still arriving).

'Vandal Fire' Daylily 7-12-14 Patricia Porter
'Vandal Fire' Daylily 7-12-14 Patricia Porter

The new 'Vandal Fire' Daylily flowered for the first time in Idaho earlier this month. It seems to be a pretty striking flower.

Monarch Butterfly 7-21-14 Terry Gray photo Monarch Butterfly 7-21-14 Terry Gray photo

Upcoming Events


New This Year!

Science Saturdays in the Arboretum

August 23: Will Boyd, President Home School Institute of Science and local artists Meghan and Tyler Antkoviak will work with sketching to teach leaf anatomy and plant identification

All programs will start at 10:30 am at the Red Barn at the south end of the Arboretum. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information or to register for any of the activities please email

Click here for more information

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