Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Check the Calendar

February in The U.W. Medicinal Herb Garden

    Spring in Seattle is a leisurely process beginning in January and ending in June. Elsewhere, in areas boasting real seasons, it is abrupt, wonderful, and lives up to its name. In a typical February hereabouts, you can expect to see some of the following plants showing growth, a few even flowering. Early February is slower, of course; late February is eager to become March. Numerous unmentioned rarer plants also are every bit as fascinating.

    WOODLAND HERBS: gray-green, lacy Bleeding Heart (Dicentra) shoots uncoil from the cold soil; Stinging Nettles emerge in sheltered ravines --they'll be large enough to eat in March; in mucky areas, Skunk Cabbage shoots poke up, a few conspicuous in their bright yellow, odorous bloom.

    TREES: Alder catkins release pollen; 'Hollywood' Plum begins opening its white flowers in the garden's Section G; Pussy-Willow catkins swell their silvery beauty; Yew releases its dusty yellow pollen.

    WILD SHRUBS: Redflower Currant starts opening its lovely hummingbird blossoms in late February; Hazel catkins dangle; Tall Oregon-Grape begins blooming --rich yellow; Oso-Berry leaves (soft green; cucumber-flavored) appear with white flowers; Salmonberry leaves unfold, and its first rosy flowers open in late February.

    GARDEN SHRUBS: certain Camellias blossom; sweetly scented are the flowers of Daphne Mezereum and Daphne odora; vivid yellow flowers grace Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum); also yellow is Mahonia 'Arthur Menzies' (north of the garden's Cascara Circle); for screaming pink, relish the thorny Flowering Quince; Rosemary exercises restraint with a smattering of pale blue blooms; Spurge Laurel bears hidden, greenish-yellow flowers, well worth smelling in the evenings.

    FERNS, etc: Horsetail shoots up; the first rubbery Bracken fiddleheads appear late in February.

    ROCKERY PLANTS: Basket-of-Gold; Bergenia makes a hot pink display.

    GARDEN ANNUALS: praise the stalwart Winter Pansies.

    BULBS: Bluebells send forth dark green, lustrous leaves; Crocus opens cheerful flowers amidst its slender, striped leaves; Daffodils spear forth, a few bloom; Daylily sends up delicate green leaves; Snowdrops; some Tulips appear; Winter Aconite (Section F) has heart-warming yellow flowers.

    GARDEN PERENNIALS: European Colt's-foot (Section D) and its Japanese cousin Fuki (Section G) burst forth; the Hellebores --Christmas Rose, Lenten Rose, and Stinking Hellebore-- blossom; Mandrake flowers late in February; the low green groundcover Pachysandra blooms late in February; Periwinkle has blue flowers; Primroses present a rainbow of color if the slugs leave them alone; Sweet Violet enchants us late in the month.

    The lower your elevation, and nearer you are to the south, the earlier all this happens. If you don't get much in February, be patient, it will still arrive --in March. The Medicinal Herb Garden is one of the mildest and most protected microclimates of Puget Sound.

(Originally published in the February 1993 newsletter of the Friends of the Medicinal Herb Garden of the University of Washington, Seattle)

Back



Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert

Home   Wild Plants of Greater Seattle
About Arthur Lee Jacobson   Services & Rates   More Books
Plant of the Month   Essays   Frequently Asked Questions
   Articles   Tell A Friend
Awards and Interviews   Useful Links   Volunteer Work
Gary Lockhart's health books   Contact Me


http://www.arthurleej.com
all content and graphics herein
are Copyright © 2001