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Apr 06 2012

Mystery Flora: The Fruits of Seward Park

The way the weather’s going, I’m never going to get decent pictures of the local fruit trees in Bothell. Between the wind and the rain, they’ll be all decrepit before it stops pouring long enough to shoot them. But Seward Park had some nice ones in bloom, and the weather wasn’t hideous, so we’ve got at least a little something.

I don’t know if these are all the same type of tree or different. So I’m just going to throw everything I’ve got at you and see what we’ve got.

First up: a tree near the art center.

Mystery Tree I

I’m actually fairly impressed by its size, considering it’s growing on what amounts to a small cliff.

Closeup of the blooms:

Mystery Tree II

The wind kept making the branches bob. I swear you could hear it laughing maniacally whilst I tried to focus.

I vaguely remember you all saying something about bark being important for identification purposes, so I got you some:

Mystery Tree III

Right, so there’s that one. Then, further along the main trail, I came across this one and was all, “You beauty!” If you can picture me doing that like the Tenth Doctor, then you’ve got it down.

Mystery Tree IV

Gotcher flowers:

Mystery Tree V

And gotcher bark:

Mystery Tree VI

And I can’t resist putting up just one more of the whole tree, just cuz:

Mystery Tree VII

And now, for our third and last mystery fruit tree, I present you one of the most adorable trees I’ve ever seen.

Mystery Tree VIII

I forgot the bark this time, but you can kinda see it through the flowers here:

Mystery Tree IX

And one more, because you can never have enough blossoms:

Mystery Tree X

In my botanically-challenged opinion, Tree 2 is not the same species as Trees 1 and 3. But I have no bloody idea. What say you all?

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Suzanne

    i love your mystery eye candy photos dana — so glad you started doing the mystery series….

  2. 2
    Atheist Chaplain

    Flowers are considered the most important way of plant identification as the count of petals, stamen etc is different between species.
    From my quick observations they all look to be members of the cherry family, the 6th photo down is very reminiscent of the flowering cherry growing in my Dads front yard.
    Bark, Flowers and even juvenile leaves are all important indicators used to determine exactly what a particular plane is, I just don’t have the time to dig out all the old course material and text books from my Horticulture courses to give you an exact answer, and even if I did they would most likely be wrong as plant names can change or be re-defined in the time it takes to do a print run of the text books :-)

  3. 3
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Without serious investigation, I’m guessing apple, cherry, and I don’t know so many look the same.

  4. 4
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Oh wait, was I supposed to guess a species? No dice. Way too many kinds of apple around me my whole like and I don’t know what they are.

    I looked a little online and all the guides I’ve found so far are teh suck, the best only reinforcing my two guesses and just as generic.

  5. 5
    Kate

    All ten/three trees are genus prunus but it is a large group, the tree by the street might be a flowering cherry. Other ones could be cherry or plum or almond or….it’s a large group. Are any of them scented? Bark is part of the identification process but just a part. Perhaps the parks department keeps a public record of the trees planted.

  6. 6
    The Phytophactor

    Yes, Prunus certainly. Horizontal linear lenticels on the bark. Apples/pears have an inferior ovary; cherries/plums (the most common ornamentals in this genus) have a single superior ovary.

  7. 7
    Trebuchet

    My first reaction was “fruit with a pit”, which is pretty much the same as “prunus”. They’re probably most of what you’ll see blooming right now in this area. They all look like cherry to me.

  8. 8
    Tree

    You’re in Bothell? Just moved to Seattle in January, did the walk around Seward in February. Fabulous landscapes (there’s this huge volcano outside my window, whenever I look right).

    I’m from DC, so everything looks like a cherry tree to me too. However, last week every tree I pointed to was labeled a Plum by friends. This week, I’ve been told that the plum blossoms have dropped and yes, those new blossoms are cherry trees. That was around Volunteer Park. Bothell may have its own micro-clime. Heck, every hill and valley around here seems to have its own micro-clime. That volcano even has its own weather.

  9. 9
    Trebuchet

    I’m in Everett, and the flowering red-leafed plums are still doing their thing. If you’re seeing pink, that’s likely what it is. The trees are inordinately popular with landscapers and developers, who don’t have to deal with their later nasty habits of sending up suckers all over your yard and unattractive growth patterns. They have to be pruned every year to keep them decent.

    They’re a grafted tree, so the suckers don’t even have the red leaves or pink blossoms if you let them grow. I’m going to have all of mine taken out soon, I think.

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