Featured plants

A look at some of the interesting and rare plant groups in the collection and their origins.
Cultivars developed by Prairie pioneer plant breeders

4-1  Tilia x flavescens 'Dropmore', Dropmore linden 

Les Kerr (1902-83) was Superintendent of the Forest Nursery Station in Sutherland, Saskatchewan (now part of Saskatoon) where he established the artful landscaping that is still in place today. Prior to this he worked on fruit breeding at the Morden Research Station in Manitoba. In the collection:

Malus x 'Pink Cascade' ornamental crabapple 

Malus x 'Sutherland' ornamental crabapple 

Caragana arborescens 'Sutherland' caragana - an upright selection of common caragana.

Percy Wright (1899-1989) was a plant breeder and promoter of horticulture in the Saskatoon area, for which he received the D. R. Robinson  Award from the Saskatchewan Horticultural Association in 1976. Mr. Wright also was a plant nursery owner and a writer. In the collection:

Malus x 'Thunderchild' ornamental crabapple - remains a very poular variety that is resistant to fireblight.

Rosa x 'Hazeldean' rose (R. spinosissima x Persian Yellow) - a beautiful and hardy yellow rose given a Scottish name for the "Scotch" rose parent. 

Dr. Cecil Patterson (1891-1961) became the first head of the Department of Horticulture at the University of Saskatchewan in 1922. A tireless promoter of prairie horticulture, he also directed the landscaping at the University during this time.  

Prunus x 'Patterson Pride' plum (native plum x P. salicina) - a deep red plum of excellent quality.

Frank Skinner (1882 -1967) of Dropmore, Manitoba, was a dedicated plant breeder and nursery owner with a large legacy of hardy plant material for the Canadian prairies. In the collection:

Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore scarlet' honeysuckle (L. sempervirens x L. hirsuta)

Tilia x flavescens 'Dropmore' linden (T. americana x T. cordata)

Lonicera x bella 'Dropmore' honeysuckle (L. tatarica x L. morrowii)

Prunus padus var. commutata 'Dropmore' mayday

Rosa 'Beauty of Dropmore' rose

Syringa x prestoniae 'Hiawatha' lilac (S. villosa x S. reflexa)

Georges Bugnet (1879-1981) was a French Canadian writer, plant hybridizer, and self-taught botanist, living on a farm near Edmonton, Alberta. In the collection:

Lonicera caerulea var. edulis 'Georges Bugnet' honeysuckle

Lonicera caerulea var. edulis 'Julia Bugnet' honeysuckle

Rosa 'Marie Bugnet' rose

Rosa 'Therese Bugnet' rose - remains a popular hardy cultivar

A legacy of prairie-hardy plants from pioneer horticulturists.
Endangered conifers


13-37  Thua koraiensis, Korean arborvitae

Korean arborvitae arrived at the Arboretum in 1970, misidentified as Thuja occidentalis 'Koreana'. It grew into a multi-stemmed tree with spreading basal branches, cinnamon-coloured peeling bark, and a very distinctive under-leaf colour: chalky white.

Korean arborvitae is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is declining from deforestation in its limited native habitat of mountain slopes in North Korea, South Korea and adjacent parts of China. It is estimated that only 250 to 1000 mature, reproducing trees exist in the wild.

Korean arborvitae is growing well in the Arboretum, where it is often overlooked in our row of eastern white cedar cultivars. It is rare in cultivation; our specimen appears to be the last survivor from the Prairie Regional Trials for Woody Ornamentals experiment. A young plant is also growing on the west end of the arboretum.

22-8  Picea asperata, dragon spruce

Dragon spruce was planted in the collection in 1967. It is a stout tree with massive lower branches, prickly foliage, and large cones.

Dragon spruce is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It occurs in the high mountains and riverbanks of west-central China, where it is declining in numbers. Logging and use in the production of aromatic oils and resin has contributed to the decline of the species. In the wild this species may reach 45 m in height with a diameter of 1 m.

Two conifer species in the collection are threatened with extinction in their native habitat: Korean arborvitae (Thuja koraiensis) and dragon spruce (Picea asperata).
Saskatchewan native plants

Saskatchewan's native plants are part of several ecoregions across the Province. In the southwest are the Cypress Hills with forests of lodgepole pine, the most easterly stands of this species in Canada. Southern Saskatchewan is a grassland region with woody plants such as skunkbush (Rhus trilobata), silver buffaloberry (Shepherdia argentea), and plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides). Saskatoon is part of the Aspen Parkland region, defined by stands of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides). Boreal forest covers much of northern Saskatchewan with conifer species such as balsam fir (Abies balsamea). The extreme northeast of the Province is part of Canada's subarctic north, with species such as sweet gale (Myrica gale) and jackpine (Pinus banksiana).

24 - 13.1  Elaeagnus commutata, silverberry or wolf-willow

In the collection:

Abies balsamea, balsam fir

Acer spicatum, mountain maple

Alnus incana, speckled alder

Amelanchier alnifoliaSaskatoon serviceberry

Amelanchier sanguinea, roundleaf serviceberry

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, kinnikinnick or bearberry

Artemesia cana, silver sagebrush

Betula neoalaskana, Alaska paper birch

Betula papyrifera, white or paper birch

Betula pumila var. glandulifera, bog birch

Row Scientific Name Common Name Year Planted
20-5 Abies balsamea balsam fir 1966
15-28 Acer spicatum mountain maple 2012
3-32 Alnus incana speckled alder 2011
17-1 Alnus incana speckled alder 2012
3-62 Amelanchier alnifolia Saskatoon serviceberry 2006
3-59 Amelanchier sanguinea roundleaf serviceberry 2006
11-39 Arctostaphylos uva-ursi kinnikinnick or bearberry 2007
21-34 Artemesia cana silver sagebrush 2013
8-1.1 Betula neoalaskana Alaska paper birch 2012
8-4 Betula papyrifera white or paper birch 1966
8-4.1 Betula papyrifera white or paper birch 2012
10-1 Betula pumila var. glandulifera bog birch 1974
10-10.1 Celastrus scandens American bittersweet 2007
10-12.1 Clematis ligusticifolia western white clematis 2013
19-17 Cornus sericea red-osier dogwood 1974
7-24 Corylus americana American hazel 2013
3-20 Corylus cornuta beaked hazel 2006
10-4 Crataegus chrysocarpa round-leaved hawthorn 1966
12-1 Crataegus douglasii Douglas hawthorn 1972
12-6 Crataegus macracatha (succulenta) fleshy hawthorn 1981
5-12 Diervilla lonicera northern bush-honeysuckle 2006
24-13.1 Elaeagnus commutata silverberry or wolf willow 1966
23-46 Empetrum nigrum black crowberry 2011
16-2 Fraxinus pennsylvanica var. austinii Austin green ash 1975
2-5 Fraxinus pennsylvanica var. subintegerrima green ash 1966
13-48 Juniperus communis common juniper 2006
11-2c Juniperus horizontalis creeping juniper 2011
19-20 Juniperus scopulorum Rocky Mountain juniper 2013
25-10.1 Larix laricina tamarack 2009
10-2.1 Lonicera dioica twining honeysuckle 2012
1-26 Lonicera involucrata twinberry honeysuckle 1971
3-40 Lonicera involucrata twinberry honeysuckle 2013
3-55 Lonicera oblongifolia swamp fly honeysuckle 2012
3-60 Lonicera oblongifolia swamp fly honeysuckle 2012
3-54 Lonicera villosa mountain fly honeysuckle 2013
13-1 Myrica gale sweet gale 2012
1-1 Parthenocissus inserta thicket creeper 1974
18-23 Picea glauca white spruce 1967
22-1 Picea glauca white spruce 1966
20-8 Pinus banksiana jack pine 1966
25-10 Pinus contorta var. latifolia lodgepole pine 2007
6-7 Populus angustifolia narrowleaf cottonwood 2007
25-8 Populus deltoides plains cottonwood 1968
7-41 Potentilla fruticosa shrubby cinquefoil or potentilla 1966
18-4 Prunus americana wild plum 1966
19-13 Prunus pumila var. besseyi western sandcherry 2006
14-20 Prunus virginiana chokecherry 1976
16-1 Quercus macrocarpa burr oak 1968
9-30 Rhus glabra smooth sumac 1995
9-37 Rhus trilobata skunkbush 1969
9-45 Ribes americanum American black currant 1967
9-38 Ribes aureum golden currant 1972
9-43 Ribes hirtellum hairystem gooseberry 1967
9-41 Ribes oxycanthoides Canada gooseberry 1974
9-39 Ribes triste swamp red currant 1970
23-23 Rosa acicularis prickly rose 2010
3-5 Salix bebbiana beaked or bebb willow 2007
1-41 Salix candida sageleaf willow 2008
1-35 Salix discolor pussy willow 2010
9-2 Salix petiolaris meadow willow 2013
18-16 Shepherdia argentea silver buffaloberry 1973
9-16 Spiraea alba narrow-leaved meadowsweet 1991
13-2 Symphoricarpos occidentalis buckbrush 2008
4-9 Ulmus americana American elm 1966
5-30 Viburnum edule low-bush cranberry 2011
5-22 Viburnum lentago nannyberry 1966
5-28 Viburnum trilobum high bush cranberry 1966

5-22  Viburnum lentago, nannyberry

Plants from Saskatchewan's prairies, aspen parkland, and boreal forest.
Amur region plants

The Amur river is located in northeastern Asia. This region is home to many unique plant species and this is reflected in scientific names such as "amurensis" and "maackii" (for Richard Maack, Russian explorer). The similarity of the Amur region's climate to the Prairie Provinces allows us to grow many of these plants in the Arboretum. 

10-9.1  Vitis amurensis, Amur grape

Row Scientific Name Common Name Year Planted
1-25 Acer ginnala Amur maple 1968
5-37 Deutzia parviflora var. amurensis Amur deutzia 2012
3-61 Ligustrum amurense Amur privet 2013
5-9 Lonicera maackii Amur honeysuckle 2006
18-15 Maackia amurensis Amur maackia 1968
8-9 Phellodendron amurense Amur cork tree 2007
9-22 Physocarpus amurensis Amur ninebark 1966
18-7 Prunus maackii Amur cherry 1973
18-26 Sorbus amurensis (pouhashanensis) Amur mountainash 1969
19-47 Syringa reticulata subsp. amurensis Amur lilac 1973
4-3 Tilia amurensis Amur linden 2009
10-9.1 Vitis amurensis Amur grape 2008

18-15  Maackia amurensis, Amur maackia

Many plants in the Arboretum carry the name of this unique region in Asia.
Endangered Canadian species

18-14  Gymnocladus dioicus, Kentucky coffeetree.

A few young trees in the Arboretum are designated as endangered or threatened species in Canada. Although far from their native habitat and preferred climate, these plants are relatively isolated here from diseases and other threats, which may aid in their conservation. For example, butternut, an eastern Canadian species, is designated as endangered primarily because of a fungal disease, butternut canker.

Endangered and threatened Canadian species:

8-8.1  Betula lenta, cherry birch - endangered in Ontario; habitat loss, limited natural range.

18-14  Gymnocladus dioicus, Kentucky coffeetree - threatened in Ontario and nationally; deforestation.

6-14   Juglans cinerea, butternut - endangered in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick; habitat loss, disease.

7-23  Morus rubra, red mulberry - endangered in Ontario and nationally; habitat loss, hybridization with non-native species.