JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update - August 2015
Director's Note
Mark Weathington, Director

August is an interesting time for a university garden I've found. We are in the midst of some of the highest summer temperatures of the season but the returning students put us in a fall frame of mind. While some folks complain about the increased traffic the 34,000 students cause, we love to see them back in town. The students keep us focused on the part of our mission to be a living laboratory for NC State University.


The number and variety of students who use the Arboretum surprise even many of our long-time members. We obviously host many of the plant ID labs, but we also host landscape construction and landscape maintenance classes on a regular basis as well as providing plenty of propagation material for both plant propagation and nursery management classes. Students have a chance to take cuttings, perform soil tests and apply fertilizers, dig and ball trees, and plant specimens. They also use some of our larger trees for climbing practice which is always a fun day watching nervous students learn the ropes, literally, and climb 30' in a tree.


The JCRA's collegiate responsibilities go well beyond the horticulture department though. The plant biology department uses the JCRA for classes and research both for graduate and undergraduate students. Entomology uses the grounds for research and teaching purposes frequently and forestry regularly collects pollen and makes crosses with some of our conifers in efforts to improve the Christmas tree trade in North Carolina.


Beyond NC State, the Arboretum is regularly visited by horticulture students from two-year and four-year colleges across North Carlina and the surrounding states. Plant material for graduate research projects are shipped around the country for genetic analysis, breeding projects, and taxonomic studies. Altogether, the JCRA is an important piece of many student's college careers.


So, welcome back to the students this month, we're looking forward to seeing them all out at the Arboretum soon.


Phygelius 'Lemon Spritzer'
Plant of the Month
By Mark Weathington, Director

Phygelius 'Lemon Spritzer' - Variegated Cape Fuchsia  


We planted out our first specimens of variegated cape fuchsia in spring of 2013 and we've been thrilled with them ever since. Cape fuchsia or Phygelius is a genus native to South Africa where it forms evergreen to semi-evergreen shrubs on damp hillsides. In North Carolina, they act more as herbaceous perennials, dying back to the ground in winter but popping back up in spring.


'Lemon Spritzer' is a new twist on this favorite with chartreuse to lemon-yellow leaves sprinkled liberally with darker green for a bright pop in the landscape. If happy, a mature plant will reach 30" tall and wide with flowers held another foot above the foliage in summer and fall. The flowers are long, coral-pink tubes which are absolutely adored by hummingbirds. If spent flowers are removed regularly, they will continue to put out new flower stalks sporadically through the summer.


Grow variegated Cape fuchsia in full sun or part shade in average to moist well-drained, loose soil. In very sunny spots, moisture is especially necessary. Phygelius is often touted as a drought tolerant plant, but in the heat of the Southeast, it is much happier commingling with hosta and ferns than baking next to sages and agave.


We grow this lovely perennial in beds between the Boxwood Collection and our giant Japanese crepe myrtles near the Pedestrian Entrance from Beryl Road, in our Perennial Border, and near the Color Trials in the Oak Grove. We will be offering 'Lemon Spritzer' this fall in our Members-only Plants Sale. Look for the sale catalog to be online in early September. If you aren't already a member, join now to have access to our members-only fall sale!


Mt. Cuba Center
New Gardens Added to Reciprocal Program
By Arlene Calhoun, Volunteer and Membership Coordinator

Our members are using the Reciprocal Admissions Program to visit gardens across the nation. So happy to hear how many of you remember to pack you JCRA membership card and take advantage of this popular member benefit.


The following gardens have joined mid-year, remember to check the RAP member directories for the most up-to-date listing.


Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, Delaware

Miami Beach Botanical Garden - Miami Beach, Florida
Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens - Ormond Beach, Florida
The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park-Traverse City, Michigan

Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park - Binghamton, New York
Mercer Botanic Gardens - Humble, Texas
The East Texas Arboretum & Botanical Society - Athens, Texas
Thanksgiving Point Gardens - Lehi, Utah
PowellsWood Garden - Federal Way, Washington
W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory - Tacoma, Washington

Be sure and share any photographs you take on your next visit. And of course tell them hello from everyone here at the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Member-only Preorder Plant Sale Catalog Opens Early September
By Arlene Calhoun, Volunteer and Membership Coordinator

Your wish list has been passed along to Mark. A big thank you to all those who took the time to let us know which plants are on their list. Selections are being finalized and descriptions are being written. Keep watch for the catalog in early September, perfect timing for fall planting.


Cercis canadensis 'Ruby Falls'
An Evening with the Plant Breeders
By Christine Ramsey, Volunteer

A Rare Opportunity to Discover Where New Plants Come


Friday, October 2, 2015 - 5:30 PM-10:00 PM


Go behind the scenes with nationally recognized plant breeders who create, promote, and grow the hottest new ornamental varieties. Enjoy their stories and discover the criteria and methods they're using to introduce beautiful, noninvasive, stress-tolerant, pest-tolerant, and adaptable plants. One of the nation's top plant promoters and growers will also be there making this a perfect evening for any plant lover or collector to earn what new plants could be coming soon to a nursery near you and how they got there. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer and more including a auction featuring many rare plants.


For more information or to register, please call Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005. Space is limited. 

Bryce Lane

Introduction to Plant Identification: The Path to Successful Gardening
By Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University

Knowing the art and science of plant identification and plant nomenclature (names) makes all kinds of gardeners (novice all the way to hard core) more successful in their gardening endeavors. This class will equip you with the basics of plant identification, allowing you to expand and enhance your plant identification skills and abilities. By knowing some basic plant anatomy and morphology you will be able to tell the difference between all kinds of plants that at first glance appear to be very similar and therefore confusing ("is that a boxwood or a Japanese holly?") We will spend lots of time every week in the "outdoor classroom" called the JC Raulston Arboretum looking at, and identifying plants. Don't worry, you will learn a lot plus it'll be lots of fun!


This six-week course is designed for all gardeners who want to learn, and/or improve their plant identification skills. Whether you are just a beginner, a novice, just moved to this area, or an advanced gardener, this course is designed to help us all become better gardeners!


For more information or to register, please call Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005. Space is limited.  

Upcoming Events

Arboretum Guided Tour
Sunday, August 2
2:00 PM 


Plantsmen's Tour
"Treemendous Trees"
Mark Weathington, Director
Tuesday, August 4
9:00 AM and 6:00 PM  


Garden Storytime
"Tasty Vegetables"
Friday, August 7
10:30 AM


Arboretum Guided Tour
Sunday, August 9
2:00 PM  


Summer Garden Camp
"Artists in the Garden"
Monday-Friday, August 10-14
9:00 AM


Drawing in Nature II: Botanical Illustration with Colored Pencil
Preston Montague, Landscape Designer and Botanical Illustrator
Saturdays, August 15 and 29
9:00 AM


Landscape Potential II: Perennial Bed Design for Pollinators
Preston Montague, Landscape Designer and Botanical Illustrator
Saturday, August 15
1:00 PM

Arboretum Guided Tour  

Sunday, August 16
2:00 PM

Juried Print Competition
Sponsored by the JC Raulston Arboretum and the Triangle Carolinas Nature Photography Association
Friday, August 21 - Entries Accepted
9:00 AM

Saturday, August 22 - Open House

7:00 PM-8:30 PM


Garden Storytime
Garden Storytime
Friday, August 21
10:30 AM


Arboretum Guided Tour
Sunday, August 23
2:00 PM


Arboretum Guided Tour
Sunday, August 30
2:00 PM


Denotes a children's program.

Many programs require advance registration. Please register early to reserve your spot.

Asian Valley

Coming Attractions
By Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

Sedum spectabile 'Zi Juan'
Pink Sundae™ showy stonecrop

Silphium perfoliatum
Silphium perfoliatum
cup plant

Heteropterys glabra
Heteropterys glabra

Callicarpa formosana
Callicarpa formosana
Formosan beautyberry

Tremacron aurantiacum
Tremacron aurantiacum
golden tremacron

Echinacea purpurea 'Merlot'
Echinacea purpurea 'Merlot'
purple coneflower

Hedychium coccineum 'Disney'
Hedychium coccineum 'Disney'
red ginger-lily

Allium 'Sugar Melt'
Allium 'Sugar Melt'
ornamental onion

YouTube Channel Update
By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

One new video was recorded in July. Look for it in our YouTube Channel or click the link below.


Receive announcements about our latest additions by subscribing to our channel.


New Camera Video Camera Needed


The JC Raulston Arboretum needs a new video camera to replace our eight-year-old and recently broken camera. If you've enjoyed watching the videos or if you'd like to support the recording of our Friends of the Arboretum Lectures, Plantsmen's Tours, and other special happenings, please make a contribution to the JCRA's Special Gifts fund. To ensure we know what your donation is for, please check the "This gift is in honor or memory of someone, in support of a program or department, or for payment of my membership dues" radio button and then change the pull down menu to "support" and write "digital camera" in the text field. If the funds received for this request exceed the purchase price of the camera, we'll purchase an external microphone for improved sound capture.


Plantmen's Tour video poster
Your Membership Makes a Difference

Please Join or Renew Today!

The JC Raulston Arboretum is free to the public, but it is not free to operate. Memberships keep the gates open and the gardens in top shape. Membership gifts are the primary support for the Arboretum's daily operations and vital for its success. Thank you for your support and advocacy of the JC Raulston Arboretum through the membership program. It's fast and easy to become a Friend of the Arboretum, and there are many great benefits for you and your family. Join or renew now using our secure Web site, or contact Arlene Calhoun, Volunteer and Membership Coordinator.

Christopher Todd Glenn
Programs and Education Coordinator
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
(919) 513-7005

You're receiving this e-mail because you're a member of the JC Raulston Arboretum. JCRA e-Updates are published electronically every month. If you are a member and need to update your contact information or wish to be removed from this mailing, please contact Arlene Calhoun at (919) 513-7004 or Please do not use the links below to update your e-mail address or to unsubscribe.