JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

Chaenomeles 'Scarlet Storm' (Double Take)
Your Monthly News and Updates
Director's Note

By Mark Weathington, Director

We’ve passed, I hope, the very last frost of the year, and, while the ground is still a bit chilly for planting out some things, we are planting like crazy. Especially exciting for staff right now is seeing the truly eye-popping, mouth-watering selection of plants that are coming out of our greenhouses and in from nurseries around the country for our coming plant sale. The online portion will be only open to members for several days before opening to the public so make sure yours is up to date. The onsite sale days will include many of the online items (unless they sell out) but will include many, many, choice plants. I would estimate the variety of plants onsite will be triple what is online. The real plant nuts will want to head to the collector’s table where most selections will only include one to three plants that the team has convinced me to let leave the nursery. I doubt many of those will be left after the Friday evening (April 29) members-only portion of the sale.

In other news, Day of Giving was a major success thanks to all of you. The JCRA outraised three of the university's colleges. These unrestricted gifts pay for new staff, staff salary increases, and garden improvements. Keep an eye out for some big changes. We are excited to be holding events in-person again and are becoming pros at hybrid programming. This year the annual JCRA/JLBG Southeastern Plant Symposium will be hybrid and the speaker lineup is perhaps the best yet. In recognition of how important this program has already become, Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs will be our Presenting Sponsor.  Other sponsorship opportunities already filled include a break sponsor, PermaTill, and 10 student scholarships from Ball Horticultural Company. Please reach out to if you would like more information about how you can support this program.

See you in the garden.
Raulston Blooms! Countdown

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director
This wonderful garden festival is back with all the things you love—Spring Plant Sale, 20th Annual Birdhouse Competition, used garden book sale, food trucks, artists, crafters, and great family fun.

We have a little something for everyone. Cedar Works by Frank returns and will be joined by Katie Brooks who uses dried leaves instead of canvas for her beautiful paintings. Elisabeth Wheeler will have a selection of her beautiful scarves featuring wood anatomy patterns like you’ve never seen and Bonsai Bottles is joining us with their unique spin on terrariums.

Our garden talks will feature experts talking about tea, pollinators, and plants and we have a special in-person Horticulture Hour planned to answer all your burning gardening questions.

Our horticulture team is not holding back on this year's plant sale. Not only will there be an online component to this year's sale, but our in-person sale will include invited plant vendors giving you access to an amazing selection of plants.

Superior Plants Nursery returns giving our members a unique opportunity to shop the amazing selection of plants from this traditionally wholesale nursery. Hellebore experts from Pine Knot Farms will be here with hellebores, ferns, trillium, cyclamen, and other perennial favorites and we will be welcoming first-timers DirtBag Gardens and their native perennials and Raleigh Paw Paws.

For those of you who have preferred our online plant sales, we're excited to let you know there is an online feature to this year's Spring Plant Sale. Keep in mind, some plants will only be available online while others only available in-person. We thrive in offering the unique and rare selections which oftentimes have very limited availability. Many of these selections will only be available at our in-person sale.

Insider tip, use your member status to shop early during the member only shopping times. You will have early access to shop both sales before they open to the public.

The logistics of this hybrid sale is likened to a complicated dance and requires full attention from all participants. Coordination is key and we thank you in advance for your attention to all the details and your patience as we offer one of our most exciting plant sales.

We will be using ClickBid for the online portion of this sale. Members can gain access to the sale via a link provided by e-mail from Kathryn Wall.

Important dates to remember:

Online Plant Sale

  • Friday, April 8, 10:00 AM – Online sale opens for members only
  • Sunday, April 10, 10:00 AM Online sale opens to the public
  • Friday, April 15, 12:00 PM Online sale closes
  • Wednesday, April 20–Friday, April 22 Scheduled Plant Sale Pick-ups

We do not have capacity to hold plants until our in-person sale or ship plants. Thank you for understanding.

In-person Plant Sale

  • Friday, April 29, 4:00 PM7:00 PM Member Preview Sale
  • Saturday, April 30, 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Spring Plant Sale opens to the public during Raulston Blooms!

We love celebrating spring with Raulston Blooms! It’s a beautiful time of year to spend the day in the garden with your family and friends.

Full event details can be found online at
Southeastern Plant Symposium Invitation

Presented by Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs

By Tony Avent, Proprietor, Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery

We’d love to invite everyone to our upcoming Southeastern Plant Symposium, which will return to an in-person (and online) event for 2022, as our focus shifts to perennials. For this fast-paced plant-centric event, we will welcome many of the world's top plant experts. The dates are Friday June 10 and Saturday June 11.

A few of the headliners include the Greek horticultural genius, Eleftherios Dariotis; plantsman Dan Hinkley, founder of Heronswood and Windcliff Gardens; Patrick McMillan, the Emmy Award-Winning TV personality and former director of both the South Carolina Botanical Garden and Heronswood; plantsman, Kelly Norris, a nationally renown garden designer, visionary, and QVC plant guru; plantsman, Aaron Floden, an international plant explorer/native plant specialist at the Missouri Botanical Garden and world authority on Solomon's seal; and Peter Zale, the amazing international plant explorer who heads up the research program at Longwood Gardens.

This is only a fraction of the top gardening speakers including Mark and myself. We promise you'll leave with a head full of new plants and gardening information you've never imagined. The symposium includes a chance to chat with the speakers and participate in the now world famous, SPS Rare Plant Auction, where you can once again see (and touch) the plants in person. We hope you'll join us for two intense days of talks and the chance to visit both the JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden/Plant Delights (onsite shopping will be permitted). Proceeds go to support the operations/endowment at both JCRA and JLBG.
Mealnie Kelly at the FOA Annual Plant Distribution
Ephemeral Art Photograph Display

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Manager

Take a stroll down memory lane and learn more about the rich history of the ephemeral art program at the JC Raulston Arboretum. The photographs will be on display through April and into the summer in the Ruby C. McSwain Center. The McSwain Center is open 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Weekend hours vary by rentals and events being held and staff coverage.

A special thank you to Beth Jimenez, Amelia Lane, and Laurie Cochran for the display. Thanks also to Nancy Doubrava for helping locate the images and to the many photographers, volunteers, members, students, faculty, and supporters who had part in all of the ephemeral arts.
youth program
Support the JCRA Interns

By Carly Dressen, Development Assistant

Thank you to our community for your support of the JCRA during NC State's Day of Giving! We continue to be blown away by the way you show up for the Arboretum and share your passion for everyone to see.

Following the success of Day of Giving, we will be participating in NC State's Spring 2022 Crowdfunding fundraising opportunity from April 13–May 13, one of only seen programs selected by NC State for inclusion in this fundraiser. We are raising money to support our amazing JCRA Internship Program! Each summer, the JCRA hires interns to work alongside our staff and volunteers while gaining experience in garden management and maintenance or with our children's education program.

Our funding goal of $6,000 will support the cost of hiring one summer intern for 13 weeks of work. This fundraising platform helps to connect JCRA members, past interns, friends, and our community with causes they're passionate about.

To keep up to date with our progress, please visit We are excited to offer this unique opportunity to support the Internship Program and hope you will join us!

If you have any questions about crowdfunding or other ways to support the Internship Program, please contact Alycia Thornton at
birdhouse collage
Our 20th Annual Birdhouse Competition Redux Is Almost Here

By Sana Sheikh, Former Programs and Education Assistant

Welcome spring with fellow artists and art enthusiasts alike with the 20th anniversary of our classic seasonal celebration! We've had long-running participants make the Birdhouse Competition a shared tradition with us. Join us and make it yours, too! If you've made a birdhouse that's ready for check-in, this is your chance to put them on display.

Adult competitors are able to enter in either the Serious category for more functional creations or the Flights of Fancy category for decorative entries. As always, youth competitors (ages 4 to 16) will be put into four categories based on their age. This event is a part of Raulston Blooms! and will be held on April 30 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The cost to enter the competition is free, and entrants will receive a free Raulston Blooms! ticket for their entire family for participating!

For more information about the 20th Annual Birdhouse Competition Redux, please read the competition's announcement or contact Chris Glenn at or (919) 513-7005.

newl propagated plants
Educational Program Highlights

By Mackenzie Grainger, Programs and Education Assistant

The JCRA has something for everyone, especially you! Join us for in-person and online educational programs that are sure to make your skills bloom! This month, we have a multi-week plant propagation course led by Bryce Lane as well as a growing tomatoes class with Brie Arthur and so much more. Spaces are limited in these programs so register today to reserve your spot. If you have questions about any of these programs, please contact us at

Home Plant Propagation
Bryce Lane, NC State University
Mondays, April 4 through May 23 – 6:30 PM
In Person and Online

This eight-week class is totally focused on all the different ways you can propagate plants at home. First, we will learn about the science of plant reproduction, and apply it to a number of propagation techniques. The second section is devoted to learning how to propagate plants from seed, including annuals, perennials, and woody plants. Then we will focus on all forms of vegetative propagation, (cuttings, layerage, division, etc.) and how we can perform these techniques in our own backyards

Growing Woody Plants in Containers
Bryce Lane, NC State University
Saturday, April 9 – 8:30 AM
In Person and Online

Container gardening fits nicely into the active lifestyles of many gardeners who feel the pressures of limited time and space. Regardless of your limitations, growing in containers is freeing and provides ample opportunities to expand the plant palette! Take your container gardens to the next level and learn how to grow and maintain woody plants in decorative containers in this class with Bryce Lane

Tips and Tricks for Growing Tomatoes in the Southeast
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Tuesday, April 19 – 6:30 PM

Heirloom tomatoes are the ultimate taste of summer but growing them can be challenging! Join local tomato obsessed horticulturist Brie Arthur for a fun and entertaining discussion on the dos and don'ts of growing tomatoes in the Southeast. She will cover all the essential information you need to know including variety selection, best growing practices, and in-depth details on fertilizer, watering, and staking strategies.

Art & Science of Bonsai
Bryce Lane, NC State University
Saturday, April 2 – 8:30 AM
In Person and Online

A long admired Japanese tradition, bonsai is the maintenance of a tree in a small form as a potted plant by constant pruning. Join Bryce Lane as he dives deeper into the beauty that is bonsai. In this class, participants will learn the science and practices behind the art of bonsai trees.

Introduction to Adobe Lightroom Classic: Organizing and Editing Your Photographs
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Wednesdays, April 27 through June 1 – 6:30 PM

With digital photography, the capturing of the image with the camera is just the start. Photographers also must understand how to process their images for their intended use—whether that be to print photographs, create Web pages and social media postings, and create slideshows or even albums/books. Join Mary Louise in this course to expand your knowledge and skill set for image processing.

Photography Walk
"Using ProCamera—DSLR-like Camera Control with Your iPhone Camera"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursday, April 28 – 10-:00 AM
In Person

In this session, Mary Louise will discuss how fundamental photography principles can apply to the iPhone camera using the ProCamera app. She will demonstrate the basics of how to use the ProCamera app. Afterwards, participants will apply these new skills photographing spring flowers in the Arboretum's gardens.

Recreational Tree Climbing at the JCRA
Open to Youths and Adults
Patrick Brandt, Piedmont Tree Climbing
Saturdays, April 30 and May 21 – 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, and 4:30 PM
In Person

Recreational tree climbing is coming to the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh! Climb with your friends and family (April 30 and May 21) into the canopy of one of our majestic oaks and experience the JCRA like you never have before. Patrick Brandt, founder of Piedmont Tree Climbing, will provide all the needed gear and instruction.

Spring Cottage Foodscape Tour
Brie Arthur, Horticulturist
Tuesday, May 10 – 6:30 PM
In Person

Join local gardener Brie Arthur for a tour of her private garden, the Spring Cottage Foodscape. Enjoy a refreshing beverage while learning about the various species that make this season extraordinary! The displays include colorful poppies, larkspur, and other fall-planted varieties that burst into flower through the month of May. Brie will also have books, plants, seeds, and soil available for purchase.

Creating and Managing Bird-friendly Landscapes
Barbara Driscoll, New Hope Audubon Society, and Preston Montague, M.L.A., Landscape Architect
Wednesday, May 11 and 18 and June 1 – 6:30 PM
In Person & Online

What to learn about how your gardenscape can become more populated with winged friends? Join us in this three-evening course to understand the principles of making your landscape more bird-friendly and how to manage your newly found friends.

Herbaceous Perennials Propagation Class and Demonstration
Douglas Ruhren, JC Raulston Arboretum
Saturday, May 14 – 9:00 AM
In Person & Online

Propagating plants is rewarding, often easily done, and is a great way to add to the plants in your landscape. Join Doug Ruhren in this propagation class and demonstration focused solely on propagating herbaceous perennials. Techniques discussed include division, stem and leaf cuttings, seed, and other techniques. Doug will demonstrate each of the techniques discussed and show class participants how they can propagate perennials at home using simple techniques.

Photography Walk
"Garden Photography at the Juniper Level Botanic Garden"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursday, May 19 – 9:00 AM
In Person

Raleigh's Juniper Level Botanic Garden is a delight to plant lovers and photographers alike. In this session, Mary Louise will discuss and demonstrate a variety of garden photography techniques. The extended session gives time for participants to explore different types of garden photo setups. In addition, there will be an opportunity for an informal Q&A session with Mary Louise while eating a bagged lunch on a shaded garden patio. This class is suitable for beginner to advanced photographers using DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

Propagation Workshop
Tim Alderton and Christopher Todd Glenn
Saturday, May 28 – 9:00 AM
In Person

Join JCRA staff in this hands-on workshop and learn how to asexually propagate some of your favorite plants at the Arboretum. Participants go home with a greater knowledge of plant propagation and with many freshly propagated plants. Participants choose which plants they want to propagate from the JCRA's collection of over 6,000 taxa (few exceptions apply, though). Techniques discussed can be done at home. This workshop is open to all knowledge/experience levels and is repeated on Saturday, June 4.

For more information about these programs, please click on the links above or write
Camellia Quandary

By Dennis Carey, Curator

You may be surprised to learn the amount of effort that the JC Raulston Arboretum puts into correctly recording plant names. Sometimes, it takes a bit of sleuthing to work out all the minute details and check all the rule books. This exercise often teaches us some interesting history, too.

To determine the correct cultivar name of a plant, we use references such as the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP) which tells us the rules that cultivar names should follow. And we also use specialty databases of approved cultivar names such as the International Camellia Cultivar Register (ICR). But even with these resources, we occasionally run into quandaries.

For example, a while back, the JCRA received a plant with the name Camellia japonica 'Nishikiba Mangetsu'. While checking this cultivar name in the ICR, we discovered that the name 'Nishikiba Mangetsu' is 1) misspelled and more importantly 2) for historical reasons this name has been declared invalid and replaced by the name 'Mangetsu (Nagao)'.

Great! Job done. Time for a coffee break.

Hold on … not so fast! Something still does not look right. Let's dive a little deeper.

Further investigation shows that the ICR-approved name 'Mangetsu (Nagao)' conflicts with the more authoritative ICNCP which forbids parentheses within the single quotes of a cultivar name. The ICNCP provides a fix though by declaring that the parenthetical expression be placed outside of the quotes so 'Mangetsu (Nagao)' becomes 'Mangetsu' (Nagao). Esoteric? Yes. But details like this are important to the JCRA.

Finally! Case closed. That’s one down and 32,535 more to go!

And the interesting historical lesson? This comes from a paper written by the creators of the ICR, the International Camellia Society (ICS).

According to the ICS, over 23,000 Camellia cultivars have been developed and recorded since the year 1253, but as of 2022, over 50,000 cultivar names have been published! These names are published in dozens of catalogs, books, and journals in multiple countries and in three languages (Chinese, Japanese, and English).

Prior to the Google era, translation and nomenclature missteps were common and the same Camellia cultivar name would sometimes be used for several different plants. On top of that, sometimes a single plant may have been assigned several different names as it passed from person to person. Yikes! Both of these things happened to our Camellia.

The ICS spent decades sorting out the 50,000+ names, figured out which were good and which were bad, and created the ICR, an authoritative list of Camellia cultivar names for botanic gardens like the JCRA to use.

The Japanese name ‘Mangetsu’ (full moon) had been applied to three different camellias. The first was in 1912 to a white flowered Higo Camellia at a nursery in Kumamoto. The second was in 1987 to a white flowered Camellia sasanqua at the Seto nursery near Tokyo. And the third (ours) in 1989 to a red flowered, variegated leaf, Kurume Camellia at the Nagao nursery in Niigata prefecture. The ICS corrected this by declaring new official names that incorporate the name of the nursery that raised the duplicate. So there is the original, ‘Mangetsu’, and two duplicates dubbed ‘Mangetsu' (Seto) and ‘Mangetsu' (Nagao).

Our plant had also incorrectly been assigned two additional names as it was passed around. First, 'Mangetsu’ (Niigata) then, 'Nishikiba-mangetsu' (variegated leaf mangetsu). So the ICS, when figuring out the correct name, started with the name 'Nishikiba-mangetsu' and discovered that it was a re-named 'Mangetsu’ (Niigata) which they knew was the duplicate 'Mangetsu' from Nagao nursery in Niigata whose correct name is 'Mangetsu' (Nagao).

Isn't history fun!
Magnolia stellata 'Chrysanthemumiflora'
Upcoming Events, Programs, and Sales

Plant Buggy Sales
Daily at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center
Monday–Friday: 9:00 AM–4:30 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 AM–6:00 PM
In Person

Groovy Gardeners
Badge Workshop for Junior Girl Scouts
Saturday, April 2 – 10:30 AM
In Person

Home Plant Propagation
Bryce Lane
Mondays, April 4 through May 23 – 6:30 PM
In Person and Online
Register (in person and online)

Plant-lover's Tour
"Spring Perennials and Shrubs"
Douglas Ruhren
Tuesday, April 5 – 1:00 PM
In Person

Gardening 101
"Creating and Planting Color Beds"
Bernadette Clark and Douglas Ruhren
Wednesday, April 6 – 3:00 PM

Garden Story Walk
Friday, April 8 through Monday, April 18 – open hours
In Person

Online Spring Plant Sale

Friday, April 8 10:00 AM – Online sale opens for members only

Sunday, April 10 10:00 AM – Online sale opens to the public

Friday, April 15 12:00 PM – Online sale closes

Wednesday, April 20–Friday, April 22 – Scheduled Plant Sale Pick-ups

Growing Woody Plants in Containers
Bryce Lane
Saturday, April 9 – 8:30 AM
In Person and Online
Register (in person and online)

Midweek with Mark
"Plant Sale Review"
Mark Weathington
Wednesday, April 13 – 3:00 PM

North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture
Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"Salvia: A Natural History"
Scott Zona, Ph.D.
Saturday, April 16 – 10:00 AM
In Person and Online

Tips and Tricks for Growing Tomatoes in the Southeast
Brie Arthur
Tuesday, April 19 – 6:30 PM

Deeper in the Garden
"Evergreen Maples"
Mark Weathington
Wednesday, April 20 – 3:00 PM

Art and Science of Bonsai
Bryce Lane
Saturday, April 23 – 8:30 AM
In Person and Online
Register (in person and online)

Eastern North Carolina Iris Society Show
Sponsored by the Eastern North Carolina Iris Society in Cooperation with the North Carolina Garden Club and the JC Raulston Arboretum
Sunday, April 24 – 12:00PM
In Person

Gardening Adventures with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers
"Gardening from the Insects' Perspective"
Louise Romanow, Ph.D.
Monday, April 25 – 10:00 AM
In Person and Online

Plant-lover's Tour
"Spring Perennials and Shrubs"
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Wednesday, April 27 – 3:00 PM

Introduction to Adobe Lightroom Classic: Organizing and Editing Your Photographs
Mary Louise Ravese
Wednesdays, April 27 through June 1 – 6:30 PM

Photography Walk
"Using ProCamera—DSLR-like Camera Control with Your iPhone Camera"
Mary Louise Ravese
Thursday, April 28 – 10:00 AM
In Person

Open Garden Day at Juniper Level Botanic Garden
Friday, April 29, 2022 – 8:00 AM5:00 PM
Saturday, April 30, 2022 – 8:00 AM5:00 PM
Sunday, May 1, 2022 – 1:00 PM5:00 PM
In Person

JC Raulston Arboretum Plant Sale
Part of Raulston Blooms!
Friday, April 29 – 4:00 PM7:00 PM
Saturday, April 30 22 – 10:00 AM4:00 PM
In Person

Raulston Blooms!
A Garden Festival for All Ages
Saturday, April 30 – 10:00 AM4:00 PM
In Person

Recreational Tree Climbing at the JCRA
Open to Youths and Adults
Patrick Brandt
Saturday, April 30 – 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, and 4:30 PM
In Person

20th Annual Birdhouse Competition Redux
Part of Raulston Blooms!
Saturday, April 30 – 10:00 AM4:00 PM
In Person

Denotes a children's program.

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

Magnolia ×loebneri 'Merrill'
Coming Attractions

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Forsythia giraldiana 'Golden Times'
Rhododendron 'Rlh1-11p1' (Bloom-a-thon Hot Pink)
Cornus florida subsp. urbiniana
Cornus florida 'Suwanee Squat'
dwarf flowering dogwood
Corylopsis glabrescens var. gotoana
Anemone coronaria
poppy anemone
Magnolia 'Raspberry Ice'
Iris tectorum
Japanese roof iris
Cercis chinensis 'Kay's Early Hope'
Chionanthus retusus
Chinese fringe tree
Fothergilla gardenii 'Suzanne'
Magnolia 'Serendipity'
hybrid magnolia
Narcissus 'Sweet Smiles'
Paeonia 'Nice Gal'
Magnolia 'Elizabeth'
Sisyrinchium angustifolium 'Lucerne'
narrowleaf blue-eyed grass
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Many programs were recorded in March. Five of these videos were were posted to our YouTube channel. The remaining videos will be posted soon. Receive announcements about our latest additions by subscribing to our YouTube channel. Click on the bell icon to adjust your frequency settings from occasional notifications to all notifications and vice versa.
video poster for Gardening 101
video poster for Midweek for Mark
video poster for Deeper in the Garden
video poster for NARGS Lecture
Elisabeth Zander's lecture is only available to NARGS and JCRA members. It's not available publicly on YouTube. Do not share the lecture with others.
video poster for Master Gardener Lecture
Photography by Tony Avent, Susan Bailey, Bryce Lane, Ira Tucker, Kathryn Wall, Jeanne Wilkinson, Rich Woynicz, and Elisabeth Zander.
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 Kathryn Wall at (919) 513-7004 or Please do not use the links below to update your e-mail address or to unsubscribe.

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