Connoisseur Plants

Connoisseur Plants are rare, new plants, or hard-to-find old favorites. These wonderful plants are being offered to our upper level members, Collector (formerly Sponsor) level and higher.

Please note that several plants are available in very limited quantities. For some plants, we don't know the full range of hardiness, only how it has behaved at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Sometimes, we cannot find any information in our references on a particular taxon. This does not mean that the plant doesn't exist, perhaps just that we are staying one step ahead of published information. One of the purposes of the Arboretum is to test new plants for suitability to the southeastern United States. By growing some of these "new-to-us" plants in your own garden, you can be a part of this evaluation process. Feedback from you is invaluable!

Happy choosing, and thank you for your continued and invaluable support of the JC Raulston Arboretum.

To submit your selections, please use the form link in the e-mail you received on February 21, 2024 from Kathryn Wall. If you need assistance, please e-mail Kathryn at or call (919) 513-7004 Selections should be placed no later than end of day March 3, 2024.

Note: The distribution year listed below is the year the plants were awarded. Members request them early the following year. And they're picked up or delivered shortly thereafter.

1998 Plant Selection

Acer oblongum
flying moth maple

This attractive, fast-growing, medium sized (20'-50') tree was acquired by the JCRA in 1996 from seed collected in China by our friends at the University of Nebraska. Despite its huge native range (Nepal all the way east to central China), little is known about this maple in the United States. Although European books indicate that this species is evergreen and tender (Zone 9), it has been decidedly deciduous for us, even bearing blazing red fall color in 1998 (but never since) and has never suffered any cold damage in typical Zone 7 winters. Smoothleaf maple bears attractive sage-green to lustrous, dark green leaves throughout the summer, these being glaucous white underneath. The bark is smooth and striated, making for a most attractive tree. Our two specimens have averaged 4' of growth per year. The plants offered here are raised from seed collected off of our specimens growing at the JCRA.

  • deciduous tree to 20'–50'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy to zone 7

Adina rubella

This large shrub has 1'' long, glossy, evergreen, elipitic leaves, with summertime, spherical flowerheads like the native buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), grows to 10' in sun. Zone 7. Adina rubella 'Purple Flower' is similar but has purple flowerheads. You will receive one of each. (3" plants)

Agarista populifolia
Florida leucothoe

This large spring flowering use to be named Leucothoe populifolia. It is an evergreen shrub and would make a great screen for shady conditions to part sun, 10' tall, and has white flowers in the spring. Zone 6. (2' plants)

  • hardy

Allium stellatum
prairie onion

An onion native to the Great Plains of the Midwest, this species has surprisingly been absent from cultivation. Our seed, obtained in 1998, originated from Missouri, and we have been impressed with the garden performance of the plants ever since. In summer, dense heads of lavender-pink flowers on 12"–18" very sturdy scapes appear, standing atop the sea-green leaves. Bulbs multiply quickly, with clumps of 20+ bulbs/bulblets being produced only after two seasons in the ground. Hardy through Zone 5. (6" plants)

  • to 12"–18"
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy

Arbutus unedo 'Compacta'
compact strawberry tree

This excellent cultivar of the somewhat familiar "strawberry tree", a European evergreen member of the Ericaceae (heath family) native from southwest Ireland south to Portugal, and all the way eastward across the Medterranean to Asia Minor. With a broad geographic range such as this, one would expect this plant to be quite adapted to a range of growing conditions, and to no great surprise, it has prospered here in Raleigh for decades. 'Compacta' represents a slower-growing cultivar of this species, with plants reaching 5' tall or less. Expect it to bear lovely, glossy, evergreen foliage; off-white urn-shaped flowers in late fall through winter, and bright red, strawberry-like fruits in late winter to spring. Hardy through Zone 7. Shade to sun.

  • hardy


Another evergreen shrub from Cliff Parks. This one is an unknown species. Also has attractive foliage, and unknown hardiness. (3" plants)

  • semi-hardy hardy

Ardisia shuilensis

An evergreen shrub new to the United States from Cliff Parks, Camellia Forest Nursery, Chinese collections. Very attractive foliage, hardiness not yet known, we are guessing Zones 7–8. (3" plants)

cobra lily and Jack-in-the-pulpit

Arisaema ringens, Arisaema consanguineum, and Arisaema triphyllum. These are species of the "Jack in the Pulpit". A. ringens and Arisaema consanguineum are the Asian species and A. triphyllum is our native species. You will receive two bulbs. Please circle your preference and we will try to give you your choices.

  • hardy semi-hardy

Aristolochia tomentosa

Native deciduous vine with leaves to 8", it is the larval food of pipe vine swallowtail , it's odd shaped flowers give it it's common name, Zone 6 at least. (4"–6" plants)

Aronia ×prunifolia
purple chokeberry

Native deciduous shrub with showy purple black fruit and good fall color, sun to light shade, to 8'. Zone 5. (3" plants)

  • hardy

Berberis wilsoniae var. stapfiana
Wilson barberry

This semi-evergreen barberry shrub grows to 3'. It has blue green foliage and an arching habit, yellow flowers in the summer, sun. Zone 7 at least. (10–12" plants)

  • semi-evergreen shrub to 3'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy to zone 7 at least
  • yellow flowers in summer
  • blue-green foliage


We originally received this as Betula transhanica, but we cannot find any information on this species in our references. Seed was from the North American Rock Garden Society. Assuming it's from China. (3" plants)

Betula 'Crimson Frost'
purple-leaf birch

Hybrid birch with purple foliage. (10" plants)

Betula humilis

This is a smaller growing birch species that's similar to the beautiful white barked paper birch, unlikely to do well here in the Piedmont but perhaps will do well in the mountains. Zone 3. Sun. Native to Saskatchewan to Alaska. (12" plants)

Buddleja crispa
curly butterfly bush

Fuzzy white leaves are its attraction. Fragrant lilac flowers in summer. Native to the Himalayas. Zone 9.

  • hardy

Buddleja davidii
butterfly bush

These medium to large shrubs attracts the butterflies. We have several varieties to choose from. We have limited quantities of some varieties so we are asking you to circle the two you would most like to have. Here are the different varieties to choose from: 'Cornwall Blue', 'Moon Shadow', 'Nanho Blue', 'Nanho Purple', 'Summer Rose', and 'Miss Ellen'.

  • hardy

Buddleja ×weyeriana
Weyer's golden butterfly bush

This is a hybrid between the common butterfly-bush, B. davidii and the yellow-flowered B. globosa. Offspring look like yellow B.davidii and are large vigorous 8' shrubs. We have two varieties to choose from 'Honeycomb' and 'Moonlight'. You will receive one of these so please circle your preference.

  • hardy

Bupleurum fruticosum

Evergreen to semi evergreen shrub to 6', numerous umbels of small greenish yellow flowers. Zone 7?. Native to southern Europe. This plant will count as five plants. (12" plants)

  • to 5'–8'
  • plant in sun to light shade
  • hardy

Callistemon macropunctatus
scarlet bottlebrush

Flowers are 4" long, bottlebrush-like, with 1" red stamens, 12' evergreen shrub. New growth is hairy and silky. Hortus says Zone 9, but other Callistemons have been hardy at the Arboretum. Sun. Native to Australia . (12" plants)

Callistemon rigidus
stiff bottlebrush

Flowers and hardiness similar to other Callistemons. Native to New South Wales, Australia. (12" plants)

Calycanthus occidentalis
western sweetshrub

Our native, East coast sweet Betsy's California cousin, they could be identical twins. It has been hardy here at the Arboretum (Zone 7), sun or shade. Native to California. (10" plants)

  • hardy

Camellia japonica 'Jacks'
Japanese camellia

This Camellia is often referred to as 'Broadrose' but is often seen as 'Jacks'. The flower is deep rose, formal double. Anne Clapp says it is an excellent garden plant. For the shade. Zone 7. ( 4"–8" plants)

  • evergreen shrub to 6'
  • plant in light shade
  • hardy to zone 7
  • rose flowers in spring
  • lovely flower form

Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata'
upright European hornbeam

Narrow growing (fastigate) cultivar of this deciduous small to medium tree. A striking vertical accent year round that would make a great street tree. Zone 5. Sun. Native Europe to Iran. (10"–12" plants)

  • hardy

Castanopsis sclerophylla
Chinese tan-bark oak

Medium-sized, broadleaf, 30', evergreen tree, related to evergreen oaks. Rich, dark green foliage, iridescent bronze on the undersides. Formerly known as Lithocarpus chinensis. Zone 7. Native to China. Sun to light shade. (Cutting-grown plants)

  • semi-hardy

Cedrus deodara 'Compacta'
compact Deodar cedar

Compact cultivar of Deodar cedar. Zone 7. Sun. The one in the Arboretum is about 12' with a 3' spread. Native to the Himalayas. (3" plants)

  • hardy

Centaurium scilloides

Tiny herbaceous perennial, 1' by 3'' pink flowers all summer. Sun. Zone 6? at least. Native to western Europe. It has tolerated this summer in the Arboretum nursery. ( 2" plants)

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Duke Gardens'
dwarf Japanese plum yew

Gracefully spreading, dwarf, handsome, compact, shrubby Duke Garden's selection. Plum yews are well adapted to this area's climate and soil. Zone 7. Sun or shade. Native to Japan. (12" plants)"

  • evergreen shrub to 5'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy

Chaenomeles speciosa 'Contorta'
contorted flowering quince

Contorted, twigged cultivar of the common flowering quince. Deciduous shrub to 5'. Sun. Zone 5. Native to China. (3"–6" plants)

  • flowering shrub to 3'–5'
  • plant in full sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in winter

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Snow'
variegated dwarf Sawara falsecypress

A compact, evergreen shrub with rounded habit. New growth on blue-grey foliage is tipped with creamy white. Tends to burn in full sun. Zone 5.

  • hardy

Chamaedaphne calyculata 'Verdant'

Evergreen shrub with terminal racemes of white flowers, grows well in bark and sand, not clay. Zone 2. Sun. This variety was named by Mt. Cuba. Circumboreal (means it occurs in the north around the world, northern Asia, northern Europe, and northern North America.) (3"–10" plants)

Chimonanthus nitens
evergreen chimonanthus

Fall blooming white and malodorous (to some noses) counterpart to the deciduous and nicely fragrant winter blooming wintersweet, its starry, white flowers do have a certain charm, makes for a great evergreen screening plant, to 10' tall. Sun or shade. Zone 7. Native to China. (10" plants)

  • to 10'
  • plant in sun or shade
  • hardy

Chimonanthus zhejiangensis
glossy chimonanthus

This semi-evergreen shrub looks a lot like C. nitens but does not grow as large. The flowers are somewhat malodorous. Zone 7. Native to eastern China. (12" plants)

  • evergreen shrub to 15'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy to zone 7
  • whitish yellow flowers in fall
  • deer resistant

Chrysanthemum weyrichii
carpet mum

Perennial mum, pink flowers, 4'' without pinching, sun, tolerates dry conditions. Zone 5. Native to Japan. Chrysanthemum weyrichii 'White Bomb' is the white flowering variety. You will receive one of each of these varieties.

Cistus laurifolius

Evergreen shrub to 3' to 6' with 3", white, five petaled flowers. Sun. Requires sharp drainage. Zone 7. Native to Portugal to Italy. (4"–6" plants)

Citrus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon'
contorted hardy orange

Hardy citrus relative; contorted habit; fragrant, white flowers; great winter interest. Zone 6. Sun to light shade. (3"–8" plants)

  • flowering tree to 12' tall
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring

Clerodendrum trichotomum
harlequin glorybower

Butterflies love the fragrant, white flowers which bloom over several months, has lovely blue berries with red calices,10'–20' shrub. Zone 5. Sun to light shade. Native to China. (4"–6" plants)

  • hardy

Clethra acuminata
mountain pepperbush

Deciduous shrub to 15' tall with fragrant, white flowers and polished-looking, red brown bark. Zone 6. Light shade. Native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains. (6" plants)

  • to 8'–15'
  • plant in sun to shade

Clethra alnifolia
summersweet clethra

Native, 8' tall, suckering, deciduous shrub. Clethra alnifolia 'Fern Valley Pink' is a pink cultivar selected by Fern Valley Nursery and 'Ruby Spice' is a dark pink cultivar. Sun to light shade shade. Zone 5. Native to Maine to Florida. Choose one of these by circling your choice. (3"–4" plants)

  • hardy

Clethra barbinervis
Japanese pepperbush

Much like C. acuminata but to larger—to 30', handsome bark, fragrant, white, summer flowers. Zone 7. ( 3" seedlings)

  • deciduous shrub or small tree to 12'–20'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in summer

Corydalis pallida

Herbaceous perennial, 18", golden yellow flowers, light shade. Native to Asia.

Craibiodendron yunnanensis

Evergreen shrub, very much like Pieris. Unknown hardiness, but it has been hardy in the Arboretum. Shade. Native to China. (4" plants)

Cupressus macrocarpa 'Golden Pillar'
golden Monterey cypress

This west coast conifer does well here. Yellow foliaged cultivar. Zone 7. Sun. Native to California. (8" plants)

  • hardy

Daphniphyllum macropodum

This rising star in the world of broadleaf evergreen shrubs has been selected as a JC Raulston Arboretum Premier Plant. It is valued for its excellent screening qualities and large, attractive, coarse-textured foliage. Striking bright red petioles are especially outstanding during the fall and winter months. Young leaves are bluish-green above and chalky white below, aging to glossy green by midsummer. You will enjoy it year-round! Grows in full sun or moderate shade. (3"–12" seedlings)

  • evergreen tree to 25'
  • plant in sun to shade
  • hardy to zone 6
  • blue fruit in winter


Deutzia gracilis 'Marmorata' has variegated foliage adding interest after the spring, white flowers, deciduous shrub, 2'–6'. Zone 4. Native to Japan. Deutzia scabra 'Godsall Pink' has double, clear pink flowers in 4"–6" long panicles in May or June. Zone 5. Native to Japan to China. You will receive one of each of these varieties. (1' plants)

Emmenopterys henryi
Chinese Emmenopterys

Deciduous, large tree with showy flowers (long panicles with white bracts). One of the holy grails of the plant kingdom; rarely cultivated, summer flowering tree., Zone 7. Chinese relative of Pinkneya, leaves have a beautiful red petiole. Sun to light shade. (6"–10" plants)

  • deciduous tree to 30'–40'
  • plant in sun to partial shade
  • hardy to zone 7
  • white flowers in summer
  • exceptionally fragrant

Eucomis autumnalis
pineapple lily

Hardy bulb with 24" spikes of greenish white flowers in fall. Sun. Zone 7. Native to South Africa.

  • perennial to 1'
  • plant in sun to light shade
  • greenish-white flowers in late summer–fall

Euonymus nanus var. turkestanicus

Small (18" to 36"), deciduous shrub with red fall color, leaves are quite narrow, seems to have a weeping habit. Zones 2–7. Native to the Caucasus to China. (12" plants)

  • hardy

Fagus orientalis

Large (100'), deciduous tree, eastern European and Middle Eastern counterpart of our native beech, F. grandifolia. Zone 6. (1'–2' plants)

Flueggea suffruticosa
fountain hardhack

Securinega means "resists axes" because the wood of some species is so hard. A quiet plant, Michael Dirr thinks it might have a use as a foliage plant; deciduous shrub; 6'–8'. Zones 4–8. Native to Asia. (4"–6" plants)

  • hardy

Forsythia 'Courtasol'
Gold Tide forsythia

This compact form of Forsythia has been trade marketed Gold Tide. It grows only to 1 1/2' tall, spreading 5' with pale yellow flowers covering the shrub in spring. Sun. Zone 7. (8" plants)

  • flowering shrub to 1'–2' tall × 4' wide
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • gold flowers in spring

Fraxinus sieboldiana
Japanese flowering ash

Showy panicles of white flowers not unlike its cousins, the fringe trees, Chionanthus, though probably less showy, 25' tall, deciduous tree. Sun. Native to Japan and Korea. Unknown hardiness, guessing Zone 6. (6" plants)

  • hardy

Gelsemium sempervirens 'Woodlanders Pale Yellow'
Carolina jessamine

Pale yellow cultivar of our Southeastern native Carolina jessamine. An excellent, easily managed, evergreen vine. Zone 7. (12" plant)

  • hardy

Ginkgo biloba
maidenhair tree

Large deciduous tree with excellent yellow fall color. Native to China. These are seedlings collected from the Japanese Garden at the JCRA. Take your chances, as you may get a male or a female, but don't worry about getting a female, as seedling ginkgo don't fruit until they are about 20 years old. Sun. Zones 4–8.

  • hardy

Halesia tetraptera var. monticola
mountain silverbell

A 60'–80' tall, deciduous tree with white bell-shaped flowers in spring. Zones 5–8. Native to the mountains in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee. (12"–16" plants)

Helenium flexuosum

Showy, summer blooming, native, herbaceous perennial to 2' tall with golden yellow flowers. Sun. Zones 5–8.

Helleborus argutifolius
Corsican hellebore

Evergreen, herbaceous perennial with boldly toothed trifoliate leaves and winter green flowers. Zone 7. Sun to light shade. Native to Corsica, Sardinia. (3" seedlings)

  • hardy

Heuchera richardsonii
Richardson's alumroot

Evergreen, herbaceous perennial, foliage becomes reddish in winter, 3" panicles of green flowers. Zones 5–7. Sun to light shade. Native to the United State's Midwest.

  • hardy

Hibiscus 'Moy Grande'
rose mallow

Herbaceous perennial with deep red, dinner plate size, 12" flowers in the summer. Sun. Zones 6–8.

  • hardy


Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nigra' – a mop-headed cultivar distinguished by its black stems. Zones 6–9. Sun to light shade. Deciduous shrub to 3'–6'. Hydrangea macrophylla 'Beaute Vendomoise' – a lace capped cultivar with immense sepals. H. quercifolia 'Angola Prison' – a cultivar selected from Angola Prison. H. paniculata 'Praecox' – an early blooming cultivar, white flowers, 10' by 10' shrub. H. quercifolia 'Allison' – one of Miike Dirr's selections of oakleaf hydrangea", 10"–12" inflorescence. You may choose one of these. Please circle your preference. (6" plants)

  • deciduous shrub to 4'–8'
  • plant in sun to shade
  • hardy semi-hardy tender
  • white to blue flowers in summer

St. John's-wort

Hypericum densiflorum, gold yellow flowers in summer, evergreen shrub to 3'–6'. Hypericum galiodes 'Brodie', larger flowered selection of the native, small shrub to 3. H. henryi, H. perforatum, H. pseudohenryi, H. x inodorum. You can choose two of these. Please circle the ones you would prefer. (4"–12" plants)

Ilex 'Calina'
Carolina holly

Named and introduced in 1938 by the late W. Edingloh of the New Bern Nursery (now defunct), this holly derives its name from a contrations of Carolina. (CAroLINA - "ro" = 'Calina') For us at the Arboretum, 'Calina' has been a proven winner, a beautiful evergreen holly now about 20' tall, with a consistent, stunning display of large, red berries. Though the plant is not as dense in foliage as 'Nellie R. Stevens', its berry display is so heavy that this outweighs any distracting attributes. Also, the berries are among the largest of any observed in the holly collection at the Arboretum. Zone 7a, possibly colder. Sun to part-sun.

  • hardy

Ilex cornuta 'D'Or'
yellow-berry Chinese holly

Although surprisingly poorly known, this cultivar arose as a sport of the indestructible Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii') with yellow berries instead of red. Our plant measured 12' tall in 1996, after which it was cut back to half its height, but now has already reached 15' in height. Grow it as a large evergreen shrub or a small-sized tree. Excellent for cut branches indoors in the winter for its large, showy yellow fruits.

  • hardy

Ilex opaca 'Satyr Hill'
American holly

This native holly has a pyramidal habit and reached about 12' in height. Red fruit. Zone 7. (2' plants)

  • hardy

Ilex vomitoria
yaupon holly

'De Werth' has tiny leaves, much smaller than the type, perhaps making it a good candidate for hedges and topiary. 'Grey's Littleleaf' has a smaller habit. You will receive one each of these cultivars. Sun. Zone 7. Native to the Southeast. (3"–5" plants)

  • large shrub or small tree to 25'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • white flowers in April–May
  • red fruit

Illicium anisatum 'Pink Stars'
star anise

Pink flowered selection of this large, evergreen shrub. Shade to light shade. Zone 7. Native to China and Japan. (4" plants)

  • hardy

Itea chinensis
Chinese sweetspire

Evergreen shrub with pendulous, 3"–4" racemes of white flowers. Sun to shade. Zone 7. Native to China. (12" plants)

  • hardy

Juniperus chinensis 'Mac's Golden'
golden Chinese Juniper

Dense, pyramidal, evergreen shrub with golden yellow needles. Sun. Zones 4–9. (4" plants)

  • hardy

Juniperus horizontalis 'Argentea'
creeping juniper

Of the large number of cultivars of this ground cover juniper, this is one of the best. Sun. Zones 4–9. Species native to Nova Scotia to Alaska, south to New Jersey, Minnesota and Montana. (3"–4" plants)

Juniperus pingii
Ping's juniper

Prostrate shrub or, more often, a tree to 30', all foliage juvenile, branchlets pendulous. Sun. Zone 7. Native to Taiwan and western China. (4"–6" plants)

  • evergreen shrub to 18'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy

Juniperus virginiana 'Spartan'
columnar Chinese juniper

Dense, rich green, pyramid evergreen shrub; tall columnar growth habit, 20' tall and 3'–4' wide, would make a great screen. Sun. Zones 4–9. (12" plants)

  • hardy

Kadsura japonica 'Shiromi'
Japanese kadsura vine

Evergreen vine of modest growth rate with yellowish white flowers followed by white to pink-tinged fruit. Sun to shade. Zone 7. Native to Japan to Korea. (12" plants)

Kalmia latifolia × K. hirsuta
sandmount laurel

Small, evergreen shrub with pink flowers. Shade. Zone 7 at least. (4"–8" plants)

Kerria japonica
Japanese kerria

'Albescens' – deciduous shrub, 6'–8' tall, with single flowers opening pale yellow and becoming cream colored. Zone 5. Shade. 'Kin Kan' – has yellow stems in winter, single orange yellow flowers in spring. Zone 5. Shade. You will receive one each of this these cultivars. (6"–12" plants)

  • hardy

Kniphofia triangularis
red-hot poker

Hardy, herbaceous perennial with red orange blooms changing to yellow, 5' spikes in summer. Sun. Zone 7. Native to South Africa. (2' plants)

  • hardy

Koelreuteria paniculata 'Beachmaster'
dwarf goldenrain tree

This cultivar can withstand beach conditions, thus its name. Deciduous tree to 30'–40' tall with showy, yellow flowers. Zones 5–8. Native to China, Korea, and Japan. (4" trees)

  • hardy

Lathyrus japonicus

Herbaceous perennial, 3', trailing stems, flowers purplish becoming blue. Zone 3. Native to coasts of the Northern Hemisphere. Sun.

Laurus nobilis × Umbellularia californica

The offspring of this bigeneric hybrid resembles in looks and fragrance of its leaves its first parent, Laurus nobilis, the culinary bay, though it has been hardier, fully hardy here in Zone 7. Sun to light shade. (10" plants)

  • to 12'
  • plant in sun to light shade
  • tender
Laurus nobilis × Umbellularia californica

Lavandula stoechas subsp. luisieri
Spanish lavender

This species tolerates our summers and soils quite well, 2'–3' tall, evergreen shrub, purple violet flowers in summer, needs good drainage. Sun. Zone 7. Native to Spain and Portugal. (8"–12" plants)

Ligustrum sinense 'Green Cascade'
weeping Chinese privet

Graceful, pendulous branches, evergreen to semi–evergreen shrub, 4'–5'. Sun to light shade. Zone 7. (10" plants)

  • hardy

Luzula forsteri

Evergreen, clump forming, grass-like, herbaceous perennial for the shade, odd little flowers. Hardiness unknown, guessing Zone 6.

Magnolia figo 'Stubbs Purple'
banana shrub

Flowers have powerful banana fragrance in spring. This cultivar's flowers are more purple than type. Evergreen, 10' tall shrub. Zone 7. Native to China. ( 4"–6" plants)

  • hardy

Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem'
southern magnolia

Not a dwarf, but rather a slower growing form with small leaves; can be used in innovative ways (e.g., as a sheared hedge); medium to large size; evergreen tree with large flowers in summer. Sun to light shade. Zone 7. Species native to the Southeast. (10" plants)

  • woody evergreen to 30'–40'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in summer

Magnolia sieboldii
Oyama magnolia

,Small deciduous magnolia tree, with white fragrant flowers in summer. Light shade. (3" seedlings)

  • woody deciduous to 15'–20'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in late spring–summer

Mahonia gracilis
slender mahonia

Similar to Mahonia aquifolium but with longer, more tapering leaves and laxer growth habit. Foliage is softer, not as spiny, and glossy medium green. An evergreen shrub to 6' with fragrant yellow flowers in December. This is certainly one of the best mahonias for integrating into most landscapes with its looser habit and glossy foliage. For shade and well-drained spots. Zones 7-9. Native to Mexico.

  • evergreen shrub to 6'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • yellow flowers in winter

Muhlenbergia macroura

Grass for the sun, hardiness unknown.

Neillia sinensis
Chinese neillia

Deciduous, 5'–6' tall shrub with 1"–2.5", pendulous racemes of pink flowers in spring. Zones 5–9. Native to China. (4" plants)

  • deciduous shrub to 5'–6' tall × 8' wide
  • plant in sun to light shade
  • whitish-pink flowers in early summer

Nolina parryi
Parry's beargrass

Yucca-like plant with 3' long, 3/4'' wide evergreen leaves in rosettes. This species forms 6' trunks. Sun. Requires good drainage. Native to southern California. (10" plants)

  • hardy

Osmanthus ×burkwoodii
Burkwood osmanthus

This Osmanthus has fragrant white flowers in early spring, evergreen shrub to 6'–10' tall. Sun or light shade. Zones 6–8. Garden hybrid. (3"–4" plants)

Osmanthus ×fortunei 'San Jose'
Fortune's osmanthus

This Osmanthus has very fragrant flowers in the fall, perfuming the Arboretum, evergreen shrub or small tree to 15'–20' tall. Sun or light shade. Well adapted to the Southeast. Zone 7 at least. (4" plants)

Osmanthus yunnanensis
Yunnan tea-olive

Evergreen shrub or tree to 45', fragrant white flowers. Native to western China. Zone 7. (10" plants)

Parrotiopsis jacquemontiana
false ironwood

A Parrotia relative, (opsis means "resembling"), white bracts below the flowers in spring, Deciduous shrub or tree to 12'. Zones 5–7. Sun to light shade. Native to the Himalayas. (4" plants)

  • deciduous shrub to 12'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy to zone 5
  • white flowers in spring

Penstemon pallidus

Native, herbaceous perennial, 2 1/2' tall spikes of 1" long, white flowers striped with violet-purple. Sun. Zones 5–7 maybe 8. Native from Maine to Georgia.

Persea borbonia

Southeast coastal native evergreen tree, 20'–30', resembling Magnolia virginiana, flowers not showy, larval food for some butterflies. Zone 7. (4" seedlings)

Phillyrea angustifolia

Evergreen shrub to 15', leaves 2" long and 1/4" wide; fragrant, greenish flowers in spring; Jonathan Nyberg loves this plant. Zone 7. Sun to light shade. Native to the Mediterranean region. (10"–12" plants)

Phytolacca acinosa

Asian counterpart to our native pokeweed, Phytolacca americana; 5' tall, herbaceous perennial; red to black fruit. Sun. Probably hardy in Raleigh.

Picea pungens 'Iseli Foxtail'
Colorado blue spruce

One of the many blue needled selections of Colorado spruce, this one with twisted stems. Has done well in the Arboretum. Sun. Zone 3. Native to the western United States. ( 8" plants)

  • hardy

Pieris japonica 'Valley Rose'
pink Japanese andromeda

Evergreen shrub with deep maroon flower buds in winter which open to long lasting, deep rose pink flowers in spring, Pieris japonica is well adapted to the Piedmont and Mountains of North Carolina, 4' in 10 years. Shade. Zones 4b–7. Native to Japan. (3"–4" plants)

Pieris phillyreifolia

Native to Southeast, where it grows as a vine in swamps with bald cypress and Sabal palmetto. Like many swamp plants, it does well on dry land where, without support, it makes an attractive, small, evergreen shrub; white flowers in spring. Zones 7–9. native to South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Shade. (3"–4" plants)

  • hardy

Pinus jeffreyi
Jeffrey's pine

Twisted, 7"–9" long, blue green needles; 90'–100' tall. Zone 5. Sun. Native to southern Oregon to lower California. (3" seedlings)

Pinus pinea
Italian stone pine

Grow your own pignolia nuts; to 80' with a flatten top, hence another common name "umbrella pine." Sun. Zone 7. Native to the northern Mediterranean region. (8" plants)

  • evergreen tree to 80'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
  • edible seeds

Pittosporum subulisepalum

We know very little about this evergreen shrub. Leaves are similar to the the culinary bay, Laurus nobilis. (6" plants)

Pittosporum tobira 'Tall 'N Tough'
Japanese pittosporum

Early summer, scented flowers; hardier form; evergreen shrub, NC State University selection. Zone 7. Sun. (3"–5" plants)

  • to 8'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy

Podocarpus lawrencei
mountain plum-pine

This low growing conifer from the mountains of Tasmania and New Zealand has impressed us for years. Growing to about 3-4' tall and somewhat wider it makes a nice foundation plant for sun or shade. This form's newest growth tends to be pale giving the entire plant a two-tone effect in the spring. This plant should be hardier than the large needled P. macrophylla. Propagate from hardwood cuttings.

  • to 5'
  • plant in sun to shade

Podocarpus nivalis
alpine totara

From the mountains of New Zealand. One of the cold hardiest podocarps. Zone 7. (4" plants)

Prunus laurocerasus 'Majestic Jade'
cherry laurel

Evergreen shrub for sun or shade. Zones 6–8. Species native to southeastern Europe to Asia Minor. ( 8" plants)

  • hardy

Pseudotsuga menziesii

Northwestern North American native conifer closely allied and resembling the spruces; 40''–80'; best in Zones 4–6; can grow, but less happy in Zone 7. Sun. (3" seedlings)

  • to 45'–75'
  • plant in sun

Quercus robur
English oak

These are seedlings from the columnar English oak in the Arboretum parking lot so some of these will likely have the same growth habit. Zones 4–8. Sun. Native to western Europe, and North Africa. (8"–10" seedlings)

Rhamnus alaternus 'Argenteovariegata'
Italian Buckthorn

We are hoping this proves to be relatively hardy here for it is a pretty thing; 3/4" long leaves are neatly margined with a wide cream border; 6'–8' tall. Zone 8. Sun to light shade. Native to the Mediterranean region. (3"–5" plants)

Rhododendron arborescens
sweet azalea

Native, deciduous shrub; 6'–20' tall; fragrant, white to pink flowers; sometimes good fall color. Shade. Likes evenly moist, well drained soil. Native to Pennsylvania south to Georgia and Alabama. Zones 4–7. (3" plants)

Rhododendron latoucheae
Mrs. Wilson's rhododendron

W are struggling to determine the correct name for this plant. Is it R. latoucheae or R. x laetevirens? Anyhow, it is a dense, evergreen shrub with leaves like the mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia, and lavender pink flowers. Shade. Unknown hardiness, but has been hardy here at the Arboretum. (6" plants)

  • hardy

Rohdea japonica 'Yattazu Yan jaku'
sacred lily

Rohdeas are excellent evergreen alternatives to hostas in the shade garden. This cultivar is variegated with irregular, sometimes large zones of white. Rare and slow to increase, shade (a must). Zone 7. Native to China to Japan. (4"–12" plants)

  • evergreen perennial to 24"
  • plant in shade
  • hardy to zone 6
  • red fruit in winter

Rosa ×fortuniana
Fortune’s rose

A hybrid between the Lady Bank's rose and the Cherokee rose (R. banksiae x R. laevigata) thus very well adapted to much of the Southeast; 2"–4", double, white flowers in spring on large mostly thornless mounding shrub or vine. Zone 7. Garden origin. (12" plants)

Rosa 'Meicoublan'

A white rose, stays shrub-like and has some resistance to the insect and disease problems that plague many hybrid roses. Zone 7. Sun. (12" plants)

Ruellia simplex
Mexican blue-bells

The pink flowered alternative to the blue-violet 'Katie' which is the overly stumpified cultivar of an excellent, herbaceous perennial for the Southeast; summer long blooming. Sun. Zone 7. Native to Mexico.

  • hardy

Rumex sanguineus var. sanguineus
bloody dock

Herbaceous perennial grown for its brightly red veined leaves, 10"–12". Sun to light shade. Guessing Zone 6 at least. Native to Europe, southwestern Asia, and North Africa.

  • herbaceous perennial to 12"
  • plant in sun
  • hardy


Sabal minor is a trunkless fan palm with big, bold, handsome foliage; native to swamps but it will grow in average garden conditions. S. palmetto, cabbage palm, grows to 90 tall. Zones 8–9. S. x texansis, sabal palm, grows to 20' tall. Zone 8, maybe Zone 7. You may have two of the selections, circle the ones you desire. (8"–10" plants)

  • hardy semi-hardy

Salix alba 'Dart's Snake'
contorted white willow

Large, deciduous tree with branches even more contorted than the corkscrew willow; long leaves and yellow bark. Great for wet areas and good winter interest or flower arrangements. Fast growth rate. Sun. Native to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. Zone 2.

  • Narrowly upright deciduous small tree to 15'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy

Sambucus nigra 'Marginata'
variegated European elderberry

Deciduous shrub to 10' tall; white margined foliage adds interest all summer long. Sun to light shade. Zone 6. Native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. (12" plants)

Sarcococca orientalis
sweet box

Evergreen, 2'–4', suckering shrub; fragrant flowers in early winter. Shade. Zone 7–8. Native to China.

  • evergreen subshrub to 2'–3'
  • plant in shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in winter

Sarcococca saligna
willow-leaf sweet box

This is perhaps the most handsome of all the Sarcococcas. As an evergreen shrub, Sarcococca saligna grows to 4' tall with an upright, but arching form (not stiffly upright like other Sarcococcas). The leaves are elongated, narrow, glossy, and bright green in color. Plants are more vigorous than other sweet boxes, and do not have the weakened constitution sometimes seen in Sarcococca confusa plants when they are improperly sited. At the JCRA, our plant has prospered with some protection from winter winds in the shaded Lath House. Native to the Himalayas, and hardy to Zone 7b. (8"-10" plants)

  • evergreen shrub to 4'–5'
  • plant in full to part shade
  • hardy
  • creamy white flowers in early winter

Schima wallichii

An evergreen tree closely allied to our Southeast Coastal Plain native Gordonia; showy white flowers. Sun to light shade. Native to China. (2" seedlings)

Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight'
pewter-leaf Japanese climbing hydrangea

The leaves are beautifully silvered, flowers white. For walls and tree trunks, climbing to 30'. Zone 5. Native to Japan and Korea.

  • deciduous vine to 25'+
  • plant in light to full shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in summer

Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Roseum'
pink Japanese climbing hydrangea

As above but with pink flowers and green leaves. (4" plants)

  • to 25'+
  • plant in light to full shade
  • hardy

Sequoia sempervirens 'Aptos Blue'
blue coastal redwood

This does grow on the East Coast though might not reach its 300' potential; evergreen tree; bluish foliage. Sun to part shade. Zones 7–9. Native to California. (12" plants)

Serissa japonica

Small evergreen shrub, white flowers spring thru fall, Zon e 7, sun/light shade.

  • flowering shrub to 4'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in spring–fall
  • It is a phenominal nectar source for native Bumble Bees

Solidago caesia
blue-stem goldenrod

A well behaved and beautiful woodland goldenrod, herbaceous perennial to 3', yellow flowers in September to October. Shade. Zones 4–8. Native to Nova Scotia to Wisconsin, Florida to Texas.

Sophora koreensis
Korean necklace-pod

This attractive, deciduous suckering shrub has long remained one of the rarest of any of the plants now growing at the JCRA. Brought back from South Korea from the 1985 expedition as Echinosophora koreensis, attempts at finding further information on this plant would always lead us back to our own publications or Web-site – a frustrating, but somewhat telling, process. Besides its attractive, sea-green, pinnately compound foliage, this deciduous shrub also bears showy, canary-yellow, pea-like flowers in spring, just before/as the leaves begin to emerge. Perhaps the most effective planting, and one that affirmed this plant's landscape utility, was seen in 2002 on the University of Delaware campus, where it was undoubtedly planted by University of Delaware plantsman John Frett, Ph.D. Within this planting, densely filled in by its own rhizomatous nature, the stems gently swayed to and fro, making the shrub attractive even in its "plain" state of green-only foliage. An underestimated plant also sometimes classified in the genus Keyserlingia by some botanists. Best in part-sun to sun. Hardy throughout North Carolina.

  • hardy

Spiraea douglasii

Deciduous, 3'–6' shrub with panicles of pink flowers. Zone 5. Native to California. (4"–8" plants)

Spiraea japonica 'Candle Light'
Japanese spirea

Deciduous, 2'–3' tall shrub with yellow foliage and pink flowers. Zones 3–8. Sun. (6" plants)

  • hardy

Spiraea japonica 'Walbuma'
Magic Carpet Japanese spirea

According to Michael Dirr, "almost a ground cover variation of 'Gold Flame'"; orange red new leaves, yellow gold at maturity; deciduous shrub; 18" high. Sun. Zones 3–8. (6" plants)

  • to 3'–4'
  • plant in sun to part shade

Spiraea thunbergii 'Mount Fuji'
variegated Thunberg spirea

White flowers in late winter, narrow foliage gives this deciduous shrub a graceful airy texture, has some variegation on the leaves. Sun. Zones 4–8. (3"–4" plants)

  • deciduous shrub to 5' × 5'
  • plant in sun
  • hardy
  • white flowers in late winter

Stauntonia angustifolia
Farge's holboellia

Evergreen, twining vine resembling Stautonia, palmately compound leaves, red and green flowers. Zone 7. Native to China.

  • to 10’+
  • plant in sun to shade

Stauntonia hexaphylla
Japanese stauntonia

Large, vigorous, evergreen vine with big, bold, handsome, palmately compound leaves; edible fruit; fragrant flowers. Sun to shade. Zone 7. Native to Korea and Japan. (10"–12" plants)

  • evergreen vine to 25'
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • light pink flowers in spring

Styrax dasyanthus
silvery snowbell

Deciduous shrub or tree with clusters of white bell-shaped flowers in spring. Native to central China. Zone 6?. Sun to light shade. (3" plants)

  • hardy
Styrax dasyanthus

Styrax japonicus 'Emerald Pagoda'
Japanese snowbell

This special, deciduous tree was found by JC Raulston on Korea's Sohuksan Island and brought back to the Arboretum in 1985. It has incredible, thick, glossy leaves and is a prolific bloomer. Zone 5. Sun to light shade. (4"–5" plants)

  • deciduous tree to 20'–30' tall
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • white flowers in April–May

Styrax serrulatus
sawtooth snowbell

This styrax might be the same as S. dasyantha var. cinerascens. Deciduous tree or shrub, white bell-shaped flowers in spring. (3" plants)

Taiwania cryptomerioides Flousiana Group
coffin tree

This rarely seen cousin of Cryptomeria japonica has prospered for us for many years here at the Arboretum. We have grown two types—Taiwania cryptomerioides (Taiwan coffin cypress) and this one, which represents plants native to mainland China and not to Taiwan. Plants are Cryptomeria-like, but with a much looser habit of gracefully downsweeping branches. Our specimen had its top broken out by the Dec. 5, 2002, ice storm, and because of that, we have these cutting-grown plants to offer you. Expect this to form a tall, pyramidal evergreen, up to 30'–40' tall over 15 years.

  • hardy
Taiwania cryptomerioides Flousiana Group

Taxus Collection
yew collection

These evergreen conifers will do well in our area if given good drainage. Taxus x media 'Brownii' has a densely rounded habit: T. x media 'Densiformis' is a dense shrub, twice as wide as tall: T. x media 'Tautonii' is a spreading form, 3'–4' tall, better adapted to heat of the South than other T x media: and T. floridana, a 20'–25' tall plant; grows at Biltmore Estate so, despite its provenance, might adapt to Zones 6–9. You will receive one each of these cultivars. (3"–5" plants)

Taxus cuspidata 'Aurescens'
gold-flush Japanese yew

Evergreen conifer whose new growth is bright yellow which is in spectacular contrast with the dark green, mature growth; can be grown here if given very good drainage and shade. Zones 4–7. Native to Japan, Korea, and Manchuria. (4"–6" plants)

  • to 4'–6'
  • plant in shade
  • hardy

Ternstroemia gymnanthera 'Variegata'
Romeo variegated false Japanese cleyera

Evergreen shrub to 8'–10' tall, this cultivar has the tricolor leaves of grey green, cream and red. Ternstroemia was in the nursery trade under the name Cleyera japonica which is a different plant. Zone 7. Sun or shade. Native to Japan. (4"–6" plants)

  • hardy

Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Madison'
hardy Confederate jessamine

Evergreen vine with fragrant flowers, 'Madison' is a more cold hardy cultivar. Sun to shade. Zone 7. Native to Japan.

  • evergreen vine to 10'–15'
  • plant in sun to shade
  • white-yellow flowers in summer

Uncinia phleoides

New to us, this sedge has grass like foliage, herbaceous perennial.

Verbascum phoeniceum 'Flush of White'

Hardy, herbaceous, short lived perennial with spikes of white flowers in summer. Zone 5?

  • herbaceous perennial to 8"
  • plant in sun
  • hardy to zone 5
  • white flowers in late spring
  • deer resistant
  • evergreen rosettes of foliage

Viburnum bracteatum
bracted viburnum

Southeast native viburnum closely allied to arrowwood viburnum, V. dentatum. Deciduous shrub to 10' with white flowers and blue black fruit. Zones 5 or 6. (4"–6" plants)

  • hardy

Viburnum bracteatum 'Emerald Luster'
limerock arrow-wood

We received this viburnum from Michael Dirr of University of Georgia, as his selection of the Georgia native, Viburnum bracteatum. Compared with the commonly touted Viburnum dentatum, 'Emerald Luster' has larger, glossier leaves. This deciduous shrub produces clusters of white flowers in late spring followed by bluish-black fruit in late summer to early fall. An uncommon native species of the southeastern United States. Zone 5. (12" plants)

  • to 8’–10’ tall
  • plant in sun to partial shade
  • hardy

Viburnum cotinifolium
smoketree-leaf viburnum

Deciduous shrub, 6'–12', leaves oval or nearly round hence like Cotinus, white flowers, closely allied to V. lantana. Zone 7?. Native to the Himalayas. (3" plants)

  • hardy

Viburnum luzonicum
Luzon viburnum

We received this lovely viburnum from David Creech at S. F. Austin State University Arboretum in Texas. It has been hardy here, deciduous to semi-evergreen, purple fall color. (1' plants)

  • hardy

Viburnum suspensum
Sandankwa viburnum

A mainstay of Zone 8 and 9 gardens, sandankwa viburnum is a well-known, evergreen species of viburnum in the Deep South. Although reputedly not reliably cold-hardy in Zone 7, our plant at the Arboretum has grown here for many years (>10), and is now over 6' tall—although it has occasionally frozen back in bitterly cold winters (minimum temperature below 0 degrees Fahrenheit). Perfectly adapted to shearing, Viburnum suspensum is chiefly grown for its thick, leathery, glossy, evergreen foliage. Some people find the odor of the bruised leaves offensive. Note the warty-stems and white flowers produced in late summer.

  • semi-evergreen shrub to 6'–12'
  • plant in sun
  • semi-hardy hardy
  • white flowers in spring

Weigela florida
flowering weigela

Deciduous shrubs blooming in early summer. 'Variegata' is a small to medium shrub that remains colorful after the brief appearance of its deep rose-pink flowers because the foliage is brightly variegated; 'Variegated Nana' is a 3' tall variegated weigela; 'Versicolor' has cream, pink rose and red flowers all on one plant. Circle the two you would prefer. You will receive two plants. (2"–21/2' plants)

  • to 4'–8'
  • plant in sun to light shade
  • hardy

Wisteria frutescens 'Amethyst Falls'
American wisteria

The Asian wisterias, with their excessive vigor have given all wisterias a bad name. Our American native species also offers gardenworthy performance, albeit different than that of the Asian plants. 'Amethyst Falls' is greatly restrained in its growth rate, blooms later so that the flowers are rarely lost to frost, and also produces sporadic blooms during the summer months. What's there to lose? Well, fragrance for one thing, as the flowers are not fragrant. An excellent garden plant first introduced by our friends at Head-Lee Nursery (Seneca, South Carolina).

  • vine to 20'–30' tall
  • plant in sun to part shade
  • hardy
  • blue flowers in spring–summer

Yucca schottii
Schott's yucca

Trunks eventually to 15', leaves to 3'. Native to southwestern New Mexico, southeastern Arizona, and northern Mexico. (3" plants)

  • hardy

Zephyranthes flavissima
yellow rain lily

Hardy bulb, yellow flowers May to October, 6" tall. Sun. Zone 7.

  • bulb to 8"
  • plant in sun
  • hardy zone 7
  • yellow flowers in summer, after rains
  • butterfly/pollinator friendly

Zephyranthes macrosiphon
rain lily

Pink flowering rain-lily. Sun. Zone 7.

  • hardy