Connoisseur Plants are rare, new plants, or hard-to-find old favorites. These wonderful plants are being offered to our donors.
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 link in the e-mail you received on February 16 from Kathryn Wall. If you need assistance, please e-mail Kathryn at email@example.com.
Note: The distribution year listed below is the year the plants were awarded. Members request them early the following year. Ands they're picked up or delivered shortly thereafter.
2003 Plant Selection
A very rarely seen maple, hailing from Korea, "almost never offered by nurseries," according to Jacobson in his book, North American Landscape Trees. This species is a member of the "snakebark" group of maples, so named for their green, thinly white-striped bark. In Acer tschonoskii, the green bark turns coral-red in the cooler months. These plants are offered from wild-collected seed, from a rare expedition to North (yes, North) Korea. As such, these plants represent Acer tschonoskii subsp. koreanum. Yellow to orange to red fall color is reported for the species, and our plants exhibited vibrant red color this year. Expect plants to grow as small-sized trees or tree-like shrubs, usually reaching about 25' in height. Acer tschonoskii commemorates Sukawa Chonosuke, assistant to Carl Maximowicz, who botanized in Japan in the 1860s. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 8"–24" tall)
This deciduous flowering tree is rarely seen in cultivation, and frequently confused with its Japanese cousin, Aesculus turbinata (Japanese horsechestnut). Chinese horsechestnut forms a medium- to large-sized tree, reported to reach 65' tall, but probably only 40' here. Flowering panicles will reach 8"–14" long, and will contain >20, small, white flowers borne in a candelabra-like arrangement. Truly, there can be no better flowering tree than a well-formed horsechestnut in flower. True Aesculus chinensis is not grown much in the United States. Yet, we are excited about the garden potential in the southeastern United States of the Sino-Himalayan Aesculus, including A. chinensis, A. indica, and A. wilsonii. All of these species appear to display better foliage qualities than the more commonly offered species Aesculus. Among U.S. native species, Aesculus chinensis is most closely related to A. californica. Presumably, this species will not exhibit the early leaf drop characteristic of California buckeyes, though. Hardiness uncertain, but probably Zone 7, possibly Zone 6. (1 gallon, 1' tall)
- deciduous flowering tree to 40' tall
- plant in sun to part shade
- white flowers in summer
Quoting www.yuccado.com, "A recently described species that closely resembles Agave striata but with a open flower scape and long weeping foliage. It inhabits exposed areas in transitional pine oak scrub. Therefore it is more tolerant of moisture and shade than its close relatives that live at lower elevation in the rain shadow. Absolute cold hardiness is unknown." We can no better describe this plant than our friends at Yucca Do Nursery have done. Our plants are derived from wild-collected seed in northeastern Mexico, near Camarones, Nuevo Leon state, in oak woods. The mother plants grew on boulders in shade. (1 gallon, 6" tall)
We have grown this medium-sized deciduous flowering tree at the Arboretum since 1989 in bed W14 behind the Southwestern Garden. Our tree now stands at 40'+ tall, with ascending branches and smooth, tan-gray bark. Larger growing than the common mimosa (Albizia julibrissin), Indian mimosa also produces the familiar powder-puff pink flowers in summer. The plants are grown from seed collected off of our plant. The genus Albizia commemorates Filippo del Albizzi, a Florentine nobleman who introduced common mimosa into cultivation in 1749. Hardy through Zone 7, possibly Zone 6. (1 gallon, 1' tall)
We received this plant from NC State University horticulture Ph.D. student, Richard Olsen, while he was attending the University of Georgia. Derived from the collections at the Latin American Ethnobotanical Garden at University of Georgia, we have now grown these plants for about three years. Although our specimens do not match in appearance descriptions of this species from the American Southwest, our "Baccharis glutinosa" plants have been surprisingly cold-hardy and also quite attractive. Grown as plants in full sun, this evergreen/semi-evergreen shrub produces elongated, glossy green leaves, with each branch studded by clusters of golden-yellow, small, daisy-like flowers in spring. Cold hardiness is, as yet, undetermined, but Zone 8 is probably the limit for this species. We have been surprised by the adaptability of this plant to our wetter climate here than in its native range of Chiapas State, Mexico. (1 gallon, 18" tall)Container size:
This dark, brick-red flowering cultivar of our native crossvine came to us originally from Woodlanders Nursery (Aiken, South Carolina) many years ago. Every year, it produces a stunning floral display in spring, echoing those of the nearby weigelas in beds E09 and E10. Although this is not the rarest of plants, it is not seen as much as are other crossvine cultivars, such as 'Tangerine Beauty'—long promoted by the Arboretum. Differing from all other cultivars in its red flowers (not orange or yellow/red bicolors), 'Atrosanguinea' will delight any garden. Hardy through Zone 6. (1 gallon, 8" tall)
With over 75 different kinds of boxwood (Buxus) growing at the Arboretum, one might well think that there could not be too much variation among all these plants. However, Buxus sempervirens 'Memorial' has stood out, especially among the 44 Buxus sempervirens cultivars grown here. Unlike so many of the "American boxwoods" (a term referring to any upright/mounding boxwood, regardless of cultivar), 'Memorial' forms a shrub of more dwarf stature. In evaluating all of the boxwoods in our collection for the National Boxwood Trials, we were impressed by the dense form and rich green foliage of 'Memorial'. Our plant exhibits a tight, broadly columnar habit, and is certainly larger in size than 'Suffruticosa' (against which it is often contrasted). 'Memorial' also does not develop the winter bronzing common to some cultivars. This underused cultivar, originating in a cemetery in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a sleeper plant that deserves wider use. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 quart, 6" tall)
This cultivar of Buxus sempervirens has stood out among our collection for its low, spreading form, and distinct, blue-green foliage. Buxus sempervirens 'Vardar Valley' derives from a collection made by Edgar Anderson in 1934 from the Vardar River valley in Macedonia, eastern Europe. It has been widely touted for its cold hardiness, but the foliage probably distinguishes it most from other boxwoods. This plant is so distinct among all the Buxus sempervirens cultivars that we grow, and yet, it remains surprisingly poorly known, even among nurserymen. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 6" tall)
- evergreen shrub to 2'–3' tall × 4'–5' wide
- plant in sun to part shade
- deer resistant
- Bluish foliage, leaf miner resistant
Campsis radicans 'Jersey Peach'
This cultivar of our native trumpetcreeper (Campsis radicans) brings a new (flower) color to this popular flowering vine. 'Jersey Peach' bears those characteristically long-tubular flowers, but in this cultivar, they are colored pale peach-yellow, instead of the familiar orange-red of the species. Set against a rich backdrop of dark green foliage, a plant in bloom is quite striking. We thank our friends at the Scott Arboretum (Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania) for sending along cuttings from the magnificent plant growing there. This cultivar is virtually unknown in the nursery trade, but brings a new color to a popularly grown plant. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 8" tall)
Among the Carpinus (hornbeams), there probably is none with more beautiful foliage than this species. Carpinus japonica, a small-sized tree reaching about 20' in height, bears attractive, finely-pleated leaves, looking as if they have been pressed. In summer, hop-like fruit catkins appear, light green in color and standing in contrast to the dark green leaves. As with other hornbeams, Carpinus japonica bears a degree of tolerance to poorly drained soils, but probably not so much as with the more familiar Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam). Best on part-shade to part-sun sites. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 quart, 6" tall)
- small tree to 20' tall
- plant in sun to part shade
- pale green flowers in spring
Evergreen shrub with dark green, soft needle-like leaves. 'Gnome' is a dwarf cultivar reaching 3' tall by as wide and forming a dense, mounded shrub. As with all other Cephalotaxus, 'Gnome' is best sited in shade, but will tolerate sunny sites. This cultivar originated at the famous Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Arboretum of Britain as a branch sport off of Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Fastigiata' (upright Japanese plum-yew). Our plants are derived from Donglin Zhang, Ph.D., (University of Maine) and Mike Dirr, Ph.D., (University of Georgia). Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 6"–8" tall)
The Korean plum-yew grows as a shrubby variant to the more commonly known and grown Japanese plum-yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia). Plants will form a low shrub, reaching only about 3' tall, of spreading form—similar in many respects to the dwarf cultivars of C. harringtonia. The needle-like leaves are flat, not recurved or sickle-shaped, as in C. harringtonia. As such, plants present a slightly different textural quality than do those of its Japanese cousin. Like all other Cephalotaxus, Korean plum-yew is tolerant of shade, sun, drought, and deer. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 6" tall)
This Chinese cousin to the popularly grown Cephalotaxus harringtonia (Japanese plum-yew) grows in cultivation as an evergreen tree with dark green, needle-like leaves. Since our plants are grown from cuttings, however, expect the plants offered here to be more shrub-like in growth habit, rather than seed-grown plants which would grow as small-sized trees. Cephalotaxus sinensis is much less commonly grown and seen in cultivation than are other species in the genus, but is worthy of wider trials and evaluation. Sun, shade, drought, and deer will not hurt this plant. Hardiness is more poorly characterized in this species, with reported literature suggesting Zone 7. However, we expect that at least in the warmer parts of Zone 6, this species should prosper. (1 gallon, 8" tall)
In Taiwan, this evergreen conifer is valued for its durable, rot-resistant wood. Growing together in mountain forests with the closely related Formosan falsecypress (Chamaecyparis formosensis), C. obtusa var. formosana is rarely seen in cultivation, although its Japanese cousin, C. obtusa, is widely grown for its many, diverse cultivars. Formosan Hinoki falsecypress in cultivation forms small- to medium-sized trees, densely clothed in branches. It is reported to prosper in the Deep South. However, it is likely less drought tolerant than C. obtusa, although on most garden sites, irrigation will not be necessary. These plants are grown from seed sent to us by the Taiwan Forestry Institute (Taipei, Taiwan). Cold hardiness is poorly characterized in this species. Probably hardy throughout Zone 7. (2 gallon, 8" tall)Container size:
Old specimens of China-fir dot southeastern U.S. landscapes, attesting to this species' formerly widespread popularity and usage, and also to its durability. Most specimens seen in cultivation bear the typical glossy, dark green, prickly foliage. However, several "blue"-leaved variants have occurred and been cultivated over the last century, usually under the catch-all name of 'Glauca'. 'Samurai', originating from the University of Tennessee, bears striking, silver-blue leaves, and is definitely a notch more cold-hardy than most other Cunninghamias. The plants offered here are grown from cuttings taken from our tree (now over 20' tall; received before 1988 from the University of Tennessee Arboretum as a rooted cutting). Young plants will likely want to grow in prostrate fashion for the first two or three years, before deciding to send up a central leader and form a "proper" China-fir tree. Likely cold hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 8" tall)
- to 40'
- plant in sun to light shade
An undeservedly scarce, fabulous foliage plant. Dianella tasmanica, sometimes seen as a houseplant, grows as a low plant (only 1'–2' tall), with a basal rosette of long, strap-like leaves—green with broad, gold stripes in this cultivar. In addition to the striking gold-variegated leaves, plants will produce delicate, small flowers on thin, wiry stalks, these flowers giving rise to brilliant, blue fruits (like small, elongated blueberries). Our plants were propagated from divisions from a plant donated to us by Ted Stephens, Nurseries Caroliniana (North Augusta, South Carolina). This plant is destined for widespread use, either as a hardy semi-evergreen ground cover, or as a tender perennial in colder climates. Hardy through Zone 8, but young, unestablished plants will benefit from some protection. Since these plants are greenhouse grown, do not plant them outdoors until spring. (1 quart, 1' tall)
Somewhat less scarce than its gold-variegated cousin but still uncommon, Dianellia tasmanica 'Variegata' is a superb foliage plant that is mysteriously absent from general cultivation in the southeastern United States. Although sometimes seen as a houseplant, this plant would be better used in landscapes for its colorful foliage and interesting blueberry-like fruits. Our plants were propagated from divisions from a plant donated to us by Ted Stephens, Nurseries Caroliniana (North Augusta, South Carolina), who has long championed these as landscape plants. Destined for widespread use, either as a hardy semi-evergreen ground cover, or as a tender perennial in colder climates. Hardy through Zone 8, but young, unestablished plants will benefit from some protection. Since these plants are greenhouse grown, do not plant them outdoors until spring. (1 quart, 1' tall)
An evergreen shrub or small tree from South Africa, this relative of our persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) could look no different. Small leaves, densely clothed in short, soft hairs, make this plant seem more like a bottlebrush (Callistemon) than anything else. We know virtually nothing about this plant, in terms of adaptability, although its nativity suggests that it will be tender in all but the mildest parts of the southeastern United States. (2 gallon, 18" tall)Container size:
This native Euonymus has never gained popularity over the much more commonly grown E. alatus (burning bush), but this clone brings something new to the table. In all but the harshest of winters you can expect this clone to remain evergreen throughout the year and when grown in a partly sunny, moist soil. This clone also tends to have a much more dense habit than the species. In fall, you can expect bright red capsules which open to reveal orange seeds, hence the common name hearts-a-bursting. Selected by Woodlanders Nursery (Aiken, South Carolina). Native from New York to Florida to Texas, this plant is hardy from Zones 5–9, but you should protect plants from cold this winter as our plants are greenhouse grown (1 quart, 6"–12" tall).Container size:
Another selection of our native hearts-a-bursting, this cultivar also originated from our friends at Woodlanders Nursery, in Aiken, South Carolina, and was selected for, as you guessed it, narrow foliage. The plant bears bright red capsules which open to reveal orange seeds in fall. When grown in partial sun with ample moisture this cultivar also has a more dense form than that exhibited by nonselected forms of the species. Protect from cold this winter as our plants have been kept in a heated greenhouse and have not had a chance to harden off. Hardy in Zones 5–9. (1 quart, 6"–12" tall)
One of several dwarf Cape jessamine cultivars introduced to us in recent years, Gardenia augusta 'Daruma' has been a standout in the Mixed Border at the JCRA. Reaching only 3' tall after six years in the ground, and producing single, white, exceedingly fragrant flowers, this is a gardenia that deserves wider recognition in gardens. Among the single-flowered gardenias, 'Daruma' produces relatively few orange-red fruits. We are uncertain of the differences between 'Daruma' and other dwarf, single-flowered cultivars; although this plant is of Japanese origin. Hardy through Zone 7b, possibly colder. (2 gallon, 8" tall)
- to 3'
- plant in sun to part shade
This small-leaf variant of Japanese ivy (Hedera rhombea) has grown for many years at the base of the arbor in the White Garden. Since the original structure was torn down and replaced by a new arbor designed by NC State University horticulture students in 2002, we decided to propagate this plant should we lose the original. Little information exists on the origin of the plant in our collections; although it is possible that it was brought back from the 1985 Expedition to South Korea by J. C. Raulston, of which he was a participant. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 3" tall)
- evergreen shrub to 4'-4'
- plant in shade to part sun
- whitish flowers in fall
- black fruit in winter
- butterfly/pollinator friendly
- Adult form, grows as a bush
This tiny member of the iris family is a must for the front of the border. The foliage of this diminutive perennial rarely exceeds 4"–5" in height. However, what the foliage lacks for in height the flowers more than make up for, blooming in late spring with dark blue-lavender petals surrounding a white center. Prairie nymph is also one of those rare plants with a "bi-hemispheric" geographical distribution—with H. lahue subsp. lahue native to Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil; while H. lahue subsp. caerulea is native to Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Hardy for gardens in Zone 7. It would be best to protect these plants from the cold this winter as our plants are greenhouse grown (1 quart, 6" tall)
- herbaceous perennial to 5"
- plant in sun
- blue flowers in late spring
This vivid, rose-pink flowering perennial hibiscus came to us from Heidi Sheesley of Tree Search Farms (Houston, Texas). Forming a plant reaching up to 4' tall, this hibiscus will produce 8"+ flowers through spring and summer until frost. We have not grown this plant in before in North Carolina, but feel that it should prosper here. Unlike the commonly seen Confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis), which only comes into flower in late autumn, the similar-appearing H. paramutabilis produces flowers over most of the growing season. Likely hardy throughout North Carolina. (2 gallon, 2' tall)
- flowering shrub to 6'
- plant in sun to light shade
- pink flowers in summer
This virtually unknown species hydrangea comes to us via U.S. plantsmen Dan Hinkley (Heronswood Nursery, Kingston, Washington), Ted Stephens (Nurseries Caroliniana, North Augusta, South Carolina), and Dan Heims (Terra Nova Nurseries, Portland, Oregon), all of whom have traveled to Japan, undoubtedly from where this plant originates. Distinguished from all other hydrangeas by its small leaves, this one bears gold- to white-splashed variegation throughout the leaves with the green portions turning purple in cooler weather. In early spring, plants will produce lace-cap shaped inflorescences with white, fragrant (YES, fragrant) flowers. Hydrangea luteovenosa is probably synonymous with Hydrangea scandens subsp. liukiuensis, and the cultivar 'Aureovariegata' may be the same as Heronswood Nursery's 'Fragrant Splash'. Books list this as Zone 9 (which is definitely not true), as Zone 7 is more likely. (1 gallon, 10" tall)
- to 5'
- plant in shade
This cultivar of Iris cristata came to us originally from We-Du Nursery. For several years now, it has prospered in the shade of our Lath House, where it annually puts forth a profusion of early spring flowers. 'Vein Mountain' is distinguished from the typical form of Iris cristata by its darker blooms that bear a distinctive yellow throat. These plants are propagated from divisions taken off of our plant growing in the Lath House. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, dormant)
- herbaceous perennial to 8"
- plant in sun to shade
- blue flowers in spring
Originally received by us as Leucothoe axillaris (Jenkins form), we now offer this superb improvement on our native coastal leucothoe. Leucothoe axillaris 'Florida' (not to be confused with Florida leucothoe, which refers to Agarista populifolia) bears larger, thicker leaves than is typical for this species, resulting in a plant that appears tougher than the average leucothoe. Margie Jenkins (Jenkins Farm and Nursery, Amite, Louisiana) shared this plant with us, and informed us of the correct cultivar name, too. Probably the best cultivar of leucothoe for us here in the southeastern United States., where the Leucothoes are prone to leaf spot diseases and establishment problems. Hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 8" tall)
Evergreen shrub to small tree with arching branches. Distinguished from most other Ligustrums by its small-sized leaves in combination with the evergreen habit. Although reported to be hardy only to Zone 9, based on its nativity in central to north-central China, we expect that it should be cold-hardy throughout North Carolina. Received by us from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Botanical Garden. (1 gallon, 1' tall)
This honeysuckle comes to us from the nation of Georgia, where it grew in Populus alba (silver poplar) forests, these trees festooned along their trunks with massive Hedera helix (English ivy) vines. (J. C. would have loved the scene.) Although Krussmann's Manual of Cultivated Broad-Leaved Trees and Shrubs reports this plant to be a shrub, the plants from which seeds were collected were vines—perhaps suggesting an improper identification. Stay tuned. Probably hardy throughout North Carolina. (2 gallon, 2' tall)
This as-yet unidentified species of bear-grass (Nolina) comes to us from our friends at Yucca Do Nursery (Hempstead, Texas), who collected seeds in 2001 from the town of Zacatepec in Puebla State, Mexico, located east of Mexico City. Without knowing anything else besides the collection number (D12-41), it is difficult to describe the plant in further detail. The bear-grasses exist as either evergreen, agave-like plants with narrow, grass-like foliage occurring in dense clumps at ground level; all the way to palm-like trees with striking, silver-blue leaves. In any regard, they are all superb, tough landscape plants, much more tolerant of wet climates than most people would realize based on their nativity. Hardiness is unknown, but we have overwintered most species trialed in our Zone 7b climate. (2 gallon, 12" tall)
- hardy semi-hardy
This stately evergreen tree, in many aspects resembling the familiar Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) with its short, bright blue-green needles arranged in twos and its bright orange-gray trunks. Native to (the nation of) Georgia, where it is common throughout much of the country, especially in the Caucasus Mountains, these plants are derived from seeds collected in the Lesser Caucasus mountains (in the southern portion of the country, bordering Turkey). Probably, this species has not yet been tested in the southeastern United States. Some authorities consider Pinus sosnowskyi to be synonymous with Pinus kochiana (Caucasian pine); at the least, it is closely related. A striking, new plant for trial in North Carolina and beyond. Cold hardiness is undetermined, but Zone 6 is likely, with even colder zones also possible. (1 quart, 3" tall)
There are approximately 150 species of Pittosporum that occur naturally. Of these, only 1 species is widely cultivated in the southeastern United States. – P. tobira (Japanese pittosporum) – popularly used as an evergreen foundation plant and salt-tolerant shrub. In looking to other species in this genus, we have come to P. undulatifolium, one of many Chinese species, that has prospered for us for over 12 years – never showing any cold damage. This evergreen shrub (now about 5' tall) bears shiny dark green leaves with undulating edges, and will thrive on full sun to partly shaded sites. We originally received our plant as Pittosporum undulatum, which is an Australian species that is tender, but later realized and corrected the name. Probably cold hardy throughout Zone 7. (1 gallon, 6–12 tall)
A nomenclatural mystery! These plants are derived from rooted stem cuttings from a plant brought in by J. C. Raulston in 1988. While the brilliant orange double flowers are without a doubt beautiful, the validity of the cultivar name remains up in the air. "Nejikan" refers to a style of bonsai in which the trunk of the specimen is twisted. While our specimen growing in China Valley is neither bonsai nor possessing a twisted trunk, the leaves do have a kink/twist to them. Yellow fall color. Hardy through the warmer part of Zone 7. Plant in a protected location in the cooler parts of Zone 7. (1 gallon, 6"–12" tall)
- flowering shrub to 10'
- plant in sun
- orange flowers in summer
A small, often weeping, tree with silver, narrow leaves resembling those of a willow. Leaves often become grayish-green and possess a shiny gloss. Our young seedlings appear to be green-leaved (rather than silver-leaved), but this may only be a juvenile trait. Flowers are a creamy white and give rise to small, top-shaped, brown fruit. These plants are from wild-collected seeds from the Vashlovani Nature Reserve, located in the far eastern end of the nation of Georgia, right on the Georgia/Azerbaijan border. Hardy from Zones 4–7. These plants have not been hardened off, so protect from cold. (1 quart, 6" tall)Container size:
This large sized, deciduous tree is an icon plant of eastern North America. Common in forests around Raleigh, these plants represent progeny from the last crop of acorns produced from the magnificent, open-field grown white oak which used to frame our boxwood collection in the Southall Garden. Unfortunately, the December 2002 ice storm destroyed this beautiful sentinel of the Arboretum. This is your only chance to have this piece of JCRA history live on in your own garden. Zones 3–9 (1 quart, 4" tall)
- to 80'
- plant in sun to part shade
Quercus aff. canbyi
Quercus canbyi is one of the many oaks native to Mexico. For over 10 years now, we have been triallng as many Mexican oaks as we can acquire, and virtually none have disappointed with their cold hardiness, including this species. Canby oak forms a medium- to large-sized tree, semi-evergreen (or evergreen in milder areas) with fine-textured leaves, glossy above and slightly toothed on the margins. These plants are derived from acorns collected off of our trees growing out in the back field of the Arboretum. Hardy through Zone 7, possibly colder.
A 50+ year-old specimen of Ubame oak grows in the Arboretum, forming the backdrop for our Winter Garden. This plant, a native of Japan, but the closest relative (among the oaks) to our southeastern U.S. live oak (Quercus virginiana), should be widely used, but it is not. In Japan, plants are sheared into hedges, or left to grow as mature trees. Our specimen has reached 30' in height by 50' in spread. In the great freezes of the 1980s, Quercus phillyreoides was undamaged, attesting to its Zone 6 cold hardiness, while the nearby specimen of Quercus glauca (Japanese blue oak) was frozen to the ground. These plants are grown from acorns, and as such, will be somewhat variable. (1 and 2 gallon, 8"–24" tall)
One of the first rhododendrons to flower at the Arboretum has been this hybrid between the Florida endemic, Chapman's rhododendron, and the Korean rhododendron. Its semi-evergreen foliage is dark glossy green year-round except in winter when it takes on purplish hues. The flowers, appearing in March are that classic lavender-pink color, reaching about 2" in diameter. This plant has prospered in an unamended soil in front of the brick building at the Arboretum (on a north face) for 20 years, showing no damage. These are cuttings from this plant which is scheduled to be removed. It is a true, tough and worthy rhododendron that deserves wider consideration as an evergreen shrub.Container size:
The dog rose is a European species rose, native throughout all of Europe all the way up into Scandinavia—rock-solid cold-hardy. Plants form mounding deciduous shrubs, reaching up to 8' in height, but easily pruned back as needed to keep it smaller. Grow this rose for its small, single, pink flowers that give rise to orange-red, elongated hips. Our plants are derived from collections made by the Botanischer Garten dur Martin Luther Universitiat (Halle, Germany). Easily hardy throughout North Carolina. (1 gallon, 7" tall)Container size:
This small Styrax blew us away this spring with the sheer profusion of bloom it displayed. This species differs from the more commonly grown Styrax japonicus in several ways, most notably in the smaller sized foliage lending a finer texture to the plant. The flowers are smaller as well but don't let the size fool you, as our plant was loaded from the tips of the branches right to the center of the plant. The parent plant from which these cuttings were taken was 10' tall by almost equal width, not bad considering it was only 1' tall when planted in the fall of 2000. Zone 7 hardy, possibly zone 6. (1 gallon, 12" tall)
Asiatic jessamine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) is a widely grown evergreen ground cover, especially prominent in Zone 8 and warmer landscapes of the southeastern U.S. Despite the popularity of this plant, relatively few cultivars exist in the trade. Well, thanks to our friends Ted Stephens (Nurseries Caroliniana, North Augusta, South Carolina) and Sean Hogan (Cistus Design Nursery, Portland, Oregon), we have acquired this little gem. 'Theta', named for Sean's mother, is a narrowleaf version of the familiar species, the leaves being lance-like, much more elongated than is typical. Although we haven't yet tested this new cultivar extensively, it should be cold hardy through Zone 8, and also into Zone 7b. Grow this as a ground cover or in baskets for foliage interest. Asiatic jessamine is shy to flower (compared to Confederate jessamine, Trachelospermum jasminoides), and as such, you are less likely to have plants produce the sweet-scented flowers typical of this genus. The plants offered here are greenhouse-grown, and are not hardened off for the winter. As such, protect them through the winter and plant out in the spring. (1 quart, 12" long)
- to 12" or as trained
- plant in sun or shade
This species jessamine comes to us from collections made in Taiwan by Bleddyn and Sue Wyn-Jones of Crug Farm Nursery of Wales, United Kingdom. As both T. asiaticum and T. jasminoides are well-known landscape plants in the southeastern United State, we were very excited to acquire this species heretofore unknown in cultivation in the southeastern United States. We know little about its garden performance, although it does seem to prefer more shade than either T. asiaticum or T. jasminoides.Container size:
For over six years now, we have watched and admired this herbaceous perennial veronica that grows in front of the Lath House here at the Arboretum. Veronica forrestii forms a dense, low clump of foliage (only reaching about 8"–12" tall) that in early spring sends forth a profusion of pale purple/lavender flowers on short spikes. Differing completely in flower color from the more familiar Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue', V. forrestii also blooms later. Grow this as an excellent and attractive, spring-flowering, herbaceous, perennial, ground cover. Likely hardy throughout North Carolina.
This yucca, received by us as Yucca australis, comes to us from our friends at Yucca Do Nursery (Hempstead, Texas), who collected it (collection number D11-36) near the north-central Mexico city of San Luis Potosi in mountains at 6,800' elevation. Unlike other Mexico yuccas that we have grown, this species bears unusually broad leaves that are margins with ghostly white threads. The thick, dark green leaves, of stout texture, attest to this species toughness. With the collection site being at such a high elevation, we expect this species to be cold-hardy for us in Zone 7b, as have so many of the Mexican yuccas. In Mexico, this arborescent yucca reaches heights from 6'–20' tall. Expect plants to be somewhat smaller here. (2 gallon, 8" tall)
This arborescent yucca, similar in leaf size and shape to Yucca rostrata (Mexican blue yucca), is rarely seen in the nursery trade, especially in the southeastern United States. As a Texas/northern Mexico native species, Yucca thompsoniana can reach up to 10' tall, and bears attractive grayish-green , narrow, lanceolate leaves that are flexible. Our plants are grown from seed collected in San Luis Potosi State, Mexico, by our friends at Yucca Do Nursery (Hempstead, Texas). This species should be cold-hardy through Zone 7, possibly the warmer part of Zone 6, in North Carolina. (1 gallon, 8" tall)