Note: The JCRA launched a new Web site on March 1. Please visit us at http://jcra.ncsu.edu. This site, http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum/, is no longer being updated.

Connoisseur Plants – 2012

Connoisseur Plants are rare, new plants or hard to find old favorites, and they are part of the annual appeal and membership drive to benefit the Arboretum's many fine programs and its day-to-day operational expenses. These wonderful plants were sent to those who joined the Friends of JC Raulston Arboretum in 2012 and in December of the previous year at certain higher membership levels.

In 2012, we offered a total of 32 taxa from which our members were able to choose! These plants are no longer available.

Abelia 'Lynn' – Pinky Bells™ large flowered dwarf abelia Abelia 'Lynn' (Linneaceae)
Pinky Bells™ large flowered dwarf abelia
This brand new abelia won't make it to better garden centers until sometime later in 2013 so this is an early opportunity to grab what promises to be a great plant. A hybrid between the large, pink flowered A. schumannii 'Bumblebee' and the N.C. found 'Little Richard', this new selection is the best of both worlds with the large pink flowers of the former and the small stature of the latter. In addition, the semi-evergreen foliage takes on reddish tints when emerging. Abelia are tough garden performers, belying their delicate, graceful appearance. We're told this form has the largest flowers of any abelia yet introduced!

Acer fabri (Sapindaceae)
Faber maple
sun to part shade; 20'
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 29

Acer pictum var. mono – painted maple Acer pictum var. mono (Sapindaceae)
painted maple
This medium sized maple is one of our very favorites at the JCRA with a nicely formed, rounded head. The fall color is typically a beautiful clear yellow. These plants are from seed we collected in Japan in 2011 where it was growing as a lovely understory tree. Expect it to grow to about 35' in the landscape although in the wild it can grow to almost twice that height. Plant in high shade or full sun.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 16

Agave bracteosa 'Monterrey Frost' – variegated bracted century plant Agave bracteosa 'Monterrey Frost' (Agavaceae)
variegated bracted century plant
This lovely little agave is an absolute showstopper with a bright white margin along each of the stiff (and non-spiny!) leaves. Tony Avent's poetic description of it resembling a frozen squid is apt even if it doesn't do this knockout justice. It is a bit on the tender side so plant in a protected spot or even better grow it as a forgiving container plant. It likes a bit of shade making it easy to grow even indoors. With age, it offsets moderately and will flower with hummingbird attracting gold flowers.

Agave toumeyana subsp. bella – hardy century plant Agave toumeyana subsp. bella (Agavaceae)
hardy century plant
This lovely little agave grows to only about 6" by 10" in attractive rosettes. Offsets readily form a tight colony perfect for a small scale ground cover or filling a pot. Each leaf on the rosette is deep green with chocolate brown margins and white striations. Always grow in a well-drained soil to ensure survival. Mature plants bear 4' flower spikes attractive to people and hummingbirds.

Asphodeline liburnica – Jacob's rod Asphodeline liburnica (Asphodelaceae)
Jacob's rod
This fantastically architectural and showy plant is a knockout when the large golden flowers open in late spring over an extended period. The bluish-green, grassy foliage is nice over the rest of the season but the tall spikes of flowers are the main claim to fame of this easy to grow perennial. Plant in a relatively well-drained spot in the perennial garden, meadow garden, or other setting where the vertical form will complement the surrounding plants.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 1

Callicarpa japonica 'Inagali' – variegated Japanese beautyberry Callicarpa japonica 'Inagali' (Lamiaceae)
variegated Japanese beautyberry
We received this lovely little variegated beautyberry from plantsman and punster extraordinaire Sean Hogan of Cistus Design Nursery. It has leaves heavily splashed and splotched with white which contrasts beautifully against the darker stems. Although not entirely stable, the occasional errant pure green shoot can be easily snipped out. Best in a bit of shade. We haven't seen fruit yet but are told they will be purple on this form.

Castanopsis delavayi – Delavay's chinquapin Castanopsis delavayi (Fagaceae)
Delavay's chinquapin
This uncommon oak relative from China makes a lovely thick trunked tree ultimately to about 50' tall. The serrate evergreen leaves are quite attractive and make this plant a worthwhile addition to any oak lover's garden. The acorn-like fruits mature in their second year and are reportedly edible. This species is probably somewhat tender and may benefit from being planted in a protected spot or under high shade.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 4

Cistus psilosepalus – smooth sepalled rock rose Cistus psilosepalus (Cistaceae)
smooth sepalled rock rose
This poor plant suffers from a bit of an identity crisis, being listed variously as Cistus ×incanus or C. inflatus or even C. hirsutus. To paraphrase the bard, a rock rose by any other name would smell as sweet. This lovely little plant makes a delightful mound in a well-drained garden spot. These were propagated from our plant which has survived in the Scree Garden since 2006. Look for heavily textured evergreen foliage topped in early March by delightful white flowers with a gold eye. Best in a very sunny, very well-drained spot.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 9

Comanthosphace japonica 'Golden Angel' – gold Japanese shrub mint Comanthosphace japonica 'Golden Angel' (Lamiaceae)
gold Japanese shrub mint
(syn. Leucosceptrum japonicum) This lovely little woodland shrub mint from Japan makes a bold mound of bright gold foliage when it emerges in the spring almost like a perennial coleus. It provides a very satisfying presence in the garden all season or can be cut back when the bright color fades to encourage a second flush of gold foliage. Fall brings on terminal spikes of pale yellow bottlebrush flowers.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 1

Crinum 'Menehune' – dwarf purple crinum Crinum 'Menehune' (Amaryllidaceae)
dwarf purple crinum
This is one of the smallest crinums available for the garden. It was originally bred in Hawai'i and as such is little better than marginally hardy in central North Carolina but will probably be fine along the coast. In full sun, the narrow strappy leaves will grow upright and remain deep burgundy black. In some shade the foliage will be more burgundy and gracefully arching. Flowers, when they deign to appear, are bright pink. Perhaps best grown as a container plant in the Raleigh area where it will appreciate lots of water.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 2

Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko Dawn' – variegated slender deutzia Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko Dawn' (Hydrangeaceae)
variegated slender deutzia
A variegated form of the popular Nikko deutzia forming a low mound to 3’ and slightly wider. Best in light shade, but will take full sun with adequate moisture. Creamy edged foliage and bright white spring flowers. Zone 5–9.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 5

Diervilla rivularis 'Troja Black' – purple-leaved Georgia bush honeysuckle Diervilla rivularis 'Troja Black' (Diervillaceae)
purple-leaved Georgia bush honeysuckle
This is an exciting new Dutch selection of our native bush honeysuckle. The foliage emerges purple and is topped in summer by bright yellow flowers over an extended period. It grows to about 5’ tall and slightly wider. Full sun to part shade. This species is a favorite of butterflies!
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 8

Exbucklandia populnea – Malayan aspen Exbucklandia populnea (Hamamelidaceae)
Malayan aspen
This very unusual evergreen relative of our native sweetgum has graced the entrance to the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center since 2003. It has proven to be a surprisingly hardy plant with large, glossy, palmately lobed leaves and is sure to be a conversation starter in the garden since it will look like nothing else in your neighborhood. It is rarely available but our tree has begun setting seed and we finally have plants to share.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 33

Ficus carica 'Violette de Bordeaux' – edible fig Ficus carica 'Violette de Bordeaux' (Moraceae)
edible fig
This fruit-bearing fig is known for producing good-sized deep purple fruits with red flesh and a very rich taste. Our plant has not begun bearing heavily but when it does, we expect to get two crops per season on it. Even without fruit, the deeply cut foliage and stout stems make it an imposing landscape plant.

Gladiolus tristis – ever flowering gladiolus Gladiolus tristis (Iridaceae)
ever flowering gladiolus
This South African bulb makes a lovely addition to the well-drained sunny garden. Upright, strappy foliage gives rise to widely flared, six-petaled flowers in clusters of two to six. Typically the foliage emerges in fall and grows through winter before opening its greenish-white flowers in spring. The flowers can be deliciously fragrant at night although this recessive trait will be variable. Plants should be reliably hardy at least to zone 7b.

Heterothalamus alienus (Asteraceae)
heterothalamus
sun; 3'
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 2

Hydrangea serrata [Amacha Group] ' amacha Nishiki' – mountain hydrangea Hydrangea serrata [Amacha Group] ' amacha Nishiki' (Hydrangeaceae)
mountain hydrangea
The mountain hydrangeas from Japan are finer in texture than the bigleaf hydrangeas and seem to hold up to our heat without wilting better as well. This selection has delicate lacecap flowers in shades of pink, darkening towards the center. The flowers top the foliage which appears to have been dusted liberally with white speckles. The variegation is attractive but subtle enough for those who are on the fence with variegated plants. The Amacha group of hydrangeas were once used as sources for tea in Japan.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 14

Ilex buergeri (Aquifoliaceae)
Buerger holly
sun to part shade; 35'-50'
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 6

Ilex integra × I. latifolia – hybrid holly Ilex integra × I. latifolia (Aquifoliaceae)
hybrid holly
We received this hybrid between two of our favorite hollies from Japanese plantsman extraodinaire, Mr. Hagiwara. Both species are non-spiny and this hybrid has leaves intermediate between the two parents. The foliage is glossy and large but not quite as big as I. latifolia. Our plant has been a vigorous grower and we expect it ultimately to form a large evergreen shrub or small tree with a bold texture and tough constitution.

Ilex uraiensis – holly Ilex uraiensis (Aquifoliaceae)
holly
Want to stump the best plants-people you know? This highly endangered holly from China, Taiwan, and Japan is on the IUCN Red List, the database of endangered plants. The foliage is attractive and like our other holly offerings this year, it is spineless. Fruits are bright red and good sized. It will grow into an evergreen tree with time.

Illicium parviflorum (small leaf) – yellow anise Illicium parviflorum (small leaf) (Illiciaceae)
yellow anise
The yellow anise is one of the finest and toughest of our native evergreen shrubs. It grows wild in south Georgia and Florida but is perfectly hardy to zone 6. Despite growing in boggy conditions, it is adaptable to almost any garden situation and will tolerate significant drought once established. Small, yellow-green, star-like flowers appear in late spring to early summer. This small leaf form came to us well over a decade ago and has been a reliable performer in a neglected spot for many years. It will grow in sun or shade but seems to have the best color in some shade.

Pittosporum tobira 'Kansai Sunburst' – variegated Japanese pittosporum Pittosporum tobira 'Kansai Sunburst' (Pittosporaceae)
variegated Japanese pittosporum
This bright cultivar of Japanese pittosporum came to us from Japan via the now unfortunately defunct Asiatica Nursery. New growth is brilliant yellow before softening to a creamy edge on the evergreen foliage. Fragrant flowers are an added bonus. Reports indicate that this may be somewhat tender and we have not had it in the ground long enough to say for sure. Great in full sun to part shade or in a container that is brought indoors.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 4

Podocarpus macrophyllus 'Sunshine Spire' (Podocarpaceae)
columnar Japanese yew-pine
sun to light shade; 20'

Prunus campanulata – Taiwan cherry Prunus campanulata (Rosaceae)
Taiwan cherry
The Taiwan cherry is one of the finest of the early flowering cherries with bell-shaped flowers of the deepest rose red in late winter. It is highly prized in southern Japan and Taiwan where the flowering is greeted warmly each year.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 4

Salvia penstemonoides – big red sage Salvia penstemonoides (Lamiaceae)
big red sage
Once thought to be extinct in the wild, but rediscovered in a few locales in Texas during the 1980s, this large sage grows 3' to 5' tall. Spikes of rosy-red flowers are frequented by hummingbirds during the summer. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Makes a dramatic presence in the garden and deserves to be more widely grown in gardens.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 14

Sphaeralcea 'Shell Pink' (Malvaceae)
hybrid globe mallow
sun; 12" x 24"
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 15

Stachyurus 'Carolina Parakeet' – variegated spike-tail Stachyurus 'Carolina Parakeet' (Stachyuraceae)
variegated spike-tail
JC Raulston Arboretum Introduction
We noticed this inverted sport of
Stachyurus 'Magpie' which emerges with a red flush opening to show the broad chartreuse centered leaf with a deep green edge and red petiole. It has proven to be a vastly better landscape than its parent. Long spikes of yellow winter flowers drape from the arching branches like a 70's bead curtain. Easy in sun or shade. Our numbers are limited on this new introduction so please make a backup selection if you choose this plant. If there is high demand, we will propagate more and offer it again next year.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 13

Tagetes lucida – sweet-scented Mexican marigold Tagetes lucida (Asteraceae)
sweet-scented Mexican marigold
We love this Mexican marigold with highly aromatic foliage which makes it almost completely deer proof in the garden. The shrubby plant is topped in late summer and fall with small cheery yellow flowers. This shrubby marigold is great in herb gardens, fragrance gardens, and sunny perennial borders.
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 8
Number of photographs in J. C. Raulston's slide collection: 1

Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Atsuba Chirimen' (Apocynaceae)
dwarf variegated Asiatic jessamine
sun to shade; 4" by 36"
Number of photographs in the Photograph Collection: 1

Trachelospermum lanyuense – Lanyu Island jessamine Trachelospermum lanyuense (Apocynaceae)
Lanyu Island jessamine
We received this rarely grown species of jessamine from our friends at Smith College. This evergreen vine hails from the very south of Taiwan where it makes a lovely groundcover or scrambling woody vine with fragrant white flowers. It will likely not be hardy in NC but will make a great vining houseplant or the adventurous gardener could try it outdoors in a protected spot.

Wisteria sinensis 'Kofuji' – super dwarf Chinese wisteria Wisteria sinensis 'Kofuji' (Fabaceae)
super dwarf Chinese wisteria
This little plant is very unlike any other wisteria. It makes a small shrubby plant to about 18” tall with small pinnate leaves. Occasionally, a slightly more vigorous shoot emerges which will have small panicles of lightly scented, lavender flowers. It is most often grown as a bonsai but makes an excellent garden specimen as well. Propagate by softwood cuttings. Hardy to zone 5. Sun to part shade.

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