Fruits add a lot of interest to the late summer/fall garden. They provide color when flowers are absent and attract wildlife to keep the garden active. Garden fruits don’t have to be simply ornamental though. They can serve the dual purpose of adding beauty while also providing food. Although many plants bear fruits that can be eaten, the majority of these would not be near the top of anyone’s dream menu. Several small to medium trees are grown as much for their ornamental characteristics as their culinary ones.
One such plant that is widely familiar to southern gardeners is Punica granatum (common pomegranate). The pomegranate is a large shrub or small tree with amazing crumpled crepe paper flowers during the summer. Flowers are typically orange to red although some yellow forms exist. The flowers alone would be reason enough to grow this garden staple, but the orange fruits ripening in the fall are the reason it has been grown since antiquity. When the fruit is ripe the fresh seeds can be eaten raw with the surrounding pulp. The juice can be used in summer drinks, jellies, and as a flavoring for desserts. Pomegranates are somewhat tender and in cooler areas are best grown against a wall for protection. They need plenty of sun and a well draining soil. Look for the species, ‘Gosai-ryu’ a mottled pink and white flowered form, ‘Nejikan’ a double orange flowered form, and ‘State Fair’ introduced by Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery from a floriferous and hardier form from the NC state fairgrounds.
Another southern fruiting favorite is Eriobotrya japonica (loquat). The huge dark green leaves are densely felted beneath with rusty hairs presenting a two-toned effect. The deliciously fragrant flowers are borne in late fall to mid-winter and provide an unexpected lift to the winter garden. Plants are somewhat tender and need some protection in the cooler areas of Zone 7. High, thin shade will often help prevent damage from cold snaps. The fruits ripen in late spring making the loquat one of the earliest fruits available. Grow in full sun to part shade with moist, well-drained to dry soils. Check out our ‘Coppertone’ which has foliage that emerges copper in the spring.
Showing up more and more often in grocery store produce sections is Diospyros kaki (Japanese persimmon). Typically a small tree to 25’ tall, Japanese persimmon can grow up to 40’ in the right spot. This is an exceptionally tough tree with glossy green foliage and brilliant fall color. The fruits of this relative to our native persimmon are large (3"-4”), yellow-orange, and juicy. Don’t try the fruits until they are completely ripe due to their astringent qualities. A leafless Diospyros kaki laden with orange fruits makes for a treasured winter image. – Mark Weathington, Assistant Director
Aster divaricatus – white wood aster
Callicarpa japonica ‘Leucocarpa’ – white Japanese beautyberry
Kalimeris pinnatifida – false aster
Lespedeza thunbergii 'White Fountain' – white bush clover
Phlox paniculata ‘David’– garden phlox
Sedum alboroseum ‘Frosty Morn’– variegated blush stonecrop
Aster ericoides 'Schneegitter' – white heath aster
Rhododendron Autumn Coral™ – Encore Azalea®
Rhododendron Autumn Royalty™ – Encore Azalea®
Sedum 'Ruby Glow' – garden stonecrop
Tricyrtis formosana 'Samurai' - toad-lily
Abelia parvifolia – Schumann abelia
Rhododendron Autumn Cheer™ – Encore Azalea®
Rhodophiala bifida – oxblood-lily
Sedum 'Vera Jameson' – garden stonecrop
Aster divaricatus – white wood aster – Butterfly Garden
Hedychium coccineum – red ginger-lily – Paradise Garden
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' – rough-leaf goldenrod – Butterfly Garden
Ziziphus jujuba 'Inermis' – Chinese date – Paradise Garden
Aster oblongifolius – aromatic aster
Aster tataricus – Tatarian aster
Chrysanthemum (Elizabeth Lawrence Pink) – garden chrysanthemum
Eupatorium greggi – Texas ageratum
Helianthus salicifolius – willowleaf sunflower
Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara' – compact Mexican bush sage
Other Areas of the Arboretum
Buddleja species and cultivars – butterfly bush – throughout the JCRA
Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst' – purple beautyberry – E23
Heptacodium miconioides – seven-son's tree – Bed E42
Senna corymbosa – Argentine senna – Bed E10
Vitex agnus-castus 'Fletcher Pink' – E49
This show is free. Visit often. – Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist
Guided Tours – September 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2007 (Sundays) – 2:00 PM – Free
We invite you to join us for free guided tours through the Arboretum. Learn about the Arboretum's history, plants, and more. Tours are available to the public free of charge every Sunday (with few exceptions) at 2:00 PM from March-October. Tours are led by a dedicated group of volunteers and last approximately one hour (rain or shine).
Photography Workshop – September 8, 2007 (Saturday) – 8:00 AM-4:00 PM and September 12, 2007 (Wednesday) – 7:00 PM-10:00 PM – $100.00 for members, $140.00 for nonmembers ($40.00 membership included)
Registration is closed.
Plantsmen's Tour – September 11, 2007 (Tuesday) – 1:00 PM – Free
Few plants can elicit drama in the landscape like a weeping tree. Find out how to use and care for weepers in your own yard while we take a closer look at some of the Arboretum's impressive collection of cascading specimens both old and new.
JCRA Arborfest – September 15, 2007 (Saturday) – 10:00 AM-3:00 PM – Free
Bring the family to the Arboretum and learn about new plants for your garden, rain gardens, composting, turf, tree care and planting, and other timely garden topics from NC State faculty, Wake County Master Gardeners, and other professionals.
Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – September 20, 2007 (Thursday) – 7:30 PM – Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers
Rock garden plants are dwarf or slow growing, hardy, and should grow no more than about twelve inches tall. The idea of a rock garden in the U.S. Southeast may seem alien to gardeners who toil in the South's red clay and endure humid summer nights and afternoon rainfall. Gardeners, understanding these limitations by giving adequate drainage, can grow a respectable palette of shade- and sun-loving rock garden-type plants in a variety of settings, including raised beds and berms, troughs, sand beds, and scree.
Garden Conservancy's Open Days – September 22, 2007 (Saturday) – 11:00 AM-4:00 PM and September 23, 2007 (Sunday) – 1:00 PM-4:00 PM – $5.00 per person per garden, discount ticket book also available for $25.00
The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days comes to Raleigh in September and features five private gardens to visit. Enjoy the private gardens of Laura and Bob Bromhal, Nicholas and Katharine Davies, Lara and Stillman Hanson, Brian Simet, and Matilda Smith. A portion of the proceeds from the weekend benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum.
Pi Alpha Xi Plant Sale at the JCRA – September 29, 2007 (Saturday) – 8:00 AM-4:00 PM and September 30, 2007 (Sunday) – 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Offering rare and unique annual, perennial, and woody ornamentals. Proceeds benefit horticultural charities, scholarships, and organizations. For more information, contact a Pi Alpha Xi member at (919) 515-3178 or visit http://www.ncsu.edu/project/pialphaxi/.
Please visit the "Calendar of Events" section on the JCRA Web site for a complete listing of our upcoming programs.
JC Raulston Arboretum e-Updates are published electronically every month for everyone interested in the Arboretum and are e-mailed to the Arboretum's members. To remove yourself from this mailing, please write Christopher Todd Glenn.
© September 2007, JC Raulston Arboretum