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JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

March 2008

In This Issue

Gala in the Garden

GalaMay 4, 2008 (Sunday) 3:00 PM-7:00 PM

Please save the date for the 2008 Gala in the Garden. This afternoon event will have an exciting silent auction featuring an array of eclectic items and interesting plants. See old friends and meet new ones surrounded by the beautiful Arboretum grounds. We’ll be providing delectable hors d'oeuvre, cocktails, and live music. Information on donating an auction item and becoming a sponsor is available. – Barbara Kennedy, Volunteer Coordinator

JCRA Arborfest

In response to the challenges all North Carolina citizens are facing as a consequence of the current drought, this year’s Arborfest, to be held Saturday April 5 from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, will focus on water management and conservation and green design. Four keynote speakers will provide attendees with the knowledge and tools to improve water management and conservation in residential and commercial landscapes and to design with “green” as the priority. In addition, the Wake County Master Gardeners will be here to answer any and all plant questions. The JCRA and various local nurseries and vendors will be selling plants and garden accessories. Arborfest concludes with a tour highlighting some of the Arboretum’s most drought tolerant plants. This promises to be a timely and highly informative program. Please join us. – Denny Werner, Director

Chinese Sassafras

Sassafras albidumThe native sassafras (Sassafras albidum) of the east coast has been a favorite tree of the American east since even before Europeans first discovered it. Likewise, its Chinese relative, Sassafras tzumu, has been long prized in its native central China haunts for timber. It escaped the notice of European plant hunters until 1900 when Ernest Wilson introduced it to England. Like our native species, Chinese sassafras bears leaves in three distinct shapes, unlobed, mitten shaped, and trident shaped. The lobes on this species tend to be more pointed than our native and the foliage is larger on average. The foliage also often has reddish veins and turns a good, but not spectacular gold in the fall. Yellow flowers appear in March like miniature sunbursts which are quite attractive when viewed up close.

Sassafras tzumu grows vigorously, often putting on 3'-5' of growth per year. It is susceptible to early fall frosts before the plant begins to shut down. It grows well in a rich, moist, well-drained soil. Our tree adjacent to the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, planted in the summer of 2003, has put on exceptional growth. The tough 2007 summer has highlighted this established tree’s drought tolerance while its distinctive tiered habit, greenish stems, and unusual foliage has made it a JCRA favorite. – Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

Coming Attractions – Highlights of March

Cornus mas 'Spring Glow'Redbuds and magnolias steal the show this month, but there is much more to see. Look for miniature tulips, dwarf iris, and miniature jonquilla daffodils in the Scree Garden and rooftop gardens. Other March favorites including: forsythia, Japanese camellia, primrose, loropetalum, spirea, quince, and a multitude of spring bulbs throughout the Arboretum.

Klein-Pringle White Garden
Cercis canadensis f. alba – white redbud
Magnolia ×loebneri 'Merrill' – Loebner magnolia

Lath House
Camellia euryoides var. euryoides – mock-orange camellia
Pieris japonica
'Scarlet O'Hara' – Japanese andromeda
Pieris japonica 'Shojo' – red Japanese andromeda

Magnolia Collection
Magnolia 'Darrell Dean' – Gresham hybrid magnolia
Magnolia
'Jon Jon' – Gresham hybrid magnolia
Magnolia ×loebneri 'Leonard Messel' – Loebner magnolia
Magnolia stellata 'Jane Platt' – star magnolia
Magnolia stellata 'Chrysanthemiflora' – many-petalled star magnolia

Mixed Border
Cercis canadensis subsp. mexicana – Mexican redbud
Corylopsis glabrescens var. gotoana – winterhazel
Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon' – Mellow Yellow® golden Thunberg spirea

Model Gardens
Gelsemium sempervirens 'Woodlanders Pale Yellow' – Carolina jessamine
Spiraea thunbergii 'Mount Fuji' – variegated Thunberg spirea

Scree and Rooftop Gardens
Iris reticulata 'Natascha' – netted iris
Narcissus 'Baby Moon' – miniature jonquilla daffodil
Othonna cheirifolia – barbary ragwort
Tulipa 'Little Beauty' – tulip

West Arboretum
Cercis glabra – smooth redbud
Malus yunnanensis – Yunnan crabapple

Winter Garden
Daphne odora
f. alba – white winter daphne
Hamamelis ×intermedia 'Arnold Promise' – upright common witchhazel
Helleborus
×hybridus and cultivars – Lenten rose
Ipheion uniflorum – spring star flower

Other Areas the Arboretum
Cercis canadensis subsp. texensis 'Traveller' – weeping Texas redbud – W01 and E43a
Corylopsis glabrescens var. gotoana 'March Jewel' – dwarf fragrant winterhazel – C07
Cornus mas 'Spring Glow' – Cornelian cherry – E16
Forsythia viridissima 'Bronxensis' – dwarf green-stem forsythia – Bed E23
Leucojum aestivum
– snowflake – Bed E38, WG 4, and T10
Syringa oblata subsp. dilatata – Korean early lilac – Bed E11
Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue' – creeping veronica – T11, E19, and E21

This show is free. Visit often. – Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

March Calendar

Plantsmen's Tour – March 4, 2008 (Tuesday) – 1:00 PM – Free

"Signs of Spring" led by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections. With warm weather on the horizon, take a walk through the Arboretum as we look at swelling buds, early bulbs, and other surefire signs that winter will soon be behind us.

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – March 10, 2008 (Monday) – 7:30 PM – Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers

"From Genotype to Phenotype: Adventures in Plant Breeding" presented by Tom Ranney, Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University. There is nothing more exciting than breeding plants – it captures the imagination, fosters hope, builds anticipation, and soothes the soul. Plant breeding integrates broad disciplines and provides endless opportunities for intellectual and aesthetic pursuits – the ultimate horticultural indulgence. This lecture will highlight details and progress towards inventing new plants for industry and gardens.

Master Gardener "Successful Gardening Clinic" – March 15, 2008 (Saturday) – 10:00 AM-2:00 PM – Free

The Master Gardeners of Wake County will be available to help you with your gardening questions and to talk about best gardening techniques practices. They'll answer your gardening questions and discuss environmentally sound gardening techniques. At the March 15 clinic, the Master Gardeners will focus on Waterwise Gardening, drought resistant plants, and native plants (especially those which attract birds to our backyards).

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – March 20, 2008 (Thursday) – 7:30 PM – Free

Part of the News and Observer Birdhouse Competition at the JC Raulston Arboretum

"Dead Wood is Good: How to Attract Cavity Nesting Birds to Your Yard" presented by Becky Desjardins, Wake Audubon and Bird Collection Manager, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. That dying tree in your yard that sheds branches everywhere is great bird habitat. Many species of birds build nests in tree cavities. Find out which birds are the carpenters of the forest and who uses the homes they build. Becky will discuss the challenges cavity nesting birds face and how we can help them. Finally, she'll talk about grubs, bugs, and building the perfect brush pile and why you should do it.

News and Observer Birdhouse Competition at the JC Raulston Arboretum – March 20-23, 2008 (Thursday-Sunday) – Free

Competition Schedule of Activities

March 20, 2007 (Thursday)
7:30 PM – Friends of the Arboretum Lecture

March 21, 2007 (Friday)
7:30 AM-6:00 PM – Entry registration

March 22, 2007 (Saturday)
10:00 AM-5:00 PM – Entries on display
11:00 AM – Tour of the JCRA highlighting plants that attract birds
2:00 PM – Tour of the JCRA highlighting plants that attract birds

March 23, 2007 (Sunday)
12:00 PM-5:00 PM – Entries on display
2:00 PM – Tour of the JCRA highlighting plants that attract birds
5:00 PM-6:00 PM – Entries may be picked up

Open Day at the Joslin Garden – March 29, 2008 (Saturday) – 9:00 AM-4:00 PM – Free

Please join William and Mary Coker Joslin as they celebrate spring. The Joslins are inviting all to enjoy their delightful garden, which is situated on over four acres in the heart of Raleigh. Visitors can explore the garden's distinct areas by following informal paths that connect a collection of camellias, an arboretum of unusual trees, a native woodland, and a formal patio garden. Naturalistic groupings of special native, cultivated, and exotic plants include some rare specimens.

Triangle Camellia Society Show – March 29, 2008 (Saturday) – 11:00 AM-4:00 PM – Free

Schedule of Events

8:00 AM-10:00 AM – Entries accepted
10:00 AM-3:00 PM – Plant sale
11:00 PM-4:00 PM – Show
11:30 AM-1:00 PM – Camellia propagation seminar

Please visit the "Calendar of Events" section on the JCRA Web site for a complete listing of our upcoming programs.

Recent Members Only Additions

Several new videos and a newsletter were added to the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in February and is now available for viewing. They include the following:

Content in the Members Only section is password protected and is only available to Arboretum members. In order to access these special features, members will need to know the password that was printed on the label of their latest Friends of the Arboretum Newsletter or included at the end of the e-mail with the latest monthly JCRA e-Update attached to it. The end of the e-mail is after Chris' signature line. The user name needed to log in is always "jcra."


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. If you are a member and need to update your contact information or wish to be removed from this mailing, please contact Chris Glenn.

© March 2008, JC Raulston Arboretum


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