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JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

September 2010

In This Issue

Special Offer to JCRA Members!

As a special benefit to JCRA members, the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) is offering two free admissions for JCRA members, and the passes may be used at any of their monthly meeting(s). Simply show your JCRA membership card at their registration table. Visitor passes are usually $5 each. If you are not familiar with this organization, please visit the national society's Web site. For information about the local chapter and their upcoming events, please visit Piedmont Chapter's Web page. Their lectures are free for NC State students.

I have been a member of the Piedmont Chapter for many years, and the educational programs have always included an outstanding array of distinguished speakers. The next meeting will be Saturday, September 25, 2010, 9:30 AM, in the JCRA's York Auditorium. The September meeting features Steven Frank, Department of Entomology, NC State University, "Managing Arthropod Pests and Conserving Natural Enemies in Ornamental Landscapes." The chapter's fall plant sale follows the meeting and is exclusively for members and guests. The proceeds of the sale supports the club and many local gardens—including generous gifts to the JCRA! What better time to visit a NARGS meeting and purchase some excellent plants for the fall. – Anne Porter, Director of Development

Allium 'Millennium'

Allium 'Millennium'Allium 'Millennium' is one of the new breed of hybrid flowering onions with bright colors, large flower heads, and a long flowering season. I first came across this outstanding selection nearly five years ago where it was growing in a garden in a baking spot with heavy clay soil. The masses of flowers in late summer bowled me over and I've been a fan ever since.

This onion was bred by Allium aficionado Mark McDonough and named in 2000. It looks as though it has Siberian onion (Allium nutans) in its genes, but apparently its complete background will remain a mystery as it was derived from a seedling with a dubious past. At any rate, it is now several generations removed from its humble beginnings and is a knockout plant.

Allium 'Millennium' is a clumping perennial with strappy 12" glossy green leaves arising from the base.  Large, tight, round heads of rosy purple flowers to 2" or more in diameter are held above the foliage in late July and through September. Although bees and butterflies absolutely love this plant, I have yet to see a seedling pop up around this onion as opposed to some other forms which can become a nuisance. The flower stalks can be allowed to dry on the plant and will remain upright for winter interest. The tight mounds of glossy foliage, beautiful flowers, and striking seed heads give this onion multi-season interest.

This rhizomatous onion is best divided for propagation as it is going dormant in the fall in my experience. It can also be divided through early spring before the foliage emerges. 'Millennium' is a hybrid of rhizomatous type onions with bulbs arising from a thickened rhizome. While the bulbs can be removed and planted on their own to form a new rhizome, I have found that a section of rhizome with bulb attached will grow more quickly and form a better plant.

Rhizomatous onions are typically inhabitants of wet sites such as ditches and seasonally flooded areas. Allium 'Millennium' has proven to be tolerant of many areas and I have seen it thriving in heavy clay, xeric, and rock gardens, and highly fertile organic soils.  In all sunny areas it appears to retain its tight clumping habit and sturdy flower stalks. It grows from Chicago to the desert southwest and across the Gulf Coast into the hot and humid east with no problem. It is deer resistant and has so far been mostly pest and disease free in the landscape. – Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

Coming Attractions—Highlights of September

Rhodophiala bifidaKlein-Pringle White Garden
Eurybia divaricata – white wood aster
Kalimeris pinnatifida – false aster Photographs Available
Phlox paniculata 'David'– garden phlox
Sedum alboroseum 'Frosty Morn'– variegated blush stonecrop

Mixed Border
Abelia parvifolia – Schumann abelia
Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' – compact strawberry tree Photographs Available
Rhododendron 'Conlef' – Autumn Cheer™ Encore azalea®
Rhodophiala bifida – oxblood-lily Photographs Available
Sedum 'Vera Jameson' – garden stonecrop

Model Gardens
Hedychium coccineum – red ginger-lily – Paradise Garden
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' – rough-leaf goldenrod – Butterfly Garden
Ziziphus jujuba var. inermis – thornless Chinese date – Paradise Garden Photographs Available

Perennial Border
Symphyotrichum oblongifolius 'Raydon's Favorite' – aromatic aster
Aster tataricus – Tatarian aster
Canna 'Pacific Beauty' – canna Photographs Available
Chrysanthemum (Elizabeth Lawrence Pink) – garden chrysanthemum
Eupatorium greggii – Texas ageratum
Helianthus salicifolius – willowleaf sunflower
Lilium formosanum – Formosa lily
Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara' – compact Mexican bush sage Photographs Available

Scree Garden and Xeric Garden
Acis autumnalis – autumn snowflake
Arum pictum – autumn flowering arum Photographs Available
Symphyotrichum ericoides 'Schneegitter' – white heath aster
Camellia sinensis – tea
Chrysactinia mexicana – damianita Photographs Available
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii 'Big Momma' – Turk's cap
Phlomis maximowiczii

Other Areas of the Arboretum
Abelia ×grandiflora cultivars – variegated glossy abelia
Aloe maculata – spotted aloe – A. E. Finley Rooftop Terrace
Ampelaster carolinianus – climbing aster – Geophyte Border
Bauhinia – orchid tree – E29 Photographs Available
Buddleja species and cultivars – butterfly-bush – throughout the JCRA
Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst' – purple beautyberry – E23
Dahlia hybrids – Perennial Border and Geophyte Border
Heptacodium miconioides – seven-son's tree – E42 Photographs Available
Hibiscus makinoi – sea hibiscus – A13 Photographs Available
Senna corymbosa – Argentine senna – E10

Visit Showtimes for a much more detailed listing of what's in flower in September at the JCRA.

Its your garden. We invite you to visit often. – Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

September Calendar

Guided Tours – September 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2010 (Sundays) – 2:00 PM – Free

We invite you and your friends to join us for free guided tours through the Arboretum. Learn about the Arboretums 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).

Plantsmen's Tour – September 14, 2010 (Tuesday) – 1:00 PM – Free

"Tim's Top Picks" led by Tim Alderton, Research Technician. JCRA research technician and knowledgeable plantsman Tim Alderton will give a tour of some of his top choices for the garden. Tim's tours always win rave reviews so you won't want to miss this.

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – September 16, 2010 (Thursday) – 7:30 PM – Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers

"Flowers Around The World" presented by John Dole, Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University. From Japan to Australia and New Zealand to Colombia, we will travel the world visiting beautiful flower farms. We will find Japan's famous blue roses, visit Sydney's renown flower market and attend Colombia's stunning Festival of Flowers.

Garden Conservancy's Open Days – September 18 and 19, 2010 (Saturday) – 9:00 AM-5:00 PM and 12:00 PM-5:00 PM, respectively – $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 the private gardens of Jeanne and Tom Andrus, Katharine and Nick Davies, Jean and Lawrence Shuping, and Jere and Richard Stevens. Proceeds benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum and the Garden Conservancy.

Pi Alpha Xi Plant Sale – September 25 and 26, 2010 (Saturday and Sunday) – 8:00 AM-4:00 PM and 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, respectively

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 their Web site. A plant availability list should be available on their Web site shortly before the plant sale begins.

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – September 30, 2010 (Thursday) – 7:30 PM – Free for members and NC State students, faculty, and staff (with ID), $5.00 for nonmembers

"Twenty Years of a Life in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture" presented by Richard Hartlage, 2010 Outstanding Alumnus for Horticultural Science and Associate Principal, AHBL. Richard Hartlage has spent 20 years managing private and public gardens and is now a partner at AHBL in Tacoma Washington, managing the Landscape Architecture Department. He has written many articles on landscape design written and photographed Bold Visions for the Garden and photographed four additional books. He hybridized the Raulston allspice that bears his name; Calycanthus ×raulstonii 'Hartlage Wine' released from the JC Raulston Arboretum. He is currently on working and private and public projects on both the east and west coasts including the new Herb Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the Chihuly Project, an indoor/outdoor retrospective of Dale Chihuly's glass art in Seattle, Washington. His residential projects have been featured in countless magazines and books and his hallmark are forming gardens with strong, livable outdoor architecture and rich plant palettes. He will reflect on his career managing public and private gardens and show a wide array of projects that are built and in design. With wit, he will share impressions on a twenty year career, share his philosophy of design, and give plenty of practical, hands-on experience maintaining, designing, and building gardens for a wide range of clients.

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

Recent Members Only Additions

One new video was recorded for the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in August.

Content in the Members Only section is password protected and is only available to Arboretum members. In order to access these special features, members need to know the password that was printed on the label of the 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. If you receive the JCRA e-Updates via e-mail, the end of the e-mail is after Chris's signature line, not at the bottom of the e-Update itself. 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 Judy Morgan-Davis.

© September 2010, JC Raulston Arboretum


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