Plant of the Month
Jasminum mesnyi 'Gold Tip'
by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections
In the Southeast, we grow quite a few plants that we call jasmine but not nearly enough of the true thing. There are many different species in the genus Jasminum (about 200 species) which range from the tropics to mostly warm temperate areas. Plants in this group are typically shrubs to vines with several scandent species which can't make up their mind and so can be pruned into mounding shrubs or allowed to climb through the lower branches of small trees or tied to supports like a vine. The name jasmine is derived from a Persian word meaning "gift of god" and refers to the exceptionally fragrant sub-tropical species J. sambac. Hardier species are available and one of our favorites is the evergreen scandent shrub/vine, J. mesnyi, the primrose jasmine.
In the landscape, primrose jasmine likes a well-drained, moist soil and is not happy in very heavy clay unless the bed is amended well with organic matter although it is drought tolerant once well-established. This mounding plant grows as an arching shrub to about 5'–6' tall and twice as wide but can be trained up a support as a vine-like plant. It can also be kept pruned to a more manageable size in late spring. The foliage is mostly evergreen, but may be burned back by cold winter snaps. It prefers a sunny spot but may need a little protection from the hottest afternoon summer sun especially if it is in a drier spot. Young plants may need protection from temperatures below about 12°F for their first few years or plants can be planted along a warm wall.
The JC Raulston Arboretum has been growing primrose jasmine for many years and has always enjoyed the late winter to early spring cheerful show of 1.5" yellow flowers. Unfortunately, there is little fragrance to these flowers but the display is still quite lovely. A new form that we are trying is 'Gold Tip' which not only has all the other wonderful attributes of the species but also has each of the trifoliate leaves irregularly edged in gold for a show all season long.
JCRA supporters interested in procuring this plant for their own gardens are in luck. This plant will be featured along with about 50 other plants in our Connoisseur Plants program. Connoisseur Plants are rare new plants or hard to find old favorites, and they are part of the annual membership drive to benefit the Arboretum's many fine programs and its day-to-day operational expenses. These wonderful plants are sent to those who join the Friends of the JC Raulston Arboretum at the Sponsor, Patron, Founder, Benefactor, or Philanthropist levels. Check out how you can support the JCRA and receive some our finest plants as a thank you.
FOA Membership Rates to Increase January 1, 2012
by Ted Bilderback, Director
Your membership keeps the gates open and the gardens in top shape. Membership gifts are the primary support for the daily operations and vital for the success of the Arboretum. Membership dues have stayed the same low rates for many years. Due to rising costs and budget cutbacks, it is imperative that we increase these dues slightly.
However, this is your opportunity to take advantage of the current membership dues for up to two years, if you renew before December 31, 2011. Renew now using our secure Web site, or contact Judy Morgan-Davis at (919) 513-0264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all the details on the new 2012 membership levels and opportunities, please visit the JCRA's Web site.
There are many worthy organizations that you can support with your giving dollars, and we thank you for believing that the JC Raulston Arboretum is a wise investment for the future.
News Flash for Friends Over 70
by Anne Porter, Director of Development
Congress has extended the IRA Rollover legislation that allows donors to make tax-free gifts from their Individual Retirement Accounts to qualified charities. If you are age 70.5 or older and you do not need some or all of your required minimum distribution (RMD) for personal use, you can make charitable gifts totaling up to $100,000 this year from a traditional or Roth IRA. While you cannot claim a charitable income tax deduction for IRA gifts, you will not be required to pay income tax on the distributed amount from the IRA and your gift can be counted against your RMD.
- You must be age 70.5 or older at the time of gift.
- Your gift must come from a traditional or Roth IRA account (funds held in 401k, 403b, or SEP accounts may be moved into an IRA and then used for gifts).
- Your gift must be distributed directly to the charity by the plan provider.
- Only outright gifts are permitted—no gifts to life-income plans.
Contact Sonia Murphy at (919) 513-0637 or email@example.com or Anne Porter at (919) 513-3826 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more detailed information, including sample forms.
by Anne Porter, Director of Development
Hurry … your special membership gifts must be received by November 30, 2011, to be eligible for this year's Connoisseur Plants program. Just increase your current membership or join at a connoisseur level today!
Connoisseur Plants are rare new plants or hard to find old favorites offered to Friends of the Arboretum with membership donations of $250 and greater. The following table lists the number of plants offered at the various membership levels:
- Sponsor ($250) – 2 plants
- Patron ($500) – 5 plants
- Founder ($1,000) – 8 plants
- Benefactor ($2,500) – 12 plants
- Philanthropist ($5,000) – 18 plants
It’s easy to make your tax-deductible gift with our secure online giving site! Just visit the JCRA's Web site and join or increase your current membership to reach the Connoisseur Plants level of your choice.
To mail gifts, please send to: JC Raulston Arboretum, Attn: Connoisseur Plants,
Campus Box 7522, Raleigh, NC 27695-7522.
Catalogs for Connoisseur Plants will be distributed in January 2012, and plants will be distributed in March 2012.
Got questions? Please call or e-mail Anne Porter at (919) 513-3826 or email@example.com or Judy Morgan-Davis at (919) 513-0264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 JCRA Apparel
by Barbara Kennedy, Volunteer Coordinator
Our new 2012 JCRA T-shirts and sweatshirts are in just in time for holiday giving. Our shirt design features an Agave and comes in two colors, cardinal red and royal blue. T-shirts are $15, long sleeve shirts are $20, and sweatshirts are $30. Last year's design shirts are half price, though there aren't too many left.
Fall Children’s Programs
by Caroline Richardson, Children's Program Coordinator
Bring the kids and grandkids to the Arboretum this fall for our upcoming children's programs.
"Natural Wrappers: From Tiny Seeds to Giant Trees"
November 20, 2011 (Sunday)
2:00 PM–4:00 PM
Nature's wrapping paper comes in all colors, textures, and shapes. Inside these packages are hidden treasures—seeds! Come hunt for the fruit and seeds of both the smallest plants and the biggest trees in the Arboretum. Detective skills wanted as seeds hide in some mysterious containers.
"Who's Who? Trees Without Their Leaves"
December 11, 2011 (Sunday)
2:00 PM–4:00 PM
When winter has begun and the trees have lost their leaves, how can we tell one tree from the next? For those in the know, the clues are everywhere. Come take a winter walk and learn the clues to identifying plants in the winter. And since this is the season of giving, use some materials from the Arboretum to make a gift for someone special.
Advance registration is required. Please call (919) 513-7007 to register. For more information about the JCRA's Children's Program and these events, please visit the JCRA's Web site.
by Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist
Visit Showtimes for a much more detailed listing of what's in flower in November at the Arboretum.
Recent Members Only Additions
by Chris Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
Three new videos were recorded for the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in October.
Click on the image below to play the video or visit the Members Only section to for a complete listing of all videos.
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 (use all lower case letters) of the latest Friends of the Arboretum Newsletter or included below.
user name = jcra