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Friends of the Arboretum Newsletter

Number 24

October 1994

J. C. Raulston

Contents Page

Notes from the Arboretum

Recently the Board of Advisors for The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) met for their annual retreat day to reflect and work on issues of importance for future development and improvement of this program/facility. During the course of the day's work - a workshop exercise was conducted in which participants were divided into three teams and asked to make a listing of the various things that The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) does "uniquely well" in comparison to other arboreta and public gardens. One of the group's listings (not mine of course) was that our newsletters have the best selection of excuses on why the newsletter is so late - so good in fact, that many subscribers comment that they find that the most interesting part! Sigh!

Well - here we are once again trying to explain (to myself, as well as to readers) just why we could possibly be so late?

If nothing else, there is a fascination of the American psyche with records of all types - so perhaps I can justify it with saying we were stretching for a new world record in the longest time between newsletters. Celebrate the achievement!

Careful readers who have received our recent book compilation of past newsletters, Chronicles of The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum), have remarked that having a detailed index to find assorted information in the hundreds of pages of text has been the favored and most useful part of this book - and they were quite surprised to find that we had even indexed all the past excuses to make this favored reading material readily available!

Anyhow - how can two years go by so quickly? In the blur of our office and work these days it somehow seems amazingly easy. It's not that we haven't been writing - and in fact part of the delay on this task has possibly (I'll use anything I can grab here!) been due to the effort to clear up long-standing backlogged needs of writing elsewhere. In this time we've completed and published the Chronicles (thank you, thank you, thank you Kim), the Guide to Propagation of Trees and Shrubs in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum), and a nearly completed book on trees and shrubs of the arboretum (for Timber Press) - as well as trying to get our arboretum plant records more in order. Thanks to major effort by Val Tyson and Tom Bumgarner (and many others) in support - I've been working on eliminating unknown identity plants from the grounds (visitors are astonished at the amount of chainsawing and plant removal these days) and nursery (our members giveaway day will probably never have such abundance again), and working on the computer records. We've made huge and exciting progress (thank all of you who are facilitating these housecleaning and organizational activities).

We do keep working with real plants and have much to share with our members who support our program in such vital ways. Thank you for your patience. An assortment of news, personal reflections, and plant stuff follows. Enjoy.


J. C. Raulston and Kim E. Tripp (original version in: Proc. SNA Res. Conf. 37:326-329)

Fifteen years of ornamental plant adaptability trials at The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) with widely diverse species from around the world has shown the single most important environmental/climatic limitation to be root survival under wet, hot summer conditions. As temperatures rise, respiration rates increase which create a requirement for more oxygen to permit root survival. Sudden flooding of poorly drained soils during maximum temperature periods can create temporary, but quickly fatal, anaerobic conditions for roots at the time of peak oxygen demand. This situation is unique to the southeastern U. S. as soils in southwest and western states are dry (and well aerated) at periods of high temperatures, and central and northeast areas are cooler when rains occur. In addition, modern container production with carefully formulated media of coarse texture and rapid drainage allows simple, successful production of plants with fragile root systems which often cannot be subsequently grown easily in landscape soils of the production region. Prominent examples include many Ericaceous plants and such native and exotic taxa as Franklinia alatamaha, Gordonia lasianthus, Ilex X meserve ("Blue Hollies"), and Taxus X intermedia.

Grafting is used to produce plants which combine aerial portions of superior ornamental or productive capacity with adapted and tolerant root systems suitable for the area of production. The majority of such grafting is used in fruit crop production where an economic product permits the extra costs of such speciality propagation. Very little research has been conducted on potential rootstocks specifically for ornamental plants in the southeastern U. S. due to the lack of commercial grafting operations in the region, the lack of such specific skills among most academic researchers, and the time and expense to conduct such long-term trials on "minor" crops.

Commercial grafting firms in the Pacific northwest and the northeast are not aware of the potential problem and often use rootstocks which work well in those areas, but are failures when planted in the southeastern U. S. A prime example is the use of Abies balsamea or fraseri seedlings for all fir grafting (due to low cost and ready availability as major Christmas tree species). These are the two weakest root system firs in existance and such grafted plants never survive the first month of wet summer conditions here. In early years after its introduction, Cornus X 'Eddies White Wonder' was grafted in the Pacific northwest on C. nuttallii which cannot be grown in the southeast, leading early researchers to believe the scion cultivar could not be grown in the east. Many other such examples exist.

The following listing contains theoretical proposed graft rootstock:scion combinations for research and production trials. The listing has been formulated from observation of plant behavior at The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum), in other gardens around the world, and native habitats of many of the species. The plant(s) listed first (before the hyphen) are taxa which have been observed to have more tolerance to hot, wet southeastern U. S. soils than average species of the genera and therefore have potential for understock use. The plant(s) listed following the hyphen are those which have ornamental value, but have been observed to have survival problems in poorly drained soils and therefore would be the scion stock.

In a few cases bigeneric combinations have been proposed where tolerant species do not exist within the problem genera. Bigeneric grafts are generally less successful than interspecific grafts, but enough successful combinations have been achieved in the past to warrent trial. An asterisk (*) is used after the proposed combination where promising trial grafting work has been conducted at NCSU or observed elsewhere.

Successful combinations from the above potential grafting/rootstock trials would make possible the successful landscape cultivation of new ornamental plants currently impractical or impossible to grow in the southeastern U. S. There is an industry conception that grafted plants are a commodity of the past with increasingly unavailable skills needed and greater costs than for cutting production of clonal taxa. This statement is generically true for mass market crops, but for a number of plants grafting may be the only feasibility for successful use of the taxa in the region. Knowledge of graft combination feasibilities would create opportunities for development of regional speciality propagation nurseries to fill the potential consumer market for such connoisseur plants.

Related Literature:

Dirr, Michael A. 1990. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses. 4th Edition. Stipes Publ. Co., Champaign, IL. 1007 p.

Dirr, Michael A. and Charles W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture. Varsity Press, Athens, GA. 239 p.

Garner, R. J. 1967. The Grafter's Handbook. (2nd Ed.) Oxford University Press, New York, NY. 263 p.

Hillier Nursery. 1991. The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs. 6th Edition. David & Charles, England. 704 p.

Hogan, Elizabeth L. (Ed.) 1988. Sunset Western Garden Book. Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA. 592 p.

Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines of the Southwest. Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, TX. 1104 p.


Stephen Burns and J. C. Raulston (original version in Proc. SNA Res. Conf. 38:342-345).

"Redbuds" (Cercis taxa) are excellent shrubs to small trees with spectacular spring flowers commonly grown in nursery production across the US (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15). Cercis evaluation has been a focused program at The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) and with the invaluable propagation assistance of Vine & Branch Nursery, Chapel Hill, NC, (now closed) the living collections today contain the largest number of taxa in any location in the world. Previous papers (9, 10, 11) have variously summarized the contents of the collection and their characteristics. Since these papers were published, further evaluation information has accumulated, new cultivar taxa have been developed and added to the collection, and taxonomic research has resulted in new name changes for botanical species (1). This paper briefly summarizes the currently existing taxa of Cercis.

The following checklist summarizes the current taxonomy and existing cultivars of redbuds with brief notes on new taxonomy or plant characteristics of the known 56 taxa. Those currently in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) collection are indicated by astericks (*) following the name.

This checklist provides growers and gardeners with information about the range of Cercis taxa which exist for selection of types for potential future nursery production as well as which taxa are available for sharing of scion wood upon request from The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum). Current correct taxonomic designations presented here can be used by nurserymen to produce catalogs and pricelists with accurate names. The most significant naming change for plants currently in production in the southeastern US is for the Texas Redbuds, 'Oklahoma' , 'Texas White', and 'Traveler' - which should now be listed as cultivars of Cercis canadensis subsp.texensis.

Literature Cited

  1. Ballenger, Julie. 1992. A biosystematic revision of the genus Cercis L. (Leguminosae) in North America. PhD Dissertation. Miami University, Oxford, OH. 168 p.
  2. Bennett, Lisa 1987. Tissue culturing redbud. Amer. Nurseryman 166(7):85-87, 90-91.
  3. Dirr, M. A. and C. W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. The reference manual of woody plant propagation. Varsity Press, Inc. 239p.
  4. Donselman, H. M. and H. L. Flint. 1982. Genecology of eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis). Ecology 63(4):962 1071.
  5. Fantz, P. R. 1982. Redbud identification in vain? Focus attention on the veins. NC Assn. of Nurserymen Nursery Notes 16(6):9, 11.
  6. Geneve. Robert L. 1991. Seed dormancy in Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis). J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 116(1):85-88.
  7. Hopkins, M. 1942. Cercis in North America. Rhodora 44:193-211.
  8. Neal, Kevin. 1992. Tissue culture may introduce Mexican redbud to urban uses. Nursery Manager(Dec):40, 42, 44.
  9. Raulston, J. C. 1986. Plants in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum): Cercis (Redbuds). Friends of The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) Newsletter 14(July):4-12.
  10. Raulston, J. C. 1990. Redbud - A comprehensive overview of the genus Cercis spotlighting the most promising species and cultivars. Amer. Nurseryman 171(5):39-51. (March 1, 1990).
  11. Raulston, J. C. 1991. Redbuds - clouds of spring color from small ornamental trees. Fine Gardening 19(May/June):71-75.
  12. Roberts, Dan R. 1993. How to produce Cercis canadensis, Eastern redbud. Nursery Manager (April):20,22.
  13. Robertson, K. R. 1976. Cercis: The redbuds. Arnoldia 36:37-49.
  14. Warren, P. 1973. Propagation of Cercis cultivars by summer budding. The Plant Propagator 19:16-17.
  15. Yusnita, S., R. L. Geneve and S. T. Kester. 1990. Micropropagation of white flowering Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis var. alba L.). J. Environ. Hort. 8(4):177-179. (December 1990).


J. C. Raulston and Greg Grant (Lone Star Nursery, Texas)

(original version in press: Proc. SNA Res. Conf. 39)

Vines have traditionally been a difficult and awkward group of plants for the nursery production and retailing market to handle with often rampant growth and resulting control and confinement issues to master. A perception exists also in the landscape and public mind that all vines are uncontrollably aggressive and must be used with great restraint or in areas where high pruning maintenance can be provided. However a wide range of vines exist with evergreen (8) and deciduous types which encompass diverse ornamental characteristics, seasons of interest and growth rates (4). In recent years, southeast nurseries have found a ready market for good vines well grown as trellised container plants, and the rapid growth of most makes this marketing highly profitable when sales are good (3,7).

In 1985 The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) collected plants in Korea as a part of an expedition in cooperation with the U. S. National Arboretum and the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden (9). One species specifically targeted for collection was the Asian trumpetvine, Campsis grandiflora (Thunb.) K. Schum (Bignoniaceae). Although it has been in western cultivation since 1800 (6), little of the genetic diversity reported in the wild species is available in cultivated materials. Botanically it is reported to exist in a wide flower color range from almost pure yellow, through the normal orangish-red, to almost pure red. One goal of the expedition was to search for better color forms for introduction to the U.S. nursery industry.

Although native to Korea, it is now rare in the wild there and in several months of hunting it was never found except as artifically maintained cultivated plants at farmsteads and in nurseries as collected plants. We have noted that isolated plants are apparently self-sterile and at this extreme low population level it is now maintained almost strictly as cultivated, vegetatively propagated clonal material. Campsis vegetative cuttings do not store well with defoliation normal after even one day of collection, and it was found to be impossible to collect in the wild and get viable cuttings back to horticultural facilities in Seoul. An attractive clone was finally successfully collected by digging root pieces and was returned to N.C. for evaluation.

Subsequent growth and spectacular flowering attracted much attention and in 1991 this plant was selected for the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen formal introduction and promotion program. Although the plant is in high demand and sells well when in flower, several production and use issues have arisen which need discussion for nursery industry awareness. Also, the native U.S. species and several horticultural cultivars and hybrids are in commercial trade and their differences and characteristics warrent discussion.

The following taxa of trumpetvines are listed in existing literature:

Propagation can be achieved by seed, softwood cuttings, hardwood cuttings, root cuttings, layering, and budding (2,5) depending on the characteristics of the taxa to be produced and clonal integrity. As N.C. growers worked to meet high market demands it was noted that cuttings from the parent stock plant at The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) were very difficult to root and slow growing once potted. In 1993 we also became aware of growers reporting plants which grew vigorously but did not flower making marketing more difficult.

Discussions with Greg Grant of Lone Star Nursery, San Antonio, TX who had observed and studied Campsis in detail as a personal interest for many years, lead to the previously unreported conclusion that C. grandiflora has marked juvenile:adult stages similiar to the classic "type plant" for this behavior - Hedera helix. Further observation has shown that adult wood has large, coarse foliage with short internodes, is very difficult and slow to root from softwood to semi-hardwood cuttings, and blooms heavily as small plants. Juvenile wood is vigorous with long internodes and foliage a quarter or smaller in size than adult leaves, is very easily rooted from summer cuttings, but does not flower readily as a young plant. Basal sprouts are more juvenile in character and root cuttings produce strongly juvenile growth.

Apparently within the production industry growers are subconsciously selecting for more easily rooted and faster growing wood - which then does not flower for marketing. A grower has reported best success in propagating adult wood by using a 10,000 ppm IBA quick dip on softwood cuttings taken as early in the season as possible just as new shoots emerge. We have grafted (terminal cleft grafts) adult wood to juvenile wood plants produced in commercial container culture and find the adult wood blooms quickly only weeks after grafting, and also that the juvenile wood "rootstock" also blooms within a few weeks later. It is not known at this point how long it will take ungrafted, fully juvenile vines to bloom in the landscape - with estimates ranging from months to several years at this point. Because of the magnitude of concern among our growers, and the unawareness of juvenile:adult propagation:growth issues in Campsis, it was felt worthy of announcing through this SNA mechanism for growers to consider and observe. Further information on propagation techniques to successfully propagate adult wood, and information on the time to flowering of juvenile wood in landscape situations is needed.

Recognition should be made of the new cultivar name, 'Morning Calm' recently assigned to the Korea clone introduced to the nursery industry by The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum). The issues of juvenile:adult tissues in propagation and flowering of the Chinese Trumpetvine have not been reported before and growers must address these issues in their production and use of this very beautiful and potentially important nursery crop.

Literature Cited:

  1. Dirr, Michael A. 1990. Manual of woody landscape plants: their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. pp. 281-282. Stipes Pub. Co., Champaign, IL. 1007 p.
  2. Dirr, Michael A. and Charles W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. Reference manual of woody plant propagation: from seed to tissue culture. Varsity Press, Athens, GA. 239 p.
  3. Folk, Mark. 1994. The plant business is coming up green for nurseries in the state. News & Record Newspaper Business Weekly (6/20/94):8-10.
  4. Hillier Nurseries. 1991. The Hillier manual of trees and shrubs. pp. 598-602. David & Charles, Devon, UK. 704 p.
  5. Huxley, Anthony and Mark Griffiths (Ed.). 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. Vol. 1:496-497. The Stockton Press, NY, NY. 815 p.
  6. Krussman, Gerd. 1984. Manual of Cultivated Broad-Leaved Trees and Shrubs. Vol 1, A-D:270-271. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 448 p.
  7. Lucas, Tim. 1994. Millions of dollars in nursery sales have their roots in NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum). Official Bulletin North Carolina State University LXV(45):1-2.
  8. Raulston, J. C. 1992. Evergreen vines for commercial production in the southeastern U.S. Proc. of SNA Res. Workers Conf. 37:330-335.
  9. Raulston, J. C. 1993. The Chronicles of The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum). pp. 216-222. Sir Speedy Press, Raleigh, NC. 402 p.
  10. Rehder, Alfred. 1986. Manual of cultivated trees and shrubs hardy in North America. pp. 820-821. 2nd Ed. Dioscorides Press, Portland, OR. 996 p.
  11. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs and woody vines of the southwest. p.925. Univ. of TX Press, Austin, TX1104 p.


NCAN Short Course and Trade Fair - Asheville, NC - August 29-30, 1992

(Most members who comprise the Friends of The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) are not in the professional nursery/landscape trade, but are serious gardeners or people who want to support the contunation of the arboretum as a state resource. Beyond the arboretum use as a university teaching resource and display garden for the public, there is also the very important outreach to the commercial industry. Each year plants are taken to the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen's meeting for display, and thousands of plants are also propagated for free distribution as an incentive to try to encourage nurserymen to grow some new crops. To allow our "Friends" to have a feel for this outreach, I am again as for many years, including here the information on plants distributed at the 1992 meeting as these may be plants which will appear in garden centers for the public in the future - and of course many of the extras from this distribution end up in the autumn members plant giveaway so many of these are now in your gardens under trial.)

Each year a selection of plants from The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) is made for propagation and distribution to N. C. nurserymen at the summer short course as a means of spreading new or uncomon plants through the state for further observation and perhaps commercial production. This program has been underway since 1980 and ca. 55,000 plants of 260 different species and cultivars have been given to growers since its inception. Selection of plants is based on plant ability to be propagated when the Department of Horticultural Science propagation benches are empty, size of stock plants in the arboretum adequate to allow taking of 200-300 cuttings, and absence in the existing commercial industry. Plants will vary in commercial potential with some having great potential - others merely curiosities for adaptation study or hobbyist collector-type items.

These plants provided for growers represent just a sample of the 5,0000 species and cultivars presently growing in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum). Commercial growers are most welcome at any time to come to the arboretum to collect propagation material to provide stock plants for their operations. We do request for nurserymen collecting plants from the arboretum for the first time, an appointment be made (call 919-515-1192 for J. C. Raulston, 515-5361 for Tom Foley, or 515-1632 for Newell Hancock) to coordinate which materials may be collected and our general guidelines for collection procedures. Dozens of growers now gather many hundreds of thousands of cuttings annually in this manner.

We very much appreciate the long, diligent efforts of a whole team of Friends of The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) volunteers who spent a full week individually labeling and bagging the 5,000 plants in this distribution. Many, many thanks to Mary Alexander, Wayne Brooks, Tom Bumgarner, Anne Clapp, Suzannel Edney, Alice Figgins, Vivian Finklestein, Lynn Hoyt, Susan Lambaris, Chris Loflin, Joanne McMenamin, Sherri Sattewhite, Bobby Wilder, and Lynn Wilhelm for your help.


The megabookstores are exploding across the country with a half-dozen appearing in the Triangle area in the last year or two. But there is still the magic of the smaller bookstores and those that carry pre-owned loved books of special interest. For those traveling to the mountains of N. C. - in Asheville I highly recommend a stop at: The Captain's Bookshelf, 31 Page Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 (704-253-6631) - open M-F 10-6 and Saturday 10-5. When there tell Chan & Miegan hello and regards from The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) - wonderful people and fabulous books!

The Northwest Gardeners' Resource Directory by Stephanie Feeney (ISBN 0-9639853-0-2) - 108 p. is an essential guide for anyone planning on traveling to the Pacific Northwest with detailed guides to every conceivable horticultural point of interest in that region. $12 from Cedarcroft Press, 59 Strawberry Pt., Bellingham, WA 98226

Several review surveys of horticultural books read and used in the U. S. have recently appeared and are well worth hunting out as guides to many more books for one to seek and read. Richard L. Bitner surveyed 28 horticultural notables and asked them "which three books have you read that have changed the way you garden or look at gardens?" and published a wonderful article, Books that Change the Way We Garden in: The Green Scene (membership publication of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society): November 1993 - p. 16-23. Somehow I was included in this august group and my three choices (as usual I can't confine myself and did four of course - sigh!) were those indicated by asterisks in the following list. Some 69 books were cited by the various gardeners - with The Essential Earthman* (Mitchell) receiving the most votes, and America's Garden Book (Bush-Brown), The Gardens of Winterthur (Bruce), Green Thoughts - A Writer in the Garden (Perenyi), Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs*, 100 Great Garden Plants (Frederick), Perennial Garden Plants (Thomas), Second Nature: A Gardener's Education* (Pollan), The Secret Garden* (Burnett), A Southern Garden: A Handbook for the Middle South (Lawrence), The Tropical Gardens of Burle Marx (Bardi), and Vita Sackville-West's Garden Book (Joseph) as runners up.

In preparing this, I discovered in the computer archives my memo to him giving the reasons for my choices as follows:

MEMORANDUM: FROM: J. C. Raulston; SUBJECT: My Three Books of Influence; DATE: 6/15/93

1. (Psychology Influence) The Secret Garden - A book read as a child in grade school - and not fully appreciated until therapy work in my 40's when I began to understand that gardens and plants are in the book, and were in my life, safe places to experiment and grow without the threat sometimes inherent in adult human contact. Gardens (especially "Secret" Gardens) can be places to experiment and learn without fear of failure, without criticism, without expectation levels. (And of course, highly fashionable styles and "serious gardener" competition can reinstate all those judgement pressures and slowly and exorbitantly crush the pleasure of true gardening in adulthood; I'm having a hard time now with the seemingly prevalent "competition" gardening I see so many places. Isn't it for fun and the joy of plants????).

2. (Technical Influence) The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs - discovery of this English nursery book in my late 30's (in my 3rd or 4th career) exponentially expanded my awareness of the range of woody plant species and cultivars that existed. And that of course set new challenge levels to try to find (and acquire) them all - and to experiment to learn their adaptation to conditions in the eastern United States - a challenge which continues to the present and for an infinite future. The child in me still is awed that this strange person trapped in an adult body is now working with trials of plants which are not yet in any of the plant reference books! (And to this category of service in professional knowledge of woody plants - I would have to add as essentials, Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants and the German Krussmann 4 volume set of woody plant manuals as daily fondle & dream fodder.)

3. (Crackling-Fireplace-With-Buttered-Popcorn Pleasure of Reading Influence) The Essential Earthman by Henry Mitchell - a book with wonderful wit and satire surrounding first-hand experience knowledge of the joys and tribulations, the nobility and the foibles of compulsively addicted gardeners. The line "It is not nice to garden anywhere, everywhere there are ----" cannot be matched for bold, honest truth. As I head into the seventh repeat reading of my worn copy (thanks to the unexpected pleasure of an aging forgetful mind which allows re-experiencing of old material with the freshness of the first encounter) - I will again chuckle and wonder and learn from this marvelous book.

"Influence Book" Runners-Up in the Array of Thousands of Books Encountered and Owned:

Walden - Henry David Thoreau (what do we want from life?)

Encyclopedia of Horticulture - Liberty Hyde Bailey (the absolute bedrock gospel of horticulture in college in the 60's - immensely influential to my store of knowledge)

Shattering - Food, Politics, and the Loss of Genetic Diversity - Cary Fowler and Pat Mooney (food crop version of the destruction of massive plant communities in the tropics today)

The End of Nature - Bill McKibben (All the world is now a human controlled "garden" - "nature" no longer exists anywhere untouched by humanity - not a pleasant book)

Second Nature - Michael Pollan (the adult version of the psychology of why we garden and what it means. An outstanding work and my favorite new "reading" book of the last several years - given to many friends as gifts)

The Avant Gardener (monthly periodical highly recommended many times here) did a special issue on books which included their summary of The 25 Best Books of the Past 25 Years. To get this special issue - send $2 to: The Avant Gardener, P. O. Box 489, NYC, NY 10028 (and while at it - go ahead and take out a subscription).

And Horticulture Magazine did a review, Home Grown and Hardy by Teri Dunn in the November 1993 issue: p. 18-24. This excellent review covers 22 speciality magazines and "small journals for the voracious gardener." Because of varied interests each gardener will find their own selection (I get only 7 of them, and am feeling guilty now) - they vary from speciality crops (Chile Pepper for "hard-core hot-pepper fans") to geographic topics (Carolina Gardener, Texas Gardener, Rocky Mountain Gardener, etc.). A new one we've not had the opportunity to cover here (with our long, long absence) is Allen Lacy's Homeground, $38/year, Box 271, Linwood, NJ 08221. Well known to our audience as a friend and long-time supporter of the arboretum, and a magnificent writer of many books- this new journal is highly recommended for those who love fine plants and beautiful use of language.

While visiting the large (and really dangerous) bookstore in the gift shop at the Old Sturbridge Museum in Massachusetts recently, I came across a useful and unusual travel guide. Most museums focus on the political, social, and technological aspects of history - and the specialized areas of agricultural developments, people and crops are often overlooked and the tools and techniques are not saved and preserved. This guide - Farm Museum Directory - A Guide through American's Farm Past is a 65 page book listing museums throughout the U.S. which focus on agriculture - steam machinery, heritage animal breeds, living example farms, etc. The retail price was $4 - and it could likely be obtained for some mailing fee from the publishers - Stemgas Publishing Co., PO Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17608. Locations, times of opening, descriptions of activities, items featured, and contact addresses are given for a remarkable array of museums.

North Carolina has 8 locations featured: The American Minor Breeds Conservancy (919-542-5704 - Pittsboro); Aycock Birthplace State Historic Site (919-242-5581 - Fremont); Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum (919-477-5498 - Durham); Horne Creek Living Historical Farm (919-325-2298 - Pinnacle); Old Salem, Inc. (919-721-7329 - Winston-Salem); Old Time Historical Museum (910-685-4253 - Climax); Tobacco Farm Life Museum (919-284-3431 - Kenly); and Windmill Acres Farm (704-465-2232 - Newton).

(I didn't escape that easily - I also ended up with a children's book on the history of Johnny Appleseed - with more facts than I had seen elsewhere; The Journals of Lewis and Clark, edited by John Bakeless; and four of the six volumes in The Everyday Life in America Series edited by Richard Balkin and published by Harper & Row - Everyday Life in Early America, The Reshaping of Everyday Life 1790-1840, The Expansion of Everyday Life, 1860-1876; Victorian American, The Uncertainty of Everyday Life, 1915-1945, and As Various as Their Land. Sigh - too many books, too little time! But I am down to the last one already).

Also while on the museums theme: I was amused by the following quote in a News & Observer (local newspaper) review of the newly opened N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh which alluded to a concern often discussed in the AABGA world on how to interpret collections. "Throughout the museum, the contemporary museological impulse for audiovisual and interactive exhibits has been indulged to maximum effect and annoyance." (Chuck Twardy)

And while on travel as a topic, I'll include A Guide to Mid-Atlantic Gardens (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NC, PA, & VA) by Jack Dempsey ($16.95) - 200 pages with over 100 gardens described (with 21 in N.C.) - very useful reference to use when traveling the region. In addition to interesting sections on each garden describing an overview, directions, historical profile, description and a table of garden offerings available (food, phones, plant sales, etc.) - he also has a section on his personal impressions. The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) gets the following review: "My gleeful reaction to the Arboretum was that I had fortuitously stumbled onto a fantastic garden playground. There is no overall design for the Arboretum (??!) with a unifying theme, there is just plenty of everything, one thing after another, each item and each area being a fascination unto itself. Everything is beautiful and well-kept and, at least during my visit, everyone there was in high spirits. This is a happy, playful place in addition to being an innovative, diversified, pioneering garden." (Thank you Jack, JCR). Available from: Center for Creative Expression, P. O. Box 210, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949 (1-800-553-5424; FAX 919-441-1867) - $16.95 + 6% tax for N.C. residents + $3.95 handling for one book).

Public Gardens of Georgia - released as a 36 page directory and a 117 minute video covering 28 gardens and garden areas in the state. $29.95 + $3.50 for the video, $4.95 + $1 for the directory from: McKinney Video Productions, 613 Silver Circle, P.O. Box 3098, Dalton, GA 30719-3098 (706-272-1034)

And two other travel leaflets here (which could equally have gone in the plant sources section) - Herb Gardens and Farms of North Carolina a free leaflet from the N. C. Herb Association, 2016 Fanning Bridge Rd., Fletcher, NC 28732. It describes and gives addresses and phone numbers for 39 herb gardens and dealers one would enjoy visiting. Serious herbophiles should join the very active association - attend meetings receive mailings - only $25 for individuals. An excellent similar guide is available for Vermont - Perennial & Herb Display Gardens Open to the Public (very detailed information) - from Univ. of VT Extension System, Horticulture Research Center, Dept. of Plant and Soil Science, Univ. of VT., South Burlington, VT 05405 (802-658-9166).

Catalogues to large selections of books:

Oxford University Press, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 (1-800-230-3242; FAX 919-677-1303). Technical references with various ones relating to horticultural science.

Food Products Press, The Haworth Press, Inc., 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580 (1-800-342-9678; FAX 607-722-6362). Covers growing and production of fruit, vegetables, herbs, wine, and also has such eye-catching titles as: Chocolate Fads, Folklore & Fantasies ("no more bad mouthing chocolate! Read about chocolate's nutritive - even curative- properties and positive personality attributes of chocophiles"; $9 billion in chocolate sold last year!)-$32.95; The Food Catalog - The Ultimate Guide to Buying Food by Mail: From Arborio Rice and Dungeness Crab to Walla Walla Onions and Zucchini Pickles by Wiegand ($29.95); and such practical things as Uncommon Fruits Worth of Attention - A Gardener's Guide by Lee Reich ($29.95).

The University of Arizona Press, 1230 N. Park Avenue - Suite 102, Tucson, AZ 85719 (1-800-426-3797; FAX 602-621-8899). Interesting books on alpines and southwest desert plants (with such unexpected concepts there as a guide to Truffles of the Southwest - not a plant one would associate with that region). I have long been fascinated by the important scientific contribution of the concept of dating of archelogical items by radiocarbon dating which was made possible by the study of tree rings in Bristlecone pine and other trees - here documented in several books on Dendrochronology and biographies of Dr. A. E. Douglass who founded this science. This catalog is also the source of one of the most powerful and significant books I've read in recent years - comparable to Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring of the 60's - but which has not garnered the attention it deserves (though it won the "alternative nobel prize") - Shattering: Food, Politics, and the Loss of Genetic Diversity by Cary Fowler (a N.C. "resident" - but now world-wide citizen as he travels, studies, and lectures) - the story of what is happening to loss in genetic diversity world-wide on our food crops as we go to corporate controlled genes and new biotechnology. Very strong and important book that I highly recommend! ($24.95 originally but on sale in a recent catalog for much less).

The University of Chicago Press, 5801 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (1-800-227-1994).

Landscape Architecture Foundation (ASLA), 4401 Connecticut Avenue, NW - Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20008 (202-686-2752; FAX 202-686-1001). Dozens of specifically landscape related items - some of recent interest to me included: Jens Jensen: Maker of Natural parks and Gardens ($34.95), and Siftings ($13.60)- the pioneer American focusing on native plants in the landscape - the first time that good information has been easily available about his life and influence - highly recommended; Modern Landscape Architecture - Redefining the Garden by Jory Johnson ($51; exciting contemporary moves in the field - finally some American gardens!); Meaning of Gardens by Randolph Hester ($41.50 - 30 thinkers philosophize about the modern landscape); Contemporary Landscapes in the World by Process Architecture ($120 - ouch!; 97 works in 18 countries); Landscape Plants for Eastern North America by Harrison Flint ($83.95; on my list of the dozen most recommended reference books on woody plants - often overlooked because of the price and lack of glitz color - but an exceptionally fine reference on trees and shrubs that deserves greater awareness and useage); and hundreds of others.

San Luis Video Publishing, P. O. Box 4604, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403 (805-545-5426; FAX 805-545-5423). Professional training books and how-to videos from one of the finest hands-on horticultural education programs in the U.S.

Winrock International Agribookstore, 1611 North Kent Street, Arlington, VA 22209-2134 (703-525-9430; credit card orders 1-800-269-7390; FAX 703-525-1744). "the information age has seen the proliferation of knowledge explode beyone people's ability to keep track of important recent publications in their field. Time and awareness are the greatest constrains . . . . The Agribookstore catalog is an indispensable source of many of the latest, more practical and relevant books to help keep professionals informed and provides a selection of practical how-to books for field level research development and extension workers. It provides access to publications from a wide variety of major publishers through one address, which is especially useful for organizations and individuals working in rural areas or abroad." The Environmental Network Newsletter. I find this an excellent way to keep up with a huge number of books coming out from dozens of publishers - and in addition they can provide in one place a central point to order all these books. (Where else would one see an announcement for Butterfly Farming in Papua New Guinea?)

World Resources Institute, 1709 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006 (1-800-822-0504). Fascinating world-oriented listing of publications relating to biodiversity, global management in agricultural systems. Useful teachers and researchers resource.

Quest Rare Books, 774 Santa Ynez, Stanford, CA 94305 (415-324-3119) offers wonderful speciality catalogs for Garden, Design, History and other Delights with hundreds of out-of-print pre-owned books. Dangerous to go through this one without restraint and a good credit limit on the credit card! (Such goodies as a signed edition of Robinson's The Wild Garden at $285, Hooker's A Century of Ferns at $700, but most are in the $25-50 range - terrific!)

Timber Press, 9999 S. W. Wilshire, Suite 124, Portland, OR 97225-9962 (1-800-327-5680; FAX 503-292-6607). Always a winner in the best of new horticultural books publishing the widest array of such items in the U.S. at present. Some exciting new entries include: Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos by Graham Stuart Thomas $49.95)(and three other Thomas books), Iris of China by James Waddick and Zhao Yu-tang ($27.95), The World of Magnolias by Dorothy Callaway ($44.95), Maples of the World (WOW!) by van Gelderen, de Jong, Oterdoom and van Hoey Smith ($59.95), The Gardener's Guide to Growing Hellebores by Rice and Strangman ($29.95), and many, many, many others.

Brooks Books, P.O. Box 21473, Concord, CA 94521 (510-672-4566; FAX510-672-3338). Similar to the above except specializing only in botany and ornamental horticulture books - always full of wonderful and tempting items. A recent highlight was their unique offering of two China-published books: China Plant Red Data Book; Rare and Endangered Plants. Vol. 1 (extraordinary book with photos of endangered species in China - an instant checklist of lust plants that desperately need to be preserved in cultivation and propagated widely for use - many down to a single specimen in existance; the photos are stunning.) and The Endemic Genera of Seed Plants of China (with the most diverse temperate zone flora in the world - 301 families, 3,116 genera and over 25,000 species - the unique endemic plants make a fascinating study for any plantsman - $98.95).

Patricia Ledlie Bookseller, Inc., One Bean Road, P.O. Box 90, Buckfield, ME 04220 (207-336-2778) - again wide range of out-of-print books with a separate catalogue on Natural Science, Conservation, Biology and Horticulture subjects.

Edward R. Hamilton, Bookseller, Falls Village, CT 06031-5000. Another excellent New England book source I've used over the years. Earlier this year he had a remindered special on the magnificent William H. Frederick, Jr. book - The Exhuberant Garden and the Controlling Hand: Plant Combinations for North American Gardens (originally $50; remaindered for $24.95 + $3 handling - give order code #1 14L5-C to order if still available). Newly added to my list of the most critical books a plantsman requires in their library for useful information. Packed with photos, tabular information of wide variety and usefulness, and superb garden and design philosophy.

Raymond M. Sutton, Jr., 430 Main Street, Williamsburg, KY 40769 (606-549-3464; FAX 606-549-3469). Again, periodical catalogs on Gardening, Landscaping, Wildflowers, Orchids, Ferns, Fruits & Vegetables and Herbals. Mr. Sutton has brought books to various plant society meetings in N.C. over the last decade and it is always an exciting event to see his choice selection of out-of-print books.

Elisabeth Woodburn Books, Booknoll Farm, P.O. Box 398, Hopewell, NJ 08525 (609-466-0522). Until her recent death, Elisabeth Woodburn was perhaps the best known of horticultural book personalities in the U.S. with an exceptional collection and service of dealing in out-of-print garden-related books. Thankfully the business has been passed on to good hands and continues as a service to American plant lovers. Always wonderful catalogs.

And one the "local" scene - we must never forget our outstanding Triangle press: The UNC Press, P. O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288 (1-800-848-6224; FAX 919-966-3829). The 7 horticultural books offered are all classics necessary in any good gardener's library - from the Elizabeth Lawrence reprints to Successful Southern Gardening by Sandra Ladendorf, Growing & Propagating Wild Flowers by Harry Phillips, Growing With Gardening (Horticultural Therapy) by Bibby Moore, The Traveler's Guide to American Gardens by Ray and Nicholls, and the new and outstanding Growing and Propagating Showy Native Woody Plants by Richard E. Bir. There are lots of propagation guide for homeowners on herbaceous materials but precious little information for the woodies - and specifically of the remarkable range of outstanding native shrubs and trees of the southeastern U.S. This widely acclaimed book by Dick Bir, a faculty member of NCSU stationed at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Education Center in Fletcher, NC (western NC near Asheville) answers that void wonderfully. Written by an extremely knowledgeable plantsman in a practical, clear practical manner - highly recommended ($29.95).

Specific Individual Books Noted or Received.

The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs. This and Dirr's Manual are probably the two books I touch most in my life with a rare day when I'm not in one or the other or likely both - and have literally worn out several copies of both. It has been very exciting to have a new edition of this reference which includes over 1400 new plant entries - now covering over 9000 trees, shrubs, conifers, climbers and bamboos in over 650 genera. In addition to the specific plant information - it is also a very useful reference with a wide variety of articles and reference guides to selection of plants, nomenclature, plant hunters, etc. In recent years a variety of other "Hillier Manuals" have been published in England - but their color photographs and beguiling titles belie the fact that none remotely come close to having the huge wealth of information the the original version contains - now further improved in this new edition. A must for anyone interested in woody plants.

The Plant Root and Its Environment - Virginia Tech Symposium report - Ed. by E. W. Carson. $24 from E. W. Carson, 508 Floyd Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060 (703-231-9590; FAX 703-231-3928)

Guide to 1100 Dwarf Conifer Cultivars. $17.95 from: Dutchess County Conifers, 12 Miller Hill Dr., LaGrangeville, NY 12540.

Landscape Plants for the Twenty-First Century - Erik A. Neumann. 72 p. describing 65 National Arboretum tree and shrub introductions. $7.50 + $1.50 handling from Friends of the National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002 (202-544-8733). While writing - also enquire about memberships in FONA and support this magnificent national facility (which is badly in such need of support with government cutbacks in financing).

Street Tree Factsheets - characteristics and color photographs of 122 trees for street planting. $17.50 (check to The Pennsylvania State University - includes mailing) from: Publication Distribution Center, 112 Ag. Administration Bldg., The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (814-865-6713).

Xeriscape Gardening - Water Conservation for the American Landscape by Ellefson, Stephens and Welsh - endorsed by the National Xeriscape Council as the first definitive national guide to water-efficient landscaping. 300 p. with 85 color photos. $30 + $5 handling from: Xeriscape Gardening, 211 Suffolk Ave., College Station, TX 77840.

Seeds: Physiology of Development and Germination by Bewley & Black. The definitive book on technical aspects of seeds -for advanced propagators and very serious amateurs. Softcover $39.50 from: Plenum Publishing Corporation, 233 Spring Street, NY, NY 10013-1578.

A Gardener Obsessed - Observations, Reflections, and Advice for other Dedicated Gardeners by Geoffrey B. Charlesworth. Serious gardeners know well the predecessor book by Geoffrey - The Opinionated Gardener (1988). One of the very best American horticultural writers - a philosophical book for both serious information and simply pure pleasure of the flow and rhythm of fine words and composition. $24.95 + $4.50 handling from: David R. Godine, Publisher, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02115 (1-800-344-4771; FAX 1-800-226-0934).

Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Culture, and Use by Ferrell M. Bridwell. 576 p. with all full-color photos of all plants. $49.95 from Delmar Publishers, Inc., Dept S-103G, Box 15015, Albany, NY 12212-5015

Flora of North America - it is rather astonishing that there is no complete flora of this long-settled, wealthy and sophisticated (a debatable concept worth considerable discussion I realize) continent - and a 12 year project by hundreds of taxonomists and scientists across the continent working to fill this serious botanical gap of over 20,000 floral species. The first two volumes of a planned 14 volumes are now available - and I find them very interesting and useful. The first volume (320 p., 73 photographs and 94 line drawings) is an introduction to the series with comprehensive surveys of the history, geography, introductions and movements of plants in North America over the last 70 million years. Volume two (320 pages, 607 distribution maps and 65 illustrations) covers all the ferns (509 species in 70 genera) and conifers (118 species in 22 genera) of this continent. The writing and illustrations are clear, readable and useful (with the possible exception that the maps - which are excellent - should have been double their size for a publication of this price - it's a bit difficult to get a clear picture of the distribution of a plant occupying a single county on a map of the entire North American continent that is only 2" high!). Both books are $75 @ + $5 shipping from: Oxford University Press, Biological Sciences Marketing Dept., 200 Madison Ave., NY, NY 10016 (1-800-451-7556)

Floras are generally pretty non-controversal, but the recent publication of: Jepson's Flora of California (1993) - created a great deal of controversy in the botanical community there. The issues at stake (basically - do species exist?) were discussed in: Species Denial by Stephan W. Edwards and Richard W. Clinnick in The Four Seasons - the Journal of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden 9(3):4-20. (Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, CA 94708-2396) ($3 for single copy). "We have been informed by taxonomists (and others) writing Jepson treatments, that they do not personally believe species really exist. Some have stated to us their belief that this attitude affects taxonomic decisions (indeed, it is difficult to see how it could not). The Manual itself states that: ". . . taxa at all levels . . . are not real entities . . . it is helpful in understanding why there is so much change in taxonomy to recognize that taxa are never "real things" - they are simply the best concept we can define at the moment."

Later in the article: "What plant taxonomy may be suffering from . . . may not be wholly medieval ultranominalism, but also to substantial degree the postmodernism/constructivism that infests so much of the intellectual establishment (you won't find that sentence in People magazine!): everything is relative, truth is not absolute or verifiable but a product of culture and subject to authority . . . etc. Some of our "theoreticians" can play word games around that, but those serious about understanding and protecting diversity will use common sense and get on with the job at hand. As Charles Pierce once said, "Let us not pretend to deny in our philosophy what we know in our heart to be true."

One of the sidelight issues of this debate - if there are no species - then you can't have endangered species programs and legal protection of any plants. Intriguing concepts and arguments for those into the obscure and convoluted.


The New Plantsman - new version of The Plantsman - one of the best technical journals devoted to reviews of focused plant groups or species. 29 Pounds subscription from: The New Plantsman, RHS Subscription Service, P. O. Box 38, Ashford, Kent TN25 6PR, England. A cumulative index for the first 15 volumes 1979-1994 is also available for 11.95 Pounds.

Garden Literature - an author and subject index to periodical articles about plants and gardens - indexes over 100 English language titles - magazines, newsletters, articles, etc. $50 per year (quarterly issues) from Sally Williams, Garden Literature Press, 398 Columbus Ave., Suite 181, Boston, MA 02116-6008 (616-424-1784; FAX 617-424-1712)

Recent Deaths of Noted Horticultural Authors/Writers:

Lewis C. Chadwick (1902-1993) - one of the most important woody plants authorities of the U.S. From Vermont with a BS at the University of Vermont in 1925, Phd. from Cornell in 1931, and faculty member of Ohio State University 1929-67 - serving as department head for the last 14 years there. Outstanding teacher, researcher, writer (The Modern Nursery 1931, Commercial Flower Forcing 1934, and over 75 scientific papers), and industry leader throughout his life. Received innumerable awards and certainly one of the top 5 woody plants authorities in the U.S. from the 30's through the 60's.

Hudson T. Hartmann (1914-1994) - known to generations of horticultural students as the coauthor of Hartmann and Kester's Plant Propagation -Principles and Practics - the standard teaching propagation reference through 5 editions from the 50's to the present. Born in Kansas, BS (39) and MS (40) from University of Missouri, Phd. degree in plant physiology UC Berkeley (47), with a career in fruit science at UC Davis (47-80). Noted for olive physiology and plant propagation reseach and writing - and given credit for pioneering the concept of mist propagation, use of hormones and other techniques in woody plant propagation.

PLANTS RECEIVED BY THE NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) - JANUARY - DECEMBER 1992

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