The JC Raulston Arboretum is a nationally acclaimed garden with the most diverse collection of plants adapted for landscape use in the southeastern United States.
Plants are gathered from around the world and evaluated here in an effort to find better plants for more environmentally sound and beautiful landscapes.
We invite you to explore our eight acres of horticultural gardens and collections, each packed with new plants and ideas for use in your garden.
1. The Klein-Pringle White Garden is an elegant garden inspired by Sissinghurst Gardens in Kent, England. White-flowered plants and plants with silver and grey foliage abound and are framed by a dark green background of hollies and conifers. A charming white gazebo forms the focal point of this lovely garden.
2. The Nandina Collection (heavenly bamboo) is one of the most extensive collections of this broad-leaved evergreen shrub in the United States. Bearing delightful, bright red, yellow, or cream-colored berries, these plants are adaptable to sun or shade and a wide range of soil conditions.
3. The JCRA is always on the lookout for new and more diverse Screening Plants. Along this fence in front of the JCRA, many under-used plants that have upright growth characteristics are being evaluated for merit in the landscape.
4. The Winter Garden highlights the wide selection of outstanding plants that are dazzling even on dreary winter days. In this sheltered southern exposure, the four-season capability of the landscape in our region can be easily seen.
5. The Dwarf Loblolly Pines are among the finest and most unique plants in the JCRA, being the world's only collection of dwarf loblolly pines. These lovely pines grew from seeds collected from pine cones that were found in an abnormal growth called a witch's broom. They are slow-growing, with beautiful dense rounded crowns. Unlike many dwarf pines, these are well-adapted to the hot summers of the South.
6. The Conifer Collection was one of the first research collections in the Southeast to show the adaptability of a wide range of conifers to the hot, humid climate and heavy clay soils of our region. Many kinds are represented, including pine, false cypress, Japanese cedar, juniper, arborvitae, and spruce. A wide array of different textures, sizes, shapes, and colors can be seen in this collection.
7. The Perennial Border is a spectacular, 300' long, 18' deep marvel of color and texture that contains nearly a thousand plants of great diversity. This mosaic of herbaceous perennials, small shrubs, grasses, and bulbs is designed to provide exciting displays of color, texture, and form throughout the year.
8. The Magnolia Collection contains over 100 different kinds of magnolias and highlights many rarely seen cultivars and species. White, pink, purple, yellow, or greenish colored flowers can be seen over a period from March through August.
9. Finley-Nottingham Rose Garden, generously endowed by the A.E. Finley Foundation, displays over 120 modern hybrid roses. The garden's trellis is covered with thousands of tiny yellow Lady Banks' roses in the early spring.
10. The Paradise Garden, created in a Persian garden style, is designed to engage all of the senses. Colorful plants delight the eyes; fruit, berries, and herbs tantalize taste buds; a dancing fountain provides music for the ears; plant textures and the cool feel of water stimulate touch; and fragrances abound here.
11. These Model Gardens are full of simple ideas that can be directly used in your home landscape. Included are the (a) Townhouse Garden, (b) Water Garden, (c) Reading Garden, and (d) Butterfly Garden.
12. The Mixed Border is a 435' by 25' border highlighting superior plants identified through the JCRA's plant evaluation program. The plants in the Mixed Border are woven into a series of gardens, displaying all the elements of a successful garden: trees, shrubs, groundcovers, perennials, bulbs, and landscape features.
13. Annual Plant Trials and Demonstration Area is an official testing site for new varieties of landscape annuals. A fantastic display of color year-round, the performance of each of these plants is carefully recorded and evaluated.
14. The Lath House is packed with over 700 different kinds of choice plants that perform best in shade. These plants are being grown in specially prepared raised beds that contain a well-aerated bark mixture. Here you can find collections of rhododendrons, hostas, mountain laurels, pieris, and hydrangeas.
15. The Japanese Garden offers a unique peaceful retreat. The raked gravel represents water that undulates around islands of stone, providing a peaceful place for quiet contemplation. A wide array of Japanese plants can be found here. 16. The Japanese Garden offers a unique peaceful retreat. The raked gravel represents water that undulates around islands of stone, providing a peaceful place for quiet contemplation. A wide array of Japanese plants can be found here.
16. This group of Boxwoods is one of the most extensive collections in the southeastern U.S. In our area, boxwoods are unsurpassed as low hedges and have minimal problems in the landscape.
17. Southall Memorial Garden is dedicated to the memory of an outstanding NCSU horticulture professor, Russell Southall, Ph.D., who taught plant materials from 1966 to 1978. He loved students and taught many the joy of learning new plants.
18. Be sure not to miss the Entry Garden to the JCRA, which showcases primarily tender perennials grown for their ornamental foliage.