Click on the JCRA logo to visit the home page of the JCRA Web site.

JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

April 2008

In This Issue

Gala in the Garden

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

The 2008 Gala in the Garden is just about a month away and we're excited about our theme, Celebrating a Greener World. The Gala is our major event of the year and is held in the beautiful gardens of the Arboretum. You will experience delicious food, along with beverages, live music, and a silent auction. Our auction will include unique plants, many of which are drought and heat tolerant, for your garden and a variety of eclectic items.

Many friends, members, and volunteers donate items to our silent auction. This year promises to be better than ever. Items such as garden art; pottery; gift certificates to major events or restaurants; and framed art are among the items to be auctioned off. If you would like to donate to the silent auction or become a sponsor, please call Barbara Kennedy at (919) 513-7004 or Anne Porter at (919) 513-3463 or read the Gala in the Garden's announcement.

The Gala invitations were mailed last week. If you don't get yours soon, please call Barb Kennedy. The invitation is also available on the Arboretum's Web site. – Barbara Kennedy, Volunteer Coordinator

Chinese Jacktree, Styrax's Under-appreciated Cousin

Sinojackia xylocarpaStyrax japonicus has long been considered one of the great spring flowering trees and as such has featured prominently in the JCRA’s collections. Much less well known however is a close relative Sinojackia xylocarpa, the Chinese jacktree. This elegant plant flowers in April with masses of white flowers whose petals spread open much wider than the modest styrax to prominently display the central mass of gold stamens. The pure white flowers are offset by the soft green new foliage which will later turn darker. Fall color is often an attractive, but not spectacular gold.

At the JCRA, this species is represented by three forms. The straight species can be found in the Asian Valley area of the Arboretum across from the Geophyte Border. This specimen came from the Arnold Arboretum in 1986 and is now over 25' tall. Two other forms were generously shared with us by Arboretum friend Brian Upchurch of Highland Creek Nursery. Sinojackia xylocarpa ‘Linda Carol’ is an elegant weeping form which graces the Cascade Walk along with several other weeping trees while ‘La Grima’ is a distinctly upright plant which guards the Visitor Center at the brick turnaround. All specimens showed a remarkable tolerance for the dry conditions last year and have grown quickly in the landscape. Come check out these and some of the other half dozen or so genera from the Styracaceae family on display at the JC Raulston Arboretum. – Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Plant Collections

Position Announcement

Have you ever wondered if there is an opening on the JCRA staff? Our plant records assistant, Sheila Kellogg, has given us her notice. She has been largely responsible for the accuracy of our plant maps in the past, and I am already missing her cheery notes and attention to detail. We're now are looking for a new plant records assistant to work eight to ten hours per week. This job requires both plant knowledge and computer skills, as it involves both reviewing our bed maps in the garden and updating the inventory and maps in our databases. If this sounds like the kind of detail-oriented job you would enjoy, please contact Val Tyson at – Valerie Tyson, Plant Recorder

Summer Solstice Celebration

On the evening of June 21, the summer solstice will occur. The JCRA will be celebrating in a big way with friends – many friends – holding parties in their homes and gardens across the state on our behalf. These parties are taking many forms from the most enchanted mid-summer’s eve themes, dinners, wine and cheese, even a wedding reception! It is not too late to sign up to host your own party. It’s easy, contact Barbara Kennedy at (919) 513-7004 or If you call soon, we can even make the invitations for you.

Be apart of this magical night by throwing a benefit party or attending one. If you are not sure if you know a friend having a party and want to go to one, let Barbara know...we will find you a party...we will make it happen! Remember, you will receive a gift in kind receipt for your expenses for hosting a party and your guest’s donation will also be tax deductible! – Helen Yoest, JCRA Volunteer

Coming Attractions – Highlights of April

Cornus florida 'Suwanee Squat'This month you'll find redbuds, dogwood, wisteria, mock-orange, lilac, peach, styrax, viburnum, azalea, iris, spring bulbs, and more. Here are a few of our favorites:

Lath House
Persea grijsii – Chinese machilus – L13
Pulmonaria longifolia 'Bertram Anderson' – long-leaf lungwort – L24
Rhododendron hyperythrum – Formosan rhododendron – L13
Rhododendron 'President Roosevelt' – variegated rhododendron – L12

Mixed Border
Beschorneria septentrionalis – false red agave – E36
Cercis canadensis
subsp. mexicana – Mexican redbud – E33 and W09
Cornus florida 'Suwanee Squat' – dogwood – E38
Fothergilla gardenii – dwarf fothergilla – E35
Iberis sempervirens 'Snow White' – candytuft – E38
Illicium 'Woodland Ruby' – pink anise – E37

Other Areas of the Arboretum
Beschorneria yuccoides – Mexican lily – C01
Corylopsis glabrescens
var. gotoana – fragrant winterhazel – E40
Magnolia dianica
– shrubby michelia – J02
Sinojackia xylocarpa
'La Grima' – columnar Chinese jacktree – D03
Syringa oblata
[Alba Group] 'Frank Meyer' – white early lilac – E11

Southall Garden
Prunus 'Spire'– Hillier columnar flowering cherry – S10
Viburnum 'Chesapeake' – Egolf hybrid viburnum – S09

Model Gardens
Cornus florida subsp. urbiniana – Mexican flowering dogwood – T09
Gelsemium sempervirens
'Woodlanders Pale Yellow' – Carolina jessamine – Butterfly Garden
Loropetalum chinense var. chinense – white Chinese fringe-flower – Butterfly Garden
Prunus persica 'NCSU Dwarf Double Red' – dwarf flowering peach – Paradise Garden

Viburnum Collection
Viburnum 'Conoy' – Egolf hybrid viburnum – E14
Viburnum obovatum 'St. Paul' – viburnum – E14

Klein-Pringle White Garden
Camellia japonica 'Alba Supreme' – white Japanese camellia – WG6
Cercis canadensis 'Royal White' – white eastern redbud – WG6b
Cercis canadensis f. alba – white redbud – WG8
Prunus 'Snofozam' – Snow Fountains® flowering cherry – WG6
Syringa 'Betsy Ross' – hybrid lilac – WG2
Viburnum ×burkwoodii 'Mohawk' – Egolf hybrid Burkwood viburnum – WG5
Viburnum ×carlcephalum 'Cayuga' – Egolf hybrid fragrant viburnum – WG6

Winter Garden
Helleborus ×hybridus (Ashwood Garden hybrids) – Lenten rose – E19
Ipheion uniflorum – spring star flower – E19 and E21
Prunus incisa 'Snowcloud'– white Fuji cherry – E21

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

April Calendar

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – April 3, 2008 (Thursday) – 7:30 PM – Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers

"Garden Gems from Mars – The Wild, Wacky World of Gardening with Hardy Aroids" presented by Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanical Gardens. We'll explore the plants you'll never find at a respectable garden center from Amorophophallus through Colocasia and ending with Synandrospadix. This program is rated R...children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

JCRA Arborfest – "Waterwise Choices for Responsible Gardeners" – April 5, 2008 (Saturday) – 10:00 AM-4:00 PM – Free

In response to the challenges all North Carolina citizens are facing as a consequence of the current drought, this year's JCRA Arborfest, to be held Saturday April 5 from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, will focus on water management and conservation and green design. Frank Harmon, Hal House, Mike Ruck, and Mark Weathington 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, and the JCRA and various local nurseries and vendors will be selling plants and garden accessories. This promises to be a timely and highly informative program. Please join us.

Plantsmen's Tour – April 8, 2008 (Tuesday) – 1:00 PM – Free

"Small Trees for Spring Interest" led by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections. Understory trees provide structure, color, and scale to the landscape. Among others, we'll look at some of the Arboretum's small maples, redbuds, styrax, and dogwoods.

Pi Alpha Xi Plant Sale at the JCRA – April 12, 2008 (Saturday) – 8:00 AM-4:00 PM and April 13, 2008 (Sunday) – 10:00 AM-3:00 PM – No admission

Come to purchase rare finds and drought-tolerant woodies, perennials, and annuals. Rain barrels built by PAX members will be available for sale. Information on planting in drought, mulching, and water conservation will be available. For more information, contact a Pi Alpha Xi member at (919) 515-3178 or visit A list of available plants is usually posted on their Web site the week of the sale.

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – April 17, 2008 (Thursday) – 7:30 PM – Free

"What's in a Name?" presented by Paul Fantz, Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University. Ever wonder why and how botanical names are used? If so, then this informal presentation on plant nomenclature is for you. Topics include: why plant names are changing; why genera are being reassigned to other families; international rules for plant names; hierarchy of plant categories; correct punctuation for names at various ranks; varieties versus cultivars; new germplasm documentation; legalized names; and modern reference sources for names.

Master Gardener "Successful Gardening Clinic" – April 19, 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.

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 added to the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in March and is now available for viewing. It includes 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.

© April 2008, JC Raulston Arboretum

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict