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JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

December 2009

In This Issue

Singing the Blues

Picea pungens 'Hoopsii'Blue spruce (Picea pungens) has long been a popular landscape plant throughout much of the mid-Atlantic region. On a whim I once counted the number of houses on a few streets in the neighborhood where I grew up in central Virginia that had a single blue spruce planted in their front yard. Nearly 75% of the homes were landscaped with this large incongruous blue pyramid usually just right of center standing alone in the front yard. Whatever you think of this landscape design, blue spruce can be a tough and beautiful landscape addition.

Perhaps the very best form of this drought tolerant, Rocky Mountains native is the white-blue form called 'Hoopsii'. This selection is widely considered the standard to compare all other blue spruces with its even pyramidal shape to 50' and its intense silvery white glaucus foliage. Since the color is so strong, the tree will really pop in the landscape so there is no need to place it front and center (or in the center of the front yard). Instead, try integrating it into a tall hedge or surrounded by other plants that can play off the color. Check out our Picea pungens 'Hoopsii' in the Sunken Garden next to the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center and in the Mixed Shrub Border. – Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

Browse and Buy

During your next visit to the JC Raulston Arboretum, check out all the interesting gardening-related books that are now available for purchase in the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center. Books are donated by the JCRA volunteers and proceeds go toward volunteer programs. All books are $5 each and all you need to do is drop your money in the donation box on the book shelf. Come take a look. There is bound to be a book of interest to you. And it is for a good cause. – Barbara Kennedy, Volunteer Coordinator

Best Wishes

Congratulations to Bobby Mottern in his new position as Director of Horticulture at Duke Gardens.  Bobby has been an integral part of our Master Plan Group over the last several months and we will miss his intellect and ideas but we look forward to collaborations in the future with Duke Gardens.

In the News

The JCRA made the November posting of Perspectives Latest News online, the between-issues site of Perspectives magazine.
Go to and check out the latest fall articles about the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, including these special articles pertaining to the JCRA:

And much more... Enjoy! – Anne Porter, Director of Development

Gift Memberships

gift membershipNeed a great gift? This one is all wrapped up and ready to give. And, it keeps on giving all year long!

$40 for an Individual membership
$60 for a Family/Dual membership

Memberships do make a difference!

Holiday Special

Receive $5 off each membership when you purchase five or more memberships. Gift wrapped memberships are available at the Arboretum.  All other gift memberships may be purchased and a gift card will be mailed to recipient.

Hint... JCRA T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats also make great gifts!

For more information, contact Anne Porter or Judy Morgan-Davis at (919) 513-3826,, or – Anne Porter, Director of Development

Coming Attractions—Highlights of December

Ilex cornuta 'Autumn Fire'Conifer Collection
Cedrus deodara 'Glacier Blue' – dwarf Deodar cedar
Pinus armandii – Chinese white pine

Klein-Pringle White Garden
Acer palmatum [Dissectum Atropurpureum Group] – red lace-leaf Japanese maple
Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula' – weeping blue Atlas cedar
Fatsia japonica – Japanese fatsia
Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' – hybrid crepe myrtle

Mixed Border
Cupressus arizonica 'Limelight' – yellow Arizona cypress
Daphniphyllum macropodum – false dahpne
Mahonia eurybracteata – mahonia

Paradise Garden
Corylus avellana 'Contorta' – Harry Lauder's walking stick
Gardenia augusta – cape jessamine

Winter Garden
Cyclamen hederifolium Ashwood Nurseries Silver Leaf Group – hardy cyclamen
Edgeworthia chrysantha – golden paperbush
Edgeworthia papyrifera 'Eco Yaku' – Japanese paperbush
Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' – variegated Japanese fatsia
Ilex cornuta 'Sunrise' – golden Chinese holly
Ilex verticillata 'Scarlett O'Hara' – winterberry holly
Mahonia ×media 'Winter Sun' – grapeholly
Mahonia ×media 'Underway' – grapeholly
Sarcococca saligna – willow-leaf sweet box

Other Areas of the Arboretum
Arbutus undeo 'Compacta' – compact strawberry tree – E33
Camellia 'Carolina Moonmist' – Cochran hybrid camellia – E43b
Chimonanthus praecox – fragrant wintersweet – E15
Prunus mume 'Trumpet' – pink Japanese flowering apricot – E43b
Salix 'Flame' – willow – Su7

Visit Showtimes for a much more detailed listing of what's in flower in December at the JCRA. – Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

December Calendar

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture and Book Launch – December 3, 2009 (Thursday) – 7:30 PM (reception begins at 7:00 PM) – Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers

"Chlorophyll In His Veins: J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador" presented by Bobby Ward, Ph.D., and Roy Dicks. Bobby and Roy will talk about the process of gathering the information and the challenges in getting the book published. The talk will include many little known facts and stories about J. C.'s childhood in Oklahoma, his military service, and his academic positions in Maryland, Florida, and Texas prior to coming to NC State University. They'll also discuss J. C.'s role in the establishment of the NCSU Arboretum, his outreach to the nursery industry, and his mentoring and teaching.

Book Launch and Signing

Join us for the launch of Chlorophyll In His Veins: J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador. Books will be available for purchase and signing at 7:00 PM and after the lecture. Books are $27 each. Checks and cash will be accepted. A substantial portion of the sales will benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Poinsettia Open House – December 6, 2009 (Sunday) – 1:00 PM-5:00 PM – Free

Sponsored by NC State Floriculture and the JCRA

NC State Floriculture is part of a national poinsettia program that tests poinsettia cultivars to determine which ones are best for consumers and for producers. You will have a chance to see these cultivars yourself and vote for your favorites. Over 100 different cultivars of poinsettias—including new experimental cultivars—will be on display. Stop by to see the huge 9' tall poinsettia tree. Enjoy poinsettia gardens and decorated poinsettias. Help us decide which poinsettias are North Carolina's favorites by voting for your favorite poinsettias.

Plantsmen's Tour – December 8, 2009 (Tuesday) – 1:00 PM – Free

"Winter Scents" led by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections. The winter garden is filled with an assortment of enticing aromas from citrus scented conifers to forcefully fragrant flowering shrubs. This tour will focus on some of these plants that help light up the dark days of winter.

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 November and is now available for viewing.

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.

© December 2009, JC Raulston Arboretum

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