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JCRA e-Update - January 2011

In This Issue

Prunus mume

Coming Attractions

Recent Members Only Additions

January Events

Plantsmen's Tour
"Variegated Evergreens"
Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections
January 4, 2011 (Tuesday)
1:00 PM

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture
"What's Happening at the JC Raulston Arboretum: New Plants, New Gardens, New Collection"
Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections
January 6, 2011 (Thursday)
7:30 PM

Year-long Class
The Year in Trees and Shrubs, Etc.
Charlie Kidder, JCRA volunteer and board member
January 16, 2011 (Sunday)
2:00 PM

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture
"Gardens and Wilds of Oregon (and an Itty Bitty Piece of California)"
Tim Alderton, Research Technician
January 20, 2011 (Thursday)
7:30 PM

Propagation Workshop
Registration is Closed
Waiting List Started
January 29, 2011 (Saturday)
9:00 AM-3:00 PM

Prunus mume

Prunus mume 'Omoi-no-mama'

by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

Few plants are as closely associated with the JC Raulston Arboretum as the Japanese flowering apricot, Prunus mume.  J. C. Raulston widely promoted this winter flowering tree as a valuable addition to the southern landscape. It flowers from late December to early March depending on selection and brightens the winter garden with white to deep red-pink flowers and a delightfully spicy clove scent that warms even the coldest day.

Prunus mume makes a small to medium, wide spreading tree from 15 to 30 feet tall and often nearly as wide. The mature bark can be somewhat attractive with cinnamon tints and corky ridges and the young branches are a distinctive glossy green. While the summer foliage is nondescript, the 1 to 1¼ inch flowers more than make up for the pedestrian foliage. The flowers range from white to dark rose pink and provide a vibrant exclamation point in the winter landscape with their spring-like color and delicious, spicy scent. The thin-fleshed fruits are inedible by American standards but are commonly pickled in Asia.

Japanese apricot is native to moist, well-drained hillsides in China and is an important landscape plant in China and Japan. It flowers best in full sun but will tolerate slightly shaded spots. Young, grafted plants grow quickly often as much as 5 feet in a season. It roots readily from softwood cuttings taken in late May through July but grows more slowly as a rooted plant. Although susceptible to several insects and diseases, these are rarely fatal and P. mume are often long-lived landscape plants.


Coming Attractions

by Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

Ulmus alata 'Lace Parasol' - weeping winged elm
Prunus mume Chimonanthus praecox

Prunus mume
Japanese flowering apricot

Chimonanthus praecox
fragrant wintersweet

Iris unguicularis Pinus taiwanensis

Iris unguicularis
winter flowering iris

Pinus taiwanensis
Taiwan pine

Winter Garden Mahonia ×lindsayae 'Cantab'

Winter Garden

Mahonia ×lindsayae 'Cantab'
hybrid mahonia

Helleborus ×hybridus Hamamelis vernalis

Helleborus ×hybridus
Lenten rose

Hamamelis vernalis
Ozark witchhazel

Visit Showtimes for a much more detailed listing of what's in flower in January at the Arboretum.

Recent Members Only Additions

One new video was recorded for the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in December.

  • Plantsmen's Tour
    • "Hollies" led by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections, on December 14, 2010

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 in the e-mail with the latest monthly JCRA e-Update attached to it. In this e-mail, look for it at the top of the e-mail.

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.

Contact information:
JC Raulston Arboretum
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522

(919) 515-3132