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December 2013 JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

In This Issue

Plant of the Month

Connoisseur Plants

Volunteering—It's Really Good for You

News from the Children's Program

Last Call for Engraved Bricks


Coming Attractions

Recent Members Only Additions

December Events

Children's Program
Track Out Morning
"Children's Wreath Workshop"
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
9:30 AM

Holiday Wreath Workshops
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
1:00 PM and 4:00 PM
(walk-ins welcome)

Children's Program
Garden Buds
"Winter Fun"
Friday, December 6, 2013
10:00 AM

Poinsettia Open House
Sponsored by NC State Floriculture and the JCRA
Sunday, December 8, 2013
1:00 PM–5:00 PM

Children's Program
Track Out Morning
"Holiday Card Making"
Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
9:30 AM

Plantsmen's Tour
"Founding Fathers"
Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
1:00 PM

Children's Program
Track Out Morning
"Holiday Wrapping Paper"
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
9:30 AM

Plant of the Month

Aucuba japonica

Aucuba japonica 'Ooba Nakafu'

by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

I like to think of Aucuba japonica as the Rodney Dangerfield of plants. Despite a long history of success in the garden, it still just gets no respect. In fact, at a recent international meeting when I mentioned that the JC Raulston Arboretum was developing a significant collection, a woman from the United Kingdom good-naturedly called it a parking lot plant while folks from various other countries nodded in agreement. Since only the toughest of plants can grow around parking lots, I consider that as a mark in favor of the plant and not a knock against it.

Aucuba has traditionally been placed within the dogwood (Cornaceae) family but in a rare show of respect has also been occasionally placed in its own family, Aucubaceae. Most recent treatments including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Working Group have grouped Aucuba with Garrya in the Garryaceae family. Aucuba is a group of about 10 or more species although the genus is still in some flux and there is likely several as yet unnamed species. All the members of the genus are evergreen trees or shrubs with separate male and female plants. Both sexes are generally necessary for fruit production on the females but there are a few selections of Aucuba japonica which will often fruit without a male nearby. Interestingly, there is a very long period—often several weeks—between pollination and actual fertilization in the genus.


Connoisseur Plants


by Anne M. Porter, Director of Development

It's not too late to get in on the Connoisseur Plants Program. This program offers special and hard-to-find new and old favorite plants to JCRA members at the Sponsor and above levels.

Plus, Connoisseur Plants will be offered to any one making gifts of $500 or more to the JC Raulston Endowment for Excellence. For more details, please visit the JCRA's Web site.

Volunteering—It's Really Good for You


by Advancing Philanthropy Fall 2013

Volunteering is linked to better physical, mental and emotional health. In fact, 76% of US adults who volunteer reported that volunteering has made them feel physically healthier, and 78% reported that volunteering lowers their levels of stress, leading them to feeling better than adults who do not volunteer. These are just some of the findings from Doing Good is Good for You: 2013 Health and Volunteering Study by UnitedHealth Group and the Optum Institute. The study also illustrates that employers benefit from employees' volunteering in terms of better employee health and in professional skills development that employees use in the workplace.

Of the people who had volunteered in the previous 12 months, 95% said they are helping to make their community a better place, while 96% said that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose in life. Eighty percent of the people who had volunteered in the past year said they feel they have control over their health. About 25% of the people who had volunteered in the past 12 months said that volunteering has helped them to manage a chronic illness. Physically, volunteering helps keep them active, but even more importantly, volunteering takes their mind off their own problems, and helping other people just makes them feel better. The study surveyed more than 3,300 adults.

During this season of giving thanks, the JC Raulston Arboretum staff considers our volunteers as one of our greatest blessings. Thank you for all you do!

News from the Children's Program

Holiday wreath workshop

by Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

This past year has been a whirlwind, and I can't believe it is almost over. The closing of one year means that the next year is beginning, and I can't tell you how excited I am for the programs and opportunities for children and families that are being planned.

Before I start getting you all excited about next year, listen to all the great programs we presented for children and their families this year! Children learned how to find their way in the On a Quest program. We built terrariums and talked about the water cycle. Emily Reece led parent (and grandparent!)/child pairs to create amazing works of art. Over 170 children came to Garden Storytime this summer, and Miss North Carolina was a guest reader at one of them! Girls Scouts and Y Princesses visited and earned badges and patches. And, we led the kindergarten classes from Aldert Root Elementary School on a Five Senses tour of the Arboretum. That "we" by the way is not just me, or the staff, but a great team of volunteers!

What's in store for 2014? Summer camps! Homeschool days! Tea parties! Workshops on harvesting and cooking with the awesome vegetables being grown in the gardens! And, our favorites like Garden Storytime, Take a Child Outside, Summer Solstice Family Fun Night, and the Spring Egg Hunt!

How can you get in on the fun? Register your children early or tell your neighbors and friends with children about the programs. We have great ideas and energy, but it's more fun when the gardens are full of children's laughter and smiles!

Last Call for Engraved Bricks

Daphne odora 'Zuiko Nishiki'

by Anne M. Porter, Director of Development

Five important questions for you …

  1. Do you remember the names of your four grandparents?
  2. Do you remember the names of your eight great grandparents? (If you are like most people, you cannot name your great grandparents.)
  3. Will you be remembered after two generations—after four generations?
  4. What will your legacy be? (Hint … bricks last a very long time, and your gifts to the JCRA Endowment for Excellence will last into perpetuity!)
  5. Won't you purchase a brick today and leave a lasting legacy for many generations to come?

You have only 30 more days to purchase an engraved brick for the Brick Circle. And it's so easy. Visit our secure Web site and order your legacy brick today! Your gift makes a difference, and your support of the Endowment for Excellence helps great things happen every day at the JCRA. Now, come on out and see for yourself the many ways that the JC Raulston Arboretum is touching people's lives through amazing plants, charming gardens, and educational programs that you helped make possible.


by Anne M. Porter, Director of Development

Spring will be here before we know it, so it's not too early to save-the-dates for …

Raulston BloomsRaulston Blooms

A Garden Festival for All Ages

Saturday, April 5, 2013
9:00 AM–5:00 PM
$10 per family – Free for JCRA Members

Gala in the GardenGala in the Garden

Raleigh's Garden Party

Sunday, May 4, 2013 – 3:30 PM–7:00 PM
$100 per person

Great sponsorship opportunities for both of these events, so contact Anne Porter at (919) 513-3826 or anne_porter@ncsu.edu today.

Coming Attractions

by Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

Euphorbia pulcherrima 'Premium Ice Crystal'
×Heucherella 'Sunrise Falls'   Chimonanthus praecox 'Luteus'

×Heucherella 'Sunrise Falls'
trailing heucherella


Chimonanthus praecox 'Luteus'
fragrant wintersweet

Mahonia ×media 'Hope'   Camellia 'Winter's Dream'

Mahonia ×media 'Hope'


Camellia 'Snow Flurry'
Ackerman hybrid camellia

Prunus mume 'Trumpet'   Arbutus unedo 'Elfin King'

Prunus mume 'Trumpet'
pink Japanese flowering apricot


Arbutus unedo 'Elfin King'
compact strawberry tree

Iris unguicularis   Muhlenbergia 'Pink Flamingos'

Iris unguicularis
winter flowering iris


Muhlenbergia 'Pink Flamingos'
hybrid muhly grass

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

Recent Members Only Additions

by Chris Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Three new videos were recorded for the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in November.

Click on the image below to play the video or visit the Members Only section to for a complete listing of all videos.

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture Video - "Great Gardens and Nature Sites in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia" - Tim Alderton and Christopher Todd Glenn - Click to Play

Annual Plant Distribution Video - Click to Play

North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmond Chapter) Friends of the Arboretum Lecture Video - &quotSpring Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge" - Tim Alderton - Click to Play

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 below.

user name = jcra
password =

Your Membership Makes a Difference—Please Join or Renew Today!

The JC Raulston Arboretum is free to the public, but it is not free to operate. Memberships keep the gates open and the gardens in top shape. Membership gifts are the primary support for the Arboretum's daily operations and vital for its success.

Thank you for your support and advocacy of the JC Raulston Arboretum through the membership program. It's fast and easy to become a Friend of the Arboretum, and there are many great benefits for you and your family. Join or renew now using our secure Web site, or contact Anne M. Porter at (919) 513-3826 or jvmorgan@ncsu.edu.

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 Anne M. Porter.

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

(919) 515-3132


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