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Friends of the Arboretum Newsletter
Fall 1997


Director's Letter

Bryce Lane – Arboretum Director

I want to thank all of you for your incredible support during this time of transition. Friends and volunteers locally, across the country and around the world have worked even harder than ever before to keep the garden and its programs moving ahead. We simply can never thank you enough.

You may have already heard that the recent round of interviews did not yield a new Arboretum director, in spite of stellar efforts by the search committee, unprecedented support from the university, and tremendous participation by many of you. Though this was a disappointment, good came from the experience as well. The interview process was a terrific coming together and confirmation of the Arboretum community. We saw common vision and common commitment to supporting both a new director and the Arboretum itself. One candidate summed it up by saying that with the Arboretum's focused mission, and university and community support now in place, "There is no doubt that the JC Raulston Arboretum will continue to soar."

In the meantime, I have been appointed director for a term of one year: September 1997 through October 1998. I want to assure you that I am not only committed to personally serving as director to the best of my ability, but also to securing the resources for staffing, equipment, and infrastructural improvements that were promised to the directoral candidates.

To this end, the college has already released additional lapsed salary funding, which will enable us to fund positions for interim staff. Diane Flynt and Tony Avent, who served in interim roles through August of this year, have gone back to their full time jobs. After fine tuning of our interim structure, other part time staff are already stepping into place to keep things going strong. I want to take this opportunity to welcome them, and let you know a bit about them.

Many of you already know Doug Ruhren as the volunteer co-curator of the perennial borders. I am delighted to report that Doug will come on staff this month as our horticultural advisor. He will help make decisions on plant collection, evaluation, and distribution. Doug has tremendous horticultural expertise, and we are very fortunate to be able to call upon him in this capacity.

Jonathan Nyberg is now working with us three days each week as our program coordinator, planning and facilitating Friends of the Arboretum lectures, educational programs, and events. He is also responsible for the newsletter and for coordinating with the NC Association of Nurserymen on promotion of the JC Raulston Selections, a new facet of the plant introduction program. Jonathan has really hit the ground running to put together a great fall calendar, successfully organize Campus Color Explosion, produce this newsletter, and handle myriad issues in the Arboretum office. You can reach Jonathan on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays at 919-515-3132.

Harriet Bellerjeau is already hard at work as our part time volunteer coordinator. Harriet will support current volunteer activities and recruit and train new volunteers to fill existing needs. Harriet comes to us with vast experience coordinating volunteers in the Raleigh Housing Authority community gardening program. She is a landscape designer and a certified horticultural therapist. She has volunteered over the past year doing background work for a grant proposal to enhance children's programming. You may reach Harriet on Tuesday mornings and all day on Thursdays at 919-515-3132.

I hope you'll join me in welcoming Doug, Jonathan, and Harriet to the team. Thanks to them, to our permanent staff, and to all our friends and supporters near and far, the Arboretum continues to grow and flourish. It is an honor and a privilege to work with you all to fulfill the Arboretum's mission: promoting new and better adapted plants for a better world.

Editor's Mailbox

Jonathan Nyberg – Program Coordinator

Would everyone please take a minute to do a favor for the Arboretum? It won't even cost a penny. Go into your database or address book and change the Arboretum's address to: JC Raulston Arboretum, Department of Horticultural Science, Box 7609, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609. Thank you.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Holly Society of America. The US Postal Service is celebrating the event with an American Holly stamp in October. The Holly Society has asked the Arboretum to do something to celebrate their golden anniversary. Any budding Holly enthusiasts care to organize an event?

At the summer trade show in Charlotte, a man in the snack food industry was looking for Thaumatococcus danielii (sweet prayer plant), a plant used as a sweetener in Africa and China. He thinks there is a market for it here as a commercial sweetener. If you want to get in on the ground floor and know something about this plant, contact: Gary Dunn, 1400 Goldmine Rd. Monroe, NC 28111, 704-366-1518.

The new address of the North Carolina Arboretum is: The North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806. The telephone number remains 704-665-2492. Everyone is encouraged to visit and see what they have done.

While visiting my hometown of Chillicothe, MO this summer, I went to a State Park that contained the last wet-prairie habitat in the state. Much of Northwest MO was covered by these wetlands before being drained for farming. I observed a spectacular plant with obvious ornamental value,Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush). With dark green, glossy leaves and intriguing white flower balls, it seems a must shrub for anyone lucky enough to have wet areas, bogs or ponds. The September 15, 1997 American Nurseryman has a more complete profile on its back page. One local source is Cure Nursery, 880 Buteo Rd., Pittsboro NC 27312, 919-542-6186. If anyone knows other sources or has experience growing it, please contact Jonathan Nyberg, 919-515-3132.


For Japanese gardening enthusiasts, you might want to peruse a new publication: Roth-Journal of Japanese Gardening. Their flyer said, "We would like to down play the religious and symbolic aspects and focus on designing, building and maintaining Japanese Gardens." The address is: PO Box 159, Dept. B, Orefield, PA 18069.

The proceedings of the tenth conference on Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes have been published in a volume titled, The Influence of Women on the Southern Landscape. The jacket reads, "The essays in this volume bring together for the first time research on the relationship of women to the landscape of the South. They span centuries and cultures;from prehistoric women and horticulture, the backcountry housewife's use of plants, and the life of the plantation mistress, to spirituality and memory in the gardens of modern-day African-American women." To order, contact: Old Salem, Box 10400, Winston-Salem, NC 27108, Attention: Mail Order. 800-822-5151.

Winston-Salem extension agent Toby Bost has authored the North Carolina Gardener's Guide. He is donating part of his proceeds from the book to the JC Raulston Arboretum. Take a look in your local bookstore, library or order directly from the publisher, Cool Springs Press at 888-591-5117. Thanks, Toby, for such generosity!

A special publication, "Horticultural Therapy and the Older Adult Population" is available from the American Horticultural Therapy Association for $28.00. Call 301-948-3010 ext. 16 for more information. If you garden with the elderly at home or at work, consider buying this publication.

Plant News

JC Raulston Selections Program

Jonathan Nyberg
Program Coordinator

In general, humans have an aversion to new things. People like what they know. They like what has been successful, especially if spending money is involved. "My daddy drove a chevy. My mamma planted yellow bells." People seek plants that are familiar, with proven performance. JC was very keen on involving the Arboretum more directly with retail customers. He saw that the Arboretum was in a position to act as a link between wholesale growers, retailers and the general public. With the JC Raulston Selections (JCRS) program, his vision has begun to take shape. The Arboretum is reaching directly to the retail customer to allay their fears about buying new plants. The JCRS tag on the plant will have the unwritten messages: this is a good plant, it has been tested at the JC Raulston Arboretum, trust it. If we are successful in getting that message across, more of the plants that JC promoted will be planted in the landscape. Thus, one of the missions of the Arboretum, to attain a more diverse landscape, will be advanced.

The JCRS is a joint program between the Arboretum and the NC Association of Nurserymen (NCAN). Twelve plants, chosen by committee for their beauty, adaptability, and mass marketability, have been selected for the inaugural release. One or more plants will be released annually. NCAN provided money for a greenhouse at the Arboretum to propagate future releases. They are also funding a part-time propagator.

Color display boards are available for retail outlets that will explain the program to customers. Plant tags are attached to the plants to identify it as a JCRS. Tags can be put on the plants by either the retailer or wholesaler. Leaflets developed for each plant will provide cultural information. Ongoing information on the plants and on the program itself will be disseminated through trade publications and the popular press.

How can you support this program? By buying and growing these plants. If you are a wholesale grower or have a retail business and want information on purchasing JCRS tags, posters or leaflets, contact: Bill Wilder, NC Association of Nurserymen, PO Box 400, Knightdale, NC 27545, 919-266-3322. If you are a retail customer and want to purchase any of these plants, go to your favorite garden center. If they aren't currently selling the plants, ask them to special order the ones you want.

JC Raulston Arboretum SelectionsHuge thanks are due to Bill Wilder, his NCAN staff, and marketing committee members, David Johnson and Joe Stuffregan for the tremendous effort they are making to help put this program together. The Arboretum is very lucky to have them as collaborators.

This ID Tag will be placed on JC Raulston Selection Plants by either wholesalers or retailers.

Here are the inaugural JC Raulston Selections.

Plants Distributed at 1997 NCAN Charlotte Short Course and Trade Show

Todd Lasseigne
Laura Jull
NCSU PhD Candidates

Editor's note: The Arboretum was very fortunate this summer to have graduate students Laura Jull and Todd Lasseigne working with us. Todd is a real Cajun from Thibodaux, Louisiana;and cooks a mean jambalaya. He received his bachelor's degree in horticulture from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and his master's degree from the Universityy of Georgia at Athens. Todd knows more about plants than anyone should at such a tender age. His PhD work is studying the heat tolerance of ornamental plants at NCSU.

Laura received her bachelor's degree in horticulture from Michigan State University in 1991 and her master's in horticulture from NCSU in 1994. Her PhD work is in seed germination and heat tolerance of Chamaecyparis thyoides. After completing her PhD 6 months from now, her goal is to "get a life" while teaching at a university or working at a public garden. Thanks to Laura and Todd for all of their work this summer, working at both SNA and Charlotte, and especially for writing these profiles.

Each year superior, yet underutilized, plants are selected by the JC Raulston Arboretum and distributed at the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen (NCAN) annual summer trade show to interested nurserymen. This distribution serves to introduce a greater diversity of potential landscape plants into the nursery industry for trial, observation, and commercial production. Since 1980, over 76,500 plants comprising 413 species and cultivars have been released through this program. As part of our active campaign to continually introduce plants into the market, the JC Raulston Arboretum invites interested parties to attend the summer trade show in Charlotte and participate in our introductions program. In addition, nursery professionals are encouraged to take cuttings at the Arboretum (with prior approval). Please call (919) 515-3132 for further information.

The following plants were released this year at the NCAN trade show in Charlotte. A wide range of plants, both woody and herbaceous, native and exotic, are represented by this year's selections. Some plants chosen are personal "favorites" of Arboretum staff, while several others are re-releases from previous distributions.

These plants were also on display at the Southern Nursery Association trade show in Atlanta, August 1-3, 1997.

The 1997 Distribution Plants

Plants Under Evaluation at the Arboretum

Todd Lasseigne
NCSU PhD Candidate

The following plants were displayed at the 1997 NCAN summer trade show in Charlotte and at the SNA trade show in Atlanta. They are being evaluated for cold hardiness, heat tolerance and landscape adaptability.

  1. Acer ningpoense; "Formosan trident maple" (Aceraceae);This maple species is native to the island of Taiwan and is most closely related to the commonly cultivated trident maple (Acer buergerianum). It is also sometimes classified as a subspecies of trident maple, Acer buergerianum ssp. ningpoense. Although possibly not as cold hardy as trident maple (due to its nativity in Taiwan, located off the southeastern Chinese coast). Formosan trident maple may be more heat tolerant and thus adaptable to Zone 9, where Acer buergerianum is not a strong grower. Plants are rooted from semi-hardwood cuttings.
  2. Boenninghausenia albiflora;no common name (Rutaceae);An entirely new genus for us here in Raleigh, this plant is most closely related to the culinary herb "rue" (Ruta graveolens) and the herbaceous perennial called "gas plant" (Dictamnus albus) of the citrus family. Listed as hardy to Zone 8 in Hortus III, but native from the Himalayas to Japan, this plant may prove more cold hardy than expected. Completely heat tolerant in a location with full sun exposure at the Arboretum. Leaves are lime-green to yellow-green in color, compound, and have a foul odor when crushed. Our plant has been in continuous bloom for over 3 months now, with small white flowers, not individually showy, but producing a white cast to the entire plant. Foliage may have a darker green color for shade-grown plants.
  3. Carpinus turczaninowii; "Turczaninov's hornbeam" (Betulaceae);An exciting and rarely cultivated hornbeam from northern China and Korea, this plant forms a small tree in cultivation. It is noted for its striking, highly textured foliage and reddish young twigs and yellow fall color. Hardy to Zone 6. Propagation is uncertain at this writing, but semi-hardwood cuttings taken in early summer may root.
  4. Ceris chuniana and Ceris racemosa; "Chun's redbud" and "chain-flowered redbud" (Leguminosae);We received seed of these two redbuds from Chinese Index Semina, from which two seedlings (one of each species) now display rich red tones on young foliage, especially along the veins. Should these traits remain stable, they will offer the first truly red-pigmented foliage in a Chinese redbud species, although there is still much room for improvement. Further trial of these plants is underway at the Arboretum, along with many other redbuds.
  5. Cornus capitata 'Mountain Moon'; "Mountain Moon Himalayan evergreen dogwood" (Cornaceae);Received from Piroche Plants (Pitt Meadows, British Columbia) this plant represents the first cultivar of Cornus capitata, a relative to the kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa). I am not aware of how 'Mountain Moon' differs from typical Cornus capitata. Himalayan evergreen dogwood is not usually regarded as being among the hardiest of dogwoods. However, if the cultivar name is any hint, perhaps greater cold tolerance is embodied in this genotype. 'Mountain Moon' was planted out this year in the Arboretum and has yet to go through an actual winter. Cornus capitata is easily distinguished from the evergreen kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa var. angustata) by its rounded, rather than pointed, creamy-white bracts.
  6. Euscaphis japonica; "sweetheart tree" (Staphyleaceae);A tree introduced by JC from seed collected on the Korean expedition, sweetheart tree (a name coined by plantsman extraordinaire Don Shadow) is a spectacular new plant for southeastern U.S. landscapes. Attractive, fine striped bark, glossy, dark green spring, and summer foliage, and showy, rose-pink capsular fruit all call attention to Euscaphis year-round. Plants, once established, are vigorous growers. Plants are propagated by seed (which possess double dormancy). Cutting propagation is still not fully known.
  7. Ficus tikoua;no common name (Moraceae);Don't look for this plant in any reference books! It's not there! This virtually unknown creeping fig forms a coarse groundcover with interesting dark green foliage (2-3" long x 1" wide) in partial shade. A nice planting exists on the campus of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (Lafayette, LA). Although not likely fully hardy (may be root hardy, though) in Zone 7, this new creeping fig will almost certainly be a fine addition to Zone 8+ gardens. Ficus tikoua is nonexistent in the nursery trade, even among specialty nurseries.
  8. Halocarpus bidwillii; "New Zealand mountain pine" or tarwood (Podocarpaceae);A relative of the podocarps (Podocarpus species), we are trialing this virtually unknown evergreen conifer originally received from Atlanta Botanical Garden for cold hardiness and heat tolerance. A plant in Atlanta is several years old and has grown well, despite competition from nearby wax myrtle, and stands at 3-4' tall. In New Zealand, Halocarpus bidwillii grows in swamps and subalpine regions. Its fast growth rate and soft, medium-green foliage make this plant a potential subject for future nursery production. Further trial of Zealand mountain pine is needed in Zones 8+. Plants were formerly named Dacrydium bidwillii.
  9. Illicium mexicanum 'Aztec Fire'; "Aztec Fire Mexican anise-tree" (Illiciaceae); This superior selection of the Mexican anise-tree was found by JC when he joined the Yucca Do Nursery explorers (John Frye and Carl Schoenfeld) on an expedition to northeastern Mexico. 'Aztec Fire' is distinguished from typical Illicium mexicanum by its larger flowers, which are borne on longer peduncles, thus extending the flowers further outward away from the stems;overall, more showy in flower. Plants have been fully hardy in Raleigh. 'Aztec Fire' is best grown in some shade, although plants will adapt to full sunlight within three years, as long as the soil is not too dry. Plants are produced by cuttings.
  10. Liquidambar styraciflua 'Starlight'; "Starlight variegated sweet gum" (Hamamelidaceae);This variegated selection of our native sweet gum was found as a chance seedling in the Raleigh area. The variegation pattern develops, especially with high temperature, as white speckles over the entire leaf blade. Early spring leaves are almost entirely green, but by summer the leaves appear as if spray-painted with white dots. Variegation does not appear to burn in sunlight; although shade is advisable for trial plants. This plant may be the same as 'Frosty', a variegated sweet gum selection found and named by Raleigh-area plantsman Tony Avent (see update).
  11. Lonicera 'Navasota, Texas'; "Navasota honeysuckle" (Caprifoliceae);The name of this plant has gone from "Novasoga" to "Novasota" and has now finally come to rest (we hope) with "Navasota." By whatever name, this new climbing honeysuckle was discovered in the Texas town of the same name (whatever it is!!) and is valued for its clusters of two-lipped reddish-pink and white flowers produced in abundance in spring and sporadically throughout the summer. It's true identity is not yet known, but Navasota honeysuckle may simply be a form of the European woodbine (Lonicera periclymenum) or a hybrid of its with coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Plants possess attractive foliage with bluish-white undersides and dark purple stems. Semi-hardwood and softwood cuttings root readily.
  12. Myrica cerifera (variegated); "variegated southern wax myrtle" (Myricaceae);Found by NCSU undergraduate horticulture student Richard Olsen, this variegated sport on the commonly grown Southern wax myrtle is currently being bulk up for future evaluation. The stability of the variegation is unknown at this point, but the plant definitely appears to have market potential.
  13. Rhamnus alaternus 'Variegatus'; "variegated buckthorn" (Rhamnaceae);An evergreen, large shrub usually seen in Europe, this buckthorn is suprisingly unknown in the eastern U.S. Native to the Mediterranean, the hardiness of this buckthorn is uncertain, and plants may need protection in Zone 7 for satisfactory garden performance. Further testing of the plant is currently underway at the Arboretum. Plants are propagated from cuttings.

Development News

Thanks to recent gifts, the Raise the Roof Campaign exceeded $1.2 million in gifts and pledges for the future education center. Here are the details on some of the gifts.

SNA Campaign

Laura Jull

At the Past President's Banquet at the Southern Nursery Association's annual conference in Atlanta on August 2, 1997, campaign leadership formally announced a fund drive to raise $500,000 for the Arboretum education center in JC Raulston's memory. Dr. Michael Dirr, University of Georgia, Mr. Don Shadow, President of Shadow Nursery, and Mr. Bill Wilder, Executive Director of the NC Association of Nurserymen, approached the participants at the banquet with a request for significant contributions. Before people were seated in the banquet hall, four students, Todd Lasseigne, Keith Cote, Dale Witt, and myself, placed campaign pledge forms on every seat in the room.

Following the delicious meal and program, Dirr and Shadow kicked off this grassroots campaign that will take the Arboretum into the 21st century. The horticultural education center will provide not only a place for teaching, but also a location that will host dozens of speakers each year, a longtime dream of JC's.

Fairview Garden Center Honors JC

In early 1997, Nelsa Cox contacted the Arboretum to discuss Fairview Garden Center's desire to do something special in memory of JC Raulston. And indeed they did.

"When we heard about JC's death, the owners and staff of Fairview sat down to figure out some way to show appreciation of JC and all he did for us," said Nelsa. "We decided that a percentage of all tree sales for the first six months of the year would be dedicated to the education center in his memory."

This summer, Fairview Garden Center made an extraordinary gift of $10,000 toward the education center.

"I want to express the deepest appreciation to JoAnn Dewar, Susan Rollins, Wayne Dewar, and the rest of the Dewar family, as well as to Fairview's staff," said Arboretum director Bryce Lane. "This is a meaningful and pacesetting gift, especially coming at the beginning of SNA's green industry campaign."

Fairview also is showcasing a JC Raulston Selections collection in their new display gardens.

Construction Drawing Funds

The North Carolina state legislature appropriated $87,000 to the JC Raulston Arboretum for the completion of construction drawings for the education center. This is the first direct state funding that the Arboretum has ever received.

"We appreciate this very meaningful support, and hope that everyone will express special thanks to the bill's sponsors, Senators Plyler, Perdue, Gulley, Hoyle, Kerr and Rand," said Bill Wilder, executive director of the NC Association of Nurserymen. "This is an important moment, not just for the Arboretum, but for North Carolina's green industry.

"We must now redouble our efforts in the final months of 1997 to show the strong, statewide community support for the Arboretum."

District 10 Garden Clubs Team Up

It all began on a wintry day in the Arboretum classroom, where Verna Medieros and Anne Clapp convened a handful of District 10 garden club presidents to discuss how to raise funds for the education center.

"We are excited about the Garden Club of North Carolina's permanent headquarters being in the education center," said district director Anne Clapp. "We in District 10 were determined to be a part of helping get this center built." What followed not only raised funds for the center, but fully combined the efforts of Wake and Franklin County garden clubs for the first time in decades.

On September 27, over 700 plant lovers enjoyed a glorious day touring six diverse and delightful gardens in Cary and Apex as a part of the first District 10 Fall Garden Tour. The event raised $6,792 toward the district's goal of $25,000 to name the Wall Garden lining the rooftop terrace.

Event co-chairs Medeiros and Clapp were joined by committee members Barbara Tetterton, Susan Hyte, Margaret Pearson, Margorie O'Keeffe, Pauline Pasour and Pat Olejar. Thanks also go to garden hosts Mary Edith and Howard Alexander, JC and Dot Taylor, Kathleen and Walt Thompson, Suzanne Edney, Tom and Sarah Harville, and William Sherwood.

Stay tuned for 1998 spring and fall tours. The fun has only just begun!

Franklin County Clubs Raise $800

Margaret Pearson

When the District 10 committee for the Raise the Roof project met to plan a large fund raiser for the whole district, we also discussed ways we could participate as individual clubs. With this in mind, the four federated clubs in Franklin County – the Franklinton, Louisburg, Town and Country, and Martindale Clubs – agreed to have a joint plant, bake and yard sale in hope of raising $500.

The Franklin County Cooperative Extension Service agreed to be a cosponsor, and gave us use of the large covered facility at the local farmers market. A fact sheet about the sale, the purpose and brief history of the JC Raulston Arboretum, plus information about the Raise the Roof campaign was provided to the local radio station, radio personalities and newspapers.

Posters were made and placed in Wake Forest, Youngsville, Franklinton and Louisburg. Signs for street corners were constructed. Finally, gardens and houses were stripped of any possible salable items.

In spite of a brief thundering downpour, we far exceeded our goal, and were delighted to present Verna Medeiros and Catherine Maxwell with a check for $800.

Atlantic Avenue Lawn and Garden Center

Customers at Atlantic Avenue Lawn and Garden Center's Crepe Myrtle Festival enjoyed a dunking booth, a sidewalk sale, and other festivities...and helped support the Arboretum. Proceeds from the crepe myrtle sales for the day – $1,436 – were donated toward the education center.

"We just wanted to give something back to the Arboretum in return for all it does for the community," said owner Dave Reynolds. "We're pleased to be able to help."

Arboretum Receives IMS Grant

The Arboretum received a General Operating Support grant of $76,942 from the Institute of Museum Services. This highly competitive grant, available to museums and public gardens nationwide, was awarded to less than 17% of the applicants. The grant is designed to provide unrestricted funds for general operations.

Regional News

High Point

High Point Friends of the Arboretum have yet another great event in the making. On November 5, they will host speaker Tony Avent at the High Point Country Club for an evening of good food and garden humor.

To attend, send a check for $35 per person written to the High Point Friends of the Arboretum, 354 Park Drive, High Point, NC 27265. Reservations are due by October 31.


On October 7, Greensboro Friends of the Arboretum kicked off their local Raise the Roof drive, and held the first official regional plant distribution. Deborah Glass hosted the event in her lovely garden, and Scott Keener provided gourmet refreshments.

"It feels like Christmas," one participant said. And so it was, as Greensboro members old and new experienced first hand the Arboretum's mission: to get those plants out there!

The Greensboro Friends' next meeting is on Tuesday, November 11. If you would like to get involved, call Diane Flynt at 910-272-5939

Mapping News

Beauties of the Arboretum

Catherine Gaertner – Plant Recorder

This spring I was lucky enough to be offered a temporary job at the JC Raulston Arboretum. My assignment was to complete the computer mapping of the Arboretum, all 165 beds. This meant I had to examine every plant in every bed as I mapped their placement on the computer. It was a unique opportunity to become familiar with plants in the Arboretum.

I started work in March and was delighted to find many plants already blooming profusely. In particular, I was awed by the number and variety of Pieris blooming in the Lathhouse. At that time, I couldn't tell one Pieris from another. I just knew they all looked wonderful.

I began mapping in the West Arboretum. The plantings there are some of the oldest. Many labels were missing, but I had hand drawn maps made by JC in the summer of 1996. One of the first plants to catch my attention, was Magnolia X 'Elizabeth'. It is deciduous with large light yellow blooms. A late spring frost destroyed the flowers, but while in bloom, it was one of the most beautiful plants in the Arboretum.

My next discovery was Sophora davidii. I had always liked Sophora for its finely textured compound leaves, but I was only familiar with Sophora japonica, the Chinese Scholar tree. Sophora davidii is also from China, but it is a large shrub, and has smaller leaves than Sophora japonica. When in bloom, it is covered with small pea-like white flowers. It stayed in bloom for about 2 weeks, and caught the attention of everyone who passed by.

When I was about half-way through mapping the West Arboretum, I discovered Juniperus virginiana 'Grey Owl". Unlike the species, Grey Owl Juniper has beautiful silver blue-green foliage and a rounder habit. It needs full sun and can grow up to 10 feet high.

After finishing the West Arboretum, I started working on the beds around the Southall building. At times I thought I would never get all the boxwoods identified and mapped correctly, but I finally finished with the boxwoods and moved onto the other Southall beds. Here I found the most beautiful conifer I had ever seen! Planted within a foot of the front wall of Southall is Sequoia sempervirens 'Simpson's Silver.' The tree is only about 4 feet tall, but it has wonderful blue-silver foliage which contrasts well with the reddish-brown bark. The next time you come to the Arboretum, it is worth seeking out.

Once Southall was finished, I started working on the Lath house which was renovated earlier this year by Rosemary Kautzky. Over the years, the plants had crowded together and it was often hard to tell which plant belonged to which label. Rosemary moved out many plants and added several new ones. The lath house now has a much more open feeling, and something is blooming in it all the time. The Pieris have already developed the buds which will open next spring. Many Hostas still remain and the last bed has two beautiful Thalictrums which have both attractive foliage and flowers.

I've moved on to the Japanese garden now, and look forward to discovering "new" plants in that garden as well as in the Klein-Pringle White Garden and the rest of the East Arboretum. Coming to the Arboretum almost every day of the week allows me to see it for the excellent collection of plants that it is. Some plants look wonderful year round, but some reach their peak for only a week or two. I've been lucky to see both kinds of plants in the rainy spring and the dry summer. I'm looking forward to the autumn to see other beauties of the Arboretum.

Notes From Val

Val Tyson – Plant Recorder and Computer Goddess

A lot is going on in the mapping realm. Catherine Gaertner is busy entering the results of the "mapping extravaganza" we had last January and February. The parking lot beds and west arboretum beds are finished, and she's made significant progress on the new lath house beds as well as the Southhall gardens. Many thanks again to all of you who withstood cold wind and bad copies of incomplete lists to produce the "snapshot" map of the Arboretum early this year. This has become a valuable set of working maps as well, of course, and you'll find copies of them in four loose-leaf binders on the desk in the Arboretum office near the cats' door. Mitzi's crew and the curators are keeping them up-to-date as they plant.

Edith Eddleman said it would be very helpful to have a "mapper" to record plantings, deaths, etc. when they're working in the perennial borders, on Thursday afternoons. We have just begun trying to get these beds put in the computer, and are concentrating on creating seasonal maps for winter, spring, etc. For the PPA meeting in August, we did summer maps for some of the borders (check the visitor center and/or our web site.) Being a "border mapper" could be a very fun job for someone interested in knowing what Edith and Doug are planting. Call Edith at 286-7691if you're interested.

Vivian Finkelstein has shared her memories of JC with us all by creating a tour map of plants that remind her of JC stories. There are many interesting tidbits in there from one of our oldest and dearest friends. Thank you, Vivian.

If any of you have ideas of maps you would like to create, please get in touch. I can put the maps together more and more easily as time goes on, but I hope you'll do the writing for any interpretation of items on the tour, as well as any special signs you may want to place along with the tour. These tours can be anything from "blue foliage plants" to "plants that attract children" . It's a wonderful way to get to know the Arboretum better, and thousands of visitors will appreciate your sharing.

Allison Modaffari has recently begun data entry work which involves changing mapped plants from the old "one point per plant" system to the new "region" per plant mass system. This is a fun job: take a map from the notebook out to the bed and draw outlines for the plants. Then, come back inside and draw them on the computer. It's surprisingly straight forward, and there's an incredible amount of it to do. Is anyone out there interested in doing something like this evenings and/or weekends?

Donna Maroni has been helping get new accessions entered into the system, but there is still more to catch up on before the fall planting begins. This is something that can be done on campus or at the Arboretum (although computer availability is currently better on campus.)

We're slowly making progress at attaining our goal of catching up with Mitzi's work. It ain't easy.

Volunteer News

Harriet Bellarjeau

More than 700 volunteer hours were used to prepare for two major events in the Arboretum's plant distribution program. In late August, 20 people packed up 150 boxes of plants destined for distribution at the NCAN summer trade show in Charlotte, NC.

In early October, an army of volunteers prepared for the Friend's plant give away. More than 8000 plants were labeled, sorted and nurtured. Thanks to everyone who made these vitally important events possible.

Curators Needed

Curators are needed in the following areas. Please contact Harriet Bellerjeau at the Arboretum Office (919-515-3132) to volunteer.

Blue Garden, Conifers, Nandinas, Paradise Garden, Southwest Garden, Show Booth Coordinator and Telephone Tree Coordinator.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to work with curators in the following areas. Please contact the curator directly.

PERENNIAL BORDER: What could possibly be finer than gardening Thursday afternoons with Edith Eddleman (286-7691) and Doug Ruhren (668-0240)?!

THE KLEIN-PRINGLE WHITE GARDEN: To work in the newly renovated Klein-Pringle white garden, call Karen Jones (484-9567). Plan to work Wednesdays 4pm-7pm, or by arrangement with Karen.

LABELING: Tom Bumgarner (231-7450) needs help Tuesdays with the important task of labeling.

THE GARDEN OF WINTER DELIGHTS: Formerly known as the winter garden. It has two new curators, Jonathan Nyberg (544-7843) and Frank Simpson (682-5754). There are no regularly scheduled times yet, but call Frank or Jonathan to express your interest.

JAPANESE GARDEN: Curator Dan Howe needs help, (828-5462).

VISITOR'S CENTER: Call Bee Weddington (782-7787).

TOUR GUIDES: Volunteers are needed weekdays. Call Fran Johnson (847-5274).

THE MIXED SHRUB BORDER: Call Amelia Lane (787-6228).

Garden News

Hot Beds and Barbeque Served-Up for PPA

Cheryl Doyle – Volunteer

In a setting F. Scott Fitzgerald might have penned, on August 6, 1997 the JC Raulston Arboretum was a party scene with its immaculate grounds, vibrantly colorful flower beds, and the Blue Grass Experience Band playing while 927 guests from all over the world mingled. The occasion was a North Carolina barbecue for participants of the Perennial Plant Association's national meeting.

On a delightfully clear evening the main perennial border, enhanced by gazing globes and a pink flamingo, sparkled. Perennial garden co-curators Edith Eddleman and Doug Ruhren proudly presented a refurbished Elizabeth Lawrence border. A new garden designed by Doug around the Necessary featured purple and chartreuse perennials and annuals. Another new bed of perennials near the Paradise Garden highlighted plants which bloom in our sultry August climate, proof positive that flowers will dance in our hot beds even as we droop.

PPA members swarmed, comparing notes about the naming of plants, cultural habits of personal favorites, conference speakers, and running a business. Many dashed around the Arboretum collecting names of all the plants they admired, just as hundreds of visitors do during the year.

Edith Eddleman, garden tour chairman of this national meeting, thinks the quantity and quality of gardens in the state drew the record crowd. Indeed, the PPA T-shirts, designed by Ruth Amick, proclaimed the theme: "NC: Hot Bed of Perennials."

Helen Schueler of Phoenix, New York, was deeply impressed with JC Raulston's taped lecture on native versus non-native plants. She "...could see why everyone raved about him."

David Leider, of Illinois, particularly enjoyed the main perennial border.

Sue Watkins of Tallahassee, in a letter of appreciation to Edith Eddleman, summed up the southern hospitality as, "...very special and memorable due to the attention to those little details that gave everyone a warm fuzzy feeling." She felt it, "...imperative to say how much she enjoyed the incredible hospitality you extended to everyone. You have outdone yourselves!"

Edith Eddleman and the JC Raulston Arboretum express special thanks to the following people who helped make the conference – and the Arboretum's new perennial gardens – such tremendous successes.

Plant and soil amendment contributors

Arboretum staff and volunteers

Speaker's Baskets

Garden Hosts

Bus Captains

JC Dedications, Tributes, and Memorials

The Arboretum staff continues to be inspired by the numerous dedications, tributes and memorials to JC that have appeared in publications throughout the world. Here is one dedication from the recent Arborvillage Farm Nursery catalog (Holt, MO, 816-264-3911).

This Catalog is Dedicated to the Memory of JC Raulston, Plantsman Extraordinaire

Some say, "What we become depends on what we do for others along the way." Such words mirror the life of our friend, JC Raulston. He saw plants not as a treasure to hoard, but as a gift to be shared. Generosity to the great and small alike redefined itself thru his life and his charity will never be forgotten.

But now the reality of his void is upon us. Yet, as the seed falls into the ground it springs forth to yield itself a hundredfold. Before our very eyes, the birth of a legacy has begun. "Well done good and faithful servant!"

Call for JC Tapes

Tracy Traer is working on archiving JC's materials. Since JC gave talks more than he wrote, recordings of his talks are of great value to the archives. Tracy is particularly looking for a tape recording of JC's HS 531, Plant Physiology class. Please, if you have tapes, or know people who might, please contact Tracy Traer at 919-515-1190. Thanks.

Classified Ads

As a benefit of membership, the newsletter is accepting classified ads under the following headings.

Plant/Seed for Sale/Swap Non-Commercial Only

Help Wanted

There is no charge for this service. Send your brief ad to: Classified Ads, JC Raulston Arboretum, Box 7609, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609.

1996 Accessions

Contact Information

The JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
Box 7609, NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
Arboretum office: 919-515-3132
Development office: 919-515-2000
World Wide Web Address:

Bryce Lane, Director
Catherine Maxwell, Director of Development
Mitzi Hole, Arboretum Technician
Pamela Christie, Secretary
Valerie Tyson, Plant Recorder
Karen Jones, Gardener
Catherine Gaertner, Plant Recorder
Doug Ruhren, Horticultural Advisor
Jonathan Nyberg, Program Coordinator
Harriet Bellerjeau, Volunteer Coordinator

Friends of the JC Raulston Arboretum Newsletter is published four times a year.
Jonathan Nyberg, Editor
Ginger Walsh Long, Layout

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