Plant & Garden Highlights

Plant & Garden Highlights

Since its founding in 1872, the Arnold Arboretum has endeavored to acquire woody plants (trees, shrubs, and vines) from around the world that are potentially hardy out-of-doors in the Boston region. Today the Arnold Arboretum cultivates around 15,000 living plants which represent some 4,000 kinds of trees, shrubs, and vines. Plants are labeled for identification and are largely grouped by family for easy comparison, arranged to follow the botanical sequence proposed by English botanists George Bentham and Joseph Hooker in Genera Plantarum (1862-1883). The diversity of plants and the naturalistic design of the landscape offer exceptional beauty and horticultural interest at all times of the year. In addition to exploring plants by family, visitors are invited to enjoy a number of featured destinations, special horticultural displays, and areas of natural woods within the Arboretum’s 281-acre landscape.

Azalea Border
This collection of Rhododendron and other members of the heath family (Ericaceae) feature masses of shrubs grown mainly for their ornamental merit.

Willows in Bussey-Brook Meadow, early spring
The 24 acres that make up Bussey Brook Meadow are preserved with minimal human interference as a site for research into the complex interactions that characterize urban environments.

Bradley Rosaceous Collection
The Arboretum’s collection of rose family plants has been enhanced through a three-year redesign and reinvigoration effort.

Conifer Collection
The Arboretum offers opportunities to observe a diverse selection of coniferous plants from around the temperate world.

Weld Hill rises 172 feet, planted from top to bottom with a wildflower mix developed by Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici.

Malus Collection
Over the late summer months into fall, admire ripening fruit in shades of green, yellow, orange, and red.

Explorers Garden
Fall foliage in the Explorers Garden and throughout the Arboretum typically peaks in October.

Hemlock Hill
Dominated by natural stands of Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock), Hemlock Hill is a year-round pleasure ground.

Bonsai Collection
The bonsai are on view from mid-April through mid-November, daily from 8:00am to 3:45pm, excluding holidays.

Leventritt Collection
Dedicated in 2002, the garden features terraced planting beds and a diverse selection of sun-loving shrubs and vines for multi-season interest.

Lilac Collection
With over 165 different kinds of lilacs, the collection provides a season of bloom spanning six weeks each spring.

Maple Collection
With diverse and numerous holdings of wild-collected maples, the Arnold Arboretum participates as a maple collection site for the North American Plant Collections Consortium.

Rhododendron Dell
Rhododendron Dell is a contemplative landscape showcasing the Arboretum’s core collection of hybrid and evergreen rhododendrons.

Spontaneous Flora
The spontaneous vegetation that exists at the Arboretum reflects not only the agricultural history of the land but also its long horticultural history, and includes our fungi, lichens, ferns, and mosses.