2014 Giveaway Plants

Plant list for the 2014 Plant Giveaway

The following plants were offered to Arnold Arboretum members at the 2014 Plant Giveaway for members of the
Friends of the Arnold Arboretum. Plants available in the 2015 Plant Giveaway will be posted in August, 2015.


Acer palmatum and A. palmatum var. atropurpureum

(Green Japanese maple, Red Japanese maple) Zones 5–8
Although relatively small-sized in habit, this native Japanese tree, ranging 8–30 feet in height with an equal or greater spread, is still a showstopper, providing interest as a specimen or accent plant. True to its namesake, the green Japanese maple has delicate, green foliage during the summer months, turning warm shades of bronze, orange, red, or purple in autumn. The red Japanese maple is a variant of the species, and growth is upright and ultimately forms a round-topped canopy up to 15–25 feet. Plant in moist, well-drained soil in a protected location, preferably shielded from wind and late frosts, with a tinge of shade. [30, 60] [Green Japanese maple images] [Red Japanese maple images]

Aesculus flava

(Yellow buckeye) Zones 4–7
Plants were derived from a yellow buckeye wild-collected by Arboretum staff in 1979 in Rutherford County, North Carolina; visit the parent tree in the Aesculus Collection off of Meadow Road. Native from Pennsylvania to northern Alabama, A. flava is the largest of the buckeye species indigenous to the US. Yellow buckeye matures to a medium- to large-sized tree, 40–60 feet in height, with palmately compound leaves. Each of the five leaflets are 4–6 inches long, dark green in color, changing to a vivid yellowish-orange in autumn. Soft yellow flowers, which give this tree its common name, are borne in 6-inch-long panicles in spring, followed by smooth, light brown capsules. Perfect as a shade tree or planted in a woodland area. Requires full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil. [60] [Images]

Cercidiphyllum japonicum

(Katsura) Zones 4–8
With heart-shaped foliage that emerges a rich reddish-purple in color, becomes bluish-green in summer, and changes to apricot in fall, what is not to love about katsura? With its full pyramidal to wide-spreading shape, katsura requires plenty of room to grow, reaching a height of 40–60 feet with a spread of 20–30 feet. During the fall when its orange leaves are senescing and rustling to the ground, be prepared for a treat—the foliage emits an enchanting fragrance that has been compared to brown sugar or cotton candy. Grow in full sun in moist, well-drained soil and provide supplemental watering until fully established. No serious pest issues to be concerned about, so sit back and take in katsura with all of your senses. [100] [Images]

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Chabo-hiba’

(Hinoki cypress) Zones 5–8
A cutting propagated more than 40 years ago from a dwarfed specimen in our Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection provided the propagation material for these plants. The original clone has reached nearly half its potential height of 50–75 feet, and grows adjacent to the bonsai pavilion as a reminder of how dwarfed plants revert to their natural habits under normal growing conditions. Rare in the trade, ‘Chabo-hiba’ has a denser, narrower habit and is slower growing than the species. Grow in moist, well-drained soil in full sun with protection from winter winds as part of an evergreen screen, or start a bonsai of your own. [50] [Images]

Diospyros virginiana

(Seed collected on 2013 Midwest US Expedition; collection #250-2013)
(Common persimmon) Zones 4–9
Reaching a height of 30–60 feet at maturity, persimmon will thrive in less-than-ideal conditions including partial shade, drought, and low fertility soil. Although it can be trained as a single specimen, its natural habit allows it to colonize in stands. Propagated from seeds that were collected by Curator of Living Collections Michael Dosmann on expedition in southern Illinois. We are told that the yellow-orange fruits that appear in late fall provided some delicious sustenance for the weary collecting team. [140] [Images]

Heptacodium miconioides

(Seven-son flower) Zones 5–8
If you enter the Arboretum through the Centre Street Gate, you may encounter the original introduction of seven-son flower in North America, supplied by Hangzhou Botanical Garden in China. Grown as a small tree or large shrub, it attains 20–25 feet in height, with a spread of 15–20 feet. Seven-son flower has an open growth habit, and grayish-brown outer bark exfoliates to reveal a lighter inner bark. The flowers provide this unique plant with its namesake—six delightfully fragrant, white blossoms are borne in whorled 6-inch long panicles, terminated by a seventh flower. This is followed by showy, purplish-red seed clusters that exceed the beauty of the inflorescences. Thrives in sun to light shade, with the best flowering occurring in full sun and well-drained soil. [140] [Images]

Malus sargentii

(Sargent crabapple) Zones 4–7
Originally collected in Japan and introduced by Founding Director C. S. Sargent in 1892, this compact, low growing crabapple will be a welcome addition to any flowering tree collection. This species is believed to be self-compatible and therefore should grow true to type from seed. Flowers are single, red in bud, and fade to white after opening. Highly fragrant, this plant will do very well in full sun and rich, loamy soil. Fire blight and leaf spot disease don’t seem to bother this crabapple, which despite its fine qualities remains difficult to find in the nursery trade. [30] [Images]

Prunus alleghaniensis

(Allegheny plum) Zones 5–7
Attention birders! This rare native plant was grown with seed harvested from the Arboretum’s collection of rare and endangered plants. We are pleased to offer this small tree/large shrub that thrives in moist soil and full sun. Its abundant flowers change from white to light pink, and yield small bluish fruits. Wildlife appreciate the fruit, as well as the shelter provided by the plant’s thick branching. Grow as a single specimen or allow it to form a thicket, and enjoy the brilliant red colors that new growth will yield during its first winter. [20] [Images]

Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’

(Cultivar of cherry plum) Zones 4–8
There are several varieties of cherry plum in the Arboretum collections, and many reasons why this small tree is adored. ‘Thundercloud’ is a fast grower, can attain a height of 15–25 feet, and forms a dense, upright to spreading silhouette. Pink, fragrant single blossoms appear before leaves emerge in the spring, and gorgeous, deep purple foliage is held throughout the growing season. Red, 1½–3 inch fruits are borne in summer and attract birds and squirrels. Makes an outstanding accent plant in a front garden or back patio where it can delight for multiple seasons. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil. [70] [Images]

Prunus subhirtella

(Higan cherry) Zones 4–8
Native to Japan, this showy, medium-sized flowering cherry is tolerant of both summer heat and winter cold. Blooms bountifully in April with flowers that fade from pink to white. Plant Higan cherry in full sun and in fertile, well-drained soil to yield best results. This plant lot was grown from seeds collected from a weeping variety of this species. Since the seeds derive from open pollination, the resulting plants may be of hybrid nature. However, no matter what the ultimate form your plant takes, it is guaranteed to be one of the most prized plants in your garden, and a reliable harbinger of spring. [50] [Images]

Pseudolarix amabilis

(Golden larch) Zones 5–7
Arboretum benefactor H. H. Hunnewell shared P. amabilis seeds with us in 1896 which produced the magnificent, sentinel-like trees in our collection. We honor the tradition by sharing these seedlings with you. A slow-growing deciduous conifer, it lights up spring with a lime green flush of foliage that dazzles again in fall when it turns bright gold before shedding. Great as a single specimen and particularly effective when planted as a grove. Prefers acidic soil and full sun, preferably with wind protection. Avoid locations with standing water. [40] [Images]

Quercus grandulifera

(Konara oak) Zones 6–8
Native to China, Japan, and Korea, this smaller, slow-growing oak was introduced to North America by the Arnold Arboretum in 1893. Tolerant of many soil types and reaching a maximum height of 50 feet, this tree will do well on a smaller property in need of a good shade tree that will not demand a great deal of space. Grown from seed gathered within our collection, the Konara oak will produce a spectacular autumn display of orange and red in its canopy when planted in full sun or partial shade. [60] [Images]

Quercus palustris

(Seed collected on 2013 Midwest US Expedition; collection #247-2013)
(Pin oak) Zones 4–8
Another offering that originated as a wild-collected specimen from our 2013 collecting expedition in the Midwest. Pin oak is one of the faster growing oaks and can reach up to 60–70 feet in height with a spread of 25–40 feet. Once mature, it has an appealing pyramidal shape with pendulous lower branches and shiny dark green leaves turning to bronze or red in autumn. Even though acorns were collected from a tree growing in an open, swampy field in Indiana, pin oak will make an exceptional addition as a lawn or street tree in our region, providing shade for decades to come. Grow in full sun and moist, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH-pin oak is intolerant of high pH soils. [30] [Images]

Tsuga sieboldii

(Collected in South Korea in 2008; collection #1009-2008)
(Japanese hemlock) Zones 6–8
Collected by Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici on Ulleung Island off the coast of South Korea, these trees are unique, and quite possibly a new, previously undescribed hemlock species. While the evergreen needles and cones of this plant resemble those of our native Eastern hemlock (T. Canadensis), the Korean plants have a more rounded habit and exhibit less uniform growth, particularly in youth. Grow it in full sun to partial shade in acidic, well-drained soil. Like Chinese hemlock (T. chinensis), these trees should carry resistance to HWA. Because these rare plants were collected outside the US as part of a research program, their distribution is highly regulated. However, we are happy to be able to share them with you through special agreement. [110] [Images]


Fothergilla × intermedia ‘Blue Shadow’

(Large fothergilla) Zones 5–8
Lighten up a woodland garden with ‘Blue Shadow’, the largest member of the Fothergilla genus, attaining 6–10 feet in height and width. Its steely-blue foliage and fragrant clusters of bottlebrush-like white spikes, borne at the end of branches in early May, will provide a much desired contrast in a plant grouping. The fall color is also a standout, ranging from scarlet red to orange and yellow, all on the same shrub. This species is native to the mountains of North Carolina and originated as a branch sport from Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’. Performs best in full sun to light shade in loamy soil. [20] [Images]

Ilex rugosa

(Rugose holly) Zones 3–6
If you are seeking a small shrub that will not overtake your border, then search no longer! Collected from of a specimen that was originally accessioned in 1953, this low-growing, prostrate shrub reaches a height of no more than 8–12 inches and spreads to 2–3 feet. Its glossy, dark green evergreen leaves will provide year-round interest, and red, ¼-inch fruit (this lineage is a female) ripen in September. Rugose holly was one of the parents used in developing the Meserve holly hybrids, ‘Blue Prince’ and ‘Blue Princess’. Very hardy, but not exceptionally heat tolerant. [90] [Images]

Lindera benzoin

(Seed collected on 2013 Midwest US Expedition; collection #248-2013)
(spicebush) Zones 4–9
Add a touch of the Midwest to your garden-plants were grown from wild-collected seed obtained from a stand in St. Joseph County, Indiana by Curator of Living Collections Michael Dosmann last autumn. Growing 6–12 feet in height with a similar spread, this rounded, suckering, loose shrub performs best in sun to partial shade. Foliage is deep green, turning to a soft yellow later in the season with dainty yellow flowers in early spring and abundant, scarlet fruit produced in fall. Not only is spicebush a feast for the eyes, but collection notes highlight the very aromatic, lemon scent that emanates from the bark when scratched. This pleasant fragrance is also emitted from the foliage after crushing. Spicebush is an excellent choice for borders or naturalizing and grows well in moist soil. [60] [Images]

Myrica pensylvanica

(Bayberry) Zones 3–6
This salt-tolerant seashore native will withstand Boston winters and continue to thrive, despite cold temperatures and copious salt applications to nearby sidewalks and roadways. Bayberry is an East Coast native from western New York to Maryland, and grows as an upright and rounded shrub, 5–12 feet in height with an equal spread. Leaves are a deep, glossy green, leathery in texture, and are aromatic when crushed. Excellent for massing and borders, especially where salt spray and poor soil conditions are of concern. Prefers full sun and well-drained soil. [40] [Images]

Pinus banksiana

(1047-68*A; at Dana Greenhouses–no public access to this accession)
(Jack pine) Zones 2–7
These seedlings from an unusual form of Jack pine hold the exciting potential to create a woody ground cover in full sun. The parent plant was grown and selected from seeds collected by legendary Arboretum propagator Al Fordham along the harsh seacoast at Schoodic Point in Maine’s Acadia National Park. He described the source plant as dwarf, gnarled, and standing about 2 feet in height. The parent plant of our seedlings grows very low to the ground and spreads in all directions. Poor, acidic soils pose no challenge to these tough, adaptable plants. [40] [Images]

Prunus maritima

(Beach plum) Zones 4–7
Beach plum holds a special place in many Cape dwellers’ hearts (and yards). Prevalent on Cape Cod, its native range spans New Brunswick to Maine and Virginia. With a rounded, dense, suckering habit, this shrub grows 6 feet in height or taller. Foliage is attractive and it blossoms with velvety, white, ½-inch diameter flowers. The ½-1 inch, reddish-purple, tart fruits ripen in late summer and are a favorite for use in jams and jellies. Fruit is also beloved among birds, so gather beach plums before wildlife get their fill. Beach plum is highly salt tolerant and grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. [40] [Images]

Rhododendron schlippenbachii

(Royal azalea) Zones 4–7
A deciduous azalea native to Korea and China, royal azalea was first collected for the Arboretum by Professor John G. Jack on his 1905 expedition to Asia. Royal azalea is a dense, multi-stemmed shrub, maturing at 6–8 feet in height. Each spring before the leaves emerge, a profusion of large, slightly fragrant, pale rose-pink blossoms are produced. It bears dark green leaves in whorled groups of five at the end of the branches. Foliage may turn yellow to orange in color in autumn. It is useful as a specimen or as a foundation or border planting. Royal azalea is reported to be more tolerant of high pH soils than most other azaleas, and thrives in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil. [140] [Images]

Salix gracilistyla

(Rosegold pussy willow) Zones 5–8
Our 2014 Hunnewell Interns at the Dana Greenhouses, Olivia Fragale and Cami Lowder, propagated this extremely showy pussy willow from softwood cuttings. Known for its large, pinkish catkins touched by varying shades of red, this shrubby willow will thrive in moist soil. It appreciates full sun but will tolerate some shade. Allow it to grow into its full potential of 6–10 feet or coppice as needed and enjoy the fresh look of new growth every year while keeping it contained to a smaller planning area. [130] [Images]

Syringa vulgaris ‘Frederick Law Olmsted’

(Cultivar of common lilac) Zones 4–7
A hybrid of the common lilac created by Richard Fennichia of Highland Botanical Park in Rochester, NY, and named for the father of American landscape architecture. The exceptional feature of ‘Frederick Law Olmsted’ is that it annually produces clusters of single white flowers that are evenly distributed over the entire plant, described as a “snowball effect.” Given enough space, it has the ability to produce a well-rounded shrub, approximately 10 feet in height and spread, which displays good green foliage throughout the summer. Grows well in full sun to partial shade in alkaline, well-drained soil. [40] [Images]

Syringa vulgaris ‘Yankee Doodle’

(Cultivar of common lilac) Zones 4–7
Add patriotic flare to your garden! Fragrant, dark purple flowers make this cultivar of the common lilac a striking addition to any garden. Hybridized by famed lilac hybridizer Father John Fiala, ‘Yankee Doodle’ has attractive foliage and bears large, single flowers in abundant, conical, 4–8 inch panicles. Not prone to disease, this cultivar grows 8–10 feet in height and 4–5 feet in width at maturity. Best grown in full sun and neutral soil. Arboretum Plant Propagator and lilac expert Jack Alexander recommends it as an excellent choice to plant along a pathway. [90] [Images]

Syringa × hyacinthiflora ‘Vesper Song’

(Cultivar of early flowering lilac) Zones 4–7
Although Lilac Sunday is only a one day event, experience the sweet fragrance of ‘Vesper Song’ daily in your shrub planting throughout early- to mid-spring. S. × hyacinthiflora is a hybrid between S. oblate (early lilac) and S. vulgaris (common lilac), and will attain 8–10 feet in height and spread. ‘Vesper Song’ graces the landscape with abundant masses of outstanding, deep purple blossoms, flowering earlier than common lilac. Foliage turns burgundy-purple in autumn and is reasonably tolerant of powdery mildew. Exceptional when planted near a courtyard or walkway, so that the flowers’ heavenly perfume can be appreciated by all. Flowers also make a pleasant addition to arrangements. Grow in full sun and well-drained soil, and bring home the magic of our lilac collection on Bussey Hill. [30] [Images]

Viburnum nudum

(Possumhaw) Zones 5–9
The first possumhaw viburnum that the Arboretum received was a cutting in 1886 from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in England. A wild-collected accession from Alabama can be viewed in the Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden. This upright shrub is native from Long Island to Florida, west to Kentucky and Louisiana, growing 6–8 feet in height with a 5–7 feet spread. Glossy green foliage is stunning in spring and summer and turns to a magnificent wine-red in fall. Soft white flowers bloom in spring, and give way to an unparalleled fruit display: drupes change from green to hues of vivid pink, intense blue, and purplish-black, creating quite a spectacular seasonal transition. Possumhaw adapts well to low and poorly drained sites in the garden. Best flowering and fruit production is achieved in full sun. [30] [Images]


Clematis virginiana

(Seed collected on 2013 Midwest US Expedition; collection #268-2013)
(Virgin’s bower) Zones 4–9
Native from Nova Scotia south to Georgia and Kansas, this striking deciduous vine may attain 12–20 feet in length. Creamy white panicles of flowers are produced in great numbers throughout the summer, and silver, feathery seed heads persist in fall. It is also known as ‘Prairie Smoke on a Rope’, as the seed head is likened to that of the prairie plant Geum triflorum (prairie smoke). Plant virgin’s bower in well-drained soil with full sun to light shade. Seeds were wild-collected in 2013 from a plant growing at the woodland’s edge in Illinois, so this vine can tolerate some shade. Place near a fence or trellis, but close enough to be viewed through a window to enjoy its unique flowers, even from indoors. Seed heads are attractive in dried floral arrangements. [40] [Images]

Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’

(Japanese hydrangea vine) Zones 5–9
Perhaps you have admired our Japanese hydrangea vine in the Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden—here is your opportunity to showcase this eye-catching, four season vine on a trellis or wall in your own garden. It climbs 20–30 feet by means of clinging rootlets, and bluish-green leaves display pale silvery markings, which suggest the appearance of shining moonlight. Soft, white, 8–10 inch, hydrangea-like clusters bloom for 6–8 weeks during the summer. Foliage changes to yellow in autumn, and attractive, reddish-brown stems provide winter interest. Grow in light shade and moisture-retentive, but well-drained soil. [140] [Images]