The importance of Asia’s plant diversity and its relationship to the flora of North America has been a focus of the Arboretum from the beginning. The pioneering theories of disjunction by Harvard botanist Asa Gray were championed by Founding Director Charles Sprague Sargent, who launched the Arboretum’s historic work in botanical exploration by contracting William Clark to collect plants in Japan in 1876. The Arboretum was the first Harvard affiliate to engage with China, beginning with a 1905 expedition by J.G. Jack. Subsequent trips to China, Korea, and Japan by renowned Arboretum explorer Ernest Wilson and others introduced many Asian plant species to the Arboretum and to the West, and contributed to scholarship including the Flora of China. In addition to exploration, Asia Programs at the Arboretum continue through numerous partnerships and research exchanges, including NACPEC the Shiu-Ying Hu Award.
Arnold Arboretum Arnoldia Autumn botanical illustration botany Bussey Hill Campaign for the Living Collections Cam Webb Charles Sprague Sargent China climate change Dana Greenhouses Eastern Asia Elizabeth Wolkovich Ernest Henry Wilson evolution exhibits flowers Friedman Lab fruits history Hopkins Lab horticulture library Living Collections magnolias Natural History New England Peter Del Tredici phenology photography plant collecting plant exploration plant propagation putnam fellow seeds spring summer trees Trees of New England Tree Spotters urban ecology William (Ned) Friedman winter Wolkovich Lab