Two stunners worth finding

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
April 21, 2019

Earliest spring is red

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
March 30, 2019

Earliest spring is red

silver maple flower

Early spring flowering is well underway at the Arnold Arboretum. Of special note today, are those wind-pollinated species whose flowers are essentially reduced to little more than the structures that produce pollen or seeds (no need for showy petals to attract pollinators). Among temperate woody plants, these early spring wind-pollinated taxa typically have unisexual flowers, […]

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Botanical thermometers

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
March 9, 2019

Full moon, clear sky, trees, ice, lunar eclipse

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
January 21, 2019

Looking ahead to a botanically rich new year

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
January 3, 2019

Looking ahead to a botanically rich new year

Tsuga diversifolia

With so much to be thankful for—extraordinary plants, a magnificent landscape, devoted colleagues, and a passionate community of friends of the Arnold Arboretum—I wish all of you a joyous new year, filled with the wonderment of nature. From the depths of winter dormancy, I have chosen one of my favorite memories (among many) of 2018: […]

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Samaras in the sun

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
December 10, 2018

Samaras in the sun

Acer samaras

This past week has been an unbroken streak of sunshine and intense blue skies in Boston, with crisp cold temperatures—perfect for extended walks in the Arnold Arboretum. As I wandered in the Maple Collection, one tree took my breath away, an Amur maple, Acer tataricum ssp. ginnala (701-63*E), whose translucent membranous winged fruits (samaras) collectively […]

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Nothing gold can stay

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
November 10, 2018

Glowing brilliant red Chinese endemic shrubs at the Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
October 22, 2018

Glowing brilliant red Chinese endemic shrubs at the Arboretum

Heptacodium miconioides

Seventy-three years is a long wait. That’s what it took between the Arnold Arboretum’s Ernest Henry Wilson (the great explorer of Asian plant biodiversity in the early twentieth century) first observing seven son flower (Heptacodium miconioides) in Hubei in 1907 and its arrival in the living collections here in Boston. Only in 1980, with the […]

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Carbon tax on beech trees!

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
October 1, 2018

Carbon tax on beech trees!

Beech drops

A serendipitous encounter with a magnificent population of beech-drops on Peters Hill has really made my week. Beech-drops (Epifagus virginiana) is a flowering plant whose ancestors lost the ability to photosynthesize. It obtains all of its organic carbon by invading the fine roots of American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia). Not a touch of green can […]

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A kaleidoscope of fruits at the Arnold Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
September 16, 2018

A kaleidoscope of fruits at the Arnold Arboretum

Broussonetia papyrifera

Late afternoons in September, with shadows blanketing the landscape and sun flecks dancing on individual trees and shrubs, are heaven. This is the perfect time to see the nearly limitless variety of colors, shapes, textures, and sizes of fruits at the Arnold Arboretum, without the distraction of fall colors. The fruits stand out against the […]

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