Chris Howkins, Heathlands, and the Natural History of Britain

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
August 11, 2017

Chris Howkins, Heathlands, and the Natural History of Britain

Gorse, Broom, and Heathlands

In addition to our archives, photographs, rare floras, and journals, the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library holds a variety of natural history monographs, including plant lore. Plant lore is a cultural and mythological study, which examines the historical human relationship with its natural habitat, which is a central tenet of the human-plant connection. The utility of […]

Continue reading


Maps tell a story

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
August 1, 2017

Caring for the splendor of Rhododendron Dell

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
May 22, 2017

Caring for the splendor of Rhododendron Dell

Rhododendron 'King Tut'

Rhododendrons are inextricably linked to the history of our landscape. Horticulturalists had endeavored to hybridize these colorful flowering shrubs for northern and western gardens for well-over a hundred years, and they have proved worth the effort because of their evergreen variety and beauty in the landscape. Starting in the mid-1880s, Arboretum staff methodically evaluated these […]

Continue reading


Magnolia madness in April

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
April 19, 2017

Magnolia madness in April

Magnolia flower

Magnolia trees surrounding the Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum unleash their flowering with shameless abandon throughout the month of April—and why not? This ancient family of deciduous trees is easy to fall in love with, if not for their fragrance then their variety—they subdivide into hundreds of cultivars and hybrids, and their colors vary […]

Continue reading


Early spring flowering with Forsythia

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
April 10, 2017

Early spring flowering with Forsythia

Forsythia by Blanche Ames Ames

April is the perfect month to catch the bright flowering of Forsythia in our Living Collections. Spring is manifest in these golden, deciduous shrubs, and the Visual Archives at the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library curates brilliant Ektachrome color photographs of Forsythia, available online. Forsythia is named after William Forsyth (1737–1804), the Scottish horticulturalist and a […]

Continue reading


The Arnold Arboretum’s Cuban Connection

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
August 2, 2016

The Arnold Arboretum’s Cuban Connection

John Jack in Cuba, April 1927

Harvard University began its involvement with topical botany in Cuba in 1899 when Edwin Atkins (1850–1926), owner of the Soledad Plantation in Cuba, met with Harvard Professors Oakes Ames and George Goodale and established The Harvard Botanic Station for Tropical Research and Sugar Cane Investigation. In 1920, the ties between the garden and Harvard became […]

Continue reading


Library joins The Harvard Depository

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
May 19, 2016

Simmons Interns In The Archives

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
January 20, 2016

Simmons Interns In The Archives

Lilac Sunday collection

For many years, the library has been very lucky to have a number of Simmons students from the School of Library and Information Sciences come intern with us. Students are placed at the Arboretum through their introductory archive classes, where they must finish a number of hours to receive course credit. Multiple projects have been […]

Continue reading


A Naturalist in Western China, part two

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
August 31, 2015

A Naturalist in Western China, part two

I was fortunate to intern with the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library from January to February of this year, during which time I promised to write a two-part series on Ernest Henry Wilson’s A Naturalist in Western China. After a (very) long break due to other academic work, I’m finally back to finish the series with […]

Continue reading


The Journey of the Giant Sequoia

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
July 30, 2015

The Journey of the Giant Sequoia

Giant Sequoia

Passersby strolling along Hemlock Hill Road are struck by the amazing view of the conifer collection, sprawling above the open glade known as Kent Field, across from Bussey Brook. Among the pines, spruces, and firs is one of the Arboretum’s finest specimens of giant sequoia or redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum). This native of California’s Sierra Nevada […]

Continue reading