Collection Statistics

Collection Statistics

Living Collections

As of November 2019, the living collections comprised 17,105 individual plants (including nursery holdings) belonging to 11,035 accessions representing 3,845 taxa. Taken together, the collections are considered to be one of the largest and best documented woody plant collections in North America and the world. Many of these accessions or accession lineages are of historical and botanical importance, representing the original North American introductions of Eastern Asian plants collected by Arboretum staff and affiliates such as Charles Sprague Sargent, Ernest H. Wilson, John G. Jack, Joseph Rock, William Purdom.

Table 1. Taxonomic profile of the Living Collections of the Arnold Arboretum.a
RANK NUMBER
Families 111
Genera 393
Species 2,176
Subspecies 105
Varieties 327
Formae 63
Cultivars 1,437
Infraspecific Hybrids 433
Intergeneric Hybrids 14

aNumbers for infraspecific ranks correspond only to those accessions where rank is known.

Table 2. Provenance of Accessions in the Living Collections of the Arnold Arboretum.
PROVENANCE TOTAL NUMBER PERCENT OF TOTAL
Wild
Direct 3,203 29
Indirecta 911 8
Garden 2,995 27
Uncertainb 3,926 36

aFrom a cultivated plant of known (indirect) wild origin.
bIncludes 2,694 existing or spontaneous accessions whose provenance cannot be determined.

Dead Collections

Only a minority of the accessions ever attempted to be grown in the collections of the Arnold Arboretum are currently alive—some perished, while others representing propagules (e.g., seed, graft, cutting) may have never grown to maturity. The records associated with these legacy collections hold immense value in documenting the history of plant introduction, since the Arboretum facilitated the initial point of entry in North America for many species.

As of November 2019, the legacy collections comprised 69,211 accessions representing 17,137 taxa. Of these, 66,767 individual plants (including nursery holdings) belonging to 44,568 accessions representing 13,191 taxa were inventoried within the living collections before perishing.

Table 3. Taxonomic profile of the Legacy Collections of the Arnold Arboretum.a
RANK NUMBER
Families  214
Genera  1,182
Species  9,791
Subspecies  289
Varieties  1,491
Formae  284
Cultivars  6,427
Infraspecific Hybrids  1,486
Intergeneric Hybrids  99

aNumbers for infraspecific ranks correspond only to those accessions where rank is known.

Table 4. Provenance of the Legacy Accessions of the Arnold Arboretum.
PROVENANCE TOTAL NUMBER PERCENT OF TOTAL
Wild
Direct  14,377  21
Indirecta  4,088  6
Garden  19,161  28
Uncertainb  31,585  45

aFrom a cultivated plant of known (indirect) wild origin.
bIncludes 1,482 existing or spontaneous accessions whose provenance cannot be determined.