Collection Statistics

Collection Statistics

Living Collections

As of April 2020, the living collections (include nursery holdings) comprise 17,153 individual plants belonging to 11,072 accessions representing 3,853 taxa. Of these, 15,360 individual plants belonging to 10,275 accessions representing 3,660 taxa consitute the permanent collections (exclude nursery holdings).

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 394
Species 2,186
Subspecies 105
Varieties 332
Formae 64
Cultivars 1,431
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 3,264 29
Indirecta 911 8
Garden 2,990 27
Uncertainb 3,907 36

aFrom a cultivated plant of known (indirect) wild origin.
bIncludes 2,677 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 April 2020, the legacy collections comprised 74,856 accessions representing 17,926 taxa. Of these, 66,815 individual plants (including nursery holdings) belonging to 44,597 accessions representing 13,251 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  217
Genera  1,221
Species  10,072
Subspecies  296
Varieties  1,518
Formae  290
Cultivars  6,859
Infraspecific Hybrids  1,516
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  14,685  20
Indirecta  4,312  6
Garden  22,204  29
Uncertainb  33,655  45

aFrom a cultivated plant of known (indirect) wild origin.
bIncludes 1,498 existing or spontaneous accessions whose provenance cannot be determined.