Botanizing in the “Mother of Gardens”

by Meghana Srinivasan, Marketing and Communications Specialist
January 10, 2018

Botanizing in the “Mother of Gardens”

China Expedition 2017_Jonathan Shaw

With three to four times the botanical diversity of North America, China is a hotspot in our search for rare and unusual plants. Last September, the Arboretum joined a two-week expedition in Sichuan with the North America-China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC). Harvard Magazine’s Jonathan Shaw shares the compelling story of the team’s journey, unforeseen challenges, […]

Continue reading


Bussey Brook, winter, beeches, 1924

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
December 7, 2017

Bussey Brook, winter, beeches, 1924

Bussey Brook, winter, beeches, 1924

Bussey Brook valley with American Beeches (Fagus grandifolia) in the foreground Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930) American, English Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States January 24, 1924 Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930) was the furthest traveled of all the Arnold Arboretum’s plant explorers and collectors of the early twentieth century. It is not an overstatement to […]

Continue reading


Aristotle, a solar eclipse, and the tortuosa European beech

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
August 22, 2017

Aristotle, a solar eclipse, and the tortuosa European beech

Solar Eclipse_DirectorsBlog_Featured IMG

“Why, during eclipses of the Sun, if one makes observations of them through a sieve or through leaves (of a plane tree or another broad-leaved tree, for example) or by joining the fingers of one hand to those of the other, the beams become crescents on the ground?” So wrote Aristotle (perhaps), more than 2 millennia […]

Continue reading


Bussey Brook, spring, Beech Collection, 1970

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
May 18, 2017

Bussey Brook, spring, Beech Collection, 1970

Beech (Fagus) Collection

Bussey Brook, spring, Beech Collection, ca. 1970 Alternate Title: Beech (Fagus) Collection Photograph by Pamela Bruns (American) Bussey Brook, Beech Collection, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States ca. 1970 A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University’s Hollis+ catalog. Beeches are an ornamental highlight at the Arboretum, all year long. As […]

Continue reading


Tree Mob™! A Unilateral Contract: Epifagus

by Pam Thompson, Manager of Adult Education
October 12, 2016

Tree Mob™! A Unilateral Contract: Epifagus

Epifagus virginiana

A Unilateral Contract: Epifagus in the Beech Grove Walking under the beautiful American beech (Fagus grandifolia) on a gorgeous afternoon seems a lovely thing. But do you know that a sinister thief may be present? This freeloader, Epifagus virginiana or commonly beechdrop, is a parasitic plant that forms delicate connections to the roots of American […]

Continue reading


Beeches, lindens, and walnuts erupting from buds

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
May 4, 2016

Beeches, lindens, and walnuts erupting from buds

BudburstPart2_directorsBlog42_FeaturedIMG

Just a quick note for the continuing celebration of amazing buds bursting forth this past week at the Arnold Arboretum. The beeches are mostly finished (breaking bud), but Fagus orientalis (Oriental beech; 239-29-B) was impressive against the sun on Saturday: a combination of beautiful plications with shadows of overlapping leaves, along with bud scales and […]

Continue reading


Bussey Brook valley with American Beeches (Fagus grandifolia) in the foreground, 1924

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
November 12, 2015

Bussey Brook valley with American Beeches (Fagus grandifolia) in the foreground, 1924

Bussey Brook valley with American Beeches (Fagus grandifolia) in the foreground

Bussey Brook, winter, beeches, 1924 Photograph by Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930, American, English) Bussey Brook, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States January 24, 1924 A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University’s HOLLIS+ catalog. Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930) was the furthest traveled of all the Arnold Arboretum’s plant explorers of the […]

Continue reading


Beech Trees at Peak Foliage Color

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
November 9, 2015

Beech Trees at Peak Foliage Color

beeches_DirectorsBlog15

Time is of the essence! Make your way to the beech collection at the Arnold Arboretum in the next few days to admire Fagus sylvatica ‘tortuosa’ (14599*A) at the peak of its fall colors. This magnificent specimen came to the Arboretum in 1888. Standing under the canopy is akin to entering a medieval cathedral with […]

Continue reading