A celebration of spring, Lilac Sunday arrives May 13

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
April 20, 2018

A celebration of spring, Lilac Sunday arrives May 13

2018 winning design by Julie Pritchard

Lilac Sunday celebrates 110 years in Boston with events from 10am–3pm Pack a picnic…it’s Lilac Sunday! For 110 years, families have made the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University a premier destination to welcome the arrival of the flowering season in Boston. The annual observance of Lilac Sunday—this year celebrated on Sunday, May 13—centers on the […]

Continue reading


Libocedrus decurrens, Lake Tahoe, 1929

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
December 14, 2017

Libocedrus decurrens, Lake Tahoe, 1929

Libocedrus decurrens, Lake Tahoe, 1929

Libocedrus decurrens, Lake Tahoe, 1929 Photograph by Susan Delano McKelvey (1883-1964, American) Lake Tahoe, California, United States December 19, 1929 Susan Delano McKelvey was born in 1883 in Philadelphia. A graduate of Bryn Mawr, class of 1906, she married a young attorney, Charles Wylie McKelvey, in 1907. A socialite, cousin of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, […]

Continue reading


A Month (or More) of Lilacs

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
May 11, 2017

A Month (or More) of Lilacs

Japanese tree lilac flowers

Visit the Arboretum almost any day from late April through early June and you’ll find a lilac (Syringa) in bloom. With about 400 individual specimens representing more than 160 taxa, and with almost all known Syringa species present, the Arboretum’s lilac collection is one of the most comprehensive around. Our earliest blooming lilacs [pdf] are […]

Continue reading


Focus on Phenology: Captivating Clones

by Danny Schissler, Project Coordinator
May 31, 2016

Lilac Path with women in coats and hats standing in the foreground, 1926

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
May 5, 2016

Lilac Path with women in coats and hats standing in the foreground, 1926

Lilacs, spring, Lilac Path, 1926

Lilacs, spring, Lilac Path, 1926 Alternate Title: Lilac Path with women in coats and hats standing in the foreground Photograph by Walter R. Merryman (ca. 1926, American) Lilac Collection, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States 1926 A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University’s HOLLIS+ catalog. As we prepare to celebrate […]

Continue reading


Dana Greenhouses in Winter, 1980 by Jack Alexander

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
February 4, 2016

Dana Greenhouses in Winter, 1980 by Jack Alexander

Dana Greenhouses

Greenhouses, winter, Dana Greenhouses, 1980 Alternate Title: Greenhouses and headhouse Photograph by John H. Alexander (American) Dana Greenhouses, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States February 1980 A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University’s HOLLIS+ catalog. John “Jack” Herbert Alexander III is Plant Propagator at the Dana Greenhouses, Arnold Arboretum. Jack […]

Continue reading


Syringa x chinensis ‘Lilac Sunday’

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
May 8, 2015

Syringa x chinensis ‘Lilac Sunday’

Syringa 'Lilac Sunday'

‘Lilac Sunday’ (the lilac) was named in honor of Lilac Sunday (the event), an annual celebration of the Arboretum’s extensive and beautiful lilac (Syringa) collection. This Arboretum-introduced Chinese lilac cultivar is a floriferous fountain of bloom, its branches loaded with fragrant pale purple flowers each spring. Read more about the selection and introduction of ‘Lilac […]

Continue reading