Giant resin bees, finding old friends in a New World

by Brendan Keegan, Landscape Crew Gardener
August 14, 2019

Giant resin bees, finding old friends in a New World

Female giant resin bee (Megachile sculptura)

Although most of our trees have long since bloomed, Tetradium danielli is currently exploding in color. Its multitude of beautiful white flowers in turn attract thousands of bees, explaining its common name, the “bee-bee tree.” Since Tetradium danielli is native to east Asia, the majority of the North American bees discovered its sweet nectar relatively […]

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Eminent panicle hydrangeas

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
July 15, 2019

Eminent panicle hydrangeas

panicle hydrangea flowers

There are certain times of the year when the Arnold Arboretum must be inhaled to round out the full experience. Right now, different parts of the Arboretum are dominated by aromatic compounds volatilizing from the flowers of linden trees (Tilia spp.) and the magnificent panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata). With temperatures high and the sun intense, […]

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Foraging frenzy

by Jonathan Damery, Associate Editor of Arnoldia
July 1, 2019

Enhancing our urban ecosystem

by Andrew Gapinski, Head of Horticulture, and Brendan Keegan, Arboretum Gardener I
March 29, 2019

Enhancing our urban ecosystem

perennial planting peters hill

By Andrew Gapinski, Head of Horticulture, and Brendan Keegan, Arboretum Gardener I   At the Arnold Arboretum, we continuously strive to increase the health of our plant collections, improve the aesthetics of our landscape, and support and enhance ecosystem health across our 281 acres of urban greenspace. We do this by thinking critically about landscape […]

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Conifers from around the world; perennial wildflowers from New England

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
September 11, 2017

Conifers from around the world; perennial wildflowers from New England

wildflowers_DirectorsBlog 9.10_featuredIMG

As autumn begins to set in, it is getting harder and harder to find woody plants in flower at the Arnold Arboretum. And, humans aren’t the only ones to lament the diminution of flowering in September – insects do too! Under the visionary leadership of Andrew Gapinski, Manager of Horticulture, the Arboretum has been working […]

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A small grab bag of early August in the Arnold Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
August 15, 2017

A small grab bag of early August in the Arnold Arboretum

early august_directorsblog_featuredIMG

The lianoid Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla, 43-92*C; left image), growing on the fence around the garage at the Hunnewell Building, is still putting out tender new leaves. The curve in the young stem tells the tale of a plant seeking out structures to curl around for support. The wonderful mass of buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis var. […]

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Teachers Study Flowers and Pollinators

by Ana Maria Caballero, Nature Education Specialist
June 6, 2017

Teachers Study Flowers and Pollinators

Educators examine azalea flowers

The Arboretum for Educators group took advantage of the spectacular blooms along Meadow Road for this month’s session. Teachers were tasked with carefully observing the flowers of a cluster of azaleas found next to the centenarian cork tree (phellodendron amurense var. Lavellei 7544-B) and sketching a perfect open flower in the center of their paper. […]

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Science IRL Features Arboretum Scientists on Butterfly Behavior and Plant Evolution

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
October 19, 2016

Science IRL Features Arboretum Scientists on Butterfly Behavior and Plant Evolution

scienceirl_hopkinslab

How can butterfly behavior influence plant evolution? On the latest episode of Science IRL, Arnold Arboretum scientists Robin Hopkins and Heather Briggs take us through their research investigating this question. Watch the episode to get an inside look at their research into the effects of pipevine swallowtail behavior on the evolution of flower color in […]

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Tree Mob™! Pollinators Present

by Pam Thompson, Manager of Adult Education
July 20, 2016

Tree Mob™! Pollinators Present

Bumble bee by Callin Switzer

Pollinators Present Pollinators are necessary for around 1/3 of the food that humans eat. Over 300,000 species of plants rely on animals for pollination services. Pollinators come in many sizes and shapes — birds, bats, moths, butterflies, flies, and of course, bees. During this tree mob with researcher Callin Switzer, who studies interactions between plants and pollinators, […]

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Bract Facts

by Nancy Rose
June 17, 2016

Bract Facts

Linden - Tilia by Robert-Mayer

Bracts are specialized plant structures that serve varied functions such as attracting pollinators and protecting inflorescences (flower structures). Often leaflike, bracts range from the inconspicuous to the wildly showy. Perhaps the best example of the latter is poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), whose bright red bracts surround the inconspicuous yellow-green flowers and are often mistaken for petals. […]

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