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Winter Fruits

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
December 2, 2015

DirectorsBlog 19_fruitsBlackFriday

Winter Fruits

DirectorsBlog 19_fruitsBlackFridayFriday is not black at the Arnold Arboretum! With highs in the low 60s and the need to walk off a bit of yesterday’s Thanksgiving turkey, head for the Bradley Rosaceous Collection to enjoy the fruits of these plants’ growing season labors. Hawthorns (a personal favorite), medlars, quinces, cherries, pears, crabapples, and roses from around the world. Some fruits are just hitting their peak, and many are well beyond (and every bit as beautiful in their aging decrepitude).

From the past week of my wanderings: the stunning red fruit of the green hawthorne ‘winter king’ (Crataegus viridis, 368-2012*A) with a very persistent calyx and vestiges of the anthers from last spring, the overripe fruit of the Dawson crabapple (Malus x dawsoniana, 102-89*C) by Dawson Pond, the kaleidoscopic pomes of the cutleaf crabapple (Malus torincoides, 202-2001*A), and the ground level fruits of a hybrid quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘foliis rubris’, 545-84*MASS). While strolling, take in the beautiful architecture of the weeping cherries, now leafless and showing off the “bones” of their structure.

Wondering who (Jackson Thornton) Dawson was? He was the first staff member hired by Charles Sprague Sargent (first Director of the Arboretum) and served as propagator at the Arnold Arboretum for over 40 years. He and his family lived right on the grounds of the Arboretum, at 1090 Centre Street, a wonderful early 19th century farmhouse that still stands. For more on Dawson from Arnoldia, click here.

N-ed Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum

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