Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nyssa sylvatica cvs. 'Sherry's Coud', 'Wildfire' and 'Zydeco Twist' I think;

I couldn't find a label on the contorted one. Many years ago when I first came in possession of the Timber Press reprint of Gerd Krussmann's Manual of Cultivated Broad-Leafed Trees and Shrubs, I recall being amazed to discover the variety of selections that existed for...well, almost all tree species. There are variegated, fern-leafed, fastigiate, dwarf...cultivars of most trees. They're just really uncommon; you do see them individually here and there and in catalogs and on plant lists. Usually not so many in one place though!

These curious selections of the native North American Black Gum, along with many others, are in a research nursery at the Arboretum. Nathan has been urging me to walk through these plant for weeks and we finally did it today. Of course our interest is only in Asian trees but I couldn't help but marvel at the variety. It was like being in a boutique nursery only we could get the material for free so long as we plant it on campus. I have to wonder why I haven't been through it before. Actually, I know the answer. It's because for a time I was obsessed with how overplanted with trees the collection is. Well.....thanks to a few timely removals we do have room for new trees!

We picked out Staphylea holocarpa 'Innocence', a nice Maackia, some Osmanthus (shrubs really), a Sophora/Styphnolobium, two cultivars of Acer caudatum, and a few others. We're debating Aesculus turbinata, the Japanese Horsechestnut. Very exciting stuff.

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