Archive for January 2009

Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide

By C. Colston Burrell and Judith Knott Tyler

Nothing brightens up a cold winter’s day like the dainty flowers of the many species and varieties of hellebores grown here at the Scott Arboretum. This time of year always piques my interest in hellebores and there isn’t a better source for their taxonomic and cultural information than Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide, written by hellebore experts C. Colston Burrell and Judith Knott Tyler. Dan Hinkley tells the reader about when he first fell in love with these plants in his thoughtfully written foreword. The book describes species grown in the wild as …

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Hamamelis mollis ‘Early Bright’

With a background in forest ecology, I’ve long been acquainted with the fall blooming habit of our native woodland witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana. Every fall, I looked forward to seeing the witch hazel’s spidery flowers emerge, speckling the forest’s understory with yellow. It was not until entering the world of ornamental horticulture that I was introduced to a whole other world of witch hazels, one that includes winter-blooming witch hazels, such as Hamamelis mollis (the Chinese witch hazel), the species for this month’s Plant of the Month.

Hamamelis mollis offers us a bright burst of color during the winter. …

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Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Brochure

You probably haven’t seen the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis. Yet. This beetle from Asia was first discovered in this country in 2002 in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan and currently populates about 5,000 square miles in various states. The closest to us is Virginia, Maryland, and two counties in Western Pennsylvania: Allegheny and Butler. Yesterday, some of us at the Scott Arboretum were shown a presentation by Ron Kushner of Albrecht’s Nursery about the destruction that this insect has caused thus far. It’s pretty incredible.

Fraxinus americana 'Greenspire' at the Scott Arboretum

Fraxinus americana 'Greenspire' at the Scott Arboretum

The Emerald Ash Borer lives and …

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