Archive for September 2010

Wister Center Awarded Gold LEED Certification

by Alisa Giardinelli, Communications Office of Swarthmore College

Entrance to Wister Education Center and Greenhouse. photo credit: Archer and Buchcannon

The Scott Arboretum’s Wister Education Center and Greenhouse which opened last fall, recently received gold LEED certification for new construction from the U.S. Green Building Council. The award – which identifies the Center as a “pioneering example of sustainable design” – is the culmination of an effort that began during the earliest stages of the project.

“I feel a real sense of pride that the educational and horticultural work of the Arboretum is housed in a way that exemplifies beautiful and sustainable design and a sensible use of resources,” says Scott Arboretum …

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Plant of Week – September 20

Cyclamen hederifolium pink form ii

Cyclamen hederifolium pink form scattered throughout the Harry Wood Garden. photo credit: J. Coceano

Heptacodium miconioides flower

Heptacodium miconioides blooming by Old Tarble. photo credit: J. Coceano

Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red'

Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ in fruit along Rose Garden Circle. photo credit: J. Coceano

Viburnum x rhytidophyllum 'Alleghany'

Viburnum x. rhytidophyllum ‘Alleghany’ found behind Hicks Hall. photo credit: J. Coceano…

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Opuntia, a Fall Fruit

The red fruit of Opuntia humifusa. photo credit: J. Coceano

A sure sign of the approaching autumn is the annual harvest of fall fruit crops.  Downtown Swarthmore eagerly displays a banner announcing their upcoming apple festival.  My time at the Scott Arboretum has opened my eyes to nontraditional fruit.  One such example is Opuntia. Known as the prickly pear or cactus pear, Opuntia is a member of the Cactaceae family and is found throughout the Americas.  Nearly 300 species have been identified with some 104 recorded in Mexico.

Opuntia is one of several New World crops that have been cultivated since the time of the Aztec empire.  The fruit, known …

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