Archive for November 2012

Brugmansia – Floriferous South American Beauty

The Scott Arboretum boasts an impressive collection of plants suitable for growing in the Delaware Valley of southeastern Pennsylvania. Woody plants are emphasized. Plants from Abelia to Zenobia and Clematis to Yucca are cataloged in a document listing all living woody plants.  Plant records are maintained in the computerized database, BG-BASE™. All accessioned plants are labeled with aluminum tags containing their accession number and botanical name. There are some woody plants, Brugmansia and Tibouchina for example, that aren’t accessioned as they are not winter hardy and must be overwintered indoors. Despite their tender nature, Brugmansia are fantastic fragrant showstoppers with …

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The Covenant of the Wild: Why Animals Chose Domestication

By Stephen Budiansky

I was a vegetarian for a decade or so. And then I started reading about farmers; farmers who worked from sun-up to sun-down feeding, caring for, and seeing to the needs of their animals. Farmers who were confronted everyday with the circle of life. Farmers who had long ago accepted the truth that to be alive, something else, be it plant or animal, must stop living. So when I read Budiansky’s The Covenant of the Wild, I felt that I had finally found an author who was able to articulate all of the things I had …

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Plants of the Week – November 5

Hamamelis virginiana are in bloom throughout the Scott Arboretum and Crum Woods. Hamamelis reproduce mainly by seed. After maturing, the capsules burst open, explosively discharging their seeds several yards from the parent plant. European settlers, unfamiliar with the North American native, thought the plant a hazel as it bore resemblance to Corylus. After hearing a chorus of explosions produced by multitudes of H. virginiana, the settlers dubbed the plant “be-witched hazel.” The name stuck and gave rise to the familiar common name of witchhazel. According to the USDA Forest Service, the fruit of witchhazel is eaten by ruffed …

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