Archive for May 2015

Fragrant Snowbell: Styrax obassia

Styrax obassia full flower (7) JWC

Street tree selection is a tricky undertaking. Good candidates should be able to thrive in less than ideal conditions, (think limited growing space, ice melt, and Fido making his daily pit stop to name just a few obstacles), be of a habit that is generally upright, (no one wants a branch in the face), yet not grow large enough to tangle with utility wires or upheave walkways and paving. A candidate should ideally possess multi-season interest: flowers, showy fall color, interesting bark patterns. One such tree, seen throughout Swarthmore and found growing at the Scott Arboretum, is Styrax obassia, the …

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Allaira petiolata, Garlic Mustard: An ongoing effort in Invasive Removals

April 30 2015 RHR 261

Last month, the Arboretum held the annual Crum Creek Clean-up.

With the help of 40 staff, faculty, students, and volunteers, the following items were removed from Crum Creek and the surrounding woods.
-19 bags of trash
– 1 hose
– 16 tires
– 8 metal U-posts and 7 tree cages
– 1 wooden pallet
– 1 large sheet of metal
– 1 remote control boat
– 1 swivel chair
– 1 wooden split-rail fence post
– 1 piece of plywood
– 6 pieces/blocks of wood


Sandy Whipple, volunteer, continued the effort to control invasives in the Crum Woods, including the now in bloom, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata.) photo credit: R. Robert

Sandy Whipple, volunteer, continued the effort to control invasives in the Crum Woods, including

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Plants of the Week: May 11

Osmanthus x burkwoodii JTB [1]Osmanthus x burkwoodii

This shrub caught my eye in the John W. Nason Garden. My first reaction was to identify it as a member of the olive family Oleaceae with no further estimations of identity, only to be honestly surprised by the accession tag. My naïve preconceptions of the genus Osmanthus led me to believe that they all resembled false-holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus) in one way or another; the old aphorism “we learn something new every day” rings in my head as I take another tiny step from chump-dom. The flowers are soft white, x-shaped and fragrant while the …

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