Plant Spotlight on Syringa: The
The placement of the lilac collection along the road on
Bussey Hill has made their flowering a very public and highly anticipated
spectacle for more than a century. Today the Arboretum grows 422 lilac
plants of approximately 194 different kinds. Among these kinds are
approximately 154 cultivars, selected by hybridizers for such qualities
as fragrance, resistance to disease, and flower color. The amazing range
of colors represented at the Arboretum includes rich reds, blues, and
purples to soft pinks, whites, mauve, and the delicate, creamy yellow of
'Primrose'. Since different lilacs come into bloom over a five-week
period between late April and late May, repeat visits are rewarded with a
well-rounded experience of the Arboretum's diverse collection.
Lilacs are the Tree-of-the-Month for May. Stop by the
Visitor Center to learn more, or print out an activity
guide for kids of all ages.
Explore more of
May's plant highlights...
A Rite of Spring: Lilac Sunday
Festivities on May 9
Join lilac enthusiasts from all over New England on Sunday,
May 9 for Lilac Sunday, the Arnold Arboretum's annual celebration of the
genus Syringa. This daylong jubilee features music, dancing,
tours, family activities, and (on this special day only) picnicking in
the landscape. Enjoy the Arboretum's renowned collection of lilacs and
welcome the joyful arrival of spring in all its splendor, which the
blossoming lilac has come to symbolize. Activities and refreshments will
be available from 10am to 4pm. Become a member
of the Arnold Arboretum on Lilac Sunday and receive a free lilac plant of
Find out more
about Lilac Sunday...
Speakers Explore the Value of Trees and
The Arboretum offers several opportunities this May to learn
about plants, their importance to the well-being of humans, and their
critical role in the world we inhabit. Artist and landscape designer Topher
Delaney discusses how gardens can promote healing and serve as
sanctuaries in a talk at Trinity Church on May 4. On May 20, botanist Diana
Bereford-Kroeger will use the Arboretum landscape as her classroom to
discuss trees from around the world and their contributions to our
environment. Later that evening, join her in the Hunnewell Building for a
discussion about her research on trees, her thoughts on reforesting the
globe, and ideas for how trees can be used to counter climate change. If
you missed the pair of April lectures by senior research scientist Peter
Del Tredici, you'll have another chance to hear his fascinating
presentation about wild urban plants on May 13.
Browse all May
Adult Education classes...
Birds and Bards Festival Celebrates
Poetry and Nature
Enjoy the weekend of May 13-16 exploring birds, poetry, and
nature in over 1,100 acres of greenspace along Boston's Emerald Necklace.
and Bards Festival offers events at multiple sites, including guided
walks, fun family activities, and evening events. At the Arboretum, join
docent and bird expert Robert Mayer for an early morning bird walk in the
landscape on Thursday, May 13 at 7am. On Saturday, May 15, enjoy a
lyrical exploration of the Arboretum with visitor education assistant
Sheryl White, who will present a multi-sensory, interactive poetry walk
starting at 2pm. Both events are free; no registration required.
See more May
events and free activities...
Enduring Trees Exhibition Opens May 1
Though inspired by scenes of nature, the work of
Hungarian-born artist Zsuzsanna Szegedi steps beyond a straightforward
representation of our environment to explore our complex relationships
with it. In her exhibition, Enduring Trees, opening in the Hunnewell
Building on May 1 with a public reception, bold color and strong
brushwork are employed to suggest the linked contrasts we share with
nature: protected and wild, together and alone, light and dark. The
exhibition includes works from her Presence/Absence project and the tree
paintings she created during her artist-in-residence last year at the
Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA.
about current and upcoming art shows...
Take an Enriching Walk Among Native
Imagine travelling back in time to visit our landscape 100,
200, or even 2,000 years ago. What trees grew here, and how did
indigenous populations use them for food, tools, and shelter? This spring
and summer, a selection of our native trees and shrubs are featured in a
self-guided landscape tour, Walk with Natives. Members will find
it in the spring issue of Silva, or you can download and print the
tour map and activity from the link below. Look for plants marked with
signage using the symbol above, and call 617.895.4085 on your cell phone
to hear interesting historical and horticultural details narrated by
members of the Arboretum staff.
See the Walk
with Natives tour activity...
All images from
the Arnold Arboretum Archives except garden image by Topher Delaney,
Birds & Bards image courtesy of the Birds & Bards Festival, and
exhibition image courtesy of Zsuzsanna Szegedi.
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