Propagation & Distribution
The Dana Greenhouses serve as the point of entry for all accessions acquired for the living collections. Over the past two decades, propagation staff have germinated seed from expeditions to the Caucus region of the former Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Europe, North Africa, and North America. An average of 213 seed accessions (ca. 2010, 2011, 2012) are processed annually.
While seeds are a primary means of collections development, plants and propagules (e.g., softwood and hardwood cuttings, grafts) are also received. Some of these materials support repropagation efforts employed to conserve accessioned plants whose health is threatened by age, storm injury, or damage by insects or disease. Others are acquired to fulfill discrete collections enhancement goals. These criteria and related collections decisions are guided by our Collections Policy.
Nursery stock is sometimes planted directly into the permanent collections. However, this practice is the exception rather than the rule. Plants grown from seed or propagule remain within the greenhouse compound for an average of five to seven years. During this time, observations on hardiness and vigor are catalogued in our curated database (BG-BASE). Only after rigorous evaluation do plants of an appropriate size make their way to the grounds by way of container or ball and burlap (drum-lacing). In addition to nurturing accessioned material for the permanent collection, greenhouse staff grow plants for the fall Members’ Plant Giveaway, special events, and spring dividend. Join the Friends of the Arboretum for opportunities to grow notable plants in your own landscape.
Services are also rendered for researchers, nurseries, institutions, and individuals. Learn more about the availability of research and propagation materials.