Cosmopolitan Meadow at Weld Hill
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Purchased by Harvard University in 1922, the parcel is named for the family who farmed here and buried some of their kin in the small cemetery at the base of Peters Hill. Not included in the landscape opened to the public as part of Harvard’s 1882 agreement with the City of Boston, Weld Hill served various horticultural purposes over the years but never held significant Arboretum collections.
In 2011, the Arboretum opened the Weld Hill Research Building in the northwest corner of the parcel to increase its capacity to conduct research in the plant sciences. Terraced into the hillside, the building occupies less than a quarter of the Weld Hill landscape. The remainder of the parcel is characterized by mature woodland and open pasture. Weld Hill itself rises 172 feet, planted from top to bottom with a wildflower mix developed by Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici.
Plants chosen for this “cosmopolitan urban meadow” were selected on the basis of their ability to fulfill a number of ecological and aesthetic criteria. Peter selected tough perennial species with a range of bloom times to provide visual interest and pollinating activity over the entire course of the growing season. The native and non-native species growing here thrive in typical urban soil and create a long-lived, attractive meadow. The hillside is mowed once a year—in fall—mainly to prevent incursions of woody plants and grasses.
Weld Hill comprises fourteen acres of rolling landscape adjacent to the southwest boundary of the Arboretum. It lies at the juncture of Weld and Walter Streets, bounded to the west by Centre Street and to the north by the Hebrew Senior Life complex.
Though the Weld Hill Research Building and parking lot is closed to the public, visitors are invited to enjoy walking through its surrounding landscape. On-road parking is available on Walter and Bussey Streets.
Plan your visit to the Arboretum.
Plants found in the cosmopolitan urban meadow include:
|SPECIES NAME||COMMON NAME||PLANT FAMILY||BLOOM TIME|
|Aster (Symphytrichum) pilosus||white heath aster||Asteraceae||fall|
|Leucanthemum vulgare||oxeye daisy||Asteraceae||spring|
|Rudbeckia hirta||blackeyed Susan||Asteraceae||summer|
|Lotus corniculatus||birdsfoot trefoil||Fabaceae||spring|
|Trifolium hybridum||alsike clover||Fabaceae||spring/summer|
|Trifolium repens||white clover||Fabaceae||spring/summer|
|Vicia cracca||bird vetch||Fabaceae||spring/summer|
|Lolium perenne||perennial ryegrass||Poaceae||spring|