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The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a museum of trees teaching the world about plants.

  • Chinese Fringetree 13051*A
  • Highbush Blueberry 1951*A
  • Banded Mountain Laurel 166-70*C
  • Cathaya argyrophylla 276-98*B
  • Chinese Fringetree (Chionanthus retusus)
    Chinese Fringetree 13051*A
  • Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
    Highbush Blueberry 1951*A
  • Banded Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia 'Fuscata')
    Banded Mountain Laurel 166-70*C
  • Cathaya argyrophylla
    Cathaya argyrophylla 276-98*B

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Explore stories about botany, horticulture, conservation, and Arboretum history through photos, text, and audio segments.

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Plants & Collections

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Illustration of Syringa chinensis by Charles Faxon
164-96*A Map it ↗

‘Lilac Sunday’

Scientific Name
Syringa × chinensis 'Lilac Sunday'

The Arnold Arboretum introduced a lilac called ‘Lilac Sunday’ in 1997. This garden favorite can produce clusters of flowers that are more than two feet long.

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Lilac Sunday with flowers viewed from distance to see full form
Illustration of Magnolia macrolhylla by Charles Faxon
299-2001*A Map it ↗

Bigleaf Magnolia

Scientific Name
Magnolia macrophylla ssp. macrophylla

Bearing the largest simple leaves and flowers of any temperate species in North America, bigleaf magnolia is a striking native of the Southeastern United States. Its exotic foliage, fragrant flowers, and showy fruit make it a popular specimen tree in gardens and arboreta.

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Bigleaf Magnolia

We are caretakers, educators, plantswomen, artists, volunteers, students, professors, and everyone in between.

  • Community Spotlight Jim Papargiris, Working Foreperson
    Jim Papargiris

    For the last 41 years, it has been an honor and privilege to contribute to the stewardship of the collections and landscape of the Arnold Arboretum. I feel a sense of gratitude and accomplishment each day and although there have been challenging times from winter storms, drought, and plant pests, to the world we find ourselves in today, the trees have provided me unwavering inspiration and pride.

  • Community Spotlight Ana Maria Caballero, Nature Education Specialist
    Ana Maria Caballero McGuire

    As an Outdoor Educator, I love that I get to translate science and horticulture into hands-on teachable moments for children in our landscape! I also enjoy working with teachers to promote the use of outdoor spaces for meaningful life science education in schools.

  • Community Spotlight Rachel Lawlor, Arboretum Gardener
    Rachel Lawlor

    The community spirit at the Arboretum is truly palpable. From my first exposure as an Aggie intern in 2014, to being a full-time Gardener now, this has only grown. The folks who work here truly care about the Arboretum’s mission—and maybe even more so—about their colleagues.

  • Community Spotlight Lawrence Mullings, Artist and Volunteer
    Lawrence Mullings

    This Place nourishes the Soul as well as the Body. I returned for my health and rediscovered such beauty openly observed and freely given by all who crossed my path. This Palace of the Senses allowed me to create the Path Taken. Maybe my Exhibit can serve as a remainder of days passed, soon to return.

  • Community Spotlight Chris McArdle, Volunteer Tour Guide
    Chris McArdle leads a tour.

    Every tour brings a surprise, even after 36 years! It might be the sun catching the “Ruby Glow” witch hazel in February or the smell of toasted marshmallows from trodden katsura leaves in the fall. A squirrel running up a visitor’s trouser leg was perhaps the biggest surprise of them all.

  • Community Spotlight Jacob Suissa, PhD Candidate
    Jacob Suissa

    As a researcher, I am very fortunate to be part of the Arnold Arboretum community because it feels like a unique place where the advancement of science and knowledge is deeply enmeshed with the endeavors of a public garden.

  • Community Spotlight Rosetta Elkin, Harvard GSD Professor
    Roestta Elkin, Harvard GSD Professor Headshot

    Many students have never held a root in their hand, never looked at a flower very carefully, never even thought about tree architecture the study of plant form. We’re opening their eyes.

Student work by Sophie Geller, Dana Kash, Mary Miller