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

  • Rhododendron calendulaceum 109-2007-S by Ned Friedman
    Flame Azalea 109-2007*S
  • Fagus sylvatica 14588-A by Ned Friedman
    European Beech 14588*A
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Hulda' 752-93-A by Ned Friedman
    Cultivar of the Common Lilac 752-93*A
  • Prunus x juddii 61-79-A by Jon Hetman
    Judd Cherry 61-79*A
  • Fothergilla major 694-34-A by Ned Friedman
    Mountain Witch Alder 694-34*A
  • Abies homolepis var. homolepis 22767-A by Ned Friedman
    Nikko Fir 22767*A
  • Halesia tetraptera var. monticola 21577-A by Ned Friedman
    Mountain Silverbell 21577*A
  • Davidia involucrata var. vilmoriniana 5159-A by Ned Friedman
    Dove Tree 5159*A
  • Cercis canadensis 633-83-C by Ned Friedman
    Eastern Redbud 633-83*C
  • Rhododendron vaseyi 657-70-A by Jon Hetman
    Pinkshell Azalea 657-70*A

Announcements

spring guided tours, the bomb-itty of errors, art show | seeds for tomorrow: woody plants of the arnold arboretum, lilac tours, wonder spot: flowers without petals, storywalks, arnold selects, expeditions : the arboretum’s new mobile app, growing a museum specimen,

  • Spring Guided Tours

    Join us for a 90-minute walk through the Arboretum! Tour seasonal plant highlights and learn about Arboretum history from a trained docent.

    Kea Woodruff leads a tour.
  • The Bomb-itty of Errors

    With four actors, a live DJ, and one of Shakespeare’s funniest comedies, The Bomb-itty of Errors is a Hip-Hop-Opera that moves the crowd! Performed by Actors' Shakespeare Project against the historic brick backdrop of the Hunnewell Building, The Bomb-itty of Errors comes to the Arboretum during its 150th anniversary year. A modern remix of a well-loved classic, the play encapsulates the ethos of our sesquicentennial celebrations as we honor our history while turning to the future.

  • Art Show | Seeds for Tomorrow: Woody Plants of the Arnold Arboretum

    In our latest exhibition, Laura Fantini uses colored pencil to render seeds in exquisite, hyper-realistic drawings. This series is called “Hope,” and therein lies the power of seeds. They are emblematic of both birth and growth—small, complicated, and extraordinary, like the wonderful drawings in this exhibition.

    Drawing of seeds
  • Lilac Tours

    Join our lilac-savy docent, Chris, for tours of the Arboretum’s renowned lilac collection throughout the month of May. You’ll hear stories of people and plants, and learn about some of our many special lilacs.

    Photograph of lilac in bloom
  • Wonder Spot: Flowers Without Petals

    Did you know that some flowers don't have petals? These early spring flowers are often overlooked. But they are easy to find when you know what to look for. Check out our latest Wonder Spot with your family, and look for signs of spring!

  • StoryWalks

    StoryWalks are a wonderful way for families to read and talk about nature in the Arboretum landscape. Each month we set out a seasonal story about nature by using children’s picture books with beautiful illustrations and kid-friendly language. The StoryWalks migrate weekly through locations just inside several of the most traveled gates in the Arboretum.

  • Arnold Selects

    Explore the past, present, and future of plant introduction at the Arboretum

    Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' 195-2005*A in full flower in late winter.
  • Expeditions : the Arboretum’s new mobile app

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

    Expeditions the app of the Arnold Arboretum
  • Growing a Museum Specimen

    Learn about the life of an Arboretum plant on Google Arts & Culture.

    A color photo of several people standing in a pine savannah.

Stories

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Today's Virtual Walks

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Plants & Collections

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

‘Lilac Sunday’ Lilac

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.

View plant bio
Lilac Sunday with flowers viewed from distance to see full form
Illustration of Cercidiphyllum by Charles Faxon
882*A Map it ↗

Katsura

Scientific Name
Cercidiphyllum japonicum

The Arnold Arboretum’s oldest katsura arrived as seed in 1878. The story of how it came here is the opening of long series of exchanges between the Arboretum and researchers in Japan.

View plant bio
Form of katsura from distance, showing red haze of spring flowers
Community

We are educators, researchers, horticulturists, recordkeepers, arborists, growers, librarians, volunteers, and everyone in between.

  • Community Spotlight Ana Maria Caballero, Outdoor Educator
    Woman examining shrub

    I am inspired by the absolute passion that every staff member and our volunteers possess to make this place as beautiful and as accessible to the public as possible. There are multiple entry points to conservation, education, and research—our mission—but the Arnold Arboretum as a place and its people are the conduits that make our mission come alive.

  • Community Spotlight Antonio Capuchina-Serrato, Post-doctoral Fellow

    I view myself as an explorer of questions that remain unanswered or poorly understood, striving to help understand the natural world. The Arnold Arboretum showcases the beauty of nature and offers world-class research facilities to explore the source of the biodiversity on display. It’s much more than a beautiful place to walk—it’s a place for everyone and a valuable natural resource in the city.

  • Community Spotlight Laura Mele, Lead Horticulturist

    The Arboretum holds 16,000 plants but there is also cutting edge research, children’s outdoor education training, art exhibits and installations, interns learning about horticulture, plant collecting trips, international exchanges, and much more. In short, the Arboretum is more than meets the eye: the more you look, the more you see.

  • Community Spotlight Kathryn Richardson, Curatorial Assistant

    I love the work I do, benefiting the scientific community and the public in so many ways with the plants and data we share. The Arboretum is always striving to improve the way we share our knowledge to make the world a better place. From the very beginning our founders understood the value of documentation. Each plant we grow has incredible value, and every piece of data we attach increases that value. In essence, the Arboretum is living laboratory of plants with many stories yet to be told and be inspired by.

  • Community Spotlight A.J. Tataronis, Arborist

    The Arboretum makes connections between people and trees, which is so important in an urban environment. I have the privilege of climbing and working directly with these trees. I love being part of this community and helping to maintain this beautiful collection.

  • Community Spotlight Tiffany Enzenbacher, Head of Plant Production

    What inspires me about the Arboretum is that each plant in the landscape has a story to tell: where it came from or where the species is native, the individual who harvested the seed in the field to grow it, how it was propagated—information that makes the plant unique. All of these narratives weave together to tell the 150-year account of the Arboretum.

  • Community Spotlight Larissa Glasser, Assistant Librarian
    Larissa-Glasser

    Any walk or bike ride through the landscape is physically and spiritually restorative, all year round. I love teaching horticultural interns and students about our archives, Harvard’s shared online resources, and the importance of diversity and equal opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

  • 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.

Student work by Sophie Geller, Dana Kash, Mary Miller