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Illustration of staghorn sumac by Charles Faxon

Cosmopolitan Meadow at Weld Hill plants

Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)


Fun Facts

  • Purchased by Harvard University in 1922, Weld Hill is named for the family who farmed here and buried some of their kin in the small cemetery on Peters Hill.

  • Plants chosen for the “cosmopolitan urban meadow” are selected to fulfill a number of ecological and aesthetic criteria. Tough perennial species with a range of bloom times provide visual interest and pollinating activity over the entire 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.


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 Emeritus Peter Del Tredici.

Plants found in the cosmopolitan urban meadow include:

Achillea millefolium yarrow Asteraceae summer
Aster (Symphytrichum) pilosus white heath aster Asteraceae fall
Cichorium intybus chicory Asteraceae summer
Leucanthemum vulgare oxeye daisy Asteraceae spring
Tanacetum vulgare tansy Asteraceae summer
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

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Featured Plants

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 Ginkgo by Charles Faxon
1113-89*C Map it ↗


Scientific Name
Ginkgo biloba

In the early 20th century, American and European botanists believed that the ginkgo, while common in cultivation, was extinct in the wild. This ginkgo was collected from one of the few presumed wild populations of this species in China.

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Ginkgo biloba

Plants in this Collection

Plant ID Accession Date Recieved As Origin Source

Featured Walk

This quarter-mile tour through the Explorers Garden features stories from the Arboretum’s century and a half of collecting plants around the world. Click here to take this tour on Expeditions, the Arboretum’s mobile app.

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