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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Plants

Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana var. australis) 1275-80*A in flower. Ned Friedman

Background

The Arnold Arboretum’s living collections are celebrated as some of the most comprehensive and best documented of their kind. Its rich holdings include temperate ligneous plants from around the world. Many of the plants originate from collecting expeditions, others derive from horticultural experimentation, and some were existing vegetation when the Arboretum was founded in 1872. Each of these plants—nearly 17,000 in all—has a story to tell, and they are preserved as both scientific and horticultural specimens to enrich our understanding of biodiversity through the institution’s research, education, and outreach efforts.

Plant Bios

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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

Collections

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Today's Walks

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Our self-guided walks are a great way to learn more about our trees and plants from home or as you stroll through the landscape. Forge a deeper connection with the Arnold Arboretum's collections as well as the plants you encounter in your daily life. Explore further with the Expeditions mobile app to hear stories about botany, horticulture, conservation, and Arboretum history through photos, text, and audio segments.

Expeditions Unveiled

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Exploring the botanical diversity of Appalachia with international collaborators