The lianoid Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla, 43-92*C; left image), growing on the fence around the garage at the Hunnewell Building, is still putting out tender new leaves. The curve in the young stem tells the tale of a plant seeking out structures to curl around for support. 

early august seasonal highlights by Ned Friedman

The wonderful mass of buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis var. occidentalis 1244-79*MASS-B) near Goldsmith Brook was in flower and covered with pollinators. Upper right, an inflorescence of hundreds of tubular small flowers with stamens protruding. Wonderful sweet floral scent.

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus 341-53*A) is showing off its huge blossoms at various spots in the Arboretum, including just off Beech Path. The pollen grains are huge, and this bee is covered with them. To find out more about this species, head here to read what Nancy Rose, editor of Arnoldia, has to say.

Finally, I have been checking on the two magnificent centenarian Franklinia trees in the Explorers Garden on Bussey Hill (2428-3*A and 2428-3*B; both dating to 1905) to catch the first flower to open—portending the amazing late summer flower show that makes Franklinia the centerpiece of the living collections in August and early September. On Friday afternoon, around 5:00, nothing open. Seventeen hours later, not only was the first flower fully open and being pollinated by a bee, but by noon, another eight or nine flowers were beginning to open and reflex their petals (see my Post on this from 2016 here). Do not miss this!