A long meander through the living collections of the Arnold yesterday morning yielded so many spectacular scenes and organisms, that it was nearly impossible to decide what to feature this week. The cherries are coming into full bloom and overwhelm the visual senses up close and from afar. Many maples are breaking bud, and whole willow trees are bright yellow with loads of pollen being released from their catkins. Magnolias are exploding into flower everywhere. And the wonderful yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima), a favorite of Ernest Henry Wilson (mine too!), is showing off seas of subtle minute purplish flowers.

But, the highlight had to be a magical moment with a weeping katsura tree by the ponds (lower left; Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Morioka Weeping’—an Arnold Arboretum introduction to North America; 134-98*B). The leaves are just now flushing out of their buds with the golden hue of youth and the light was perfect to capture the very essence of these delicate photosynthetic units (lower right). In the upper left, the magnificent palmate venation is on show. Upper right, the best part: the glandular marginal teeth, like diamonds, glistening in the sun. No one knows what the small glands are for, but within a week or two, they will be gone.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'morioka weeping' director's post

I have also assembled a small slide show of some of the highlights of the past two weeks in the Arboretum. Head to my Flickr site to have a look. And finally, if you crave more pictures of the Arnold Arboretum, I recently started an Instagram account where I will post one image from the Arboretum every day until things seem a bit more normal. Head here: @nedfriedman.