It is hard to believe that the Arboretum’s Campaign for the Living Collections is in the midst of its fourth year. To date, eighteen formal expeditions (including the one to Japan this past May) have yielded nearly half of the Campaign’s 400 target taxa, or desiderata. Staff at the Dana Greenhouses are meticulously cultivating these recent acquisitions, and a few plants have already been ushered into the permanent collections. What an exciting time to be at the Arboretum.
Despite reaching the half-way mark, there is no resting on our laurels. Much work still lies ahead, from collecting in new regions of the world to returning to familiar places to attempt again the species that have evaded us to date. This autumn, the Arboretum will launch two major expeditions. On the international front, we return in September to Honshu, Japan, again with colleagues from the Morris Arboretum and Polly Hill Arboretum (as well as Mineaki and Shibano from Utsunomiya).
Domestically, the Arboretum will collect native flora in the Appalachian region again, this time with botanists and colleagues from three Chinese institutes (Beijing Botanic Garden, Kunming Institute of Botany, and Chengdu Institute of Biology) that have hosted us in China in the past. This expedition will be conducted under the auspices of NACPEC (North America-China Plant Exploration Consortium), marking the very first American venture for the collaborative in its nearly 30-year history.