Plants of the Week: July 8

A Scott Arboretum classic: Rhododendron maximum. The rosebay rhododendron is the plant featured in the well-known  Scott Arboretum logo, and for very good reason too. John C. Wister, the first director of the Scott Arboretum, was a devoted rhododendron grower and breeder. Because of him, now more than 350 different rhododendron and azalea cultivars inhabit Scott, having selected, named, and hybridized 77 of them himself! These evergreens display white, pink, or purple flowers and thrive in shade with acidic, moist, well-drained, organic soil.

Photo Credit: Aaron D’Addio

Garden Location: Scoot Outdoor Amphitheater & Rhododendron Collection


Lonicera sempervirens ‘Superba,’ or trumpet honeysuckle, is a semi-evergreen climber that can reach up to 20 feet tall. It features tubular flowers that are reddish-orange on the outside contrasting with yellow throats inside. These trumpet-shaped flowers are one of hummingbirds’ favorites and the deep-red berries in September feed songbirds as well. It is fascinating to observe how the leaf pairs directly below the flowers are perfoliate, connected at the base in a complete ring around the stem, while the other leaf pairs are not. Trumpet honeysuckle is a drought-tolerant, fast-growing vine and flowers best in full sun.

Photo Credit: Aaron D’Addio

Garden Location: along the front-left corner of Wharton Hall


Kniphofia ‘Mango Popsicle’ is one of my new favorite plants! Also commonly known as red hot poker or torch lily, this cultivar presents bright orange flower spikes that resemble mango popsicles on long sticks, just what we all crave during these scorching summer days. The flowers bloom continuously all summer into autumn and attract hummingbirds. Red hot poker has evergreen, grass-like foliage and is drought resistant.

Photo Credit: Aaron D’Addio

Garden Location: Sproul Alumni House


Koelreuteria bipinnata, also often called Bougainvillea golden rain tree or Chinese flame tree, is a small to medium-sized, deciduous, summer-blooming tree native to China. This tree displays fragrant golden-colored panicle flowers, followed by unique looking fruit. Bougainvillea golden rain tree produces attractive seed pods resembling a Chinese lantern. They are three-lobed, inflated, papery capsules housing several seeds and starting off green, slowly transforming into rosy pink, fading to brown as they dry. There is one located on both sides of Chester Road, making it difficult for anyone to focus on driving when catching a glimpse of this eye-catching tree.

Photo Credit: Aaron D’Addio

Garden Location: Summer Bloom Border

Categorized as Plant of the Week

Comments RSS

  1. Why is it infamous?

  2. My apologizes for my misuse of the word “infamous.” What I actually meant was that the Scott Arboretum logo is: “famous, well-known, widely recognized.” Sorry for the confusion.
    -Aaron D’Addio (Scott Arboretum 2013 Summer Intern)

Comment on this Post