Iris ensata 'Variegata'
Welcome to the website of the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. Although technically this template has been designed by Google to serve bloggers, our intention is to take advantage of the user friendly options and provide information about the Arboretum and, through images and slideshows, portray some of the people, places and activities we're involved with. Feedback is easy; anyone with observations about the Arboretum, or public gardening in general, is encouraged to submit their thoughts and we'll be happy to dialog. This is a site under construction-- a playground of sorts, so redundancies, discrepancies, errors and omissions are likely. We don't mind being corrected, especially where plant i.d. is concerned, so please dialog with us.


The William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum is a featured collection of Duke University's Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Located in Durham, North Carolina, the Garden is situated in the Piedmont physiographic region of the southeastern United States at about 550 feet (168m) elevation. The climate is warm temperate with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid with high temperatures frequently rising into the mid and upper 90's F (34-36C),....lows at night... winter minimums typically are around 10F (-12C), or USDA Hardiness Zone 7B. Precipitation occurs throughout the year but is heaviest in the summer months, in the form of afternoon storms, and least in the autumn. The Arboretum was established in 1984 and today is home to 2000 ornamental and botanically interesting Asian species and selections.


The Arboretum's vision and collections statement can be found under Labels on the sidebar.


Curator: Paul Jones
Horticulturists: Michelle Stay, Michael Patrick
Garden Assistant: Sally Boesch
Volunteers: General Horticulture-- Margaret McCotter, Betsy Brawley, Lois Ballen, Debbie Schwartz, Tina Godwin, Mary Dawson, Brian and Aneila Avery-Jones; Moss Gardener-- Barbara Kremen; Nursery-- Joe Rees
Student Asistant, Kim Le

(photos TBA in Staff slideshow)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Madness

An uncommonly long and consistently cold winter (as compared with recent years anyway) has finally eased, and the result is shaping up to be a remarkable early spring in the Arboretum.

The Arboretum is filled with species from a variety of climates. Some of these species have shallow cold dormancies and a tendency to flower and even leaf out after exposure to only a modest amount of winter chilling. In a typical Durham winter, cold temperatures will abate for a week or two here and there during January and February, teasing into flower magnolias, daphnes, apricots, camellias, et.al.

This past winter was largely without warm breaks, meaning that flower buds held tight longer. Thus, the usual pattern of sporadic flowering beginning in January is instead a March event, a sort of floral madness. Now, if we can just ease on into April without a late freeze....

For a sample of spring in the Arboretum, watch the Spring Begins slide show included on this blog. pj