BBG Gardens & Collections

Magnolia Plaza Is in Bloom

Magnolia denudata

The magnolias have started to bloom! There is no better place to experience the breadth of this genera than Magnolia Plaza, where you can see examples of about 30 different species, hybrids, and cultivars. This collection showcases the rich history and lineage of one of our most beautiful flowering ornamentals. The

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Can You Predict When the Cherries Will Blossom?

Prunus 'Okame'

Right about now, people are dying to know when the first cherry cultivars will blossom in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and when Cherry Esplanade will be at peak bloom. Is there any way to know in advance? Can data from past bloom times and weather conditions help predict when cherry cultivars—or any other flowering

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What’s Happening to These Leaves?

Thermotropism in Rhododendrons

On cold winter days, you may notice the leaves of rhododendrons and some other broad-leaf evergreens curling up around the edges. But this doesn’t mean the plants are wilting—wilting is a response to a lack of water. Rather, rhododendron leaves curl in response to cold temperatures, a reaction that is called a

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Hip, Hip, Hooray for Roses

Species Rose

Roses are famous for their heady fragrance and showy blooms. But these prized and historic plants are cultivated for other ornamental qualities as well, including the color of their canes, the size and shape of their prickles, and most notably, the wide diversity of their hips. Hips appear in many shapes, colors, and

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Look What’s Growing in the Herb Garden

Herb Garden

The Herb Garden is in its late-summer glory now. Several beautiful cultivars of tomatoes and peppers are ripe, and legumes and grains are maturing. Some specialty crops—like roselle, which is used in making sorrel drink—look pretty spectacular too. Curator Maeve Turner has also started to plant cool-season crops like

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The Age of a Tree

Showy Crabapple

How old is that tree? This is one of the most common questions we get as arborists. People often assume a tree’s age can be discerned from its trunk diameter, and there may be a rough correlation. But even trees of the same species growing very near each other often have dramatically different growth rates, depending on

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