After a long winter, more than 50 varieties of daffodils planted in groups of 50 to 150 bulbs present a welcome and cheery blaze of sunshine throughout the early spring season. The yellows, golds, peaches and oranges of the Narcissus family have naturalized along the circular trail. Peak flowering in April.
Situated on the bank overlooking the pond, the Ballard Planting features the extraordinary maidenhair tree, with its fan-shaped leaves, a species that dates back to the age of the dinosaurs, and the white redbud, with its familiar leaf form, but white flowers. Chinese dogwood also grace this area. In flower April through June; foliage interest in October.
Located between the pond and the amphitheater, this man-made experimental wetland features acid-loving species common to swamps, marshes and bogs like pitcher plant, sundew, horsetail, skunk cabbage, rushes, sedges and the centerpiece bald cypress, a coastal plain swamp species. In flower May through July.
This terraced garden is home to a variety of perennials and shrubs including colorful butterfly bushes, mountain fetterbush, Kousa dogwood and southern wax myrtle. In flower May through July; foliage interest all year.
This cluster of flowering shrubs at the edge of the pond includes forest-pansy redbud, Chinese dogwood, Cherokee Sunset dogwood, Carolina silverbell and Dolchica spirea. In flower April through June.
Located on the slopes of the deepest ravine in the arboretum, this planting of ferns forms a blanket of brilliant green under the curved John Clayton Trail bridge. Ferns include the hay-scented, Christmas, marginal shield, New York and ostrich. Peak foliage in May.
Located adjacent to the pond, this native azalea garden exhibits pinxter flower, flame azalea, plum-leaf azalea and a number of hybrid crosses among these natives. In flower March through July; foliage interest all year.
The mixed species of oaks and hickories that form the Eastern Deciduous Forest Biome's most extensive forest association also form the canopy that supports the diverse gardens, plantings and native mid-Appalachian species of the arboretum. It is named for the founding arboretum director. Foliage interest spring through autumn; peak autumn color in October.
Located at the entrance gates and also in the Glenn Dale and MacDonald gardens, this cluster of plants from the Heath family, including rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurel and fetterbush, thrives on these slopes of heavy shade. Peak flowering June through July; foliage interest all year.
Four theme terraces constitute the Herb Garden - culinary, medicinal, ancient/medieval and fragrance. The garden gains its inspiration from history and folklore as far back as the Druids as well as modern culinary and medicinal usage. Both common and lesser-known herbs grace these terraces. Peak flowering June through July; in flower all summer; fruit interest in autumn; foliage interest all year.
Perhaps the most unique arboretum garden, this man-made shale barren is the only arboretum garden of its kind in the country to feature seven of the 15-plus strict endemic species that make their home only under the shale barren's extreme conditions: harsh, direct prolonged sunlight and temperatures that climb above 100 degrees. Yellow buckwheat, white-haired leather flower, shale ragwort, sword-leaf phlox, shale bindweed, shale pussytoes and hairy-lipped ferns are just a few of the heat-loving, hardy endemics here. Flower mid-April through June.
These large-flowered, winter-hardy hybrids were in danger of being lost to horticultural science 60 years after the mass hybridization program that created them from their Japanese and Chinese parents. Today, the 400 plants remain available for evaluation by U.S. Department of Agriculture Import Station researchers in Glenn Dale, Md. In flower April through July.
Located near the entrance gates of the arboretum, this planting shows off more than 30 varieties of repeat-flowering antique and heirloom roses, including Noisettes, hybrid perpetuals, hybrid musks, Bourbons, Portlands, Chinas and some mosses. Peak flowering in June; intermittent flowering all summer; fruit interest in autumn.
More than 500 individual azaleas and rhododendrons, some 15 to 20 years old and up to 15 feet tall, adorn both sides of the John Clayton Trail. From the early-flowering Rhododendron mucronulatum to the late-flowering Rhododendron prunifolium, the garden offers spectacular color from March through July and foliage interest all year.
This uncultivated swale, where sycamore, black haw, box elder and elderberry grow naturally, receives intermittent flooding. It acts as a protective barrier to the rest of the arboretum from sudden erosion, slowing the flow of water into the pond. In flower May through June.
Donated by noted horticulturist Andre Viette, this delightful mixed perennial border features hundreds of hostas, ornamental grasses, daylilies and irises, which have been planted for a spectacular array of mid-summer color. In flower May through July.
Pink lady slippers, Turk's cap lily, Dutchman's breeches and delicate trilliums are among the most eye-catching specimens of the 92 species originally planted in this native shrub and wildflower garden. It is one of the largest wildflower and native shrub gardens in Virginia. In flower April through May; fruit interest October through December.
Seasonal parking for events and weddings at the Arboretum Mid-May through August.
During school session a permit is required.