Asian plants are fascinating, not only for their diversity, but also because they bear a close resemblance to our native Eastern United States flora. This close kinship is a result of the Bering Seas land bridge that once connected our native flora with that of Eastern Asia. Until the seas and climate change cut the temperate forest into two distinct pieces, the two areas had many plants in common. Many of the plants in the Asian Collection bear a striking similarity to our native trees and shrubs.
The Asian Collection is one the Arboretum's most dramatic. The terrain slopes steeply from the heights of Hickey Hill to the placid Anacostia River, and a dazzling array of plants adorns the slopes; in this collection, something is blooming in every month of the year. The south facing slopes also impart one of the warmest microclimates available at the Arboretum; Taiwania, Daphniphyllum, and other plants that are tender north of Washington are grown here.
Each part of the Asian Collection has a different mood. The Camellia Collection
is in full splendor in mid-Autumn with the blooming of cold hardy camellias.
Witchhazels and Japanese apricots bloom on the open vistas on the north side
of Hickey Hill in late winter. The Japanese Woodland is a place of subdued shade
that invites you to explore the details of bark, leaves,
texture, and flowers of Japanese plants. Asian Valley offers dramatic views,
bog primulas that bloom in spring, and the rare dove tree. China Valley is more
open; the winding path passes through a paradise of plants. The Korean Hillside
located near the top of Hickey Hill is set against a backdrop of white pines.
What is the red pagoda for?
How hardy are the camellias?
I see that you have bamboo in your collection. How do you keep it in bounds?
the palm at the top of Hickey Hill hardy, or do you dig it up and bring it indoors
for the winter?
are some other sources for information about Asian plants?
Last Updated June 19, 2001
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