The U.S. National Arboretum has teamed up with the horticulture industry to feature plants new to American horticulture in an exhibit that opens today at the facility operated by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Washington, D.C.
Located at the arboretum's Visitors Center and the surrounding Introduction Garden, the "Living Garden Catalog" puts a twist on the traditional plant catalogs gardeners often receive in the mail. Informational posters that resemble catalog pages for each of the featured plants are set up in the lobby. Visitors can then view these plants, some of which are being displayed in public for the first time, in the garden outside.
The exhibit features a variety of plants ranging from bedding annuals and perennial plants to shrubs and trees. The hummingbird-attracting Croftway series of cape fuchsia, the "Siam Ruby" banana plant with its striking red leaves, and the shimmering "Gold Dust" variegated rosemary are just a few of the industry plants on display.
There are also several plants specifically developed by ARS scientists in the exhibit. Visitors can view the white berries of the variegated beautyberry "Duet," the colorful flowers of several trumpet vines, and Iochroma plants "Sky King" and "Royal Blue," which also attract hummingbirds. The popular ornamental pepper "Black Pearl" and the recently released crape myrtle 'Arapaho' are on display as well.
The Introduction Garden also showcases the latest trends in plants and styles of gardening. Other areas of the garden feature plants that tolerate drought and exciting container garden combinations that shine in the hottest summer weather. Many plants are tested every year at the arboretum, and the Living Garden Catalog is an expanded effort to test many more new plants than ever before.
The exhibit runs from today through early October. The U.S. National Arboretum is located in northeast Washington and is home to more than 100 acres of plant collections and gardens. Visit the Arboretum's Web sitehttp://www.usna.usda.gov/for more information and directions.
ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.