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Arboretum Scientist Releases Boxwood EncyclopediaBy Alfredo Flores
June 4, 2004
It took U.S. National Arboretum horticulturalist Lynn Batdorf nearly 20 years, six trips to Europe and countless visits to nurseries throughout the United States to gather information to complete "Boxwood: An Illustrated Encyclopedia." But now Batdorf can take pride in publishing the world's first authoritative guide to these beautiful evergreen, shrublike small trees.
As keynote speaker, Batdorf will discuss his new illustrated encyclopedia today at the annual general meeting of the European Boxwood and Topiary Society, which is being held June 4-6 in Windsor, England.
The boxwood encyclopedia comprises 343 pages, with 340 color photographs. It contains information on the size, hardiness, habitat, leaf shape, stem characteristics, annual growth, cultivar environments, pests, landscape use, history and nursery and common names for more than 780 cultivars.
Batdorf has served as the International Cultivar Registration Authority since 1985, and also authored "Boxwood Handbook: A Practical Guide to Knowing and Growing Boxwood." That 99-page color book, published in 1995, has been considered one of the best references available on boxwood.
The arboretum's National Boxwood Collection, for which Batdorf has served as curator since 1977, is one of the world's most complete collections of boxwood, with about 150 different species and cultivars. Some of the cultivars have blue-green leaves, while others have leaves with splashes of cream or yellow. Some are dwarf and mature at a height of less than two feet. These represent just some of the diversity found in the arboretum's collection of boxwood, a perfect plant for framing anything from an herb garden to a garden maze. Boxwood plantings can be found on the grounds of some of the world's most famous residences, including the White House garden.
The boxwood encyclopedia is now available through the American Boxwood Society.