Location: Gardens Unit2011 Annual Report
1. New Camellia ‘Anacostia’ introduced. Camellia ‘Anacostia’ which has been evaluated for many years in the Asian Collections was selected for its outstanding spring floral display, rich dark green foliage, and cold hardiness. It was introduced in collaboration with the Arboretum’s Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit. This introduction has potential to allow more gardeners to grow spring flowering camellias in areas that are considered too cold for camellias.
2. Germplasm acquisition, distribution, and incorporation into collections. A major objective of the Gardens Unit is to enrich the living plant display collections at the U.S. National Arboretum by incorporating documented germplasm into these areas. Wild-collected native plant germplasm and conifer cultivars have been added to collections. This work will preserve genetic diversity within ornamental plants that can potentially aid in breeding and selection work.
3. Dissemination of plant information to the public. The nearly half a million visitors to the gardens and collections of the U.S. National Arboretum could potentially learn about the work of ARS. The Gardens Unit provides major input in increasing the quality and quantity of information on the Arboretum web site, and the web site now serves five million visitors annually. Many nursery firms and gardening sites are linking to our web site. Strong ties to the nursery industry have been established in the creation of the Introduction Garden. Virtual tours and a blog are being added to the site, and gardening information is being expanded. This work helps to create well-informed garden product consumers and increase interest in landscape plants to help maintain a strong domestic nursery production industry.