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tree

Pic of the Day - Koelreuteria paniculata 'Beachmaster'

The small stature of this selection makes it useful in modern landscapes. - photo Christopher Glenn Koelreuteria paniculata, or goldenrain tree, is an Asian tree valued for its bright yellow summer flowers when few trees other than crepe myrtles are in bloom. The selection 'Beachmaster' is a relatively dwarf tree growing to about 20' tall and wide. The branched flower panicles are a bit earlier than the species typically is and will give rise to Chinese lantern-like seed pods. It is exceptionally drought tolerant and will grow in very sandy coastal conditions. Fall color can be deep gold. Koelreuteria can seed around a bit and has the potential to colonize in waste areas and roadsides but will not out-compete native trees over time.

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The gold flowers are held on branched panicles for a full look.

Pic of the Day - Albizia coreana

Fleecy spring flowers top the pinnate foliage. The Korean mimosa is an endangered plant in the wild and extremely rare in cultivation as well and there is some confusion between the Korean Albizia coreana and the Chinese A. kalkora.  Both are similar with white flowers but the Korean species is typically a larger tree.  It makes a medium-sized tree to about 35'-40' tall and two-thirds as wide.  Smooth gray bark with arching branches give an attractive silhouette in winter.  Spring gives rise to bi-pinnate, light green foliage.  By early June at the JC Raulston Arboretum, fluffy white flowers appear with the long white stamens being the conspicuously showy parts.  When the stamens shed their pollen, they turn yellow-tan and fall.  This tree is in the legume or bean family and tough bean pods to about 5" long follow the flowers.  In the landscape this tree can be a bit of a nuisance with quite a bit of trash falling throughout the season - flowers in spring, fruit in late summer, and the foliage including the long petioles in fall.  It is therefore best planted in large mulched beds where the dropping debris will not be an issue.  It appears to be quite drought tolerant once established.

A mature Albizia coreana at the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Pic of the Day - Magnolia virginiana var. australis 'Green Shadow'

The pure white flowers are deliciously fragrant. Few trees have as good a pedigree as this magnolia.  Plantsman Don Shadow of Shadow Nursery in Tennessee selected this plant from a large batch of seedlings he grew out from the late Dr. J.C. MacDaniel, a prolific plant breeder from the University of Illinois.  Magnolia virginiana var. australis 'Green Shadow' makes a neatly oval outlined tree to about 30' tall by about half as wide.  The clean, green foliage with silvery backs is highlighted by virginal white flowers to 3" across over an extended period from spring well into summer.  The heaviest flowering is early in the season but sporadic flowers appear for up to 4 months.  The sweet, lemon scented flowers are followed by curious bulbous reddish fruit which can actually be quite showy.  This is one of the fastest growing of the southern (var. australis) types of sweetbay magnolia we've grown here at the JC Raulston Arboretum.  This tree is reliably evergreen through USDA hardiness zone 7 but can be grown in much colder climates.  Magnolia virginiana grows naturally in swampy soils and while perfectly happy in drier spots, it also tolerates permanently and seasonally wet locations and makes a great specimen in rain gardens.

Multi-stemmed and low-branched trees can be especially attractive.

Pic of the Day - Acer palmatum 'Kashima Yatsubusa'

Yatsubusa in the name of a Japanese maple lets you know it will be a dwarf plant. We haven't grown this small Japanese maple for long at the JC Raulston Arboretum but we're already very fond of it.  It makes a rounded, dwarf tree to about 6'-8' tall.  New growth emerges pinkish-red in spring and the red quickly migrates to the outer edges of the yellow-green leaves.  The leaves will go green over the summer before turning gold in the fall.  Grow in sun or part shade as a small specimen or in a container.  It is also prized as a bonsai subject.

New growth makes a colorful display.