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July 14, 2016
Plant hunting often conjures images of remote, steamy jungles rich in exotic species new to gardens and science. While scientists from Longwood Gardens often participate in such expeditions to discover plants for our displays, the truth is that plant hunting and exploration can take on myriad forms. One of the most efficient ways of obtaining new and useful plants is to visit nurseries across the globe. Since many countries have well-established nursery industries, this type of plant exploration can be particularly useful for investigating the latest plant introductions from around the world.
May 25, 2016
Our plant family is welcoming a new addition this summer: Canna ‘Longwood Simply Salmon’! This canna was bred here at Longwood and is being released commercially under the Longwood Gardens name. Canna is a genus of large tropical and sub-tropical rhizomatous perennial plants with showy flowers and foliage. Canna ‘Longwood Simply Salmon’ is a compact, virus-free cultivar with showy, salmon-colored flowers. Cannas have a strong presence at Longwood, as a favorite feature in our summer display. They also have a long history within our Research division.
May 10, 2016
When you think of endangered species and conservation programs, you may think of our nation's zoos and aquariums and their work with wildlife preservation. Native flora may not come immediately to mind, but in Pennsylvania alone, the US Department of Agriculture lists more than 600 plants as endangered or threatened. Pennsylvania is home to nearly 60 species of native orchids. Some are among the showiest and most charismatic members of our native flora, but most are rare and threatened in the wild. Climate change, invasive species, habitat loss, and a booming white-tailed deer population have decimated many orchid populations in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the region. To combat these issues, and to provide critical information about the propagation and growth of native orchids in cultivation, our Research Team at Longwood Gardens is developing a conservation program.
May 2, 2016
Phenology is the scientific study of nature’s seasonal events—when cherry trees bloom and when birds choose to nest, for example. Studying phenology is a great way of getting outside and observing nature. Longwood Gardens has been observing and collecting the phenological data of when plants boom in our Gardens for many years. The data collected helps predict when plants will bloom each year, when to collect pollen for breeding programs, when to photograph flowers, or to let guests know the best time to visit to see a specific bloom. We are lucky to have a team of 15 trained observers who are dedicated to this important task.
March 11, 2016
We are pleased to announce the release of Clivia miniata ‘Longwood Chimes’. This is the fourth named clivia introduction from our breeding program, which was started by Dr. Robert Armstrong in 1976. The flowers of ‘Longwood Chimes’ are a complex blend of bronze and burnt oranges with dark red overtones and a green throat. The red flush of the flowers, framed by leaves of dark olive green, deepens to dark red as the flowers age. ‘Longwood Chimes’ catches the eye of the clivia connoisseur and the novice alike. ‘Longwood Chimes’ will be on display on the fern floor in Exhibition Hall at the North American Cliva Show at Longwood on March 12–13, 2016. Because it is a plant that is slow to multiply, a limited number exist. This year Longwood Gardens will be offering a single plant of Clivia miniata ‘Longwood Chimes’ for auction on eBay. Bids will be accepted March 11–21, 2016.