United States National Arboretum

The United States National Arboretum is an arboretum in Washington, D.C., operated by the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service as a division of the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. It was established in 1927, by an act of Congress after a campaign by USDA Chief Botanist Frederick Vernon Coville.

It is 446 acres (1.80 km2) in size and is located 2.2 miles (3.5 km) northeast of the Capitol building, with entrances on New York Avenue and R Street, Northeast. The campus's gardens and collections are connected by roadways that are nine miles long in total.[1]

The arboretum functions as a major center of botanical research. It conducts research on trees, flowering plants, shrubs and turf, as well as the development of plants.[2] It has a library with 11,000 volumes and approximately 100 publications concentrating in botanical literature.[3]

U.S. National Arboretum
National Capitol Columns - Washington, D.C.
The National Capitol Columns originally supported the old East Portico of the United States Capitol (1828). The columns were removed during expansion of the Capitol in 1958.
United States National Arboretum is located in Washington, D.C.
United States National Arboretum
United States National Arboretum is located in the District of Columbia
United States National Arboretum
United States National Arboretum is located in the United States
United States National Arboretum
Location24th and R Sts., NE.
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates38°54′36.84″N 76°58′3.14″W / 38.9102333°N 76.9675389°WCoordinates: 38°54′36.84″N 76°58′3.14″W / 38.9102333°N 76.9675389°W
NRHP reference #73002122
Added to NRHPApril 11, 1973


US National Arboretum from Anacostia River June 2017
A view of Hickey Hill, the US National Arboretum, Washington, DC, from the Anacostia River, June 2017
Persimmon US National Arboretum
Bonsai persimmon from the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum presented to President Ronald Reagan by the King of Morocco in 1983

Major garden features

  • Aquatic Plants Collection
  • Asian Collections
    • Japanese Woodland
    • Asian Valley
    • China Valley
    • Korean Hillside
  • Classical Chinese Garden (proposed), a 12-acre (4.9 ha) garden designed by a joint team from China and the United States.[4]
  • Flowering Tree Collection
    • Flowering Tree Walk
  • The Friendship Garden and Arbor House
    • Arbor House Gift Shop operated by National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc.[5]
    • Friends of the National Arboretum Office
    • National Bonsai Foundation Office
  • Gotelli Dwarf and Slow Growing Conifer Collection
    • Gotelli & Watnong Collections
    • Spruces, Firs, Japanese Maples
  • Introduction Garden
  • National Bonsai and Penjing Museum
    • Japanese, Chinese, North American, and International Pavilions
  • National Capitol Columns (see image above)
  • National Grove of State Trees, specimens of most of the U.S. state trees
  • National Herb Garden
    • Historic Roses
    • Knot Garden
    • Specialty Gardens
  • Native Plant Collections ("Fern Valley")
    • Fern Valley Woodland
    • Prairie
    • Southeastern Coastal Plain


Single-genus groupings

Kurume Azalea Bonsai in Bloom (in training since 1982), US National Arboretum
Kurume Azalea bonsai in bloom (in training since 1982), US National Arboretum
United States National Arboretum garden
National Herb Garden at the United States National Arboretum
  • Azalea Collections
    • Glenn Dale Azalea Hillside
    • Morrison Garden
    • Lee Garden
  • Dogwood Collection
    • Dogwoods
    • Anacostia River Overlook
  • Holly Collection
  • Magnolia Collection
  • Maple Collection
  • National Boxwood Collection
  • Perennial Collections
    • Peony
    • Iris
    • Daylily
    • Daffodil



The collection includes a Japanese White Pine, (Pinus parviflora 'Miyajima') bonsai tree, donated in 1975 by Masaru Yamaki to mark the US bicentenary. This tree was formerly in Hiroshima, and survived the atomic bomb dropped in that city in 1945. The tree has been "in training" since 1625.[7][8]

Public art

Split Ritual
Split Ritual by Beverly Pepper

The Arboretum features a small group of public artworks including Split Ritual by American sculptor Beverly Pepper. The piece is made of ductile iron and stands at H. 10 ft (3.0 m) x W. 44 in (110 cm) x D. 100 in (250 cm). It consists of four vertical pieces that look like large tools. They are placed in a circle on top of a doughnut-shaped flat foundation and each tool is unique. The sculpture was dedicated in 1993 and in the same year was surveyed by the Smithsonian's Save Outdoor Sculpture! program and its condition was declared as well maintained.[9]


New York plaque by Matthew Bisanz

New York plaque by Matthew Bisanz

Virginia Pottery Tile (3564397115)

Virginia plaque

Koi feeding, National Arboretum

Koi at the United States National Arboretum

See also


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". usna.usda.gov. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  2. ^ "History and Mission". usna.usda.gov. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  3. ^ "U.S. National Arboretum" (PDF). usna.usda.gov. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  4. ^ "A Classical Chinese Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum". usna.usda.gov. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  5. ^ http://www.ncagardenclubs.org/arborhouse.html
  6. ^ a b "Garden Displays, Collections & Structures". usna.usda.gov. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  7. ^ Siddiqui, Faiz (2 August 2015). "This 390-year-old bonsai tree survived an atomic bomb, and no one knew until 2001 - The Washington Post". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  8. ^ "US National Arboretum Bonsai Photo Gallery". United States National Arboretum. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  9. ^ Save Outdoor Sculpture! (1993). "Split Ritual, (sculpture)". Save Outdoor Sculpture!. Smithsonian. Retrieved 26 December 2010.

External links

Aquia Creek

Aquia Creek ( ) is a 27.6-mile-long (44.4 km) tributary of the tidal segment of the Potomac River and is located in northern Virginia. The creek's headwaters lie in southeastern Fauquier County, and it empties into the Potomac at Brent Point in Stafford County, 45 miles (72 km) south of Washington, D.C.


An arboretum (plural: arboreta) in a general sense is a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees. More commonly a modern arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants and is intended at least in part for scientific study.

An arboretum specializing in growing conifers is known as a pinetum. Other specialist arboreta include saliceta (willows), populeta, and querceta (oaks).

The term arboretum was first used in an English publication by John Claudius Loudon in 1833 in The Gardener's Magazine but the concept was already long-established by then.

Related collections include a fruticetum (from the Latin frutex, meaning shrub) and a viticetum (from the Latin vitis, meaning vine, referring in particular to a grape vine).

Carver Langston

Carver Langston is a cluster of two neighborhoods, Carver and Langston, just south of the United States National Arboretum in Northeast Washington, D.C. The two neighborhoods are most often referred to as one, because they are two small triangular neighborhoods that together form a square of land on the western bank of the Anacostia River.

Carver is the smaller and northernmost neighborhood of the two, bordered by Bladensburg Road to the west, M Street NE to the north, and Maryland Avenue to the southeast. Langston is bordered by Maryland Avenue to the northwest, 22nd and 26th Streets NE to the east, and Benning Road to the south. Directly east of the neighborhood on the very edge of the river is the Langston Golf Course, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the first course in the United States to allow blacks; boxing champion Joe Louis was one of its most frequent visitors.

Carver is named after George Washington Carver, a famous black inventor. Langston Terrace is named after John Mercer Langston who served as the first black American from Virginia to serve in the United States Congress. Langston Terrace is famous because it is the city's first federally funded public housing program to be built in 1938. The housing projects were explicitly designed for African American residents, since the District was rigidly segregated at the time.

Carver Langston is a middle-income residential neighborhood populated by retirees, families, young professionals and renters. Although now it is starting to gentrify particularly on its western and southern edges.

The area's main retail center is Hechinger Mall, with its namesake having been closed since the late 1990s. The entire area is part of Ward 5.

Frederick Vernon Coville

Frederick Vernon Coville (March 23, 1867 – January 9, 1937) was an American botanist who participated in the Death Valley Expedition (1890-1891), was honorary curator of the United States National Herbarium (1893-1937), worked at then was Chief botanist of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and was the first director of the United States National Arboretum. He made contribution to economic botany and helped shape American scientific policy of the time on plant and exploration research.


Goshin (Japanese: 護神, "protector of the spirit") is a bonsai created by John Y. Naka. It is a forest planting of eleven Foemina junipers (Juniperus chinensis 'Foemina'), the earliest of which Naka began training into bonsai in 1948. Naka donated it to the National Bonsai Foundation in 1984, to be displayed at the United States National Arboretum; it has been there ever since. The individual trees represent Naka's grandchildren.

Grove (nature)

A grove is a small group of trees with minimal or no undergrowth, such as a sequoia grove, or a small orchard planted for the cultivation of fruits or nuts. Other words for groups of trees include woodland, woodlot, thicket, or stand.

The main meaning of "grove" is a group of trees that grow close together, generally without many bushes or other plants underneath. It is an old word in English, with records of its use dating as far back as 1,000 years ago, although the word's true origins are unknown.

Naturally-occurring groves are typically small, perhaps a few acres at most. Orchards, by contrast, may be small or very large, like the apple orchards in Washington state, and orange groves in Florida.

Historically, groves were considered sacred in pagan, pre-Christian Germanic, Nordic and Celtic cultures. Helen F. Leslie-Jacobsen argues that "we can assume that sacred groves actually existed due to repeated mentions in historiographical and ethnographical accounts. e.g. Tacitus, Germania."

International Cultivar Registration Authority

An International Cultivation Registration Authority (ICRA) is an organization responsible for ensuring that the name of plant cultivars and cultivar groups are defined and not duplicated.The ICRA system was established more 50 years ago, and operates under the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP), which in turn works with the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. Its chief aim is to prevent duplicated uses of epithets for cultivars and cultivar groups within a defined denomination class (usually a genus), and to ensure that names are in accord with the latest edition of the ICNCP. Each name designation must be formally established by being published in hard copy, with a description in a dated publication.

The International Society for Horticultural Science appoints and monitors all ICRAs. At present it recognizes over 70 ICRAs, ranging from societies focused on a specific genus (such as clivia, oak, or saxifrage), through organizations with broader sets of interests (including the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the United States National Arboretum).

List of public art in Washington, D.C., Ward 5

This is a list of public art in Ward 5 of Washington, D.C..

This list applies only to works of public art accessible in an outdoor public space. For example, this does not include artwork visible inside a museum.

Most of the works mentioned are sculptures. When this is not the case (i.e. sound installation, for example) it is stated next to the title.

Mast Arboretum

Mast Arboretum is a 10 acre arboretum and botanical garden on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, one of 4 main gardens on the campus. The arboretum is open daily without charge.

The arboretum began in 1985 as a landscape plant materials class project, and has grown its collections through exchanges with the Arnold Arboretum, the United States National Arboretum, the North Carolina State University Arboretum, and others.

The arboretum contains more than 3,000 plant species and 20 theme gardens, including butterfly, conifer, fern, herb, heritage, and holly gardens, a pitcher plant bog, Asian valley, beehive exhibit, and a vine collection.

The Ruby Mize Azalea Garden (8 acres) is of particular interest: It was created between 1997–2001, and now contains some 7,000 azaleas, 200 camellias, 200 Japanese maple varieties, 180 hydrangea varieties, and 400 other rare ornamental trees and shrubs.

National Bonsai Foundation

The National Bonsai Foundation (NBF) is a nonprofit organization that was created to sustain the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. NBF also helps the United States National Arboretum showcase the arts of Bonsai and Penjing to the general public. The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum is located on the 446-acre (1.80 km2) campus of the US National Arboretum in northeast Washington, D.C. Each year over 200,000 people visit the museum. Distinguished national and international guests of various Federal Departments are also among the visitors.

National Capitol Columns

The National Capitol Columns is a monument in Washington, D.C.'s National Arboretum. It is an arrangement of twenty-two Corinthian columns which were a part of the United States Capitol from 1828 to 1958, placed amid 20 acres (8.1 ha) of open meadow, known as the Ellipse Meadow.

Russell Page

Montague Russell Page (1 November 1906 – 4 January 1985) was a British gardener, garden designer and landscape architect. He worked in Britain, western Europe and the United States of America.

Ulmus 'Frontier'

Ulmus 'Frontier' is an American hybrid cultivar [4], a United States National Arboretum introduction (NA 55393) derived from a crossing of the European Field Elm Ulmus minor (female parent) with the Chinese Elm Ulmus parvifolia in 1971. Released in 1990, the tree is a rare example of the hybridization of spring- and autumn-flowering elms.

Ulmus 'Homestead'

Ulmus 'Homestead' is an American hybrid elm cultivar raised by Alden Townsend of the United States National Arboretum at the Nursery Crops Laboratory in Delaware, Ohio. The cultivar arose from a 1970 crossing of the Siberian Elm Ulmus pumila (female parent) with the hybrid N 215 ('Commelin' × (U. pumila 'Pinnato-ramosa' × U. minor 'Hoersholmiensis')), the latter grown from seed sent in 1960 to the University of Wisconsin-Madison elm breeding team by Hans Heybroek of the De Dorschkamp Research Institute in the Netherlands. 'Homestead' was released to commerce without patent restrictions in 1984.

Ulmus 'Patriot'

Ulmus 'Patriot' [2] is a hybrid cultivar raised by the United States National Arboretum in 1980. Derived from a crossing of the American hybrid 'Urban' (female parent) with the Wilson's Elm (now treated as Japanese Elm U. davidiana var. japonica) cultivar 'Prospector', 'Patriot' was released to commerce, free of patent restrictions, in 1993. [3]

Ulmus americana 'Jefferson'

The American Elm cultivar Ulmus americana 'Jefferson' was cloned from a tree that grows along the National Mall in Washington D. C. [2]. Planted in the 1930s, it remains (2013) unscathed by Dutch elm disease, and was cloned (NPS 3487) by the U. S. National Park Service, which released it as 'Jefferson' in 2004. Early studies on this clone indicated triploid chromosome levels, suggesting it may be a hybrid between the tetraploid American Elm and a diploid species. A genetic study performed by the United States National Arboretum in 2004 confirmed the tree as Ulmus americana, despite its atypical features.[3] A later study by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service confirmed the tree as a triploid, but derived from a crossing of two American Elms, one a tetraploid, the other a rarer diploid.

Ulmus americana 'New Harmony'

The American Elm cultivar Ulmus americana 'New Harmony' was raised by the Maryland Agricultural Research Service and released by the United States National Arboretum in 1995, along with 'Valley Forge'.

Ulmus parvifolia 'Dynasty'

The Chinese Elm cultivar Ulmus parvifolia 'Dynasty' is a United States National Arboretum introduction reputed to be very fast-growing.

United Brick Corporation Brick Complex

The United Brick Corporation Brick Complex, also known as the New York Avenue Brick Kilns, is an historic industrial site. It is located at 2801 New York Avenue, Northeast, Washington, D.C. within the United States National Arboretum.The kilns are the only remaining brickyards in Washington, D.C..

The twelve remaining kilns were expanded in 1927, and are constructed of common brick, lined with fire brick, with vaulted roofs.

There is a small gauge rail system, with a standard rail siding.

In 1978, the complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Landmarks of Washington, D.C.
Parks and plazas

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