Association Corner

New NAPCC Plumeria Collection at Naples Botanical Garden

We are happy to welcome Naples Botanical Garden whose Plumeria Collection achieved NAPCC recognition in November.  Comprising over 300 species and cultivars, this collection includes 75% of the 277 Plumeria cultivars registered by the Plumeria Society of America. The Society sought out Naples Botanical Garden to serve as its national collection, and donated plants – in many cases from the original breeder – to augment its holdings. The Plumeria Collection curator, Hetty Ford, has been involved in the Plumeria Society for a decade and initiated this successful collaboration. She is a local expert in cultivated varieties and is actively involved in the international Plumeria community. Brett Adams, curator of collections, also serves on the board of Belize Botanic Gardens and will help facilitate the replication of the Plumeria Collection in Belize. This represents a remarkable achievement by this young botanical garden begun in 1993.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Joins NAPCC

Two collections at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum became part of the NAPCC in January. Its Pinus Collection comprises  sixty taxa represented by two hundred individual trees.  The collection is dominated by native red pine (P. resinosa) and white pine (P. strobus), but also includes many other cold-hard species, providing a demonstration of climate-appropriate pines. On-site herbarium facilities strengthen the collection’s documentation, while the Anderson Horticultural Library serves as an added asset. The Ornamental Grass Collection is unique in North America, and rivals others worldwide. While gardens include displays of individual grasses and there are several specialty nurseries, none are as extensive or well documented.  This collection began in 1987 as a research project under the management of Dr. Mary Meyer, and continues as part of a USDA experiment station project. Today the collection comprises 184 taxa represented by more than seven hundred individual plants.

NAPCC Challenge Grant Awards

Four $1,000 NAPCC Challenge Grants were recently awarded. Powell Gardens and VanDusen Botanical Garden received a grant as participating institutions in the successful Multisite Magnolia application. Naples Botanical Garden was awarded a Challenge Grant in association with its Plumeria Collection. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum also received a grant as part of its joint applications for Pines and Ornamental Grasses. The NAPCC Challenge Grant was established in 2009 through an anonymous donation to encourage APGA member gardens to apply for participation in the North American Plant Collections Consortium. The current round is open to all first-time NAPCC applicants until March 13 for submission of a completed NAPCC application and a request for grant consideration.

Learn more about the NAPCC Challenge Grant on our website:

NAPCC Multisite Magnolia Collection Approved

NAPCC celebrates its newest Multisite Collection focused on Magnolias. Involving fourteen APGA member gardens, this achievement is the culmination of nearly two years of research and planning. This multi-institutional initiative was spearheaded by Andrew Bunting, curator at The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College (photo, left). He conducted an initial survey to compare the holdings of magnolias throughout public gardens in the US and Canada. A taxonomist from Magnolia Society International assisted with standardizing the nomenclature. Based upon these results, holders of significant collections were invited to become part of the multi-institutional initiative. Applying to NAPCC represents a long-term commitment to a collection at the highest level, which required gardens to obtain approval of their governing body.  Participating institutions completed portions of the NAPCC application, while contributing to developing group goals and analyses of the combined holdings. The full application was submitted in June 2011, and peer site reviews ran through the fall. Reviewers submitted their written evaluations through December of last year.

The result is a rich multisite Magnolia Collection distributed throughout North America which incorporates species of wild known origin and horticultural hybrids and cultivars. Those sites already holding other NAPCC collections include: Atlanta Botanical Garden (Sarracenia, multisite Acer), Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories Arboretum (multisite Quercus) (photo, right), Hoyt Arboretum (multisite Acer), JC Raulston Arboretum (Cercis), The Morton Arboretum (multisite Acer, Malus, multisite Quercus, Ulmus), Quarryhill Botanical Garden (multsite Acer), San Francisco Botanical Garden (Meso American Cloud Forest), The Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College (Ilex, Magnolia already in NAPCC as single holder since 2003, multisite Quercus), UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research (multisite Acer), and University of California Botanical Garden (Cycads, multisite Quercus). Those new to NAPCC: Gardens of the Big Bend at University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research & Education Center, Powell Gardens, South Carolina Botanical Garden, and VanDusen Botanical Garden.

A new NAPCC Magnolia Curatorial Group with Andrew Bunting acting as coordinator for the next two to three years will undertake the activities and group goals. The Group will convene face-to-face at the upcoming APGA conference in Columbus. A collaboration with the Magnolia Society International prioritizes NAPCC participants for research funding and is in the first stages of developing a global magnolia collection modeled after the NAPCC process.

Congratulations to everyone involved in advancing the stewardship of magnolias through your combined efforts!