JACKSONTOWN– Just when it seems like spring is years away, the Witch Hazel blooming in Dawes Arboretum reminds us we really don’t have that long to wait for warm weather. But, it isn’t just fans of summer who have come to appreciate Dawes’ Witch Hazel, or Hamamelis, collection.
Dawes Director of Horticulture Mike Ecker said that in September of last year, the American Public Gardens Association announced that Dawes was awarded North American Plants Consortium ( NAPCC) accreditation for its Witch Hazel collection. According to the association, the arboretum has developed a diverse collection focused on both cultivars and species of documented wild origin. It comprises 75 taxa totaling 149 plants. Ongoing evaluations will target selections for adaptability, pest and disease resistance, and most complete fall foliage drop to enhance f lowering display. The collection contributes to ex-situ conservation, and serves as an excellence reference collection for researchers, green industry professionals, and tree breeders. It joins The Dawes Arboretum’s NAPCC collections of Acer, Aesculus, and Metasequoia.
The NAPCC is a network of botanical gardens and arboreta working to coordinate a continent-wide approach to plant germplasm preservation, and to promote high standards of plant collections management. NAPCC collections may serve as reference collections for plant identification and cultivar registration. Collection holders make germplasm available for taxonomic studies, evaluation, breeding, and other research. Participating institutions compare holdings with others to identify duplications and gaps. This makes efficient use of available resources, strengthening collections through combined collaborative activities.