Get Growing Blog

It’s Poppin’: August 11th


The beginning of school is near- how is that possible?  We’ve reached the summer peak!  Our gardens that attract pollinators across our campuses are THE places to be as summer vacation quickly comes to a close.

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Garden phlox

In our glasshouses, our tropical butterflies are enjoying the blossoms of golden dewdrop, a plant that grows outside in places like south Florida. It’s named for its golden fruits, but it’s purple flowers are now stealing the show.  It’s best seen from the upper level in the Costa Rica Glasshouse. Outside in the Hershey Children’s Garden, leaf-cup, a giant daisy like plant, is towering behind the fountain.  Its yellow flowers are an absolute magnet for tiger swallowtail butterflies.  Finally, travel to the hillside Butterfly Garden just below the concrete arches for a show of many different cultivars of garden phlox.  This native species has been bred by horticulturists to produce several different flower variations, and that display is on fire right now!

Holden Arboretum

Allium ‘Millenium’

Pollinators abound at the arboretum as well!  This week, plant records curator Ethan Johnson spotted the brilliantly colored Allium ‘Millenium’ in the Butterfly Garden attracting large bees. A rare Ohio prairie species from the Darby Plains west of Columbus is blooming in the south entrance of the Wildflower Garden – royal catchfly is a beautiful tower of bright red blooms.  Finally, many of our hibiscus are blooming across the gardens, including the wonderful and creatively named ‘Berry Awesome’, which you’ll find in the Rhododendron Discovery Garden. 

This is just a sampling of the wonderful plants you’ll find in bloom at the peak of the summer – the butterflies are in abundance now – come find them!

Tom Arbour, M.En.

Tom Arbour, M.En.

Curator of Living Collections

As Curator of Living Collections at Holden Forests and Gardens, Tom guides the acquisition and documentation of more than 20,000 plants and trees at Cleveland Botanical Garden and The Holden Arboretum. Significant arboretum collections include oak, crabapple, maple, conifers, and Ohio wildflowers. At the Cleveland Botanical Garden, two biome-based glasshouses contain plants of the Madagascar spiny forest and a rich neotropical rainforest community. Tom is particularly interested in connecting with those wanting to use Holden’s living collections for research. Please contact Tom to learn more about the broad collection of trees and plants at our two campuses.

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