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USDA/ University of Maryland’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden:
Plant Germplasm Preservation Partnership


We are pleased to announce that the University of Maryland Arboretum and Botanical Garden and the USDA Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository began to incorporate rare plant germplasm into the campus landscape during the fall of 2011. To date, 124 of the USDA plants have been installed on campus. The partnership comes with obligations on the part of UMD. Since these plants are documented research plants, they need suitable planting locations, research access, and regularly addressed maintenance.


A campus of 1250 acres can be difficult to navigate; despite this, research scientists need access to the plants. Both parties agreed that GPS coordinates are the easiest way to document locations. To simplify the GPS collection, we used our GIS based Campus Plant Inventory. Within moments, GPS coordinates of all of the inventoried plants can be accessed.


On the UMD campus choosing locations for long lived plants can be a challenge. The most important factor is to make sure the site is suited for the given plant. Next, variables like building proximity, use of garden space, underground and overhead utilities, existing plants, natural topography and other site features, long term use of the space and campus vistas are all considered.


Last but not least, regularly addressed maintenance must always be considered. To satisfy this requirement the USDA plants are integrated into our standard arboretum maintenance program. All of the necessary plant care needs must be met to ensure long term survival. Thus far we have received potted plants, plants in grow bags and trees that are transported with 90” root balls through this partnership. We hope to continue this partnership and to continue to diversify our collection.


Peony Garden at Rossborough Inn


Our thanks go to Klehm’s Song Sparrow Nursery for donation of collection of herbaceous peonies which will enhance campus for years to come. Peonies are an integral component of herbaceous plantings and mixed borders. As a cut flower, they have no equal. Alluringly fragrant blooms, lush foliage, and a wide range of growth habits are key ornamental features. Known for their medicinal value since approximately 2000 B.C., herbaceous peonies were brought to the American colonies by European settlers and would have been a common element of gardens contemporary to construction of Rossborough Inn in 1798. Although not native to Maryland, peonies exhibit a high degree of drought tolerance, pest and disease resistance, including deer damage and are consistent with the principles




Tree walk