THE SCOTT ARBORETUM OF SWARTHMORE COLLEGE

featured photo

Featured Collections

Conifer Collection

Our conifer collection showcases a diversity of types suitable for gardens in the Mid-Atlantic Region and is strong in cryptomerias, dawn redwoods, bald cypresses, and pines. Different textures, sizes, shapes, and colors can be seen in the collection.

Witchhazel Collection

The majority of the witchhazel collection is located among the fraternity houses (Phi Omicron Psi House, Delta Upsilon House, and Kitao Student Art Gallery) below the Faulkner Tennis Courts on campus. This collection consists of over 30 different taxa.

Crabapple Collection

The crabapple collection is located around the athletic fields along Chester Road (Route 320). This collection has about 60 distinct taxa.

Cherry Collection

The cherry collection was started in April 1931 as a gift of Mrs. Allen K. White, Class of 1894, in honor of Carolien Powers, Class of 1922. Thirty-four varieties, two plants of each were planted in a semi-circle from the Meetinghouse to the President’s House and along Cedar Lane. The collection has evolved over the years and now includes the Suzanne Schmidt Memorial Garden. Over 65 taxa of flowering cherries are displayed; Prunus subhirtella ‘Scott Early’ begins the long flowering sequence that later ends with Prunus ‘Shirotae’. Here the flowers, growth habit, and size can be compared. In 2010, the Chica Maynard Cherry Border Endowment fund was established to maintain this area.

Holly Collection

Donated in 1974 by James R. Frorer, Swarthmore Class of 1915, the Frorer Holly Collection is one of the best collections in the country and has been designated as a National Holly Arboretum by the Holly Society of America and recognized by the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC). Each year, the collection, which now contains over 300 different types of evergreen and deciduous hollies, is evaluated for winter hardiness and ornamental traits.

Hydrangea Collection

The Arboretum’s hydrangea collection is located along Whittier Place, across from Papazian Hall, and consists of more than 100 taxa, representing 15 species. Within the collection, there are Hydrangea arborescens, H. involucrata, H. macrophylla, H. paniculata, H. quercifolia, H. sargentiana, and H. serrata. July and August are the best times to see the collection at peak bloom.

Magnolia Collection

Magnolias are well represented at the Arboretum with about 140 taxa; the main collection, registered by NAPCC, is located along Route 320 next to the Benjamin West House. Yellow and Magnolia x soulangiana hybrids, along with Little Girl hybrids (M. stellata x M. liliflora), are emphasized in the collection. An ever-expanding selection of yellow magnolias can be also seen at the tree peony collection. Visitors interested in our magnolias may also be interested in the International Magnolia Society.

Tree Peony Collection

One of the first collections at the Arboretum after it was founded in 1929, the tree peony collection now includes about 130 taxa. Irregularly-shaped beds contain Saunders’ hybrids, Japanese tree peonies, Chinese tree peonies, French hybrids, Daphnis hybrids, and species. Mid-May is the peak time to see their flowers. Found below Clothier Memorial Hall.

Gold Medal Plants

Since the inception of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Gold Medal Plant Award Program in 1987, a Scott Arboretum staff member has served on the committee for the program, which recognizes woody plants of outstanding merit in the Middle Atlantic Region (Zones 5-7). Selected for excellence in hardiness, disease and pest resistance, and ease of growing, these plants can be found throughout the Arboretum. A number of Gold Medal Plants are concentrated around Alice Paul and David Kemp Residence Halls near the SEPTA train station. The Arboretum has 90 plus Gold Medal taxa.