Rare plants and exceptional specimens

Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens is home to many rare and unusual rhododendrons as well as several endangered and exceptional native plant specimens. The plants listed below are a small sampling of the Arboretum’s rare and exceptional specimens.

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Gracing the pond edge since the Arboretum’s early years, this buttonbush has sculpturally twisted branches that become covered with distinctive mace-like flowers in early summer
Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha)
Of the dozen or so Franklin trees at the Arboretum, the largest and most spectacular resides among the pine trees near the pond. With shiny green leaves, late summer flowers, vibrant fall color, and striped bark, this species is outstanding in all seasons.
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
An unusual tree, the pawpaw produces the largest fruits of any native tree. One of the largest and most productive pawpaws at the Arboretum grows on the bank of the service road, seen here in autumn.
Strawberry bush (Euonymous americanus)
Strawberry bush was found growing wild at the Arboretum more than 30 years ago. From this wild population, several were propagated and this is perhaps the largest and oldest on the grounds (seen here in fall).

Striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum)
Stretching its limits at the southern extreme of its hardiness, the striped maple does not typically do well in the warm Philadelphia region. Our 30 year old specimen is an exception worth seeing.