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Annual Arboretum Auxiliary Plant Sale - Saturday, September 12

plant sale

by Sean Fox

The annual Arboretum Auxiliary Plant Sale is fast approaching, and our volunteers and staff have been busy tending to plants in preparation for the big day. Hundreds of choices will be available to take home, whether it be stately trees, native shrubs, ornamental perennials, edible fruits or something to help green-up the inside of your home.

Amongst the trees available this year, slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata), tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) and shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) are a few of the native standouts. Beautiful specimens for the garden include katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), Manchurian cherry (Prunus maackii) and Ibokan Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Ibokan’). Canada’s largest native fruit, pawpaw (Asimina triloba), is an ever-popular choice, and other edible delights include American hazel, gooseberries, lingonberries, tayberries, jostaberries, goji berries and Wolf River apple - an heirloom cultivar known for its disease tolerance and exceptionally large fruit.
Smaller choices include a number of favourite shrubs such as bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia), sweetfern (Comptonia perigrina) bayberry (Morella pensylvanica) Ozark witch-hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) and dwarf hackberry (Celtis tenuifolia)

This is just a small sampling of over 100 taxa of woody plants that will be available for sale, including 70 native to Ontario.

On the herbaceous side, there is a huge selection of classic garden favourites such as coneflowers, hosta, sedum, delphinium and iris, in addition to beautiful natives such as cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) and Canada lily (Lilium canadense). Showy and prolific ornamentals include chocolate snakeroot (Eupatorium rugusom ‘Chocolate’), Oregon checkerbloom (Sidalcea oregona ‘Brilliant’) and spotted bee-balm (Monarda punctata). And, as populations of monarch butterflies continue to struggle, planting some of their required larval food sources – the milkweeds – adds a helping hand. Species available at this year’s sale include butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata).

In addition to the cold-hardy choices already mentioned, we`ll also be offering a selection of plants that are better suited for growing indoors over the winter months. These include propeller plant (Crassula falcata), Sulawesi waxflower (Hoya brevialata), kangaroo fern (Microsorum diversifolium) and crocodile fern (Microsorum musifolium). Look for these and many other indoor plants on the day of the sale.

This year’s sale falls on Saturday, September 12th at The Arboretum’s RJ Hilton Centre, 384 College Avenue East. The event runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., but be sure to arrive early for best selection, as some plants sell out quickly. A full listing of available plants is available by clicking below. Keep an eye on our website for further details:

Hope to see you there!

Our 2015 plant list - click here


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Click here to read more past articles on The Arboretum.

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Master Plan



Operational Plan

Arboretum Beginning

The Arboretum at the University of Guelph is somewhat modeled after the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University which is 100 years older.

Plantings started in 1971 and are now maturing to produce a beautiful landscape, within which The Arboretum continues to develop specialized gardens, botanical collections, and gene conservation programs.

Labels are maintained at the base of all woody plants in the collections that are listed on The Arboretum map.

University of Guelph Arboretum
College Ave East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1

ext. 52113


GPS Co-ordinates