Rhododendrons and azaleas lead a flowery May at Arboretum

On May 2 and 3, the American Rhododendron Society’s Southeastern Chapter will hold its annual show at the North Carolina Arboretum. The event features hundreds of blooms on display at the Education Center, including many favorite mountain plants.

The event also highlights azaleas: Bent Creek is home to the National Native Azalea Repository, which was established to help preserve and protect native varieties such as the flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum). Sixteen azalea varieties are native to the U.S. – many of them to this area. The repository serves as a “conservation reservoir” or storage center that holds the hereditary material for each native species, as well as hybrids and cultivated varieties. During the rhododendron show, trail walks to the repository will be offered.

Other flower species will get the spotlight later in the month: On May 9 and May 12, the Carolinas Dahlia Society and the NC Chrysanthemum Society celebrate the season with a Spring Dahlia Tuber Sale and Chrysanthemum Cutting Sale. And on May 30-31, the Asheville Blue Ridge Rose Society hold its annual exhibit and sale.

Shows and events are free for Arboretum Society members or with the standard parking fee ($6 per personal motor vehicle). Visitors are encouraged to explore the Arboretum’s kaleidoscope of spring color, 65 acres of cultivated gardens, 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, engaging exhibits, and bountiful opportunities to connect with nature.

For information, call 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org.

– Margaret Williams


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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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