Since 2002, the Arnold Arboretum has been a member of the Plant Collections Network, a network of botanical gardens administered through the American Public Gardens Association in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The primary focus of the Plant Collections Network is the long-term preservation of germplasm for research. Participating institutions commit to holding and developing collections that are primarily organized at the genus level.
The Arboretum holds eight collections for the Plant Collections Network: Acer (maple), Carya (hickory), Fagus (beech), Forsythia (forsythia), Ginkgo (ginkgo), Stewartia, Syringa (lilac), and Tsuga (hemlock). Our collections focus is on botanical taxa—cultivated plants are exempt—and our goal is to maximize diversity both within each genus and within each species. The Arboretum’s holdings of these eight genera are quite robust, representing some of the largest and best documented collections of their kind in the world. Because of their importance, our Collections Policy prioritizes their development and care as core collections.