When I arrive at Tyler Arboretum, I usually just park my car and walk right in to the Visitor Center to start my journey for that day. But recently, my eyes did a double-take when I approached the Visitor Center and noticed a sign I previously had never stopped to read. I never knew that Tyler was an Official Holly Arboretum! I found this to be exciting news, but then I asked myself… OK, so what exactly does it mean to be an “official holly arboretum”?
I started my online search at the website for the Holly Society of America. Below is a summary from the HSA website main page:
The Holly Society of America, Inc. is an active, non-profit organization with members throughout the United States and numerous foreign countries. The purpose of the Society is to stimulate interest, promote research, and collect and disseminate information about the genus Ilex. The society provides the medium for all people interested in hollies, including both novices and skilled growers, to communicate and exchange information through scientific studies, publications, lectures, meetings, visiting holly collections, and other educational endeavors.
To be an official holly arboreta:
An organization recognized by the Holly Society of America as an official Holly Arboretum or Experimental Test Center is a public or semi-public institution that educates plant lovers in the use of holly in the landscape and that complies with set HSA guidelines. Its holly collection is properly labeled and it maintains accurate records of its hollies so that each plant can be identified by location, valid name, source, date received, size or age when received, and other pertinent facts. Annual reports submitted by Official Holly Arboreta and Experimental Test Centers are included in the Holly Society Journal.
What I am very excited to see under the list of recognized organizations is that Tyler Arboretum is one of only 20 organizations from across the globe honored with this distinction! I encourage you to check out the range of holly that are growing at Tyler. Just along the pathway from the Visitor Center towards the Butterfly House, look to your right to see Winterberry, American Holly, Japanese Holly, English Holly, and a large American Holly tree on the left before the Butterfly House. What beautiful plants, especially in the winter.
And I can’t resist… I have to end this post with…
Happy “Holly”-days, everyone!