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Our Plants

During the past 35 years, we have grown and evaluatee more than 15,000 different species and varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers, vegetables, fruits and bulbs. As a research and teaching non-profit botanic garden, we are delighted to share what we have learned! Watch for online guides such as our Top 12 Vegetables to Grow


Photo Galleries
See a small sampling with our photo tours: Spring | Summer | Fall | Winter

Plant List

Our plant evaluation data includes scientific name, cultivar, common name, source, year planted and status. Contact us for questions!

March 2024 Update: Of 15,364 total species and varieties tested, 7,698 are found in our garden today.

Download a PDF of our latest list!

According to Beverly Hurley, Garden Destinations & Triangle Gardener 2023:

Today, there are thousands of cultivars of plants that cascade down the hillsides, fill the valleys, and cover the wetlands of this spectacular garden that includes numerous microclimates in its zone 5 setting.

When you first enter the property, you’ll see lovely landscaping surrounding the house and wonder “Is this the garden?” However, the jaw-dropping display unfolds as you stand at the edge of the hill.


Here, you will see an artist’s palette of colors from the trees and shrubs that hug the sides of this 45-degree hill. Yellow, red, orange, and every shade of green are painted before you using conifers, shrubs, and trees. A closer look as you wind down the path reveals mass plantings of perennials and annuals. Instead of planting a few of the same flowers, Dr. Stanley plants flats of the flowers for greater impact. And it works. Your eyes are dazzled by the display.


The types of plants seem endless. Spruce – Serbian, Norway, and blue, kousa dogwood, European larch, Japanese maples, hydrangeas, bald cypress, Franklin trees (Franklinia alatamaha), rhododendron and native azaleas, Alaska weeping cedar, ice plants, pitcher plants, variegated cattails, candelabra primroses, peonies, bulbs, 32 different beds of echinacea, and even a hardy banana tree. And this is only a small portion of the plant diversity that you will see at Arborcrest Gardens. 

And that original vegetable garden? It has also grown in size with beds of berries, rows of tomatoes, cabbage, corn, and other edibles to fill wagon loads. The garden donates much of the produce to local organizations.

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