I am eliciting suggestions for a gift to a friend.
Here are the basics, he is a nurseryman (rhododendrons) but pretty much strictly rhododendrons, 400+. I'm looking for a plant, shrub, tree, conifer that I can gift him at some point in the next year or two as a token of appreciation.
It would be for central Maryland and there is plenty of space to plant in full sun, or afternoon evening sun. He already has a dawn redwood for example.
Obviously I don't want to buy something that is outrageously expensive. And I have the means to grow it from seed or cuttings (ha using his greenhouses).
Depending on where you live in Maryland, you could do worse than to solicit cutting material from the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC. This is the source of many of the absolute best selections today among the many excellent viburnums for landscape use - including 'Conoy', 'Cayuga', and 'Mohawk' listed above.
Most of the germplasm from USNA is available for the asking - emphasis on "asking". No surreptitious taking, which would ruin the experience for the rest of us.
Google it up online, and there are instructions on how to request cuttings, seeds, etc.
You are right. A walk around the grounds/collections will be an eye-opener, if you haven't been there lately. I am in Washington annually in late April/early May for business meetings - this is my "don't miss" visit location.
Hmm, to suggest a little diversity here.
Viburnum isn't the only genus to warrant the label 'specimen plant'.
I'd suggest stewartia pseudocamellia.
Beautiful flowers, fall color, beautiful bark. Or any other stewartia species.
Or several outstanding acers (griseum, triflorum, tegmentosum 'Joe Witt' to name a few) -
lacking the showy flowers, but beautiful trees nonetheless, with outstanding foliage and bark character.
All are aristocrats any plantsman would appreciate!
Yawn, Weerobin - and I resemble those remarks. Consider yourself in receipt of a Rubus grandiflorius...
I suppose you'd also find favor with such pedestrian items as:
**Styrax obassia and the rest of the Styrax clan
**Halesia diptera var. magniflora
Maybe UMD_Terp could even grow up a Parrotia persica like this for the friend...
Now you've come to your senses! I think any of those pedestrian choices would make fine gifts.
I was just admiring the beautiful fall color of my parrotias yesterday - everything else is pretty much done, but the parrotias are still strutting.
And my bonus shot is acer maximowiczii in blazing fall color also.