Idea for specimen gift

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

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).

I would appreciate any and all suggestions.

Thanks in Advance,

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Any one of about 50+ species of Viburnum would be nice...just not one that might prove invasive in his neighborhood.

Viburnum macrocephalum f. keteleeri is an awesome plant, for example:

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

Quote from ViburnumValley :
Any one of about 50+ species of Viburnum would be nice...just not one that might prove invasive in his neighborhood.

Viburnum is a great idea, thanks. I actually don't have much experience with them, sadly.

I'd probably plant 2-3, what is your top 3?

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Well, time to strike while the iron (or propagating facility) is hot! I can't think of a better or easier genus to gain experience with.

Viburnums are generally pretty easy to root from semi-hardwood cuttings, in early to midsummer under mist with a simple rooting hormone.

There are way too many to choose from to name only 3, but I'd consider categories like:

**Evergreen - for mid zones like ours, Viburnum x pragense is a great one that is large; Viburnum x 'Conoy' is small.

**Fragrant - Viburnum x burkwoodii 'Mohawk' is excellent all-around, by smell, compactness, and great fall color. V. x juddii is another very good plant, as is V. x 'Cayuga'.

**Fructiferousness - Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur' and all other V. nudum clones are great; V. setigerum, V. sieboldii, and every one of the V. dentatum clones (of which I grow 25 different ones).

Take a look in PlantFiles here at DG, and do any other searches of reputable information sources you like. You can't have too many viburnums...

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Additional info!

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.

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

I had thought about that actually. I am pretty sure they don't let people come and take cuttings without permission. Hmmmm..

More research is needed, quite possibly a walk about.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

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.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quote from ViburnumValley :
Most of the germplasm from USNA is available for the asking - emphasis on "asking".

For anyone, or US citizens only?


Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

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!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

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:

**Franklinia alatamaha
**Oxydendrum arboreum
**Styrax obassia and the rest of the Styrax clan
**Pterostyrax hispida
**Emmenopterys henryi
**Euscaphis japonicus
**Cotinus obovatus
**Halesia diptera var. magniflora

Maybe UMD_Terp could even grow up a Parrotia persica like this for the friend...

Thumbnail by ViburnumValley Thumbnail by ViburnumValley Thumbnail by ViburnumValley
Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

and what about a nice japanese maple?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

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.

Thumbnail by Weerobin Thumbnail by Weerobin
Central, MD(Zone 7a)

Japanese maples are gorgeous and are perfect for this area. I have a potted seiryu but it is a plant from one of my first trades. Perhaps a more unique upright.

All the suggestions have been great thanks so much.

Lots to ponder!

I can't stop thinking about the USNA. Can't wait to get to a computer and look into that.

Weerobin- those leaves are gorgeous.

Update: I can't find anything about requesting cuttings or seeds at USNA.

This message was edited Nov 18, 2012 8:32 PM

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Daphniphyllum macropodum
Looks like a Rhodo & Schefflera in foliage but will stump most Rhodo collectors for a while.

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