Davis Arboretum receives national accreditation by Plant Collections Network for azalea collection

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The Donald E. Davis Arboretum received its second national accreditation by the Plant Collections Network, this time for its deciduous Rhododendron collection (native deciduous azaleas). The collection, which has been 40 years in the making, is now a participating site of the Nationally Accredited Plant Collection—the standard of excellence in plant collections management. This accreditation marks the university’s enduring commitment toward global efforts in plant conservation.

“We are extremely excited to receive this prestigious designation,” said Davis Arboretum Director Morgan Beadles. “The passion and dedication of everyone who worked on this collection throughout the years will have an everlasting impact on Auburn’s campus.”

The arboretum received its first national accreditation in 2010 for its multi-site Quercus (oak) collection. The Davis Arboretum is the only garden in the SEC to house a nationally accredited collection. The arboretum is home to 12 of the 17 native plant azalea species, 73 cultivars, 70 horticulture hybrids and more than 1,000 individual plants in the deciduous Rhododendron collection. The arboretum also has trademarked Auburn azaleas in production available only through their plant sales.

“The Davis Arboretum is a phenomenal asset to Auburn University, its students, faculty, staff, stakeholders and surrounding communities,” Beadles said. “This accreditation further confirms our worth and value as it recognizes our commitment to conservation on a national scale. This is a beautiful testament to the hard work of many Auburn men and women who have been involved with the collection over the past 40 years.”

Participation in the Plant Collections Network indicates that the arboretum is willing to make the collection available for distribution and research and that the arboretum promotes public awareness of conservation issues.

Learn more about the arboretum at http://www.auburn.edu/cosam/arboretum/.

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