Des Moines lilacs get name tags
Des Moines will this month identify and label each of the roughly 300 varieties of lilacs grown at the Ewing Park Lilac Arboretum, Jennifer Fletcher, a parks spokesperson, tells Axios.
Why it matters: Ewing Park's arboretum is one of the nation's largest public collections of lilacs, with more varieties than the New York Botanical Garden, according to the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University.
- Identification of the park's roughly 1,000 lilac shrubs is essential for maintaining and diversifying plant species.
State of play: The arboretum was launched about 75 years ago by landscape architect John Wister. Lilacs in the "Wister loop" are arranged in contrasting adjacent colors, to help showcase them.
- In 2019, Des Moines hosted the International Lilac Society's annual conference, where an expert encouraged the city to identify its collection. That work is now underway.
How it works: Temporary labels and tags will be added to each shrub by the end of this month, identifying its genus, species and variety/cultivar.
- Permanent signage will be installed next year.
Of note: Identification will cost about $6,000. The price for permanent signage hasn't been determined.
Visit: Full bloom is typically around Mother's Day, but this year's cold spring has delayed them. Flowers last roughly two weeks.
- 5300 Indianola Ave., Des Moines.
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