Map & Collection
There are currently over 5,000 living specimens with individually assigned accession numbers at the Iowa Arboretum. Some strengths of the collections include oaks, hardy pecans, dwarf conifers, maples, irises, and hostas. The location designation of several specimens, and in some cases entire species, are according to plant type and primary and secondary inventory. Examples include the Governors’ Oaks, Nut Trees, Dwarf Conifers, and Trees for Poorly Drained Soils. There are also several themed plantings including the Butterfly Garden, Kroeze Tea House, and Children’s Garden and Orchard.
As our mission statement states, one purpose of the Iowa Arboretum is to be an inspiring educational resource of trees, shrubs, and other plants in the Iowa landscape. Interpretative collection signage achieves part of that mission, but the individual plant labels also provide valuable information to our visitors. Green plant labels located alongside our specimens indicate the appropriate scientific and common name of each individual species. In addition, the lower left hand portion of the plant label indicates that plant specimen’s designated accession number. Accession numbers are in a way the fingerprint of that particular specimen. They inform you with their age, if they have siblings (multiple specimens acquired at the same time), and in what order they were acquired in that given year.
Explanation of the accession #:
1) Every plant at the arboretum is given a 6 digit accession number.
2) First 2 digits designates the year (abbreviated form) the specimen was acquired. Though acquisition doesn’t necessarily mean age of the specimen itself, it indicates the year in which the arboretum acquired the specimen from it’s source. Trees and shrubs may have been acquired as seedlings and had to grow out in a nursery before they were transplanted to their current location.
3) Last 4 digits gives the order of acquisition in the given year.
4) Letters may follow the 6 digit accession number. The letters (A, B, C, etc.) at the end of the accession numbers indicate that there are multiple specimens of the same accession, and were acquired at the same time.
Plant label example (below):
1) Accession number is 770003A.
2) Specimen was acquired in 1977.
3) It was the third specimen acquired that year.
4) The letter A indicates that more than one miyabei maple was acquired at the same time.