Marietta, Ohio is located on the banks of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers in southeastern Ohio. It is approximately halfway between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Founded more than 200 years ago by Revolutionary War veterans, it was the first English settlement in the Northwest Territory. Today it has a population of 15,000 persons. Many of its attributes are based on its history.
First-time visitors commonly marvel at the natural beauty of Marietta College and the City of Marietta. The abundance of trees plays a large part in the beauty. It is fitting that this guide not only focuses on this beauty, but also is informative and educational.
The diversity of plants on the main campus is in part due to past grounds supervisors, alumni, administrators, faculty, and friends of Marietta College. Special appreciation goes to Lee Walp, emeritus professor of biology (1931-1975), who worked tirelessly to add to the botanical diversity of the Marietta College campus.
The guide is a joint effort of the Office of College Advancement, the Physical Plant, and the Department of Biology. Contributions to support the continuation of campus beautification should be sent to the Office of College Advancement.
Plant map and descriptions compiled by Dave Lane, Grounds Supervisor.
1. Red Oak
This fast growing tree is common on campus. A favorite of squirrels because of its abundant acorns, this particular tree is a living memorial.
2. Cherokee Daybreak Dogwood
Cornus florida, 'Cherokee Daybreak'
Leaves of this White Dogwood are edged in white turning pink and red in fall. This particular tree is a living memorial.
3. White Oak
A native tree to the eastern U.S., this tree is of economic importance for furniture, flooring, boat building, and casks. Acorn is edible, just ask our squirrels. Nursery production of White Oak is difficult so few are seen in landscaping.
4. Kousa Dogwood
Cornus kousa A native to the Far East, Kousa Dogwood has been introduced worldwide. Flowers are white and are later and less abundant than most Dogwood. It is also more upright than most Dogwood varieties.
5. American Sycamore
A native to the eastern U.S., Sycamore has few economic benefits. Known for its rapid growth with many hollows forming branches, its habit of dropping some part of its "anatomy" almost year- round has limited its landscape use. Native Americans believe the Sycamore grows near water because of the spirit of a brave who died of thirst at its base. Early French settlers are said to have made huge canoes from Sycamore trunks which could carry several tons of cargo.
Oxydendrum arboreum Native to the Appalachian Plateau, this excellent ornamental plant has glossy green leaves in summer which change to brilliant red in fall. Long drooping clusters of white flowers occur in early summer.
7. American Holly
Ilex opaca A somewhat upright plant, hollies are either female or male, meaning the flowers of any one plant have only female or male parts. Female plants bear fruit which turn red in late summer. The evergreen leaves and red berries make it a favorite during the holidays. Berries are a favorite of robins and other birds in early spring.
8. European Linden
A native of Europe, European Linden is commonly used as a street tree in European cities. While Lindens are widely used in the U.S. as shade trees, they are uncommon in our area.
9. Tulip Poplar
So named for its huge orange-yellow and green tulip-like flowers, this native tree is a fast-growing shade tree. As with most quick growing trees, the limbs commonly break during ice and wind storms. This tree is common to the forests around Marietta and is of economic importance to the timber industry. It is also called Tulip Tree and Yellow Poplar. The name "poplar" is unfortunate as it is a relative of the Magnolia.
10. Sugar Maple
This native tree can be found throughout the eastern U.S. Its wide spreading branches makes it an excellent shade tree for large areas. Recent years have seen a decline in the vigor of Sugar Maples. The cause is unknown but suggested to be because of pollution and acid rain. It's prized for its lumber and sap, which is rendered into syrup.
11. Perennial Garden
This garden was installed in 1994 and part of it is designed using only perennials for year-round color. Winter interest is enhanced by the grasses and Dianthus foliage. Other plants which can be seen flowering from March through October are Crocus, Daffodil, Tulip, Goldsturm Rudbeckia, Moonbeam and Red Coreopsis, Daylilies, Goblin Gaillardia, Purple Coneflower, Alaska Daisy, Summer Skies Delphinium, Powis Castle Artemesia, False Sunflower, Dwarf Fountain Grass, and Variegated Maiden Grass.
12. Kentucky Coffee Tree
A native tree of the central and eastern U.S., this tree's beans, which are in a long pod, were used by early Kentucky settlers as a coffee substitute. It can grow to be a very large tree and is seldom found in landscapes. Like the hollies, coffee trees are either male or female.
13. Saucer Magnolia
Magnolia x soulangiana
Found throughout the U.S., Saucer Magnolia is prized for its beautiful flowers which occur in March and April in Marietta. Flowers range in color from nearly white to dark pink.
14. White Pine
A native tree of the entire eastern half of the U.S. and southern Canada, this fast growing pine is prized for its soft texture. It is also widely planted around Marietta for timber, Christmas trees, and wildlife habitat as it's a favorite hangout for deer, doves, and other wildlife. Colonists used 90-foot-tall trees as masts for the naval ships of the King's Navy.
15. White Dogwood
A native tree of the eastern U.S., its flowers appear in April in Marietta. Its red fruit is persistent throughout winter and is a favorite of squirrels and birds. Biblical lore claims Dogwood was once a large tree but after its use as lumber for the cross, it was subjected to remain an understory plant in the forest.
A native to Japan and China, this very tolerant shade tree is commonly used for street plantings in the U.S. Its bark and vase-like shape make it very unusual.
17. Thornless Honey Locust
A native to the eastern U.S., it is commonly used as a shade or street tree. While it is tolerant of harsh, urban conditions, insect problems have caused the Thornless Locust to fall out of grace with horticulturists.
18. Mimosa Tree
A native of the Far East, the pink flowers which appear in July are a favorite of hummingbirds. Mimosa is common in Virginia and the Carolinas, but not so in Ohio where it is limited to southern Ohio and has difficulty with the winter climate.
19. Crimson King Norway Maple
Acer platanoides, 'Crimson King'
Originally a native of northern Europe, "Crimson King Maple" is a very commonly planted shade tree in the U.S. Although very slow to grow, its dark maroon summer foliage makes it desirable for summer color.
20. Colorado Blue Spruce
Picea pungens glauca
A native of the Rocky Mountains, this plant has gained wide acceptance because of its steel blue color. It is usually planted much too close to walks, drives, and structures. While it is slow growing, it will get very large at maturity.
21. Zumi Crabapple
Malus calacarpa Zumi
Crabapples of one form or another are native to many areas of North America and Europe. Zumi Crabapple has pink buds opening to white flowers in April. Small red crabapples appear in late summer and are a favorite of many bird species.
Native to the woodlands of the eastern U.S., the Serviceberry gets its name because it blooms about the time the circuit preachers would come around for "Easter Services." Its white spring flowers are followed by a red fruit in June which was once widely used for jams and jellies - that is if you could harvest the fruit prior to the over 40 species of birds that eat it.
23. Sweet Gum
A native to the eastern U.S., this fast growing shade tree is noted for its outstanding red fall color. It is best planted away from walks and drives as its fruit, a spike ball, is troublesome throughout winter.
24. Pin Oak
A native tree to the eastern U.S., it is the most popular of all shade trees in the landscape. Leaves turn an excellent red fall color. These leaves turn brown and hang on the tree all winter.
25. Chinese Chestnut
A native to China and Korea, this tree is used as a replacement for the American Chestnut. The husks which surround the nut are a nuisance, but the fruit is very tasty.
26. Sweetbay Magnolia
Native to the east coast of the U.S., this magnolia flowers white in June in Marietta. Flowers are less numerous than Saucer Magnolia but have a very sweet fragrance. Red seed aggregates appear in late summer. This is a memorial tree.
27. Ohio Buckeye
A native plant and the state tree of Ohio, the flowers of the Ohio Buckeye appear in May-June. This leads to its characteristic nut which is collected by humans as a novelty and by squirrels for food.
This grove of plants is a class memorial. Native to the creek beds of the Alleghenies, Japan and China, Rhododendron is prized for its flowers, which occur in May.
29. Canadian Hemlock
A native of eastern North America, this evergreen is extremely versatile and widely used in landscaping. It can be used in hedges as well as a specimen plant. Some may eventually grow to 100 feet in height. Hemlock leaves and twigs were once used to make a tea which induced sweating. Native Americans used the inner bark to make an ointment for wounds.
30. Eastern Redbud
A native understory tree in the eastern forests of the U.S., its pink flowers appear from the old wood in April. It is also called Judas Tree. According to Biblical legend, Judas Iscariot hanged himself from a Redbud. This is a memorial tree.
31. Black Gum
A native to the eastern U.S., Black Gum is noted for its outstanding and consistent fall red color. Even its lustrous green summer leaves are outstanding. Its wood, which is very strong, was used in colonial times for water pipes.
32. Golden Raintree
A native tree of the Far East, Golden Raintree flowers yellow in midsummer. This plant is not widely planted or known.
Native of the southern Appalachians, it is best known for its smooth gray beech-like bark and its yellow fall leaves. A yellow dye can be made of the inner wood.
34. Southern Magnolia
An evergreen magnolia native to the southern U.S., its white flowers in May and June are sweet smelling. Red fruit clusters add winter interest.
35. Bradford Pear
Pyrus calleryana, 'Bradford'
A native to China and Korea, Bradford Pear has been widely used in the landscapes of the U.S. White April flowers, shiny green leaves that turn red in fall, and a pyramidal growth habit are some attributes which make the tree so popular.
36. Swamp Oak
A native of the eastern U.S. and Canada, Swamp Oak usually grows best in moist areas. Not a common plant, this tree is a memorial.
37. Scarlet Oak
An eastern U.S. native, this pyramidal shade tree grows similar to Pin Oak with the same red fall color. This tree is a class memorial.
38. American Beech
This native of the eastern U.S. and Canada can grow to be a massive tree. The bark is close-fitting, blue-gray, smooth, thin, and often mottled with dark bands. Its characteristic of hollow limbs makes it a home to much wildlife. The nuts of the tree are edible and good.
39. Weeping Purple Beech
Fagus sylvatica, 'Purple Fountain'
A weeping specimen tree, this relative of the European Beech has reddish-colored leaves all summer. This tree is a memorial.
40. Shingle Oak
A native of the west and central U.S., this is an excellent tree for urban conditions but is not commonly available. The name comes from the wood's use as shingles by early settlers over two hundred years ago.
41. Willow Oak
This eastern U.S. native is well known for its texture and 'Willow'-like leaves. There are many Willow Oaks on campus as it's an excellent urban tree. This particular plant is a memorial.
42. Norway Spruce
A native of northern Europe, this tree is widely planted in landscapes. It is a favorite roosting place for many birds, including the Mourning Dove. The roots of Norway Spruce were once used to lash together the bark of birch bark canoes.
Often called the Maidenhair Tree, this China native has a very columnar growth habit. The female tree has a disagreeable odor to the fruit, making the male form the tree of choice. The unusual leaves of the tree make it most desirable. Fossil remains 150 million years old have been found making it one of the oldest tree species on earth. It was once a North American native and was reintroduced in the late 1700s.
44. Columnar English Oak
Quercus robur, 'Fastigiata'
Perhaps one of the premier upright forms of shade trees, this plant is a native of Europe and North Africa. In time, this specimen will reach 50-60 feet in height with a 10-15-foot spread. This is a memorial tree.
45. Bald Cypress
This native of the eastern U.S., south of the Ohio River, will usually develop into a tall pyramidal tree. Although it has needles, it is deciduous with brown needles hanging on throughout much of winter. It can survive wet spots, even standing water, as it does in southern swamps. However, in such an environment large "knees", or knots, will develop from the roots. This makes mowing a very hazardous endeavor. The purpose of these "knees" is still debated, but they do not appear in dryer soils.
46. Red Maple
A native to the eastern U.S. and Canada, the leaves of this fast growing pyramidal tree turn orange and red in the fall, growing a brilliant scarlet as winter ends. The flowers are generally red, sometimes yellow; they stand out brilliantly because they bloom before the leaves appear. Cultiwars are used extensively in landscapes.
47. Purple Flowering Plum
Prunus cerasifera, 'Atropurpurea'
An Iranian native, this plant is best noted for its burgundy-colored leaves. Under normal conditions the tree is round, but this particular tree has been shaded and this has affected its shape.
48. Hop Hornbeam
Also called Ironwood, this small graceful tree is a native of the eastern U.S. and Canada. The thin, grayish brown bark as well as the hanging seeds (catkins) makes it very desirable in landscaping.
49. White Fir
This native to the western U.S. is considered one of the best firs to use as a landscape specimen. The bluish needles, light green cones, medium growth rate, and columnar appearance make it a very valuable specimen.