Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

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Lectures

Lectures & Talks

Morris Arboretum Lecture Series


An annual series of lectures held from late fall to early spring that explore a wide variety of fascinating topics. Lectures are supported in part by the Klein Lecture Endowment given in memory of Dr. William M. Klein who served from 1977-1990 as the Arboretum’s first full-time director, the Laura L. Barnes Lecture Endowment of The Philadelphia Foundation, given in memory of Laura Barnes by students and alumni of her school of horticulture, and the Byron Lukens Lecture Endowment, given in memory of educator and Arboretum volunteer, Byron Lukens and his wife Elizabeth.


Past speakers have included:

The Past Preserved: An Exploration of Plants and Archaeology

Dr. Chantel White, Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials, University of Pennsylvania

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13 | 2:00 pm
Members: $15
Non-Members: $20

From Bronze Age palaces to humble dwellings, most archaeological sites contain the remains of plants preserved within their floors and features. Botanical remains can provide valuable information about food practices in past societies, from daily meals to special feasting events, as well as agriculture and trade networks. Through the microscopic study of seeds and wood, archaeologists are often able to reconstruct the lives and health of ancient populations. Chantel White, archaeobotanist at the Penn Museum, currently conducts research projects at Lechaion, the Roman port of Corinth in Greece, and much closer to home at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia. She will discuss how botanical remains have been preserved at these archaeological sites and how plants are helping us understand daily life in a coastal Roman village over 1,500 years ago. She will also discuss the plant remains recently studied from Bartram’s eighteenth-century home that provide intriguing evidence for early garden activities in historical Philadelphia.

The Klein Endowed Lecture is presented annually in memory of Dr. William M. Klein who served as the Arboretum’s first full-time director from 1977-1990.


Bringing Great Plants to the West: E. H. Wilson and the Heyday of Plant Exploration

Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum and Horticultural Services, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

TUESDAY, MARCH 5 | 2:00 pm
Members: $15
Non-Members: $20

This lecture will be held at the Learning Center Auditorium at Temple University’s Ambler Campus, 580 Meetinghouse Rd., Ambler, PA.

E. H. Wilson (1876-1930) was one of the most renowned plant collectors of his generation. He was responsible for introducing over a thousand plant species, mainly from China, to the west. In this lecture Tony Kirkham will highlight his recent book Wilson’s China: A Century On. Many of Wilson’s introductions were ornamental plants and trees, such as the beautiful regal lily and dove tree. Other examples include the kiwi fruit, many popular rhododendrons and the Chinese dogwood. In his talk Tony follows in the footsteps of this intrepid plant hunter; to reveal and connect with the China that Wilson once knew. With co-author Mark Flanagan, Tony retraced several of Wilson’s journeys to create a fascinating series of breathtaking ‘then and now’ images of the remote Sichuan landscape, providing a unique insight into the changes that have taken place in China over the past 100 years. Tony Kirkham started his career as an apprentice at Tilhill Forestry Nursery in Frensham, England. He attended Merrist Wood Agricultural College and was awarded the Kew diploma in Horticulture. He was appointed manager of Kew’s North Arboretum and became Head of the Arboretum and Horticultural Services at Kew in 2001.

The Klein Endowed Lecture is presented annually in memory of Dr. William M. Klein who served as the Arboretum’s first full-time director from 1977-1990.


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Alerts & Updates

Holiday Garden Railway Nights is cancelled this evening due to inclement weather.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Garden Railway trains are not running Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th due to inclement weather.

Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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