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Partial re-opening: Crews have cleared the High Line's paths, and the park is open to the public between 16th and 23rd Streets. We are working to open the remainder of the park as soon as possible. Please check back or follow @highlinenyc on Twitter for updates.

Plant of the Week: Sweetshrub

The High Line's planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 500 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line's rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today. This week we share one of our gardeners' current favorites with you.

Photo by Ayinde Listhrop.
In contrast to the many delicate blossoms along the park, you may notice the startling, deep red flowers of Calycanthus floridus 'Michael Lindsey' blooming this week. This deciduous shrub, named for its origins in Florida, grows in the wild throughout the Southeast. Its sweet fragrance earned its common names such as sweetshrub and Carolina allspice, as well as its place among cut flowers and potpourri mixes.


The dark green leaf color of spring and summer will transition to golden-yellows in the fall while the spring flowers, pollinated primarily by beetles, develop into urn-shaped seed heads which persist through the winter. In addition to its year-round visual interest, Calycanthus floridus 'Michael Lindsey' suits the High Line's ecological demands due to its tolerance of shade and various soil conditions. It also hosts no significant pests or diseases and in home gardens, it is prized for its resistance to the hungry advances of deer.

Photo by Ayinde Listhrop.
This particular variety originated at the Holbrook Farm and Nursery in North Carolina where it was named Michael Lindsey, the newborn baby of a staff member. With such vibrant color and pervasive fragrance, it has gained such admiration as to be considered the standard by which new cultivars are measured.

PLANTING TIP

Plant Calycanthus floridus 'Michael Lindsey' in medium to well-drained soil. Can tolerate part shade to full sun.

WHERE TO SEE THIS PLANT

On the High Line, these features can be appreciated up close among the rolling lounge seating on the upper level of the Diller Von-Furstenberg Sundeck between Gansevoort and Little West 12th Streets.

Our horticultural team counts on members and friends like you to help keep the High Line beautiful and thriving. Join our community of supporters who play an essential role in the High Line's most important gardening projects.

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