Park update: The Interim Walkway at the Western Rail Yards (between 30th & 34th Streets) is temporarily closed today.

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30th Street Challenge
Give by June 20

To meet the demands of our busiest time of the year, we ask all friends of the High Line to help us raise a total of $30,000—$1,000 for each block of our 1.5-mile-long park along Manhattan’s West Side.

Featured Plant: Smooth sumac

By High Line Gardens | March 23, 2015

The Rhus species, or sumacs, are one of the iconic plants of the High Line. This time of year, the view from the sundeck out over the Hudson River is punctuated by their striking silhouettes. Leafless, the branches arch up like candelabra, and the dried fruits in pyramidal bunches are reminiscent of flames.

There are several species of sumac growing on the High Line. Rhus glabra, or smooth sumac, is named for its smooth stems. In contrast, Rhus typhina is known as staghorn sumac because the tips of the young branches are covered in velvety fuzz, like a deer’s antlers. R. typhina ‘Laciniata’ has exquisitely cut leaves. Rhus coppalinum is known as winged sumac for the “wings” along the petioles between leaflets. When the leaves and stems of the smaller shrub Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-low’ are crushed, the oils released have a sharp, spicy fragrance.

All of these species and varieties are native to the Northeast, where they grow on abandoned farmland, along roadsides, and in clearings and meadows. In the garden, they are true four-season plants, with finely textured, bright green foliage in summer; vivid orange and red fall color; beautiful fruit that persists through the winter; and, of course, their iconic shape against the clear blue, early spring sky.

On the High Line between 14th and 16th Streets, and 24th and 27th Streets.

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. Every week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

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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TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.