Knowing & Growing Boxwood kicks off tHRIve web series

Knowing & Growing Boxwood kicks off tHRIve web series

The first of four tHRIve presentations from the Boxwood Blight Insight Group takes place June 2.

May 28, 2021

The latest in the Horticultural Research Institute's tHRIve web series will cover boxwood. Knowing & Growing Boxwood takes place June 2 at 1 p.m. Eastern. Registration is free.

The speaker is Lynn Batdorf, retired curator of the National Boxwood Collection at the U.S. National Arboretum. Since 1985, he has served as the International Cultivar Registration Authority for Buxus L.

He has authored three books and more than 50 articles on a variety of boxwood topics. He lectures nationally and internationally to professional audiences. He is an Honorary Life Member of: The American Boxwood Society; the European Boxwood and Topiary Society – UK; the Association Française pour l’Art Topiaire et le Buis.

Here is a summary of Batdorf's presentation: Grown for centuries, boxwood is not always well understood. Gardeners know of its reputation, but find it difficult to describe good growing practices. Professionals search for accurate and detailed information to make appropriate horticultural decisions. This introductory presentation hits the high points of box history, nomenclature, landscape use, physiology, pest & diseases, legend & lore, and in particular, horticulture.

This is the first of four tHRIve presentations from the Boxwood Blight Insight Group (BBIG). BBIG is a team of scientists working together on an USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture – Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) project, in partnership with stakeholders and international collaborators.

This transdisciplinary team and its partners aim to safeguard boxwood—the nation’s no. 1 evergreen ornamental shrub crop—from blight disease, thus saving an iconic plant featured in American landscapes since 1653. 

Click here to register for Knowing & Growing Boxwood.

The next BBIG presentation is Boxwood Breeding & Selection for Blight Resistance, which takes place Aug. 25 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

Boxwood (Buxus L. spp., Buxaceae) are popular woody landscape shrubs grown for their diverse forms and broad-leaved evergreen foliage, with an estimated $141 million economic impact in the U.S. alone. Boxwood plants grown in temperate zones worldwide are threatened by a blight disease caused by the ascomycete fungi Calonectria pseudonaviculata and C. henricotiae. While the disease can be mitigated somewhat through cultural practices and fungicides, the most sustainable long-term solution is the development of disease-resistant boxwood cultivars.

This session delves into interspecific breeding and selection of boxwood towards resistance to Calonectria pseudonaviculata.

Learn from Belgian researcher Katrijn Van Laere, who will share the creation of new boxwood cultivars resistant to boxwood blight, based on interspecific hybridisation and an efficient selection bio-assay.

Click here to register for Boxwood Breeding & Selection for Blight Resistance.

Click here to learn more about the upcoming presentations.