Rob Nicholson, Botanical Collections Manager, writes in the latest Newsletter of the Friends of Wellesley College Botanic Gardens (Spring 2019):
"'Bones' is the current stage in the construction of Global Flora at Wellesley College and generally refers to the infrastructure and hardscape and even larger trees and shrubs. Not your usual greenhouse, there will be very large stones (some two tons and 9 feet long!), outcroppings, and cliff faces." Nicholson describes the endeavor as "essentially a garden in a newly constructed building."
He has just secured a Cupressus depreziana, about 6 feel tall. Why is that so special? The Sahara Cypress is one of the rarest, most critically endangered trees in the world--only a few hundred of them are left in their native Algerian habitat, some of which are estimated to be 3,000 years old. They grow at an altitude of 1400 to 1800 meters. With climate change, little to no regeneration occurs from seed, as there is not enough rain. Years ago Nicholson collected seeds, had ten germinate, and four survived. He propagated root cuttings from these four and sent them to various botanic gardens. One young tree will be coming to Global Flora. Very exciting! Worth waiting for (late 2021, it looks like).