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Dr. J.C. Raulston - Brief Biography

by Amy Williams and Frankie Fanelli

Important Dates / Events

  • J.C. Raulston was born in 1940 and died in 1996
  • Interest in gardening began at age 4 when he planted his first plot of sweet potatoes and beans in his home town of Enid, Oklahoma
  • Received his B.S. at Oklahoma State University in 1962, where he was in the top 10 of his class
  • His M.S. was obtained at the University of Maryland in 1966, followed by his Ph.D. in 1969
  • He taught at the University of Florida from 1969-72, Texas A & M 1972-1975, before joining NCSU in 1975
  • NCSU was interested in expanding its horticulture program and the idea of the arboretum was the answer. Raulston was named director of the project
  • He wanted to 'Plan big, but act small'
  • Expenses were a concern, so JC got nurserymen to contribute seedlings, he said "Patience and mother nature do the rest"
  • He collected plants from all over the world; 40 nations
  • The adapted ideas from other gardens: Huntington Gardens in L.A., ‘white garden’ at Sissinghurst castle in England, to name a few
  • He was the author of numerous popular and scientific articles and papers
  • He was the winner of the Chadwick Educators Award, National Nurseryman’s Association and in 1980 was outstanding teacher at NCSU

Plant introductions of JC Raulston and Other NC State Faculty:

Following are several key plants that can be found on the grounds at the JC Raulston Arboretum (JCRA) that reflect the influence of JC Raulston.

Abies firma Lagerstroemia fauriei
Abies firma, (momi fir) Lagerstroemia fauriei ‘Fantasy’, (Fantasy crepe myrtle)
Manglietia yunnanensis Pinus taeda
Manglietia yunnanensis (Yunnan wood-lotus) Pinus taeda ‘Nana’, (dwarf loblolly pine)
Sinocalycalycanthus raulstonii Quercus phillyreoides
x Sinocalycalycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’, (Raulston allspice) Quercus phillyreoides ‘Emerald Sentinel’, (columnar Ubame oak)
Viburnum awabuki Acer palmatum
Viburnum awabuki ‘Chindo’, (Chindo viburnum) Acer palmatum, Dissectum Atropurpureum Group, (red lace-leaf Japanese Maple)