The folks at the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens called to remind us that you don't have to leave the Queen City to see Asian flora during the Beijing Olympics (last Sunday's “Southeast's Asia” feature).
Besides a native plant garden and the McMillan Greenhouse, the UNCC facility has the Susie Harwood Garden of exotic plants – “the vast majority of which are Chinese and Japanese. There are hundreds of trees and shrubs,” says garden director Larry Mellichamp.
This time of year, he says, take a look at the sweetheart tree, a rarity from China. It has white-stripped bark and the branches have clusters of little red berry-like fruits that will open up this fall and resemble hearts.
Here are the details to plan your visit:
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On campus, the gardens are at the corner of Mary Alexander and Craver roads. Admission: free. Open daily during daylight hours (park anywhere on weekends).
Details: 704-687-2870; http:// gardens.uncc.edu.