You are here


The Thomas Jefferson Parkway Arboretum was designed to showcase trees and shrubs native to Albemarle County, Virginia. Over the course of his lifetime, Thomas Jefferson was an enthusiastic proponent of America's native flora, and he documented planting many indigenous species at Monticello. Though the Parkway Arboretum is not based specifically on any of Jefferson's landscape plans, it is inspired by Jefferson's curiosity for his native surroundings, which he so carefully observed and enthusiastically shared with fellow naturalists.

Over 130 species of trees and shrubs grow in a wide range of habitats in Albemarle County, which stretches from the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west to the rolling Piedmont in the east. The species are grouped into distinct areas, or "rooms", according to aesthetic, environmental or natural qualities, rather than by scientific classification. For instance, trees and shrubs that exhibit exceptional fall color have been planted together. Another area has been dedicated to species that display conspicuous flowers in spring. Trees and shrubs that yield edible or useful byproducts, such as fruits and nuts, have also been collected in their own room. In addition to these (and other) rooms, plans have been laid for a small amphitheater that will serve as an outdoor classroom, and for a children's garden.

Aboretum Rooms

Available in Our Online Shop


Lisebsb's picture
Hey there, My husband and I were walking in the parking lot this morning and came across a tree that we couldn't identify. Is there someone there to whom we could send a picture of the tree and its distinctive pods for identification? thanks! Lise
1532307534@facebook's picture
There appear to be some ginormous hickories on the Seasonal Pond Trail, the largest sitting just downslope next to it. Wish I could tell the species apart (it's not a shagbark), but it's easily the biggest I've ever seen – probably 9-10 feet in circumference. Seems like it could be a champion lurking in your midst. Do you all know any details? Happy to take you there one morning...
cwollerton's picture
Our Curator of Plants and our Director of Gardens and Grounds both tell me the trees are Chinaberries (Melia azedarach).
sejervey's picture
We were there today and saw a row of trees on the west side of the building. They were obviously planted (on the outside of the oval path) and had off-white fruits from last year falling in clusters. Does anyone know what they are?
S E Jervey


Login or register to participate in our online community.