PARIS — A donation from Project Canopy has made possible identification labels on more than 100 trees and shrubs at the McLaughlin Garden on Main Street. Project Canopy, funded by the U.S. Forest Service, is a partnership between the Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine. The education grant given to the McLaughlin Garden enables visitors to learn about the woody plants they are seeing.
Each label gives the botanical name, common name, plant family and place of origin. While some visitors may wish to know only a plant’s common name, others are interested in the additional information provided by botanical names. These names, given in Latin, begin with the genus, a grouping of plants that share a range of characteristics. Plant families, also in Latin, show broader relationships. Scientists chose Latin as an international language so that anyone anywhere will use the same name for the same plant. Region of origin provides additional information because some of the specimens at the garden are native plants while others originated in other places.
Kristin Perry, horticultural director at the McLaughlin Garden and Homestead, prepared the text for the labels. Garden assistant Dan Trowbridge installed the labels on the garden’s extensive collection of unusual trees and shrubs. Volunteers Darcy Ames, Charles Babcott, Tish Carr, Judy Florenz and Marilyn Hammond contributed to the project.
Although the garden is now closed for the season, the gift shop is open regularly.