See our hours & parking page for information on required use of PayByPhone for parking payment.

Asiatic Arboretum

Named for Duke Professor and former Duke Gardens Director William Louis Culberson, the Asiatic Arboretum is an 18-acre collection of plants representing the wealth of floral diversity in East Asia.  Exploring the Arboretum trails, you will find many garden favorites—Japanese maples, irises, peonies, ginger lilies and cherries—as well as a host of less familiar but equally interesting and ornamental species.  Enhancing the Arboretum landscape are features typically associated with Asian gardens: stepping stone pathways, stone lanterns and water basins, arched bridges, large boulders, and water features.

Main attractions

Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Pavilion and Garden: This small, refined garden pavilion functions as a venue for chanoyu, the preparation and service of Japanese tea in a traditional manner. Duke Gardens’ intimate Japanese Tea Gatherings are very popular with visitors seeking to know more about Japanese culture. Please see our programs page to get to the latest seasonal programs, including teas. You may also visit the pavilion from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, except during special events. There are no refreshments served at the tea house except during the Tea Gatherings. Please see UNC-TV's "One Moment, One Meeting" to learn more about our Japanese Tea Gatherings.

Pine Clouds Mountain Stream: This dramatic Japanese Garden features a recirculating stream and waterfalls. It's a central feature of the Ruth Mary Meyer Japanese Garden.

Garden Pond: Central to many views in the Arboretum, this large pond offers opportunities to enjoy vibrant waterfowl and other pond life.

Pond-viewing Shelter: A small Japanese-style shelter tucked into a quiet streamside setting, this designated “Gardens for Peace” site symbolizes the power of peace in the garden to promote peace in the world.

Kathleen Smith Moss Garden: This unique shaded garden along the forest edge highlights mosses, lichens and liverworts--ecologically important denizens of field and forest whose interest and verdant beauty is underappreciated in the landscape garden.