Photos and story by Gabriel Aikens, NCCU summer intern

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens have added a new collection behind the Doris Duke Center that is anything but colorful. The redesigned Page-Rollins White Garden, dedicated on May 3rd, features plants that have white blooms. As Duke President Richard H. Brodhead said at the dedication of the new collection, it’s “white, white, white, but each so different. Look at these foxgloves, and look beyond them at the roses; each so different.” Indeed, this garden has much variety that is explored in the following pictures.

Page-Rollins White Garden

Shortly after the garden was dedicated, the gardens offered a tour titled “Plants of Distinction: Alba-White Foliage and Flowers.” Guests learned of the different plant species in this all-white garden as well as how to take care of the different flowers and plants.


Bobby Mottern, tour guide and Director of Horticulture, explaining one of the plants. Mottern says the gardens are “a good place to work” and he “really enjoys the staff.”

Foxglove (digitalis)

Deer love to eat flowers, but plant these and they will stay away. These are foxgloves and they’re poisonous, yet beneficial; they contain digitalis, a potent heart medicine.

heliotrope with bee

Garden heliotropes, which typically bloom in pink, are believed to have been brought from Europe by early settlers.

White Azalea

These white azaleas are spring bloomers, native to East Asia.


There are a few plants in the collection with non-white features. This Solomon's Seal is native to China and is used as an herb for medicinal purposes.