March 31, 2023
Bloom Report: March 31, 2023
This spring has been cool so far, so blooms at The Morton Arboretum have developed slowly. As the weather warms over the next week, more flowers will appear. Buds are swelling on elm, maple, and beech trees.
Some early flowers are to be seen. Christmas-rose and Lenten-rose, two kinds of hellebores, are in full bloom in the Ground Cover Garden and in front of the Plant Clinic (Parking Lot 1). The blooms of witch-hazels are fading, but fuzzy catkins on American hazelnut, Farge’s hazelnut, and alders are still in full bloom in the Midwest Collection (Parking Lot 2) and the China Collection (Parking Lot 17).
White-flowered snowdrops continue to bloom in the Staff Parking Lot and at the Fragrance Garden (Parking Lot 21). A nice display of crocus are blooming on the road crest overlooking Lake Marmo, between parking lots 26 and 27.
Dark-blue blooms of Siberian squill and paler blue periwinkle are starting to bloom in the Ground Cover Garden (Parking Lot 1) and in the landscape around the Thornhill Education Center (Parking Lot 21).
Look for silvery-colored catkins forming on willows in the Midwest Collection on the East Side and in the Willow Collection on the West Side. Some silver maples are in full bloom.
Yellow flowers are just beginning to emerge from buds on Cornelian-cherry dogwoods and Japanese cornel dogwood. Cornelian-cherry dogwoods can be seen in the Grand Garden (Parking Lot 1).
The big, meat-red, fleshy, teardrop-shaped flowers of skunk-cabbage continue to bloom along Willoway Brook west of Lake Marmo and south of the Lake Marmo dam, near Parking Lot 28.
Daffodil blooms are yet to come, although their leaves and flower buds have grown several inches tall.
Wildflowers are just beginning to flower. The first blooms of hepatica are opening near Parking Lot 11 in the East Woods. If you move last year’s leaves out of the way, you can see a few green sprouts of spring beauty, with flower buds that are soon to open.
A skim of ice after a cold night silenced chorus frogs in the wetlands, but they will sing again when it warms up.
Warmer weather over the next week should cause the season of spring bloom to accelerate. It’s time to start taking regular walks at the Arboretum, to watch the miracle of spring unfold.
Featured in this week's Bloom Report
Cornelian-cherry dogwood is one of the first trees to flower in spring. It is a 20 to 25 feet high tree or large shrub that thrives in well-drained urban conditions as a specimen plant, in masses, near a patio, or as a hedge.
Small clusters of white or light pink flowers blushed with purple are produced on thick stems above the compound leaves of Lenten-rose from late winter to early spring.