May 12, 2023
The spring bloom season is coming to a close, but there are still late-spring flowers to enjoy as the woodlands put on their cloak of summer green.
In the area near the Visitor Center (Parking Lot 1) on the East Side, flowers can still be found on Japanese kerria, fragrant sumac, blood-twigged dogwood, and black-haw. Cherry tulips are abundant in the containers and flower beds.
This has been a splendid year for redbuds, with the lavender-pink flowers to be seen on trees all over the Arboretum. Now, as summer approaches, their blooms are fading. Still, along the main road, there are flowers to see on many kinds of plants.
Near Parking Lot 2, look for the yellow-green blooms of buckeyes, maroon blooms on pawpaw trees, and white flowers on black-haw, nannyberry, and chokecherry. Here and throughout the Arboretum, catkins—long, hanging flowers—dangle on oaks.
White Carolina silverbell is in full bloom near Parking Lot 3. Near Parking Lot 4, white flowers can be seen on snow-wreath and cotoneaster. The last of the crabapple are in flower between parking lots 4 and 5.
Parking Lot 5 is a good spot to see the last of the crabapple blooms, along with a few late-flowering magnolias. Buckeye trees nearby have flower clusters of greenish-yellow and red.
Oaks in bloom are subtle but interesting, and many of them can be seen in the Oak Collection near Parking Lot 7. Green catkins—male flowers—dangle from branch tips. A discerning viewer who looks closely along the stem will find the female flowers, with two red pistils sticking out of a swollen bud.
The tail end of the wildflower display can be seen along the road or trails between parking lots 8 and 16. Look for buttercups, woodland phlox, wild geranium, great white trillium, May-apples, wood and hyacinth, along with still-blooming trees and shrubs such as pawpaw and black-haw.
Near Parking Lot 16, see redbud, buckeyes, flowering dogwood, the Arboretum’s largest pawpaw patch, and Carolina silverbell. Further along the road, near Parking Lot 17, enjoy the dogwoods.
On the West Side, the last crabapples are in bloom near Parking Lot 19.
Stop by the Thornhill Education Center at Parking Lot 21 to enjoy the flower displays in the Fragrance Garden and along Joy Path.
Woodland phlox has blue blooms among the oaks in Daffodil Glade (Parking Lot 22), while in the Schulenberg Prairie (Parking Lot 25), the earliest shooting stars are blooming among the green sprouts.
The Alternate Route on the West Side will take you through the Sargent’s Glade (Parking Lot 26), with woodland phlox, wild geranium, mayapple, and a few clusters of great white trillium. Around Lake Marmo (Parking Lot 28), dogwoods are in flower with the last of the redbuds for contrast.
Near Parking Lot 31, birches and nut trees have catkins dangling from their still-bare branches. Along the trail through Godshalk Meadow, a mix of perennials are starting to bloom in the evaluation beds.
The burst of spring flowers may be drawing near its end, but the Arboretum’s gardens and its spectacular prairie will bloom all summer against the backdrop of its magnificent trees. Visit often!
Featured in this week's Bloom Report
Flowering dogwood is a small to medium woodland understory tree with showy white, red, or pink flowering bracts that appear before the leaves in spring.
Japanese kerria is a lovely 4 to 6 feet high shrub with upright to finely textured arching stems and abundant, bright yellow flowers in the spring.
Wild geranium is a native woodland wildflower with five-petaled pink to lavender flowers.