May 5, 2023
Redbuds with their lavender blooms and pink and white crabapple trees are in flower at The Morton Arboretum this week, with the white of flowering dogwood trees and the orange blooms of quince for spice. Tulips are dancing among many other bright flowers in the containers and garden beds around the Visitor Center, while perennials are sprouting and blooming in the Ground Cover Garden and in the Grand Garden on the East Side and the Fragrance Garden on the West Side. In the woods, trees’ leaves are opening, creating shade that will bring the season of woodland wildflowers to a close. Many wildflowers are still in bloom, including woodland phlox, wild geranium, and the last of the Virginia bluebells. There are plenty of flowers for everyone to enjoy throughout the Arboretum.
On the East Side, near the Visitor Center (Parking Lot 1), quince shrubs have red and pink blooms. There are also pear trees with white flowers, pink and white crabapples, white Korean spice viburnums, and pink and lavender magnolias. Along the ground, there is the blue of periwinkle and Virginia bluebells, as well as the yellow and white of late daffodils. To the east of Meadow Lake, pawpaw trees have dark maroon flowers and dogwoods are blooming in white.
Near Parking Lot 2, see the lavender of blooming redbuds, yellow-green flowers on buckeye trees, and more late blooming yellow daffodils. Catkins–dangling flowers–can be seen on ironwood, blue-beech, walnut, hickory, and oak trees.
Dark lavender magnolias are still blooming near Parking Lot 3, and nearby, Carolina silverbell is starting to open its white flowers. Within a short walk from Parking Lot 4, there are tree flowers galore on flowering quinces, pears, and crabapples. Near Crabapple Lake (Parking Lot 5), crabapples of all shades are blooming, from white to dark pink and lavender. Walk along the trail from Parking Lot 6 to see the yellow and red flowers of buckeye trees. In the Oak Collection (Parking Lot 7), green catkins–the male flowers– are dangling from branch tips. A discerning viewer who looks closely at an oak branch will also find the female flowers, with two red pistils sticking out of a swollen bud.
The main woodland wildflower display may be found between parking lots 8 and 16, connected by trails as well as the main road. Virginia bluebells, celandine-poppy, buttercups, woodland phlox, wild geranium, trillium, redbuds, and a few early May-apples are blooming.
Near Parking Lot 16, see redbud, blue-beech, buckeyes, the earliest flowering dogwoods, and the Arboretum’s largest pawpaw patch. In the China Collection (Parking Lot 17), there are fragrant honeysuckle shrubs, blooming pear trees, rhododendrons, and dogwoods.
On the West Side, Parking Lot 19 is the place to stop to enjoy crabapple trees in full bloom, along with late-blooming pear trees and yellow-flowered magnolias. Near Parking Lot 20, see oaks, lavender redbuds, and late white daffodils. At the Thornhill Education Center (Parking Lot 21), you can enjoy blooms in the Fragrance Garden and in the gardens along Joy Path. The Alternate Route on the West Side takes you through the Sargent’s Glade (Parking Lot 26), with a few clusters of late white daffodils, to Lake Marmo (Parking Lot 28) with its fringe of redbud and dogwood trees and the blue of Virginia bluebells. The Main Route takes you through Daffodil Glade (Parking Lot 22), with its mix of daffodils and wildflowers among magnificent oaks, to the Schulenberg Prairie. The prairie is starting to turn green with sprouts, and the first blooms of shooting stars are not far off. Near Parking Lot 31, flexible catkins are hanging from still-bare birch and nut tree branches. End your bloom tour at Parking Lot 33 and Godshalk Meadow, with a mix of pear trees, lilac blooms, and early perennials in the evaluation beds.
The flowers of the Arboretum’s gardens, collections, and natural areas are constantly changing, so each visit brings new blooms to enjoy. Visit often to get the most out of springtime!
Featured in this week's Bloom Report
Crabapples bear flowers that vary a great deal in color, size, fragrance, and visual appeal. It is common for flower buds to be red, opening to pink or white flowers.
Korean spice viburnum
Korean spice viburnum’s most notable characteristic is the intoxicatingly fragrant white flowers that cover the shrub in spring.