Spring Bloom Report: March 15 – March 21, 2024

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March 15, 2024

Unseasonably warm temperatures are making spring blooms unfold about three weeks ahead of normal. The first magnolias and viburnums have begun flowering, along with an increasing number of daffodils and the earliest of native wildflowers in the Arboretum’s East Woods.

On the East Side, white-forsythia is blooming along the Entrance Drive as well as near the Visitor Center (Parking Lot 1). Yellow forsythia shrubs are in bloom near the Visitor Center, including in Parking Lot 1 and the Ground Cover Garden. Also in the Ground Cover Garden, you will find hellebores (Christmas- and Lenten-roses), periwinkle, dark-blue Siberian squill, and fragrant viburnum.

Cornelian-cherry and Japanese Cornel dogwoods have yellow flowers bordering The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden, in the Ground Cover Garden, and around Meadow Lake. White-forsythia also is in bloom in the Dwarf Woody Plant Collection near the Firefly Pavilion, where other garden-sized shrubs will be coming into flower all season.

Early daffodils and Siberian squill have begun to bloom throughout the Arboretum. Magnolias have begun to open their large flowers near Parking Lot 5 and in the China Collection (Parking Lot 17). Light lavender snow crocuses are in bloom on the hill by the Maple Collection (Parking Lot 14).

Willow catkins are blooming in the Midwest Collection (Parking Lot 2) and the China Collection. In the Arboretum’s tree collections and woodlands, look for dangling catkins on hazelnut shrubs, as well as the subtle flowers of red, silver, and Freeman maples and American elms in the canopy overhead.

The earliest wildflowers are beginning to bloom in the East Woods (Parking Lots 8 to 13). Hepatica has begun to flower along the trail near Parking Lot 11. Hints of green leaves are poking up through the brown leaves on the woodland floor throughout the East Woods, and the careful observer may find one or two very early spring beauty plants starting to open their tiny pink-striped flowers.

On the Arboretum’s West Side, early daffodils are blooming along the road that climbs the hill past the East Branch of the DuPage River, between parking lots 19 and 20. Daffodils are also beginning to flower in Daffodil Glade (Parking Lot 22) and along the Alternate Route (parking lots 26 through 28), along with white, blue, lavender and yellow garden crocuses.

Willows are flowering in the Europe Collection (Parking Lot 19) and along the river. Near the Thornhill Education Center (Parking Lot 21), the yellow blooms of Cornelian-cherry and Japanese Cornel dogwoods can be seen, along with purple periwinkle and blue Siberian squill. White-forsythia is flowering in the Fragrance Garden by Thornhill. Nearby, Joy Path, with Siberian squill blooming alongside, leads to some early flowering magnolias.

Skunk-cabbage is still in bloom at the west end of Lake Marmo, south of the dam along Willoway Brook (Parking Lot 28). Yellow forsythia is blooming by Godshalk Meadow (Parking Lot 33).

Many more plants will be coming into flower in the coming days and weeks. Visit often to enjoy the bounty of an early spring at The Morton Arboretum!

Featured Blooms


Long-lived from a one-time planting, daffodils make especially good companions for trees.

Visitor Center, Parking Lot 1; West Side, parking lots 19, 20, 22, 26, and 28

Fragrant Viburnum

Fragrant viburnum is a shrub grown for its intensely fragrant, pinkish-white flowers in early spring.

Ground Cover Garden, Parking Lot 1


Magnolias have the largest flowers of any of the trees cold-hardy to this region.

East Side, Parking Lot 5; China Collection, Parking Lot 17

Spring Beauty

Spring beauty has delicate white to pink flowers with darker pink striped petals balanced on thin red stems.

East Woods, parking lots 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15



About the Spring Bloom Report

The Spring Bloom Report is written by the Arboretum’s Manager of Plant Records, Ed Hedborn. It is typically published on Fridays through spring to give members and guests a chance to plan their weekend visits.


Spring at The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is more than a walk in the woods. Explore upcoming learning opportunities and events to learn more about trees and plants and to celebrate your love of nature.

Celebrate the contributions that women have made to the natural world through conservation work, science, advocacy, and education during the Women and the Environment Speaker Series, Thursdays in March.

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When a trip to the Arboretum inspires you to explore more, become a member to visit again and again.

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