Spring Bloom Report: May 10 – May 16, 2024

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May 10, 2024

The landscape of The Morton Arboretum is green and lovely now that trees are fully opening their leaves. This year’s early spring is waning, but blooms are still to be seen, especially in the prairie areas and in the brightly planted flower beds in the central area near the Visitor Center, including The Grand Garden and the Ground Cover Garden, and the Thornhill Education Center, including Joy Path and the Fragrance Garden.

On the East Side

In the courtyard and gardens near the Visitor Center are white flowering Japanese kerria, yellow fragrant sumac, pale blue Lemon Drop blue star, pink wild geranium, yellow buckeye, white snowdrop anemone, white chokeberry, and blue sage. Along the path around Meadow Lake, shooting star, Canada anemone, and prairie smoke are in flower.

Along the road between parking lots 1 and 2 are yellow-blooming buckeye, maroon-flowering pawpaw, and white blooming hawthorn.

Near Parking Lot 3, hawthorns are blooming along with white-flowering alternate-leaved dogwoods. A short walk from parking lot 4, blooming shrubs include cotoneasters, deutzia, and shrubby cinquefoil.

There are still white big-leaved magnolias in bloom near Parking Lot 5.

In the East Woods, between parking lots 8 and 16, the trails are shady as the canopy of leaves closes overhead. Some wildflowers can still be seen, including the last blue flowering woodland phlox, pink wild geranium, white May-apples, pale blue wild hyacinth, and maroon pawpaw and trillium or wakerobin.

Near Parking Lot 15, there is an enchanting display of white- to lavender-flowering shooting star. Near Parking Lot 16 are white-flowering hawthorns and fringe-trees, and the Arboretum’s largest patch of pawpaw trees with their maroon flowers.

On the West Side

Along the road near Parking Lot 20 are flowers including pale-blue wild hyacinth, pink wild geranium, and blue woodland phlox.

At Parking Lot 21, stop for a walk to enjoy the gardens near the Thornhill Education Center, including the Fragrance Garden; Joy Path, with many peonies in or near bloom; and the Four Seasons Garden.

The Alternate Route between parking lots 26 and 29 leads through Sargent’s Glade and past Lake Marmo, with blue-flowering woodland phlox, pink wild geranium, and white hawthorns.

The Main Route between parking lots 22 and 30 leads past Daffodil Glade and Pine Hill, where there still are blooms of blue woodland phlox, pink wild geranium, yellow golden Alexanders, and white false Solomon’s seal.

The Schulenberg Prairie (Parking Lot 25) has begun to bloom in earnest, with white to lavender shooting star, white toadflax, and yellow lousewort.

Weigela are starting to bloom in the test beds in Godshalk Meadow (Parking Lot 33), amid a mix of perennials.

While this is the last bloom report for this spring, there is always plenty to see and do at The Morton Arboretum. There will always be bloom and color in the gardens, flower beds, and containers. The Schulenberg Prairie blooms and changes through the year and is always full of life. Along the trails through the tree collections and in the woodlands, there will be cooling shade, birds chirping, critter-spotting, and space to enjoy trees and nature and recharge our lives. Happy Early Summer!

Featured Blooms

Canada anemone

Canada anemone, also known as meadow anemone, has spring-blooming white flowers with showy yellow center stamens on long, stalked branches.

Meadow Lake


The pawpaw tree produces nodding, dark purple flowers in the spring and elongated edible fruit in the summer.

Parking lots 1 and 2; East Woods, parking lots 8 through 16; Parking Lot 16

Prairie smoke

Prairie smoke has interesting reddish-purplish-pink flowers and semi-evergreen foliage. Native to the Chicago region, it is a great choice for perennial beds and rock gardens.

Meadow Lake

Prairie trillium

Prairie trillium is easy to spot thanks to its unique, red-wine-colored flowers and three stunning, mottled leaves.

East Woods, parking lots 8 through 16

Shooting star

The flowers of this ephemeral prairie perennial can be pink, purple, or white. Shooting star is native to the Chicago region, and a superb addition to wildflower gardens.

Meadow Lake, Parking Lot 15, Schulenberg Prairie (Parking Lot 25)

Wild geranium

Wild geranium is a native woodland wildflower that produces pink flowers in spring.

Visitor Center; East Woods, parking lots 8 through 16; Parking Lot 20; parking lots 26 through 29; parking lots 22 through 30

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.

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