Spring Bloom Report: May 3 – May 9, 2024

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May 3, 2024

The fresh green of new leaves has become the main color of the landscape at The Morton Arboretum, as the season of spring bloom nears its end. There are still colorful flowers to see in the gardens and containers near the Visitor Center and the Thornhill Education Center, as well as in garden spaces such as The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden and the Fragrance Garden. Scattered late wildflowers are still blooming in the woodlands.

On the East Side

Near the Visitor Center, still-blooming shrubs include white-flowering Japanese kerria, yellow fragrant sumac, white black-haw, and yellow buckeye. Perennials in flower include white snowdrop anemone, pale blue Lemon Drop blue star, and blue sage.

White flowering dogwood trees are stunning along the road between parking lots 1 and 2. Near Parking Lot 2, look for more tree and shrub flowers: yellow-green buckeyes, maroon pawpaw, cream-white black-haw and nannyberry, white hawthorns and chokeberries.

White-flowering Carolina silverbell and crabapples can be seen blooming near the berm to the south of Parking Lot 3.

A short walk from Parking Lot 4, shrubs in full bloom include cotoneaster, deutzia, shrubby cinquefoil, and mountain-ash.

Yellow- and red-flowering buckeyes are still in bloom near Parking Lot 6. In the Oak Collection, between parking lots 7 and 8, many oak species are in full bloom. The dangling catkins are male flowers bearing pollen; the tiny female flowers are hard to see without a hand lens.

As leaves open on trees in the East Woods, between parking lots 8 and 16, the shady canopy is closing over wildflowers and other plants along the ground. There are still some flowers to see, including blue woodland phlox, pink wild geranium, white May-apples, pale-blue wild hyacinth, maroon prairie trillium, white to lavender shooting star, yellow buttercups and celandine-poppy. Blooming trees and shrubs include maroon pawpaw, white chokecherry, and white black-haw.

The Arboretum’s largest pawpaw patch can be seen near Parking Lot 16, along with yellow buckeyes and white flowering dogwood, hawthorns, and Carolina silverbells. More dogwoods are flowering along the main road toward Parking Lot 17.

On the West Side

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

Parking Lot 21 is the stop for the Thornhill Education Center, the Four Seasons Garden, the Fragrance Garden, and Joy Path. Peony buds are swelling along Joy Path, along with blooms on white cotoneaster, chokeberry, blue periwinkle, and pale-blue and white wood hyacinths.

The Main Route between parking lots 22 and 30 leads past Daffodil Glade and Pine Hill, where oaks, blue woodland phlox, pink wild geranium, white May-apple, yellow golden Alexanders, and white false Solomon’s seal are blooming.

The Schulenberg Prairie (Parking Lot 25) has started to bloom, with white to lavender shooting stars, white toadflax, and yellow lousewort.

Near Parking Lot 31, catkins are hanging from bare branches of birch and nut trees.

Stop by the evaluation beds in Godshalk Meadow near Parking Lot 33 to see a mix of blooming perennials.

Along the Alternate Route between parking lots 26 and 29, which leads through Sargent’s Glade and past Lake Marmo, there are dangling oak catkins as well as blooms of blue woodland phlox, pink wild geranium, white May-apple, white flowering dogwood, and white hawthorn.

While the bloom season is nearing its end, there is always a lot to see and do at the Arboretum. There are blooms to enjoy all through the growing season in the gardens and the Schulenberg Prairie. The tree collections and woodlands offer cooling shade, singing birds, and soothing natural spaces to walk and recharge. Visit often!

Featured Blooms

Flowering dogwood

Flowering dogwood’s showy white, red, or pink flowering bracts appear before the leaves in early spring.

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


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

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


Tulips offer a stunning array of varieties, showcasing an enchanting spectrum of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Visitor Center, The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden, Parking Lot 1

Virginia Bluebell

The bell-shaped flowers of Virginia bluebell are most often sky-blue, but may also be pink or white.

East Woods, parking lots 8 through 16

Wild geranium

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

East Woods, parking lots 8 through 16; parking lots 26 through 29; Parking Lot 20

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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