VISIT & explore

Articles and stories

  • Golden rush

    When golden-yellow forsythias burst into bloom, Chicagoans know winter is finally over.
    This shrub earns its place in so many gardens because it’s such a sign of spring and it’s so hardy and long-lived. Once established, forsythia is “pretty resilient,” says Todd Jacobson, head of horticulture at The Morton Arboretum.
    The ancestral forsythia species are mostly large shrubs from eastern Asia. But many hybrids and cultivars have been developed that are more compact or more cold-hardy, or bloom in different shades of yellow from pale lemon to deep gold, Jacobson says.

  • History and artistry

    A rare volume of botanical illustrations by the artist Pancrace Bessa (1772-1846) has been added to the Special Collection of The Morton Arboretum's Sterling Morton Library as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. It is one of only 10 copies of the work in library catalogs in the world. The book contains 389 of Bessa’s 572 watercolors painted for a periodical called Herbier Général de L’Amateur that was published in Paris between 1810 and 1813. They were copied onto printing plates by skilled artisans. Now The Morton Arboretum has not only the original watercolor of Bess'a portrayal of a mock-orange branch but the engraving for which it was painted. The Arboretum has been collecting rare botanical books since it was established in 1922, and botanical art has been a specialty since the Sterling Morton Library was dedicated in 1963.
  • Maple Syrup's On Tap This Spring

    Experience maple tapping and the making of maple syrup in all its stages at our annual Maple Tapping Pancake Picnic.

    LISLE, Ill. (February 14, 2014) – The Morton Arboretum will once again welcome adults and children to Easter events with special appearances by the Easter Bunny. On both Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19, come join us for Breakfast with the Bunny featuring a delicious breakfast buffet in our scenic Ginkgo Restaurant overlooking Meadow Lake. On Sunday, April 20, come enjoy Easter Brunch and look out at the early spring blooms popping up all around the Arboretum. This champagne brunch features chef-carved prime rib, made-to-order omelets, pasta and much more.


    LISLE, Ill. (February 5, 2014) – This March, The Morton Arboretum will debut its Edible Gardening Workshop series, aimed at providing unique and creative ideas for adding edible plants and trees to a landscape or backyard garden. This five-part workshop series takes place on Saturdays throughout March and April, and each course is taught by recognized plant and garden experts.


  • Arbor Day Plant Sale frequently asked questions

    What is The Morton Arboretum’s Arbor Day Plant Sale? The Arbor Day Plant Sale is an opportunity to choose from among hundreds of trees, shrubs, perennials, herbs, and vegetables, all chosen by Arboretum experts for success in Chicago-area gardens. This year, the plant sale it will be held on April 25–27, 2014. Get all the details from this FAQ.