Spring-Awaken Your Spring Spirit!
At this time of year, the serene beauty of winter gives way to longer days, warmer temperatures, and the grand season of springtime blooming! See thousands of daffodils bursting onto the scene along the entryway to the Arboretum. Smell the sweet scent of fragrant viburnum and touch the delicate flower petals of magnificent magnolias. Watch nature transform! Let your senses take over!
Daffodil Glade on the West Side is a favorite spring destination when thousands of daffodils, jonquils, narcissus, and spring wildflowers trumpet the arrival of warmer weather. Daffodil Glade sits among old oaks that date back 300 years. Many of the daffodils here were planted when the Arboretum's founder, Joy Morton, was living at Thornhill. The rest have been multiplying and dazzling visitors for nearly 50 years.
Reach the Glade from Parking Lots 21, 22, 23, 26, or 27 on the West Side.
In 2001 dozens of volunteers planted Bulb Meadow as a gift to the Arboretum. On a beautiful autumn weekend, they installed six different types of bulbs in a naturalistic pattern over several acres. Three types of daffodils (early, mid, and late), and crocus, scilla, and hyacinth provide an array of cheerful colors to delight visitors throughout spring.
See this spectacular display on a hillside near Parking Lot 14 on the East Side.
The Crabapple Collection is magnificently reflected in the waters of Crabapple Lake every spring. While small in stature, crabapples bloom large. They are prolific producers of showy spring flowers. Some are bright white. Others range from pink to crimson and all the reds and purples in between.
This 4-acre lake had humble beginnings: It was constructed to retain drainage water. But today Crabapple Lake is a spring show-stopper. You'll also hear spring frogs singing its praises.
Find Crabapple Lake near Parking Lots 4 and 5 on the East Side.
The redbud trees near Lake Marmo are gorgeous in early May. From their multi-stemmed trunks and vase-shaped habits, they elegantly display the pinkish-purple buds for which they are known. They stand out against the blue backdrop of the lake, which is surrounded by cattails, mature hardwoods, and towering conifers.
Find the Lake Marmo redbuds near Parking Lots 27 or 28 on the West Side.
This is one of the most popular lakes at the Arboretum, in all seasons. It was named in honor of Joy Morton's wife, Margaret Morton.
The East Woods offers some of the best spring wildflower displays in the region. Find a beautiful blanket of thousands of fragrant Virginia bluebells covering the forest floor April through May. Look for other spring ephemerals, such as red trillium, spring beauty, Dutchman's breeches, white trout-lily, and toothwort. Later in the season look for May-flower, Jack-in-the-pulpit, woodland phlox, and wild geranium. Don't miss these fleeting flowers that pop up to catch the sun for a few brief weeks before the trees leaf out.
To wander among wildflowers, begin from Parking Lot 8. Hike the Joined Loop 3 & 4 Trail up to Parking Lot 12. Or, drive or bike along the main road and look for wildflowers between Parking Lots 10 and 12.
While vernal witch-hazel isn't the first plant to bloom in early spring (skunk cabbage has that honor-though not many people dignify that malodorous, homely plant with a visit), its cheerful reddish-orange to yellow star-shaped flowers are often celebrated as such. Witch-hazel is also aromatic, offering another jubilant dimension to this happy plant, which blooms in late February to March.
Find Witch-hazel Dell on the West Side near Parking Lot 27.