Each spring, trees, shrubs, bulbs and wildflowers bloom throughout the The Morton Arboretum’s 1,700 acres. Ed Hedborn, Manager of Plant Records, reports on what’s blooming each week throughout the season.
Parking lots listed are along the Arboretum’s paved roads; some locations are within a short walk of the parking lots along paved or mulched trails. Take a springtime stroll and enjoy all the spectacle of spring at the Arboretum.
For the latest updates on what’s blooming at the Arboretum, call the Bloom 'n Color Hotline at 630-719-7955.
East Side Main Route
Entrance Road: Fusion flowering quince is blooming with red flowers and Chanticleer callery pear with white ones. Along the ground, daffodils are in bloom. Periwinkle has blue flowers and barren strawberry has yellow ones.
Visitor Center (Parking Lot 1): Saskatoon serviceberry and Ussurian pear have opened their white flowers. Texas Scarlet flowering quince has red blooms and Buttercup winter-hazel and spicebush have yellow ones. Fragrant creamy-white flowers cover winter honeysuckle. Ann magnolia has dark lavender flowers. Mt. Fuji early spirea is covered in white flowers. Along the ground, you will find the tiny blue flowers of Jack Frost brunnera and the bolder blue blooms of Virginia bluebells, along with the subtle purple flowers of Purple Pixie barrenwort, white narcissus, and hellebores in shades of blue, pink, red, and white.
Ground Cover Garden (Parking Lot 1): The ground is carpeted with bright blue Virginia bluebells and yellow daffodils. Autumn Brilliance apple serviceberry is just opening its white flowers and P.J.M. Compacta rhododendron has lavender blooms. Along the ground, look for blue periwinkle, white trout lilies, yellow celandine poppies, pink lungwort, and hellebores in pink, white, and reddish purple.
Hedge Collection (Parking Lot 1): The surrounding hedge of Cornelian-cherry dogwood is blooming. Rainbow Pillar® Canada serviceberry has white flowers, and Gold Tide forsythia is in full golden bloom.
Administration and Research Center and Sterling Morton Library (Parking Lot 1): Apple serviceberry has white flowers, and spicebush has yellow ones. Winter honeysuckle has creamy white fragrant blooms. Virginia bluebells are just opening their blue flowers amid several kinds of daffodils in shades of yellow and white.
Rhododendrons and Azaleas (Parking Lot 2): Leatherleaf has white flowers. Several rhododendrons are in bloom: April Mist with pale lavender-pink flowers; April Rose with rose-pink ones; April Snow with white ones; Conemaugh with pale pink ones; Milestone, Cornell Pink and Staccato with pink ones; and P.J.M. with lavender ones.
Northern Illinois and Midwest Collection (Parking Lot 2): Downy serviceberry, Canada serviceberry, and round-leafed serviceberry have white flowers. Redbuds are on the verge of blooming. Spicebush has yellow flowers. American red elderberry has just begin blooming with white flowers.
Frost Hill (Parking Lot 3): Some magnolias’ petals have been touched by frost, but many more are on the verge of blooming in white, lavender and pink.
Crabapple Collection (Parking Lot 4): Serviceberries, cherries, plums and apricots all have white blooms.
Magnolia Collection and Crowley Marsh (Parking Lot 5): Magnolias are blooming in yellow, purple and white. Yellow daffodils are opening. Spicebush has yellow flowers.
East Woods (Parking Lots 9 to 12): All through the woods, early wildflowers are scattered along the forest floor. Look for white toothwort, tiny pink spring beauty, white Dutchman’s breeches, white eastern false rue anemone, lavender hepatica, yellow bellwort, yellow celandine poppy, blue Virginia bluebells, and white bloodroot. Along the trails, find white toothwort, tiny pink spring beauty, white Dutchman’s breeches, white eastern false rue anemone, white and yellow trout lilies, lavender hepatica, yellow bellwort and white bloodroot.
Bulb Meadow, Beech and Maple Collections (Parking Lot 14): The tiny blooms of spring beauty are sprinkled through the grass. Narcissus are opening nearby in shades of yellow and orange.
East Woods (Parking Lot 15): Look along the ground for white toothwort, white bloodroot, pink spring beauty and yellow bellwort.
Appalachia (Parking Lot 16): Allegheny serviceberry has white blooms. Look along the ground for tiny pink spring beauty and white toothwort. You’ll also find Korean rhododendron covered with lavender flowers in a small lake of daffodils.
China (Parking Lot 17): A Yulan magnolia has white flowers. Callery pear and Ussurian pear also are blooming in white. Korean rhododendron has lavender flowers. Fragrant viburnum is covered with white clusters of bloom, as is equally fragrant winter honeysuckle.
Japan (Parking Lot 18): Northern Japanese magnolia and star magnolia have white flowers.
West Side Main Route
Flowering Trees and Europe collection: (Parking Lot 19): Cherries have white flowers, and pears are on the verge of blooming. In the distance, the magnolia collection can be seen with trees covered in white, pink, and lavender flowers.
Founder's Grove (Parking Lot 20): Narcissus are in full bloom, along with white toothwort.
Thornhill Education Center Parking Lot (Parking Lot 21): Several kinds of serviceberry have white flowers, as does callery pear. First Snow® spirea has white flowers too. Pink-and white daffodils are just opening.
Thornhill Outpost Wild Garden (Parking Lot 21): The ground is covered in native wildflowers, including white toothwort, yellow marsh marigold, white and yellow trout lilies, yellow bellwort, pale pink spring beauty, and blue Virginia bluebells.
Four Seasons garden (Parking Lot 21): Jack Frost Siberian bugloss has tiny twinkly blue flowers. You’ll also find blue periwinkle and white to maroon hellebores at the foot of white-blooming Princess Diana apple serviceberry.
Thornhill Education Center and Thornhill Annex (Parking Lot 21): Winter honeysuckle has fragrant creamy white flowers. Along the ground, look for the small blue flowers of Virginia bluebells, and the blue of periwinkle.
Joy Path and Thornhill South Lawn (Parking Lot 21): In the gardens along Joy Path you’ll find creamy white winter honeysuckle, and several magnolias blooming in white, pink and purple. An abundance of daffodils stretches away among the trees.
Fragrance Garden (Parking Lot 21): Jack Frost Siberian bugloss has tiny twinkly blue flowers. You’ll also find the tiny purple flowers of Purple Pixie barrenwort, magenta hellebores, and white pachysandra. Higher up, look for winter honeysuckle, with fragrant white flowers, Ann magnolia, with dark lavender and purple flowers, a white Snow Fountains® weeping cherry, lavender P.J.M. rhododendron, and white First Snow® spirea. Fragrant viburnum has clusters of white flowers.
Daffodil Glade (Parking Lots 22 and 23): Daffodils in many shades of yellow carpet the ground under the oaks, amid blue Virginia bluebells, white trout-lilies, and the tiny blooms of spring beauty.
Pine Hill (Parking Lot 24): Allegheny serviceberry has white blooms. Look along the ground for wildflowers including white toothwort and trout lily and pink spring beauty.
Alders and Godshalk Meadow (Parking Lot 33): Cambridge callery pear, Mountain Frost® Ussurian pear, and Prairie Gem® Ussurian pear all have white blooms. Redbuds are getting ready to flower.
West Side Alternate Route
Sargent’s Glade (Parking Lot 26): Among the yellow daffodils and blue Virginia bluebells, you’ll also find pale pink spring beauty and white trout-lily. Redbuds are just about ready to bloom.
Lake Marmo and Pine Hill (Parking Lot 28): Look for white toothwort and trout-lily, pale pink spring beauty, and blue Virginia bluebells. Redbuds will be blooming soon.