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: First greenish-yellow blooms of Texas buckeye and Ohio buckeye can be found. Fusion flowering quince is blooming with red flowers and Chanticleer callery pear with white ones. Periwinkle has blue flowers and barren strawberry has yellow ones. Korean early lilac has pale blue-lavender flowers.
Visitor Center (Parking Lot 1): Saskatoon serviceberry and Autumn Brilliance apple serviceberry are in bloom with an abundance of 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.
Ground Cover Garden (Parking Lot 1): The ground is carpeted with bright blue Virginia bluebells and Siberian bugloss. Autumn Brilliance apple serviceberry is covered with white flowers. The heart-shaped blooms on common bleeding heart are beginning to appear. Along the ground, look for pale blue flowers of Jacob’s ladder, blue periwinkle, white trout lilies, yellow celandine poppies, and pink lungwort.
Hedge Collection (Parking Lot 1): Rainbow Pillar® Canada serviceberry has white flowers. Japanese flowering crabapple is beginning to show white flowers.
Administration and Research Center and Sterling Morton Library (Parking Lot 1): Apple serviceberry and Prince William Canada serviceberry have white flowers. Look for the green flowers of green dragon. The tree peonies are on the verge of blooming.
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; Milestone 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 blooming. American red elderberry has white flowers.
Frost Hill (Parking Lot 3): Betty magnolia is colorful with dark-magenta and white flowers along with the lavender and white flowers of Simple Pleasures magnolia.
Crabapple Collection (Parking Lot 4): Serviceberries, crabapples, pears, and currants are blooming.
Magnolia Collection and Crowley Marsh (Parking Lot 5): Magnolias are blooming in yellow, purple and white. Look for the green and maroon blooms of Manchurian pipe vine. Five-leaved akebia will be blooming soon.
East Woods (Parking Lots 9 to 12): All through the woods, wildflowers are scattered along the forest floor. Look for white wood anemone, green blooms of green dragon, green & maroon flowers of Jack-in-the-pulpit, white and yellow trout-lilies, pink wild geranium, and red trillium.
East Woods (Parking Lot 15): Look along the ground for white trout-lily, yellow bellwort, blue woodland phlox, and pink wild geranium.
Appalachia (Parking Lot 16): Look for the cream-white flowers of American red elderberry. Allegheny serviceberry has white blooms.
China (Parking Lot 17): Yellow flowers of weeping forsythia. The woodland peony has beautiful purple-red flowers.
Japan (Parking Lot 18): Look for the yellow flowers of fragrant sumac.
West Side Main Route
Flowering Trees and Europe collection: (Parking Lot 19): Crabapples are blooming in various colors.
Founder's Grove (Parking Lot 20): Redbud have pink flowers and red trillium has maroon blooms.
Thornhill Education Center Parking Lot (Parking Lot 21): First Snow® spirea has white flowers too. Judd’s viburnum (white flowers) and Jacob’s ladder (blue flowers) are beginning to bloom.
Thornhill Outpost Wild Garden (Parking Lot 21): The ground is covered in native wildflowers, including dark-maroon wild-ginger, white eastern false rue anemone, white trout-lily, and red prairie smoke.
Four Seasons garden (Parking Lot 21): Jack Frost Siberian bugloss has tiny twinkly blue flowers. You’ll also find blue periwinkle and the foot of the white-blooming Princess Diana apple serviceberry. Also look for the dark-maroon flowers of wild ginger.
Thornhill Education Center and Thornhill Annex (Parking Lot 21): Enjoy the fragrant white flowers of Judd’s viburnum. Look for the first pink blooms of redbud.
Joy Path and Thornhill South Lawn (Parking Lot 21): In the gardens along Joy Path you’ll find the white flowers of lily-of-the-valley, fragrant snowball, and the magenta & white flowers of Lenne saucer magnolia.
Fragrance Garden (Parking Lot 21): Look for the white flowers of snowdrop anemone and lily-of-the-valley. The pink flowers of the redbud are starting to appear.
Daffodil Glade (Parking Lots 22 and 23): Late flowering daffodils in shades of white and yellow amid blue Virginia bluebells and white trout-lilies.
Pine Hill (Parking Lot 24): Allegheny serviceberry has white blooms. Look along the ground for wildflowers including white trout lily, blue Virginia bluebells, great white trillium, and red trillium.
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 blooming.
West Side Alternate Route
Sargent’s Glade (Parking Lot 26): Redbuds are blooming along with blue woodland phlox.
Lake Marmo and Pine Hill (Parking Lot 28): Look for great white trillium, red trillium, white trout-lily and, blue Virginia bluebells. Redbuds are blooming.