The Morton Arboretum is bursting with color and carpeted in bright green, even as temperatures continue to fluctuate wildly and rainstorms have been flooding many counties in the region. With the abundant rainfall and occasional warm temperatures, early seasonal blossoms have given way to the later spring blooms such as wild geraniums and redbuds. Explore near your home to discover what is new this week and savor the coming weeks as we approach the end of the spring blooming season in the Midwest. The Arboretum is excited to announce a gradual reopening in June. We look forward to welcoming you back.
To learn about the plans to reopen in June, please visit the Know Before You Go page. Stay connected with the Arboretum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share pictures of the blooms you see using the hashtags #springblooms and #MortonArboretum.
About this week's featured blooms
1. Redbud (Cercis canadensis). Petals fallen from redbud trees carpet a trail with pink. The flowers bloom before the leaves unfold, making it easy for long-tongued pollinators such as blueberry bees and carpenter bees to reach the nectar.
2. Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum). This wildflower that blooms in late spring in the woods is part of the group of true geraniums, hardy perennial plants including bloody cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum) and bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum). True geraniums are not related to the bright red- and pink-flowering annual plants often called “geraniums” in garden centers, which are actually tender semitropical species that belong to the genus Pelargonium.
3. Shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia). Native to prairies, moist meadows, and open woodlands in the eastern United States, this wildflower earned its common name by its resemblance to a comet streaking through the night sky. Others call the bloom roosterhead. The flowers’ color ranges from white to pink.
4. Tina crabapple (Malus ‘Tina’). This compact cultivated variety of crabapple has elegant horizontal branches cloaked with small, delicate white flowers. It also has excellent resistance to apple scab and fire blight, which often afflict older crabapple cultivars. The Plant Clinic can help you choose a disease-resistant crabapple tree.
5. Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris). Because they emerge from the ground curled up like the scroll of a violin, the young fronds are called fiddleheads. Ferns are ancient plants that appear in fossils from at least 350 million years ago. Because they thrive in shade, they are fine companion plants for trees.