What's in Bloom

Bloom Highlights

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Sources for "What's in Bloom: Bloom Highlights" listings include the Chicago Botanic Garden's staff and database, as well as the publications and records of other botanic gardens, institutions, and the scientific community.

Muscari armeniacum

Armenian Grape Hyacinth

Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) is a tried-and-true mainstay of the early spring garden, producing spikes of deep-blue flowers that are often accented with white markings around the petticoat or base of the individual flowers. This is the plant the Dutch use in their gardens to create rivers of blue in their landscape designs. Despite the tendency for the foliage to come into growth in fall, this plant is reliably hardy in the Chicago region. The bulbs slowly create clumps by producing "daughter" or side bulbs from the original stock, and the massed effect of all of the flowers produced by one clump after three or more years is stunning.

This is another of the early spring bulbs ideally adapted for use underneath deciduous trees in the Chicago area, because the bulbs complete their need to create carbohydrates for next year's bloom before the trees leaf out.

Rabbits nibble the foliage, but voles avoid the bulbs.

Narcissus 'Carlton'

Carlton Large-cupped Daffodil

Narcissus ‘Carlton’ is in Division 2. It stands 18 to 20 inches high and blooms in mid spring. The petals are yellow with points at the tips. The large funnel-shaped corona is a deeper yellow with an expanded mouth. It is hardy in zones 3 to 8. The bulbs are toxic and will not be eaten by deer or rabbits. The name Narcissus comes from the Greek word for narcotic and is tied to the myth of a young man known as Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection. When he drowned in the pool where he had been admiring himself, Narcissus flowers grew up around the pool.

Narcissus 'Ice Follies'

Ice Follies Large-cupped Daffodil

Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’ is in Division 2. It blooms in early to mid season with 3 ¾ inch flowers that open yellow and become white with age. The corona is very broad and shallow with a frilled mouth. The petals may be slightly reflexed. This early hybrid (pre-1953) is rare in having a double set of chromosomes; most cultivars are genetically unique, with only one set of chromosome numbers. It is also among the most resistant to the common soil diseases in Chicago area gardens. This makes it a valuable specimen that can be further hybridized with more cultivars than typically possible.The bulbs are toxic and will not be eaten by deer or rabbits. The name Narcissus comes from the Greek word for narcotic and is tied to the myth of a young man known as Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection. When he drowned in the pool where he had been admiring himself, Narcissus flowers grew up around the pool.

Forsythia 'Meadowlark'

Meadowlark Forsythia

We know spring has arrived in northern climes when we see the cheery yellow blooms of the ubiquitous forsythias in April. Named after William Forsyth, one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society in the eighteenth century. Forsythias are medium to large shrubs that produce four-petaled clusters of bell-shaped flowers in the axils of the stiff, rough branches. These Asian shrubs are very adaptable to poor soils and varying moisture, but the flower buds may be tender on older cultivars. Pruning is best done immediately after flowering, giving new growth time to form flower buds. Never shear forsythias into “green meatballs”, as their natural shapes are graceful enough.

‘Meadowlark’ was developed as a cross between Forsythia ovata and Forsythia europaea. It is hardy to minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit. It grows up to 10 feet tall.

4월에 만개하는 포사이시아는 북반구에서 봄을 알려주는 꽃입니다. 한국의 개나리와 근접한데, 폴사이시아의 학명은 18세기에 왕실 원예 학회를 창시한 윌리암 폴사이시아의 이름을 따라 지어졌습니다. 꽃은 4개의 꽃잎이 달리고 종모양입니다. 토양의 상태나 습도에 상관없이 적응을 잘하는 편입니다만 오래된 품종에서는 꽃봉오리가 좀 약한 편입니다.; 꽃이 지면 곧 가지치기를 해주는 것이 좋습니다만 너무 많이 자르는 것보다 원래의 자연스러운 형태를 유지시켜주는 것이 아름답습니다.

Prunus sibirica

Siberian Apricot

This large shrub to small tree grows close to 10 feet tall with full sun and well-drained, moderate soil moisture conditions. In March and April, it produces showy, fragrant, pink blossoms. These give way to orange, red, and yellow apricots that attract birds (and people). This is one of the hardiest and earliest of the Prunus to flower in Chicago-area gardens.