University of Tennessee
Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
Spring Bloom Guide

Arboretum Spring Bloom Guide

There is always something in bloom at the Arboretum! Use this guide to plan a photo shoot, walk one of the trails, or just enjoy the scenery. There is also more detailed bloom information on our Plants web pages. Bring a copy of the Arboretum Trail Map for a location reference or pick one up at the Arboretum Visitors Center.

Mid Winter to Early Spring

Cornelian Cherry DogwoodCornelian Cherry Dogwood (Cornus mas): It isn't unusual to find the yellow blossoms of this tree/shrub peeking through a snowcover in late January or early February. Location: Look for the Cornelian Cherries along the Tulip Poplar Trail in the heart of the Arboretum's major plant collection area. Read More

American Witch HazelAmerican Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): This plant is distinguished by its four yellow, strapped-shaped, crumpled petals that first appear early in January. Location: Next to Scarboro Creek below the Visitors Center. Read More
Vernal Witch HazelVernal Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis): It's always somewhat surprising to find plants in bloom in January, but despite the recent cold temperatures, this shrub blooms late in the month. Location: Next to Scarboro Creek below the Visitors Center. Read More
JasmineWinter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum): A few winter-blooming plants such as Winter Jasmine can often satisfy our thoughts of spring. It will continue to flower sporadically throughout March. Location: Near the Program Shelter. Read More
Lenten RoseLenten Rose (Hellebore) (Helleborus x hybridus): One of the earliest bloomers, the flowers of Lenten Rose may appear as early as January and often can be found through April. Location: In the Wildflower Gardens around the Arboretumís Visitors Center. Read More
FloweringquinceFloweringquince (Chaenomeles speciosa): Colorful pink, white, or red blossoms cover the limbs of this shrub in mid-winter. Location: A red-flowering cultivar is located on the eastern side of the Arboretum Visitors Center.

Early to Mid Spring

BloodrootBloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis): One of the harbingers of spring at the Arboretum is Bloodroot, a member of the Poppy family. Location: In the Wildflower Garden adjacent to the Visitors Center and along the Oak-Hickory Trail. Read More
HepaticaRoundlobe Hepatica (Hepatica americana): Roundlobe Hepatica is one of our earliest blooming wildflowers along Arboretum trails. Look for it in early March. Location: Along the lower portions of the Cemetery Ridge Trail and somewhat later along the Oak-Hickory Trail. Read More
Rue AnemoneRue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides): These white-flowering plants can be found in the same general location as the Roundlobe Hepatica seen in March. Location: Along the lower portions of the Cemetery Ridge Trail and also along the Oak-Hickory Trail. Read More
Star MagnoliaStar Magnolia (Magnolia stellata): One of the earliest magnolia bloomers. The large white blossoms sometimes appear before the last spring frost resulting in a shortened bloom season. Location: Many mature specimens of the Star Magnolia are located along the White Pine Trail.
Saucer MagnoliaSaucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana): Continuing the Magnolia bloom show, the Saucer Magnolia will delight visitors to the Arboretum with its large showy deep pink blossoms long before the leaves appear. Location: Look for the Saucer Magnolias among the "Stars" along the White Pine Trail.
Eastern RedbudEastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis): A true harbinger of spring in the forest! The thick clusters of deep pink blossoms on the leafless twigs are showy in any setting. Location: These distinct trees can be found on almost every Arboretum trail. Read More
Flowering DogwoodFlowering Dogwood (Cornus florida): Spring wouldn't be spring in East Tennessee without the Flowering Dogwood. Location: Although native dogwood trees are scattered thoughout the Arboretum, the dogwood study area near the Program Shelter will delight visitors with a variety of cultivars. Consult the Arboretum Trail Map for the Shelter location. Read More
Pink Flowering DogwoodPink Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida): Think pink! From soft to brilliant pink tones, these colorful cultivars of Cornus florida are always a treat for Arboretum visitors. Location: Look for these delights in the dogwood study area near the Program Shelter. Consult the Arboretum Trail Map for the Shelter location.
AzaleasAzalea (Rhododendron): Azaleas are among the most spectacular flowering shrubs with a wide variety of colors from red to lavender to brillant white. Location: The Arboretum's main collection of azaleas are on the Heath Cove Trail.

Mid to Late Spring

Yellow Lady's SlipperYellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus): With their "moccasin" shape, these delicate wildflowers are rarely seen outside of a wooded setting. Location: Even on the Arboretum grounds, spotting the Lady's Slippers is a rare treat for visitors.
Pink Lady's SlipperPink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule): Sometimes called Moccasin Flower for the unique shape of the blossom, these wildflowers will bloom into mid summer. Location: As with the Yellow Lady's Slipper, the pink specimens are not in abundance even on the Arboretum grounds. Read More
TrilliumTrillium (Trillium species): There are at least three species of Trillium present on the Arboretum: Large-Flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), Yellow Trillium (T. luteum), and Sweet Betsy (T. cuneatum). Location: Along the Heath Cove Trail and scattered elsewhere on the Arboretum trails. Read More
Snowball ViburnumSnowball Viburnum (Viburnum opulus 'Roseum'): Distinctive snowball-shaped blossoms appear on this large shrub in late April and early May. Location: Near the Visitors Center entrance.
Jack-in-the-PulpitJack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum): Jack-in-the-Pulpit, a late spring wildflower, is easily recognized by its unusual inflorescence enclosed in a sheathing bract (the pulpit). Location: In the Arboretumís wildflower garden next to the Visitors Center. Read More
Indian PinkIndian Pink (Spigelia marilandica): Indian Pink is very attractive to hummingbirds and thus is a good choice for gardens. Location: Along the Heath Cove Trail. Read More
Kousa DogwoodKousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa): These late-blooming dogwoods resemble viburnum. Unlike the Cornus florida, this native of Japan blooms after the leaves appear in late spring. Location: Beautiful specimens greet visitors along Valley Road. Read More
Rough Leaf DogwoodRough Leaf Dogwood (Cornus asperifolia var. drummondii): This dogwood "doesn't look like a dogwood". The fringe-like blossoms appear after the leaves in late spring. Location: Look for this showy tree in the dogwood collection near the Program Shelter.
Flame AzaleaFlame Azalea (Rhododendron): A very late blooming azalea. The distinctive orange blossoms are a Tennessee signature! Location: Various locations throughout the Arboretum grounds.

University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu