University of Tennessee
Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
Oak Ridge Forest Cumberland Forest Highland Rim Forest Arboretum

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