Get Growing Blog

It’s Poppin’: April 26th


Welcome back to It’s Poppin’, and happy Arbor Day! Although it’s been a chilly week, it hasn’t stopped our gardens from poppin’. Enjoy the warmer weather this weekend and come check out the latest blooms!

Cleveland Botanical Garden

At the garden, flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is just coming into bloom. The large white “petals” are actually flower-like bracts that form below the cluster of tiny yellow flowers in the center of each inflorescence. Take a closer look to see if you can find any that have opened up.

Cornus florida

What’s that smell? It’s the Japanese wisteria, of course! These fragrant flowers will bloom sporadically all summer, but once their leaves unfurl, they will become concealed underneath the foliage. You can’t miss these plants as they flank the doors that open up to the terrace- catch them now while they are packed with lavender petals.

Wisteria floribunda

The stars of the garden this week are the azaleas blooming in the waterfall garden. The electric fuchsia flowers of Rhododendron ‘Herbert’ are so vibrant that they can hardly be captured by your phone’s camera—you have to see this one in person. If it’s a sunny day, you might even catch a bumblebee enjoying the bright blooms.

Rhododendron ‘Herbert’

Finally, as you walk through the gardens, keep your eyes peeled for wild geranium (Geranium maculatum). These delicate native wildflowers are beloved by bumblebees, solitary bees, and butterflies alike.

Geranium maculatum

Holden Arboretum

At the arboretum, the crabapples are coming into their prime. Check them out in the crabapple grove behind the butterfly garden and throughout the grounds.

Malus ‘Makamik’
Malus ‘White Cascade’

Bog buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) is a native aquatic plant that grows in shallow water along bog margins. These unique and beautiful wildflowers are not easily found in northeast Ohio, so make sure to seek them out while they’re still blooming in the wildflower garden.

Menyanthes trifoliata

Finally, it wouldn’t be a spring “It’s Poppin’” update for the arboretum without mention of a rhododendron. Rhododendron ‘Elie’, introduced in 1955 by local rhododendron hybridizer Tony Shamarello, is a standout in the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden this week.

Rhododendron ‘Elie’

Even if you can’t make it out to one of our campuses this weekend to see what’s in bloom, we hope that you can find a moment to celebrate Arbor Day in whatever way is meaningful to you. Plant a tree, sit underneath a tree, give a tree a hug—or just get outside!

Alexandra Faidiga

Alexandra Faidiga

Plant Recorder

Alex Faidiga is the Plant Recorder in the Horticulture and Collections Department at HF&G. She earned her Masters degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she studied plant evolutionary ecology and the impacts of climate change on native plants. She was excited to return to her hometown of Cleveland in 2022 to work for HF&G, one of the many places in northeast Ohio where she discovered her love for plants at a young age.

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