It’s Poppin’: April 20th
Thu., Apr. 20, 2023
By Alex Faidiga, Plant Recorder
Well, we got a cold snap last weekend… but when has that ever stopped Ohio plants? New species and horticultural varieties are still popping up every day here at Holden Forests & Gardens, and a little April slush won’t bring us down.
There are quite a few eye-catching woody plants that came into bloom this week at the Arboretum. Korean spice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’) can be found in front of the visitor’s center, and it’s not just beautiful—it smells amazing! Any time you see a viburnum, do not hesitate to take a whiff—you will not be disappointed. You may even see a bee or two who love their sweet flowers just as much as we do.
While you’re near the visitor’s center, take a quick walk behind it and past the Butterfly Garden where you will end up in the Crabapple Collection. Here you can find an assortment of crabapples in various stages of bloom, including one of our earliest blooming varieties, Malus ‘Chilko’ pictured below. Although many of our crabapples aren’t flowering quite yet, it appears that it will be a good year for them given that their branches are packed with buds. The crabapple flowering season does not last long, so if you want to see the Crabapple Collection in all of its glory, plan to visit in the next week or two.
More woodies of note this week can be spotted in the Hedge Garden, including the vibrant red blossoms of Japanese flowering quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘Crimson Beauty’) and the large, soft flowers of Magnolia ‘Daybreak’.
Cleveland Botanical Garden
Like the Arboretum, the Cleveland Botanical Garden has seen many viburnums and magnolias come into full bloom in the past week which are sure to delight your sense of smell. Another woody that really stands out at this time of year and that is scattered throughout the gardens is the native redbud (Cercis canadensis). This beautiful tree sports stunning hot pink flowers that are adored by bees, and believe it or not, this tree is in the pea or bean family—take a close look at its flowers! Some great places to see redbuds are the Capsey-Stauffer Gateway Garden, the Hershey Children’s Garden, and White Oak Walk.
Don’t miss another native that has come into full bloom this week, Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica). This species is a delight throughout its entire blooming period—buds start out a soft pink and eventually mature to a bright blue that really stands out on the forest floor. Check out a large patch in the Woodland Garden as well as at the base of the stone arches in the butterfly garden.
Last but not least, the tulips are up! Every year we look forward to the wash of color that tulips bring to the Botanic Gardens. Check them out in the Capsey-Stauffer Gateway Garden, the allee near the Rose Garden, the Topiary Garden, and pretty much everywhere in between!