What's in Bloom

As the seasons change, so does the scenery at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Nurtured by the sun's warmth, plants and flowers all across our grounds come into bloom in their own time, bursting forth in kaleidoscopes of color. In an effort to keep you up to date, we will update this web page weekly, between April and November, with highlights of what you can see now.

We also encourage you to check out our new digital map. You can turn on the What's in Bloom layer at top right to see where these plants, and more, are blooming on our grounds. 

Featured Bloom

Pink Turtlehead


Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii)

Found in both formal gardens and naturalized areas at the Arboretum, pink turtlehead (Chelone lyonii) adds late-season pops of pink to partially shaded areas. The plant is native to North America, although it’s not native to Minnesota. Its common name is a reference to the shape of its flower, which looks a bit like the head of a turtle with its mouth open.

In the nursery trade, ‘Hot Lips’ is a popular cultivar of Chelone lyonii that has a similar growth habit, but with more vibrant flowers and deeper green foliage. Pink turtlehead also has a close relative, white turtlehead (Chelone glabra), which is native to Minnesota native. White turtlehead blooms with white flowers at the same time as pink turtlehead.

You can find pink turtlehead in the MacMillan and Morgan Terrace Gardens, Woodland Azalea Garden, Elizabeth Carr Slade Perennial Garden, Grace B. Dayton Wildflower Garden and the Bog Boardwalk. Look for the ‘Hot Lips’ cultivar in the perennial garden.


pin  Locate pink turtlehead and other blooming plants on our grounds

What else is blooming

Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum 'Sesquicentennial Sun')
A 2001 introduction by the University of Minnesota, 'Sesquicentennial Sun' is known for its gold, fully double pompons.  It will bloom in early summer to fall and grows in a cushion habit.

Purple Moor-grass (Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Skyracer') 
Blooming in late summer to early fall, 'Skyracer' is known for its more narrow and upright form.  When mature this plant can grow to a height of up to eight feet and prefers full sun.  With good fall color, this plant provides little winter interest due to the quick deterioration of foliage.

Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum 'Dark Pink Daisy' Mammoth™)
A 2006 introduction by the University of Minnesota, 'Dark Pink Daisy' is known for its deep pink, large-sized daisies with a gold center.  This frost-tolerant plant has a shrub cushion growth habit and blooms in late summer to early fall.

Cranesbill (Geranium 'Gerwat' ROZANNE)
This clump-forming cransebill is most known for blooming in the early summer but will continue to do so through the fall.  When in bloom, this plant produces violet-blue flowers and can take full sun to part shade.

Showy Stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Stardust')
A magnet for butterflies, 'Stardust' produces light pink to white flowers that bloom in the late summer to early fall.  They work well as border plantings or in a rock garden as they prefer full sun and only reach heights of up to two feet. 

Zig-zag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)
Native to North America, the zig-zag goldenrod is easily identified by its zig-zag stem.  While most goldenrods can be found in full sun situations, this goldenrod actually prefers to be planted in shade.  Blooming in late summer through fall, this goldenrod will produce vibrant, golden clusters.

Sweet Coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Little Henry')
Little Henry' is a low-maintenance, herbaceous perennial that blooms in late summer through the fall.  A selection found in the wild, this cultivar is unique for its rolled in, gold petals, which really differentiates it from the straight species.

Ironweed (Vernonia 'Southern Cross')
Growing up to heights of three feet tall, 'Southern Cross' has a more compact growth habit when compared to other ironweeds.  This plant will provide late-season interest in the garden with its vibrant purple flowers and fine-textured foliage.

Hungarian Daisy (Leucanthemella serotina
Native to parts of Europe and Asia, this perennial is a recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the RHS.  Reaching heights of up to six feet, this plant will bloom in the late summer to early fall with bright, white flowers. and golden centers.

Prickly Aster (Galatella sedifolia)
A European native, the prickly aster will bloom late in the season, typically September through October.  This plant is in the aster family and produces blue rays with a yellow center disk, prefers full sun, and tends to grow in a clumping habit.

Narrowleaf Ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly') 
‘Iron Butterfly' is a selection of an Arkansas native that produces purple flowers in the late summer to early fall.  It's compact habit and fine foliage creates an excellent statement in a rock garden, especially when planted alongside other late-blooming perennials.

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
Native to eastern North America, this late-season flowering aster is a popular perennial with many cultivars.  When in bloom, this plant produces deep-pinkish purple ray flowers and a golden center disk.  A prevalent self-seeder, this plant cant be cut down to the ground after flowering to prevent spreading.

Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans
A dominant species of the tallgrass prairie, this North American native blooms during the fall but continues to add winter interest with its upright form.  If planted in a garden, this plant should be cut back in the late winter to early spring, or as new growth appears, to provide it with the best growing conditions.

German Garlic (Allium senescens subsp. glaucum)
Blooming in late summer to early fall, this plant produces small, pink to lavender flowers with attractive blue foliage that tends to have a twist or swirl to it.  In its native range, this plant is most often found in dry, rocky places so it will do best in a rock garden with full sun, however, it can tolerate a wide range of soils.

Elm-leaved Goldenrod (Solidago ulmifolia)
Native to large portions of North America, this late summer to fall blooming perennial will produce bright yellow flowers in a panicle.  This plant will likely self-seed and spread throughout the space it is planted.  This plant provides a late growing season food source for pollinators.

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)
A North American native, this woodland species will bloom from late summer to the first frost.  A self-seeder and spreading by rhizomes, this plant can be weedy and aggressive so it works best in naturalized areas or woodland gardens.  This plant produces small white flowers when in bloom.

Grapeleaf Anemone (Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima')
A late summer to early fall blooming perennial, ‘Robustissima’ is a robust hybrid that produces pink flowers on reddish stems. Growing three to four feet tall, this perennial will take full sun and is known as one of the longer blooming perennials.


Last updated on September 14, 2020