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Moss' Top Ten Plants of April

Springtime Arrives for Real

The April top ten bring loads of color to the landscape. The list is filled with spectacular woodies and wildflowers that bring the season in with a bang.

As always, tropical, mild winter, and Chicago winter hardy (zone 5) plants comprise the list.  


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redbuds at morton arboretum

Redbud (Cercis canadensis )

Deciduous, ornamental tree covered in pink flowers buds in Spring. Decorative leaves follow the flowers. Kentucky in redbud headquarters. Right now the hills and roadsides are colored pink.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

crabapple at morton arboretum

Crabapple (Malus cultivars)

Deciduous, ornamental tree completely clothed in beautiful flowers for about a week in spring. Colorful berries follow the flowers and last until winter.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

forsythia hedge at northwestern

Forsythia (Forsythia cultivars)

Deciduous shrub becomes a mound of fragrant yellow flowers for about two weeks in spring. Often used as hedges.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

hepatica in bloom

Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba)

Small, semi-evergreen, mounding perennial wildflower with little anemone-like flowers in early spring. Decorative patterned leaves follow the flowers.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

toothwort budding

Toothwort (Cardimine laciniata)

Epemeral groundcover wildflower with a stalk of white flowers atop leaves. Found in mass in oak woodlands.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

sweet betsy under weeping hemlock

Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum)

Epemeral wildflower with a maroon flower atop the foliage. One of the few trilliums with a pleasant scent. Large patches perfume the area with the fragrance of fresh apples. Mottled leaves make a decorative groundcover through spring.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

virginia bluebells

Virginia Blubells (Mertensia virginiana)

Epemeral wildflower with dozens of sky blue bell-shaped flowers dangling above the foliage in spring. Light green leaves are the perfect compliment to the flowers. Provides lots of nectar for hungry bumblebees.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

tulipa tarda in roofdeck oak barrel

Species Tulip (Tulipa tarda)

Ephemeral bulbous perennial with several small bright yellow flowers edged in white. Extremely hardy bulbs form clumps over years.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates.

quail jonquil

Quail Jonquil (Narcissus 'Quail')

Ephemeral bulbous perennial with brilliant yellow, fragrant flowers. Just edged out 'Golden Echo' jonquil and the poet's daffodil for best narcissus.

Mild to cold winters. Temperate climates

gasteria and haworthia pot
Gasteria (Gasteria cultivars)
Small leathery succulent with spikes of tiny sac-shaped flowers. Sub-tropical

wemoss.org 2007, Last Updated June 5, 2007