Nanking cherry blosssoms, Chicago Botanic Garden

Cherry Blossom Blitz

Annual Springtime Campaign

In many parts of the country, the arrival of cherry blossoms is a sure sign that spring is here. These beautiful and showy trees captivate the senses with their magnificent blooms and soft scents. The tradition of cherry blossom festivals in the United States began in Washington D.C. in 1927 and now many communities across the U.S. host festivals as well. Since so many people are outside enjoying these trees, spring is a great time to focus attention on seasonal change. You can participate in the Cherry Blossom Blitz from February 15th through April 30th. Locate a cherry tree and tell us what your cherry tree is doing!

Small bee on an aster; photo courtesy of Jane E. Ogilvie.

Nativars Research Project

Spring 2018 - Fall 2021

Nativars are cultivated varieties of native plants that can differ from their parent species in flower color, flower size, scent, phenology, and other ways that may affect their attractiveness to pollinators. With an upsurge in concern about pollinator conservation, many people are asking if it is OK to use nativars in pollinator gardens. To date, there have been very few studies on this and the results have been mixed. So we invite you to join us on this scientific journey to help answer the important question: how do nativars differ from one another and from their parent species in phenology and pollinator attractiveness?