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A project of the Chicago Botanic Garden


April EcoQuest


Bluebells ring in Spring

Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, are spring flowers that appear after snow melt. Their smooth, oval leaves start deep purple and turn green. They also have color changing flowers. Flowers start off pink and gradually change to light blue.

These native plants provide welcome color in the spring. Their blooms are important for early season pollinators, including bumblebees and mason bees, and visited by butterflies, skippers, and Sphinx moths.

Help Budburst find this important Chicagoland native species!

Be gone Bradford pear

Help Budburst find this invasive plant so it can be better controlled!

A beautiful street tree, Bradford pear, Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’, is resilient in poor conditions making it a tough invasive plant. Its leaves are simple, with round-toothed margins and its flowers have 5 white petals.

Swaths of the tree displace native plant and animal species by overtaking an area and crowding out all other trees that support wildlife.

How to observe and report


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Make your observation by taking a photo of your subject


Upload your observation to our database via the Budburst mobile or desktop app

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