The Stars of Spring

At the Arboretum, the "Stars of Spring" shine all day long!

There’s no better place to experience spring’s arrival than the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Especially this year when the Arboretum, the largest and most diverse horticultural site in Minnesota, commemorates 60 years in the community and its ranking as the country’s top botanical garden in the 2017 USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards.

In classic Arboretum style, the 60th anniversary will be commemorated in tulips. The Stars of Spring is this year’s theme: a collection of 38,000 tulips shining “like a diamond” (the official 60th anniversary gem). Landscape gardener Duane Otto, who has designed the acclaimed tulip collection for three decades, has created a display of tulips in blue, lavender, violet and pink, with a delicate shimmer of white.


Inspired by the 60th anniversary of the Arboretum, the collection of 38,000 tulips fancifully “…shines bright like a diamond” (to borrow a phrase from pop singer Rihanna) in colors of blue, silvery white, lavender, violet and a complement of pink. Landscape gardener Duane Otto, designer of the acclaimed tulip collection for three decades now, has artfully added white tulips into the mix.

Here’s where to go to see these beauties:

  • Griggs Annual Gardens: 10 beds with 20,750 short-and late-blooming bulbs in groupings of 100-133 each with silvery white varieties such as “Maureen”, White Triumphator”, “Tacoma” and “White Bouquet.” Pink varieties include “Tom Pounce”, “Virichic” and “Moriette”. Double late blooms inclue “Calvary”, “Pretty Princess”, “Candy Club” and “Dream’s Maid” of ivery with pink shades and more.
  • Gatehouse Entry Garden features 5,200 single and Parrot (multi-layered), late (last to bloom) shades of pink and more.
  • Morgan Terrace Gardens behind the Snyder Building includes 200 bulbs of late double tulips in a mix of “Averynon” and “Blue Spectacle”.
  • Home Demo Garden: 1,000 bulbs by the Rock Garden and Hosta Glade.
  • Snyder Building Spiegel Entrance Garden and Terrace wows with 1,200 bulbs including “Royal Ten” and “Vincent Van Gough” deep purple.
  • Flagpole Bed outside the Snyder Building mixes 750 bulbs of “Purple Lady” and “Rembrandt’s Favorite” featuring streaked colorations.
  • Snyder Sidewlk Bed: 800 bulbs including “Apricot Delight”, “Purple Dream” and more.
  • Oswald Visitor Center Entry welcomes with 3,600 bulbs of silvery white, deep pink and more.
  • Terrace Gardens: Dahlberg, Sweatt, Newton and Keating Terrace Container Plantings spotlight forced bulbs, Japanese Maples, colorful brassica (cabbage), violas (pansies) with added annuals such as white alyssum, vinca and lobelia with their trailing flowers.
  • 60th Anniversary tulip garden.
Crabapple Blossoms - Mark MacLennan

Crabapple Blossoms

One of the Arboretum’s largest collections, the crabapple blossoms draw a cult following. The 15 species, 141 unique taxa (species + cultivars) and 313 specimens in the Crabapple (Malus sp.) Collection are actually part of the rose family. The spectacular blooms in May capture the eye with blooms of pinks, whites and reds…in their full range of tree shapes and sizes, including spreading, weeping, dwarf, vase-shaped and columnar. The newest addition of a “Purple Prince” Crabapple tree, planted near the Sensory Garden, honors the artistry and musical talents of Prince, a longtime Arboretum visitor in his lifetime.

Lilacs - Don Olson

Lilacs Collection

After entering the Arboretum, the fragrant and beautiful lilac blooms in May and June are a showstopper. One of the oldest collections at the Arboretum, The Hueg Lilac (Syinga sp.) Collection evolved out of the original entry drive design by Lee Snyder, founding Arboretum Director Leon Snyder’s son. Featured in the Lilac Collection are 17 species, 132 unique taxa (species + cultivars) and 198 specimens (shrubs + trees) including common, French hybrids, Chinese, Preston, Peking and Japanese.


Arboretum 60th Anniversary

Celebrate the Arboretum's 60 years in the community! 2018 is the diamond anniversary of the Arboretum, established in 1958 by Lake Minnetonka Garden Club, Minneapolis Garden Club, Minnesota State Horticultural Society and more community supporters, as a gift of land and financial contributions to the University of Minnesota.