What's in Bloom

pink blooms of Mexican Shrimp Plant

Plant of the Week:
Justicia brandegeeana – Mexican Shrimp Plant

Hailing from Mexico and naturalized in Florida, this plant was used by the indigenous Haustec people of Mexico for traditional medicine. Notable uses were for a variety of ailments, including treating wounds, dysentery and other gastrointestinal disorders... Read More


Snow has finally made an appearance at Royal Botanical Gardens! If you happen to travel through the Arboretum, this is a fine time to take in the exfoliating bark of Platanus occidentalis (Eastern Sycamore). You will find several of these large deciduous trees north of the main parking circle.

peeling bark

Rock Garden

The winter form of Euonymus fortunei 'Vegeta' (Big Leaf Euonymus) will catch your eye as you enter the main parking area. If you enjoy a brisk journey inside you will find much to admire. Stewartia pseudocamellia is a breathtaking site year round, as the bark of this deciduous tree is not to be missed as you head down to the lower garden area.

Pink Primula blossom- pink

RBG Centre

Head toward the Mediterranean Garden to find a selection of Narcissus spp. (Daffodil) sporting cheerful buttery blooms. Find fragrant Hyacinthus orientalis cultivars (Hyacinth) in this same area. Distinctive speckled leaves and striking blooms identify Tulipa greigii ‘Casa Grande’ (Casa Grande Tulip). There are a number of colourful varieties beginning to bloom.

Once inside Mediterranean Garden, you will notice Leucojum aestivum (Summer Snowflake) displaying small bulbous white flowers, with tiny green spots. If you happen to rest on the bench close to the pond, Jasminum mesnyi (Primrose Jasmine) delights with delicate, trumpet-shaped flowers on long, arching stems of glossy green leaves. A single three-cornered stalk of Allium triquetrum (Three-Cornered Leek) has an umbel inflorescence of several small white flowers. Recognize this by the tiny green lines along each flower petal.

On the upper level of the garden area, Clivia miniata (Bushlily) is currently displaying wonderful trumpet-shaped blooms of brilliant orange and cream, against dark green leaves.

white berries on bare bush

Hendrie Park

Adventurous visitors travelling through Kippax Garden in Hendrie Park this week find the astonishing white berries of Symphoricarpos albus (Snowberry) close to the left entrance. Once inside RBG Centre, you will find Philodendron selloum (Lacy Tree-Philodendron) with its large, drooping, lobed leaves and characteristic ‘eye-drop’ leaf scars displayed along its trunk.


Laking Garden

Please note Laking Garden is closed for the season, effective September 29. See you in the spring!

hop-like structures in red gloved hand

Nature Sanctuaries

In Hendrie Valley, see if you can spot the shaggy, stripy bark of the shagbark hickory. Close to the boardwalk, keep an eye out for the fruit of the Ironwood, which vaguely resembles hops. This is how it earned the common name: ‘hop hornbeam.’ The curious looking structures coming off the small american hazel shrubs are known as catkins. They are also found on birch and alder, see if you can spot some while walking through Cootes Paradise and Hendrie Valley.

Seasonal Bloom Times

Bloom time is often influenced by many natural events including temperature and climate. As these can vary from year to year bloom times are influenced by these factors. Below you will find ‘average’ bloom times for a number of RBG’s collections but please bear in mind that if we experience an early or late spring, bloom times could shift up to 10 days earlier or 10 days later.

(click to enlarge)