This iconic shrub is draping the Garden in an array of colors. They should reach their peak bloom about the 3rd week of April. While you are enjoying the colors, please remember to thank the ladies and gentlemen who cleared the wild brush that was here to plant azaleas way back in 1938.

Located – Garden Wide


This has been a very good year for Japanese camellias (Camellia japonica), and they are still blooming well into April, but don’t wait long. Such beauty does not last forever. Although they are planted throughout NBG, the best place to see them is in the Hofheimer Camellia Garden. NBG has an internationally recognized camellia collection with over 1000 different varieties and nearly 2000 individual plants.

Located – Hofheimer Camellia Garden

Carolina Jessamine

Although the sight of its intensely colored, canary yellow flowers are hard to miss, you will likely smell this delightfully fragrant native vine (Gelsemium sempervirens) before you see it – it is so sweet. This vine is evergreen and makes for quick cover. It is also the state flower of South Carolina.

Located – Butterfly Restrooms, and WOW

Golden Ragwort

This wonderful native perennial (Packera aurea) is a great solution for gardeners with troubling spots. It will grow in sun or shade, deer and rabbits leave it alone, it is great for beneficial pollinators, and it forms a groundcover so thick that weeds will not come up through it. If that’s not enough, its bright yellow daisy-like flowers are quite beautiful. A limited quantity will be available this year at the annual NBG plant sale, April 22-24th.

Located – Holly Garden

Kwanzan Cherries

This cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) is the last of the ornamental cherries to bloom. It differs from ‘Yoshino’ and the weeping varieties in that its flowers are fully double, and a much darker pink in color. They look more like pink pom-poms.

Located – Statuary Vista, and Flowering Arboretum

Lady Banks Rose 

Always the first rose to bloom, Lady Banks (Rosa banksiae) is unlike any other in that it not only blooms very early, but it is also thornless, quite vigorous, and is never plagued by the same diseases that other roses get. For the plant nerds among us – the world’s largest Lady Banks rose has been growing in Tombstone, AZ since 1885 and covers a whopping 8000 square feet!

Located – Rose Garden, and Baker Perennial Garden