Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

Spanish Bluebell blooming under the cherry trees

Near the 77th Street entrance to the American Museum of Natural History, fragrant Spanish Bluebell brightens Roosevelt Park’s garden beds with bell-shaped, lavender-colored flowers.

Spanish bluebell reproduces by seed and rhizome and naturalizes well beneath the shade of deciduous trees, such as the cherry trees in Roosevelt Park. Bulbs develop into blue-green clumps of sword-like leaves, eventually spreading to 18 inches or more in width. Small flowers hang from upright flower stems that rise above the foliage. Spanish Bluebell flowers come in several colors: lavender, pink and white

Spain, Portugal and the Upper West Side

Although Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) is native to Spain and Portugal, this winter-hardy, shade-loving bulbous perennial also does well in New York City. Stop by the park and enjoy the flowers!

Azaleas are blooming in Roosevelt Park

AzaleasAzalea (Rhododendron sp.) flower blossoms are lighting up Theodore Roosevelt Park with brilliant hues of pinks and reds.

AzaleasThe colors of late spring

Flowering in late spring, and after tulips, daffodils and cherry blossoms have faded, azaleas brighten Roosevelt Park with splashes of dazzling color that last for weeks.

The showy, funnel-shaped flowers can be seen growing under dappled shade along Columbus Avenue and 79th Street, and in front of the Planetarium.

Around the world and the Upper West Side

Azalea shrubs are hardy, shade-loving perennials, native to North America, China and Japan that grow well in acidic, moist soil with good drainage – growing conditions available throughout our park.

Hellebores are here!

Hellebores in Roosevelt Park

Hellebores are Here!

Hellebores (Helleborrus sp.) produce the earliest flower blooms in Theodore Roosevelt Park. Rose-like flowers, with five petal-like sepals, bloom in March and continue blooming until May. The garden beds fronting the Hayden Planetarium include a variety of colorful Hellebores, whose flowers can be shades of green, yellow, white, and purple.

Immigrants from Europe and Asia

Native to mountainous regions of Europe and western Asia, Hellebores are low-clumping, spreading, evergreen perennials that prefer partial to full shade in fertile, well-drained soils, such as those in Roosevelt Park.

Healthy, hardy plants

Hellebores are disease-resistant and the foliage remains attractive throughout the year. Hellebores are hardy and most species will grow well in USDA hardiness zones 4-9 (New York City is in hardiness zone 7b).

Spring Sun Brings Tulip Blooms

Spring Sun Brings Tulip Blooms

The tulip (Tulipa) is an upright herbaceous perennial bulbous plant in the lily family, growing from 4 to 24 inches in height.  Native to Central Asia and cultivated in Holland, tulips are one of the most beloved and recognizable flowers in the world.

Flowering from early April to May, tulips have no rivals for providing springtime carpets of pure, intense, vibrant color.  Gorgeous blooms, usually one flower per stem, are available in almost any color except blue and black.

Tulip gardening in the park

Tulips in Roosevelt Park
Garden near E 81 St. and Central Park West

It’s difficult to get tulips to produce blooms year after year. At Roosevelt Park, we maximize tulip flower bloom by choosing sites with well-drained soil in full sun, we plant bulbs deep, (8”) in late fall, water-in bulbs after planting, and purchase bulbs that naturalize well (Darwin hybrids and species tulips).

Tulips will tolerate light shade, but the flower bloom will not be as spectacular, nor will the flowers bloom as well the following spring.  Tulips grow poorly in heavy shade.

Full sun allows the greatest amount of carbohydrates to translocate in the flower bulb, providing necessary nutrients for flower bloom the following spring.  Leaves should be allowed to remain on the stems until turning yellow (about 8 weeks).

NYC is good for tulips!

Tulips in Roosevelt Park
Garden in front of Hayden Planetarium flagpoles.

Tulips require a chilling period of 12 to 16 weeks at soil temperatures around 40 degrees F. and therefore do not grow well in warm climates.  Tulips thrive in New York City weather.

How long should tulips last?

The majority of tulip bulbs in Roosevelt Park were planted last fall. With the right growing conditions, tulips can bloom for three or more seasons, so we expect our current tulips to bloom at least until 2019.

Cherry blossoms on the Upper West Side

Cherry tree

Have you seen the flowering cherry trees, now in spectacular full bloom in Theodore Roosevelt Park?  An absolutely jaw-dropping display of marvelously formed, delicate pink blossoms, cascading over bent branches.   Pink petals float through the air, carpeting the walkways.

Beautiful blossoms are well-suited to New York City

Cherry BlossomFlowering cherry trees grow well at Theodore Roosevelt Park and have few rivals for sheer beauty.  Cherry trees need full sun and well-drained soil for optimum health, and their location in Roosevelt Park provides these conditions. Flowering cherry trees are grown throughout New York City, including in Central Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and New York Botanical Garden.