As the city shakes off the winter blues, signs of the changing season are popping up all over Portland. Some of the first spring flowers in your neighborhood are likely crocuses and tulips. Next are the cherry blossoms, rhododendrons and, finally, our city’s crowning buds, roses.
Springtime blooms are awaiting your admiration in many wonderful outdoor escapes throughout the city. If you want to know where to find the must-see spring flowers in Portland, I have just the guide for you. Find out where and when your favorite Portland flowers are in bloom this spring. I’ve organized the list by flower and included the best places to view them.
Most of these places are free or cheap to visit. Use the blooming time frames to plan your visit to these nearby gardens, parks and farms.
Must-See Spring Flowers in Portland
As one of the first springtime blossoms, cherry trees burst into bloom throughout the Pacific Northwest from March to April. These beautiful blossoms can be enjoyed at many free parks throughout the city, including Waterfront Park.
Since 1990, cherry blossom trees have graced the waterfront of Portland. The 100 trees are part of the Japanese American Historical Plaza that starts at the Burnside Bridge and extends north along the waterfront to the Steel Bridge. The backdrop of the Willamette River with a large expanse of green grass make this spot magical.
View my top picks for cherry blossom viewing. The places listed are free to visit.
Chances are your neighborhood has a few rhodies that enchant viewers with their immense size and beauty. I encourage you to take a trip to a very special place to take in these incredible flowers.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, nestled between Reed College and the Sellwood neighborhood, is one of Portland’s best kept secrets. From April through May, you can view rare and hybrid rhododendrons. On top of that, you’ll stroll past three waterfalls along two incredible bridges leading to Crystal Springs Lake. My fellow bird lovers can also take a peep at the more than 90 species of birds that have been seen in the garden.
Admission is $5 and free on Mondays. Plan your visit to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.
Wanting to see a native beauty? Trilliums bloom in early spring in the Pacific Northwest. Tyron Creek State Natural Area, which offers one of the best urban hiking places in Portland, is the ideal place to view trillium blooms. These small, white flowers offer a unique and subtle beauty amongst the Northwest rainforest.
These delicate plants will generally be killed if you pick the flower. It’s important to snap a few photos, but not disturb the blooms. Fun fact: The seeds of the trillium plants are dispersed by ants!
May through September is the perfect time to stop and smell the roses in Portland. Portland is the Rose City, so it is only natural that rose gardens are one of the main attractions. One of the best places to see roses is the Portland International Rose Test Garden.
This rose garden is truly breathtaking. Sitting atop the city at Washington Park, you’ll find this immaculately maintained garden complete with an amphitheater, fountain and thousands of rose blooms. The test garden opened in 1917 and has drawn worldwide attention for its gorgeous roses.
Check out these four free rose gardens in Portland.
This isn’t in Portland, but it is worth the drive. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon, has 40 acres of tulips. The festival opens in late March and runs through the beginning of May.
Admission ranges from $15-$20 depending on the day of your visit. Get all the details about the annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.