La Cañada Flintridge

Fragrant Lilacs Bloom at Descanso Gardens

You can soak in (and sniff in) the purple-pretty flowers at the La Cañada Flintridge destination, but don't wait long.

Elena Popova

What to Know

  • La Cañada Flintridge
  • Admiring the lilacs is with garden admission; the venue's famous tulips will soon be blooming, too
  • Enjoy the lilacs "over the next few weeks" (so think end of March or beginning of April as the bloom's endpoint)

Learning one of the great and easiest mnemonic devices of elementary school?

You surely did, we'll guess, and you likely still remember it to this day: Roy G. Biv.

Mr. Biv isn't an actual person, of course, but a handy acronym that helps us to remember how the colors of the spectrum roll out.

In order? Those hues are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, which we see each time a rainbow appears in the sky.

But can we follow the tenets of Roy G. Biv when it comes to how spring's most famous flowers roll out? That's a little looser than the firm rules that govern a spectrum, though local flower fans surely have their opinions.

"Lilac," though, must be considered as one of the principal colors of a Southern California flower season, for lilacs appear in pretty profusion in Descanso Gardens each March.

And the purple-lavender lovelies are back at the La Cañada Flintridge destination, adding fragrance and visual splendor to an already splendid setting.

The delicate blossoms will be in bloom "for the next few weeks," shared the garden's social media team, giving blossom seekers a little wiggle room, time-wise.

The March 14 post sets the clock ticking, however, so you'll surely want to swing by, sooner than later, to get a sniff (and by "sooner" we do mean in March, not April).

For in addition to be a gorgeous-to-gaze-upon flower, the lilac is also an olfactory icon, a blossom with a singular scent that is instantly recognizable from the initial whiff.

But don't sniff for too long, for there's more to see around the 150-acre plot.

One ethereal example? Thousands of bright, tall, and festively striped tulips, those marvels of March, will be blooming, near the Descanso Gardens entrance, over the coming weeks. (Let's pause to give a shout-out to the many staffers and volunteers behind the big bulb planting in January, a huge effort.)

So how would you "Roy G. Biv" the colors of the Southern California flower season, which begins in the low deserts in January and extends into June, thanks to our area's joyful jacaranda trees?

We'll go with gold for goldfields, pink for cherry blossoms, purple for wisteria, lilac for lilacs, orange for California poppies, and jacaranda purple for our SoCal-specific flower-themed Roy G. Biv.

We've now reached the "lilac" stage in this particularly spectacular spectrum, so make for Descanso Gardens, soon, to admire some of the sweetest flowers around.

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