Giants in Bloom

041Giant Himalayan Lily (Cardiocrinum giganteum)

It’s time for the Giant Himalayan Lily blooms! These are a must see at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, Washington, and they are in bloom right now. If you’ve never seen one before, you will be astounded by their size. Most of the plants are in full bloom, but there are still a few immature plants. I took a few photos to exhibit their maturation phases. Have a look!

058Immature buds

057Buds starting to separate

042Mature blooms


And while you’re there, check out the Azalea garden. Many are still in full bloom and are just gorgeous! They are located on a looping trail, down a hill, behind the Rutherford Conservatory. I don’t think many people realize that this garden trail is there. It’s a bit out of the way from everything else. But it is located on the map that the garden pay attendee hands out to you. The garden is a place that you have to take time to explore. It is quite large with so much to offer.

Here are some other blooms I encountered. These tiny, pink blooms from the Saxifragaceae family grow on stalks from abundant, leafy foliage and are very fragrant.

059Saxifragaceae species

Here are some lovely blooms, but I do not know what they are. I wonder if they are in the above species family, as well.


I found out what these lovely, pink flowers are. They are Mountain Laurel, an evergreen shrub.

067Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

And these late spring bloomers are all over the place here, not just in the garden. The Kousa Dogwood, also known as Chinese Dogwood, Korean Dogwood, and Japanese Dogwood. The trees are just full of these beautiful blooms! Have a look.

024Kousa Dogwood (Cornus Kousa)

And of course, there are the Rhododendrons. Some are still in bloom, especially the plants in the more shaded areas of the garden. I found these spectacular, coral colored ones.


There are not very many species of Rhododendrons blooming in the conservatory right now, but there is a species that is just starting to bloom. It is a Himalayan species that is absolutely gorgeous! They have large, white trumpet blooms with red stripes alongside their lobes. Just stunning! Have a look.

009Rhododendron dalhousiae var. rhabdotum

On my way out the garden, alongside the road, I noticed some lovely and fragrant Golden Chain blooms dripping from its tree. These are late spring bloomers, as well. They remind me of Wisteria flowers.

102Golden Chain

I hope you take the time to visit this wonderful garden. But don’t tarry! I’m afraid with the very warm weather we will be having this weekend, that many blooms will start to wither. Garden hours are from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday – Sunday. Enjoy!

All photos property of Peggy A Thompson

About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store,
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4 Responses to Giants in Bloom

  1. Gunta says:

    Thanks for the lovely visit. Those giant lillies are quite spectacular. What a marvelous discovery. Sounds like you pretty much have that trail to yourself since it’s a bit difficult to notice.

    • The Giant Himalayan Lilies are planted right in with the Himalayan Blue Poppies. They are still blooming, as well, although not as many as a few weeks ago. I’m afraid that the hot spell we are expecting this week will wither away some of the plants that prefer cooler temperatures. But yes, the garden is a marvelous discovery!

  2. Beautiful and impressive, Peggy!

Thank you!

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