We’ve had a very different spring wildflower season this year compared to last. Cool temperatures and rain have dominated. The end result gave us a long, slow, season. But while it may not have been intense and condensed as last year, it was beautiful none the less. This is our eleventh and final report of 2016. Most of our spring ephemerals will begin to fade over the next week as the forest canopies close and the forest floor darkens.
In the south, this will be the last weekend to see many of the orchids at peak condition, including pink and yellow lady’s-slipper. Other late spring blooms across southern Ohio include the sweet cicely species, Virginia spiderwort, and wild stonecrop. All of these species can be found at Davis Memorial
, along with Canada bluets, a more rare species. Another late season favorite, synandra, is now up and blooming at Shoemaker
. The canopy has closed in the south, giving few hints that the leaves were leafless just two months ago.
The trilliums are in decline in central Ohio, but sweet cicely is beginning to bloom, with wild blue phlox and wild geranium holding steady. Dwarf larkspur is still holding on at Stage’s Pond
. At Christmas Rocks
, the pink lady’s-slippers that haven’t been pollinated still remain fresh, but plan to see them soon before it’s too late. Finally, the white flowers of maple leaf viburnum, a native shrub, are just opening on the upper reaches of the trail there. If you need a break from flowers, turn your attention to the ferns of our preserves southeast of Columbus. Two of our favorites are beginning to send up fertile stalks- look for the spore-producing fronds of interrupted fern and cinnamon fern at Christmas Rocks.
To the northwest at Davey Woods
sweet cicely is also opening now, but the trilliums and wild blue phlox are past peak. Pale violets are still at peak, joined by white baneberry and Solomon’s seal. At Clifton Gorge, wild stonecrop, both species of golden ragwort, and four species of waterleaf are now at peak bloom. Finally, at Morris Woods
, wild geranium, fairy bells, wild blue phlox, mayapple, and spring cress are now flowering.
If you’ve missed any of the early season wildflowers, your best bet is to head to northern Ohio this weekend. At Kendrick Woods
, the dominant blooms include wild ginger, mayapple, wild blue phlox, grove sandwort, large white trillium, sessile trillium, and common blue violets. At Goll Woods
, the large white trillium are showing the blush of pink in their petals that signals successful pollination. Showy orchis is now open and beautiful. Wild blue phlox, wild geranium, swamp buttercup and jack-in-the-pulpit can also be seen. In the Oak Openings west of Toledo, wild lupine is beginning to bloom. The Louis W. Campbell
preserves supports excellent stands of this native legume, but be sure to be prepare for mosquitoes! Along the north coast, the Lakeside daisies
in Ottawa County should also be good for at least another week. Finally, at Eagle Creek
, the end of the ephemeral bloom is near, however, several other species are emerging, such as sweet cicely, fairy bells, and Solomon’s seal.
Thank you for joining us again on what became a roller coaster of a spring wildflower bloom season. We’ll be back next year as soon as the spring blooms emerge from the ground. Have a great summer!
The Ohio wildflower bloom report is updated weekly with the best places to see spring wildflowers in Ohio as well as specific information on native wildflowers in the state. We encourage you to take spring wildflower photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag, #ohiowildflowers. Follow @ohiodnr
on Twitter and Division of Natural Areas and Preserves on Facebook
to see more spring wildflower photos.
What are you seeing and where? Share your favorite wildflower locations and photos below.