By 1812Blockhouse, ODNR

It has been a handful of weeks since we checked in with ODNR about the status of wildflowers across the Buckeye State. It is hard to believe that the Department has just released its sixth consecutive Spring Wildflower Bloom Report, which is below.

Welcome back to the Ohio Spring Wildflower Bloom Report! We must begin with our hopes that everyone enjoyed the mesmerizing total solar eclipse that graced the Buckeye state earlier this week. What an incredible show! So many visitors were able to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event in our state nature preserves and state parks. And the weather – we could not have gotten luckier!

Now we turn from gawking at the sky, to looking down at the ground to marvel at the ongoing beauty of our state in spring. Warmer temperatures and plenty of rain have spring blooms exploding statewide including plenty of newly spotted wildflowers in every region! Read on for more details.

This week’s featured wildflower is large-flowered trillium (Trillium grandiflorum). As Ohio’s state wildflower, it’s one of our most charismatic bloomers. Luckily, it’s quite common and likely found in all 88 Ohio counties. This trillium grows in a variety of woodland habitats and can form large, sprawling colonies in older woods. Stunning displays can be seen at Clifton Gorge, Davey Woods, Eagle Creek, Johnson Woods, Miller, and Whipple state nature preserves. Pay close attention to the flowers on warm days and you’re sure to see plenty of bee, fly, and beetle pollinator activity.

This week’s featured preserve is one of the state’s finest when it comes to experiencing spring’s bounty of wildflowers. Whipple State Nature Preserve in southern Adams County will be nearing peak soon with over two dozen spring wildflower species in bloom. The wood poppy, large-flowered trillium, squirrel corn, Virginia bluebell, goldenseal, and miterwort displays are especially impressive. Other bloomers include jack-in-the-pulpit, Canada violet, dwarf larkspur, wild columbine, and drooping trillium. The preserve’s 2.2 loop trail takes visitors through a mature upland forest before descending into a valley with lush slopes decorated with blooms and impressive rock formations. Whipple is truly one of Ohio’s best sites for wildflower enthusiasts!

South Region

What a difference a week can make! After a bit of recent growing stagnation, southern Ohio is experiencing a flood of new bloomers making their first appearance. The number of wildflowers is plentiful and includes red trillium, scarlet paintbrush, foamflower, dwarf cinquefoil, moss phlox, wild geranium, wood betony, Walter’s violet, goldenseal, smooth rock cress, wild stonecrop, wood anemone, hoary puccoon, and jack-in-the-pulpit. Other fan favorites, such as large-flowered trillium, bluebells, wood poppy, large-flowered bellwort, dwarf larkspur, and Dutchman’s breeches, are either showing off their colorful flowers or some are approaching peak bloom across the region. We can report exciting news—our first native wild orchid to make its initial appearance in bloom is showy orchis! Some choice sites to hike include Davis Memorial, Lake Katharine, Scioto Brush Creek, Shoemaker, and Whipple state nature preserves. Other solid wildflower bloom sites include East Fork and Shawnee state parks, Shawnee State Forest, and Wayne National Forest’s Ironton District.

Central Region

The Central Region is doing its best impression of the southern region’s bounty of blooms with some great shows and new faces. The trilliums are really beginning to blossom with sessile, large-flowered, and even drooping trillium appearing across the region’s landscape again. Newer species now on display include early meadow-rue, wild ginger, smooth rock cress, miterwort, blues, and large-flowered bellwort. Rue anemone, bloodroot, bluebells, spring beauty, cut-leaved toothwort, violets, trout-lilies, and squirrel corn still abound. Some choice sites to seek out exceptional wildflower displays in central Ohio include Blackhand Gorge, Cedar Bog, Christmas Rocks, Clifton Gorge, Davey Woods, Gallagher Fen, and Shallenberger state nature preserves. State parks, such as Alum Creek, Delaware, Cowan Lake, John Bryan, and Malabar Farm, also offer some lovely wildflower viewing along wooded trails.

North Region

For our northern Ohio wildflower enthusiasts, your patience is beginning to pay off! We’ve heard from the field that growth is ramped up and new bloomers appearing daily. Wildflowers, such as trout-lilies, bloodroot, spring beauties, toothworts, purple cress, marsh marigold, violets, Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn, bluebells, and others, are blooming or will begin very shortly! We’ve also heard that large-flowered trillium is just starting to open. At the same time, some of Ohio’s earliest bloomers like harbinger-of-spring and hepaticas, are still flowering. Examples of great places to view northern Ohio’s spring blooms include Augusta-Anne Olsen, Eagle Creek, Goll Woods, Johnson Woods, Kendrick Woods, Lawrence Woods, and Lou Campbell state nature preserves.

Want to keep track of what you see at Ohio’s state nature preserves, parks, wildlife areas and forests? Download our handy spring wildflower checklist.

The Ohio Wildflower Bloom Report is updated weekly from March to the middle of May. We encourage you to take spring wildflower photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag #OhioWildflowers and #OhioHeartOfItAll. Follow @ohioDNR and @ohioDNAP on Instagram and Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Division of Natural Areas & Preserves on Facebook to learn more about Ohio’s spring wildflower season.

Photo: Wild Columbine/ODNR

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