By 1812Blockhouse; ODNR

We are keenly aware that many 1812Blockhouse readers are avid flower lovers and enjoy traveling backroads for the beauty of an Ohio spring landscape. If you are included among that number, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) publishes a weekly wildflower bloom report this time of year that can help you to fine tune your travel plans.

Through social media links provided by ODNR, you can also view wildflowers from your own home.

It sure didn’t feel much like spring last weekend and to begin the week but our early spring flora was still waking up! The southernmost part of the state still leads the way with central and even northern Ohio beginning to wake up with more native wildflowers appearing. Tune into the details below.

Southern Ohio

As mentioned, the southern part of the state is really kicking into gear with the first wave of spring wildflowers. Species like bloodroot, spring beauties, white trout-lily, Virginia bluebells, rue-anemone, early blue cohosh, sharp-lobed hepatica, and purple cress are going strong. Wildflowers like wild ginger, twinleaf, sessile trillium, and yellow trout-lily are just getting going. Speaking of twinleaf, this short-lived blossom only opens on sunny days and now’s the time to see this beauty at places like Whipple and Shoemaker State Nature Preserves. Other diverse wildflower sites in southern Ohio include Scioto Brush Creek, Lake Katharine, and Davis Memorial State Nature Preserves. The Hamilton Co. Park District has numerous great sites for those in the southwest corner, too.

Central Ohio

Things are moving along in the central part of the state as well. Clifton Gorge reports snow trillium, Dutchman’ breeches, sessile trillium, sharp-lobed hepatica, harbinger-of-spring to name a handful going. Cowan Lake State Park include cut-leaved toothwort, spring cress, spring beauty, purple cress, bloodroot, and white trout-lilies. Additional sites well worth a visit in this region of the state include the Hocking Hills region, Christmas Rocks, Shallenberger, Boch, Gallagher Fen, Davey Woods, and Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserves. Likewise, Alum Creek State Park is coming along nicely with many of these early bloomers as well.

Northern Ohio

While obviously behind to start things off the northern part of the state is slowly starting to get into the action. Spring beauties, harbinger-of-spring, sharp-lobed hepaticas, and the first white trout-lilies have been spotted. Skunk cabbage is still going strong at numerous sites while fading in the southern half of Ohio. Sites to catch these first bloomers throughout the northern half of Ohio include Augusta-Anne Olsen, Goll Woods, Johnson Woods, Eagle Creek, Lou Campbell, Lawrence Woods, and Kendrick Woods State Nature Preserves.

Each week we thought it would be fun to feature a prime wildflower location and discuss in detail what’s all blooming. This week’s feature is the Ohio River Bluffs outside Manchester in Adams Co. This preserve has an astonishing display of spring ephemerals and we can report that many are in prime condition! It’s location in the Ohio River valley always gives it a head start. The Virginia bluebells are nearing peak and easily the most incredible plant at this preserve. Additionally, yellow fumewort, Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn, dwarf larkspur, bloodroot, harbinger-of-spring, star chickweed, spring beauty, purple cress, cut-leaved toothwort, sessile trillium, and rue-anemone are all in great shape. Blue-eyed mary, wood poppy, and Jacob’s ladder are just getting started while white trout-lilies are about done. The bluebell show alone is well worth the visit and now’s the time.

Speaking of now being the time, it’s best to get to the Gladys Riley preserve in Scioto Co. to see the rare golden-star lily (Erythronium rostratum) at peak! These endangered wonders don’t last long and need sunny days so this weekend is the time to get down south to see them at their finest.

Finally, it’s last call for snow trillium throughout much of the state. Southernmost Ohio’s populations such as Chalet Nivale, Miller Sanctuary, and Barrett’s Rim are dwindling fast as are Clifton Gorge’s. Hard to believe some of our wildflowers time in the sun is already coming to an end in early April.

This weekend looks to be nice with seasonal temperatures and intermittent sunshine. The early part of next week is looking wet so best to take advantage of the sun when it’s out. Let us know what you’re seeing out there and enjoy the spring wildflowers!

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 #OhioSpringWildflowers. You can follow @OhioNaturalAreas_ScenicRivers and @OhioDNR on Instagram, @OhioFindItHere and @OhioDNR on Twitter, and the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves on Facebook to see more wildflower photos and signs of spring!

Photo: ODNR

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