What a spectacular week of weather the Buckeye state has had this past week. The warmth and sun has Spring moving along with most of the state past peak stage at this point. However, there’s still so much to see and experience. Our native orchids are heating up and the last wave of spring bloomers have arrived.
As you are sure to have noticed the trees are leafing out in earnest at this point in the season. This is especially true in the more southern reaches. With this comes heavily reduced light levels in the forest understory and signals many plants that their time in the sun is about over. This transitions our wildflowers from blooming in the woods to the more sunny, open areas such as prairies and wetlands.
We can report that the Lakeside daisies up on the Marblehead peninsula are nearing peak conditions with now being the time to visit the dedicated state nature preserve for this globally rare and special wildflower.
While peak is past in southern Ohio there’s still dozens and dozens of spring wildflowers to enjoy. The earlier blooming species like trilliums, wood poppies, bluebells etc. have come to an end, however species like dwarf crested iris, Robin’s plantain, wild stonecrop, bear corn, fire pink, mayapple, green violet, phloxes, golden alexanders, wild hyacinth etc. are all in excellent shape. As previously mentioned our wild orchids such as large yellow lady’s-slippers, pink lady’s-slippers, showy orchis, and large whorled pogonia all reportedly in flower. We recommend sites such as Whipple, Miller, Davis Memorial, Shoemaker, Scioto Brush Creek, Lake Katharine, Halls Creek, Caesar Creek Gorge, and Desonier State Nature Preserves throughout this region. Additionally, Shawnee state forest, East Fork State Park, Strouds Run State Park, and Tar Hollow State Forest all have exciting displays.
Central Ohio is in a sweet spot where some of spring’s earlier bloomers like trilliums, ragworts, buttercups, violets etc. are still blooming and mixed in with some of spring’s later species like wild ginger, goldenseal, spring cress, foamflower, wood betony, white baneberry, Meehan’s mint, waterleaf species, and orchids like showy orchis. The cooler weather this year has allowed a lovely mixing of species that Ohio doesn’t get to experience every spring. However, the warming temperatures make time of the essence. Suggested sites in the central Ohio region include Blackhand Gorge, Clifton Gorge, Conkles Hollow, Boch Hollow, Gallagher Fen, Davey Woods, Clear Creek, Shallenberger state nature preserves.
Northern Ohio has reached its peak as well with some areas even getting past peak conditions. However, impressive wildflower displays throughout the region are still around! Dozens of wildflower species from previous week’s reports are still in good shape with more new bloomers coming up all the time such as barrens strawberry, Solomon’s seals, sweet cicely, bear corn, white baneberry, and wild hyacinth. As previously mentioned, the Lakeside daisies are approaching peak on the Marblehead peninsula. We can also report that the first wild lupine (Lupinus perennis) plants are starting in the Oak Openings region of NW Ohio! Suggested sites for this region include Eagle Creek, Augusta-Anne Olsen, Johnson Woods, Fowler Woods, Goll Woods, Lou Campbell, Kendrick Woods, and Lawrence Woods state nature preserves.
This is our final wildflower bloom report of the year. We hope everyone has enjoyed this season’s edition and found it helpful and informative. It will be back in mid-March 2023 to mark another spring’s return and the reawakening of our spring flora.
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!