Spring is springing! More and more bloomers are waking up in southern Ohio and even the central and northern counties are just beginning to get their first native species peaking above the thawed soil. Warm and wet weather the last week has accelerated things with quite a few new species to talk about in this week’s edition of the wildflower bloom report.
In last week’s post we talked about our daintiest and earliest blooming trillium, the snow trillium (Trillium nivale). It will be nearing peak in its southernmost populations over the next week or so. Reports from the field suggest this is an exceptional spring for the species and a “boom” year at sites like the Arc of Appalachia’s Chalet Nivale in Adams Co. More northerly populations of snow trillium like Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, Stillwater Prairie Preserve in Miami Co., and Oakes Quarry Park in Greene Co. to name a few will be popping soon.
Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) continues to bloom across the state with even the northernmost counties showcasing this odd wildflower at peak such as Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve. Speaking of northern Ohio, we have reports of harbinger-of-spring (Erigenia bulbosa) blooming at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve in Fulton Co. This is a sign to look for it elsewhere across the region. Northerner’s patience is about to rewarded with more wildflowers coming soon. With this, it’s safe to say harbinger-of-spring is blooming state-wide and ready to its closeup.
Reports from southern Ohio have species like purple cress (Cardamine douglassii), white trout lily (Erythronium albidum), sharp-lobed hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba), and spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) appearing more and more. Over the last week we’ve seen reports of new bloomers like bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), and cut-leaved toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) just beginning to appear. These species and more will begin to pop more over the next 2-3 weeks so no fears of missing out: things are only just getting going!
This weekend’s weather is looking absolutely perfect for hiking and wildflower watching. Checking out sites in southern Ohio like Whipple, Shoemaker, and Miller state nature preserves, Shawnee State Park and Forest, Hamilton Co. Parks preserves and the Arc of Appalachia’s Ohio River Bluffs Preserve. are all great bets to see our earliest wildflowers. Things are just getting started with the first wave of diversity still to come.
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!