COLUMBUS -- Let's get past that unusual snow storm on April 21 and look to what lies directly ahead.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources would like to remind residents Spring is marching right along. Wildflowers are in bloom throughout the entire state from the Ohio River to Lake Erie and not a moment too soon. Northern Ohio always has to be the most patient, but it’s paid off with lots of familiar faces to see.
The cooler weather has slowed things down a bit but allowed some flowers to last longer and give people more opportunity to enjoy their seasonal beauty.
Some of the new arrivals in Ohio worth mentioning are Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), shooting star (Dodecatheon media), drooping trillium (Trillium flexipes), appendaged waterleaf (Hydrophyllum appendiculatum), foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), crinkleroot (Cardamine diphylla), star chickweed (Stellaria pubera), Canada violet (Viola canadensis), and Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans). Keep an eye out for these throughout southern and into central Ohio over the next week.
Northern Ohio is always the further behind but now’s the time to finally start listing more than just a few species of wildflowers. Going north is like time traveling this time of year with many species finished flowering in the south just getting going in the north.
Wildflowers like sharp-lobed hepatica, trout-lilies, cut-leaved toothwort, spring beauty, purple-cress, and bloodroot are all looking great throughout the region. Others like Dutchman’s-breeches, squirrel-corn, marsh marigold, twinleaf, rue-anemone, red trillium, bluebells, and species of violet like the halberd-leaved violet (V. hastata) are joining the party.
We even have reports that the dainty and charming dwarf ginseng is blooming at Goll Woods. It looks like northern Ohio will be reaching the first wave of bloomers peak in the next week or so, so get out and enjoy these ephemeral beauties soon.
As usual the best sites include Eagle Creek, Johnson Woods, Fowler Woods, Lawrence Woods, Augusta-Anne Olsen, Kendrick Woods, and Lou Campbell state nature preserves are worth focusing on.
As usual we’re starting in southern Ohio where things are at their first peak throughout the region. The first wave of spring bloomers is hanging on with species like bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), trout-lilies (Erythronium spp.), and sharp-lobed hepatica (Hepatica anobilis var. acuta) mostly finishing up but hanging on in pockets.
Others are still going strong like spring beauties (Claytonia virginica), dwarf larkspur (Delphinium tricorne), several species of trillium like large white (T. grandiflorum), drooping, sessile (T. sessile), and red (T. erectum), Virignia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), and wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata).
Reports have come in that it won’t be long before species like dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata), fire pink (SIlene virginica), wild hyacinth (Camassia scilloides), and green violet (Hybanthus concolor) make their first appearances.
Once again state nature preserves like Hueston Woods, Whipple, Miller, Davis Memorial, Shoemaker, Lake Katharine, and Scioto Brush Creek are great visits to see most of these wildflowers and more. Other worthwhile sites to focus on across southern Ohio include Shawnee State Forest, Zaleski State Forest, Arc of Appalachia’s Ohio River Bluffs, and Cedar Falls of the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System.
Reports also list the Hocking Hills sites such as Conkles Hollow, Boch Hollow, Stage’s Pond, Desonier, Shallenberger, Beck (Clear Creek Metro Park), and Christmas Rocks state nature preserves all looking fantastic. As are state parks like Burr Oak, Lake Hope, and Strouds Run.
Central Ohio is starting to look like southern Ohio was a week or two ago. Many sites are really greening up with dozens of species in bloom.
Large white trillium, sessile trillium, trout-lilies, Virginia bluebells, several species of toothworts (Cardamine spp.) and violets (Viola spp.), Dutchman’s-breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), squirrel-corn (D. canadensis), large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), blue-eyed mary (Collinsia verna), wild blue phlox, wild ginger (Asarum canadense), Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans), and miterwort (Mitella diphylla) are all out there and ready to be seen.
Many of the wildflowers peaking in southern Ohio should be peaking here in the central region over the next week or two as things continue to warm up.
With a cooler and cloudier week ahead the wildflowers should stay fresher, longer and provide some extra time to soak in their seasonal beauty!
The Ohio Wildflower Bloom Report is updated weekly from March to the middle of May. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources encourages 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.