Welcome back to the weekly Ohio Spring Wildflower Bloom report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
What a difference a week can make! The unseasonably warm temperatures and ample sunshine has transformed Ohio as Spring flora burst open across our landscape. In the southern region, we are approaching peak conditions as dozens of colorful wildflower species carpet the ground.
This week’s featured wildflower is the Ohio’s state wildflower– the large-flowered trillium (Trillium grandiflorum). Commonly found in all 88 Ohio counties, this showy Spring flower grows in a variety of woodland habitats and can form large sprawling colonies in older woods. Some of the best displays of this trillium can be seen at Davey Woods, Eagle Creek, Miller, Johnson Woods, and Whipple state nature preserves. On warm days, take a closer look and you’re sure to see plenty of bee, fly, and beetle pollinator activity. Its bright white blooms may also be seen along the wooded trails of many state parks, but, at Cowan Lake, you’ll be treated to a gorgeous display just by driving the state park’s main road.
This week’s state nature preserve feature is the lovely Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve, located in Jackson County in southeastern Ohio. With more than 2,000 acres, it’s one of Ohio’s largest state nature preserves and is certainly one of the most scenic. There are more than 7 miles of trails to take visitors through a diversity of habitats from floodplain forest, hemlock-hardwood, oak-hickory, and oak-pine forests. It also boasts incredible geology with impressive displays of sandstone cliffs, overhangs, and outcrops.
In April, Lake Katharine boasts unforgettable Spring wildflower scenes. Large-flowered trillium, trout-lilies, Virginia bluebells, wild blue phlox, and Dutchman’s breeches are especially dense. The best time to visit is in the next week or two as the preserve is nearing peak conditions for spring ephemerals. If you do visit this month, construction has closed several trails, but you can’t go wrong hiking either or both Salt Creek and Calico Bush trails.
All good things must end, and depending on the locale, spring wildflowers are at or nearing peak conditions. And in the best way, the list of Spring wildflowers is overwhelming—bloom colors everywhere! Staring with the flowering newcomers, you can see scarlet paintbrush, blue cohosh, wild geranium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Robin’s plantain, foamflower, wood betony, and wild columbine growing across the region, and they’re just beginning. Species at peak include trilliums like large-flowered, sessile, and red, along with numerous violets, bellworts, twinleaf, bluebells, early saxifrage, blue-eyed Mary, toothworts, wood poppy, squirrel corn, ragworts, and more! Pretty soon the dwarf crested iris, wild hyacinth, fire pink, and green violet will make their appearance.
So many great spots to see the latest flush of wildflowers, but our top picks are: Boch Hollow, Conkles Hollow, Davis Memorial, Desonier, Lake Katharine, Miller, Rocky Fork Gorge – Etawah Woods, Shoemaker, and Scioto Brush Creek state nature preserves. For those who prefer a vast forest to visit, check out Shawnee State Forest in Scioto County—in early Spring, it’s a carpet of wildflowers. You also can’t go wrong making a stop at Hocking Hills State Park and Forest, Lake Hope State Park, and Zaleski State Forest.
Central Ohio is also welcoming a gathering of new wildflowers just as some are nearing peak conditions. It’s not too late to see trout-lilies, hepatica, bloodroot, rue-anemone, and cut-leaved toothwort. Other species blooming nicely include trilliums, bellworts, bluebells, miterwort, wild blue phlox, violets, Dutchman’s breeches, ragworts, and marsh marigolds. Speaking of marsh marigold, we have reports that the show at Cedar Bog is extraordinary this year—we highly recommend a trip to this Champaign County site. Other central Ohio hot spots for brilliant wildflower displays include Blackhand Gorge, Christmas Rocks, Clifton Gorge, Davey Woods, Gallagher Fen, and Shallenberger state nature preserves. State parks are another great spot for a quick wildflower hike. Check out the trails at Alum Creek, Cowan Lake, John Bryan, or Mt. Gilead state parks.
After a slow start to the wildflower season in northern Ohio, the flowering floodgates have opened! Lots of action across the region as wildflower enthusiasts are greeted by their early favorites such as harbinger-of-spring, purple cress, bloodroot, trout-lilies, violets, and spring beauty. Others, such as large-flowered trillium, red trillium, bluebells, wild blue phlox, and squirrel corn, are just beginning to bloom.
Prime areas for wildflower hunting include Augusta-Anne Olsen, Collier, Eagle Creek, Goll Woods, Johnson Woods, Kendrick Woods, and Lawrence Woods state nature preserves. Wooded state parks, such as Beaver Creek, Harrison Lake, Mohican, Pymatuning and Van Buren, offer additional wildflower viewing opportunities.
Source, Photo: ODNR