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Zebra swallowtail butterfly on a dwarf larkspur at Whipple State Nature Preserve in Manchester Ohio

Ohio in Bloom: Where to See Spring Flowers

You won't be-leaf the beautiful colors that appear when Spring is here!

Zebra swallowtail butterfly on a dwarf larkspur at Whipple State Nature Preserve in Manchester

Ohio in Bloom: Where to See Spring Flowers

By Damaine Vonada

Posted On: Mar 16, 2022

Is there a more splendid sign that springtime has arrived than the bright and beautiful colors of the season's flowering bulbs and blossoms? Immerse yourself in the gloriously golden daffodils, take in a tantalizing array of tulips, and bask in beguiling wildflowers at these Ohio destinations.   

close up of Claytonia virgiana wildflower at an Ohio State Park
Claytonia virginica wildflower. Photo credit: ODNR

Wildflowers at Ohio State Parks and Nature Preserves

The botanical names of Ohio's spring wildflowers– including Claytonia virginica and Hepatica acutiloba – often sound exotic, and their locations on the forest floor mean that you'll probably have to hike a trail or a hillside to find them. But their delicate blossoms and the incredible colors of native wildflowers are well worth the effort. You'll be able to gaze upon tiny, pink-striped Claytonia virginica flowers at Goll Woods in Fulton County or the purple Hepatica acutiloba that all-too-briefly bloom at Caesar Creek State Park.

Wildflower season starts in southern Ohio in late March and steadily progresses northward through the middle of May. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) highlights the best places for viewing wildflowers in the weekly Ohio Wildflower Bloom Report

TIP: You can also read a "Wildflower Field Guide" and print out a "Wildflower Checklist" from the ODNR website. 

hill of yellow daffodils at Daffodil Hill at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland Ohio

Daffodil Hill at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland

Follow the red arrows to behold 100,000 daffodils encapsulating a three-acre hill in the heart of Lake View Cemetery.  Renowned for its naturally lovely landscape, Lake View is both a peaceful arboretum and the final resting place for notables that include John D. Rockefeller and President James A. Garfield, whose magnificent mausoleum – the Garfield Monument – is an iconic Cleveland landmark.

Daffodil Hill began when avid gardener and daffodil aficionado, Dr. William Weir, donated 10,000 bulbs to the cemetery. And today, the dazzling display of sunny yellow flowers lures thousands of visitors during April and May. 

TIP: Prime viewing is Daffodil Week (usually mid April).  

closeup of yellow and pink tulips and purple flowers which are part of Columbus Blooms exhibition at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus Ohio

Columbus Blooms at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus

At central Ohio's preeminent outdoor floral exhibition, more than 125,000 tulips, narcissus, crocus, hyacinth and other blossoming beauties cascade through th Children's Garden, Grand Mallway, and other superbly planted spaces at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in downtown Columbus.  

This year's "Columbus Blooms" exhibition will run from April 1-30, so get ready to experience all the vibrant color of Spring! 

TIP: "Columbus Blooms" coincides with FPC's ever-popular – and always delightful – "Blooms & Butterflies" exhibit (which runs till May 30th).   

red, orange, yellow and purple tulips which are part of Zoo Blooms event at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in Cincinnati, Ohio

Zoo Blooms at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

No wonder Zoo Blooms is nicknamed "Tulip Mania." The annual event offers one of the Midwest's largest (100,000+) displays of tulips. And the blossoming bulbs' variety and vast color palette is unsurpassed. This year's Zoo Blooms runs from April 1-30.

In addition to its status as a top-notch zoological park with animals from aardvarks to zebra bugs, the Cincinnati Zoo is an accredited botanical garden, and every Spring, its gorgeous grounds feature more than a million flowering trees, shrubs, and bulb.  

TIP: Listen to a specially curated "Tunes & Blooms" playlist on Spotify. 

yellow and white daffodils along the river at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio

Daffodils at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Mill Creek Park in Youngstown

Boasting more than 200 varieties of daffodils, Fellows Riverside Gardens not only is an American Daffodil Society Display Garden, but USA Today also has named it one of the nation's best places for viewing daffodils. Check out a downloadable map of the gardens. 

TIP: Learn what's in bloom on their website. If you're interested in seeing daffodils, make sure to head over between mid April to early May. 

three women picking flowers in a field at mitchells berries and blooms in union county ohio

U-Pick Flower Farms

Snip your own blooms this Spring when you visit one of Ohio's many U-Pick Flowers Farms. You'll bee amazed by all the flowers at Mitchell's Berries & Blooms in Plain City. This Union County spot has been offering floral finds for 200 years. 

Or head to Hartville's Home Again Flowers and gather the freshest flowers this season. The family-owned half-acre flower patch is open from dawn to dusk and hopes to bring joy by providing fresh, seasonal, and local flowers ready to be picked and taken home!  

TIP: Get creative with your flowers. Blossom in Cleveland is a one-of-a-kind flower bar where guests can build their own flower arrangement. Or learn how to make flower crowns from Cincinnati's The Flower Lady

For more spectacular wildflowers and #SpringInOhio this season, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org

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