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

Finding Ohio's Spring Wildflowers

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

Finding Ohio's Spring Wildflowers

By Anietra Hamper

Posted On: Mar 20, 2021

The spring wildflower season in Ohio is a limited time offering. Buds emerge in southern Ohio first - usually beginning in early April and for northern Ohio in late April/early May. The season ends when leaves are fully out on the trees, shading the delicate wildflowers from sunlight that gives them their burst of spectacular colors.

NOTE: Check directly with places before you go to learn about their health guidelines, safety updates and any visitation requirements. 

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve near Yellow Springs is a great hike any time of the year. But in the Spring, it's one of the prime locations to enjoy an abundance of Ohio's wildflowers. Take advantage of the opportunity to see the unique wildflowers in the Gorge that are only present for a few weeks each year.

State nature preserves, like Cilfton Gorge, are where you have the best opportunity to enjoy a variety of wildflowers, some of them rare. The snow trillium and the lakeside daisy are two of the rarest finds in Ohio.

snow trillium at clifton gorge state nature preserve in yellow springs, ohio
Snow trillium at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

The snow trillium is related to the white trillium, and it only grows in Central and west Central Ohio. The extremely rare lakeside daisy only grows on bare limestone, which is found in the northern part of the state near Lakeside, OH.

The lakeside daisy, which resembles a dandelion, grows in specific places (like the Marblehead peninsula and Kellys Island) where there are abandoned limestone quarries. Your best chance to see them in bloom is around Mother's Day. Other flowers you can spot at Clifton Gorge are Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis), Dutchmen's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris).

"The reason we have wildflowers in State Nature Preserves is because those are areas that have been left alone for a long time. Wildflowers are sensitive flowers," said Thomas Arbour with the Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR).

ODNR releases a wildflower report with weekly updates on the wildflowers in bloom at State Parks and State Nature Preserves. It's a great way to plan your weekend hikes around the locations of peak blooms, which'll change regularly during the season. 

Marsh Marigold wildflowers Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve in Ohio
Marsh marigolds at Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve

Here are some of the best locations around Ohio to see the Spring wildflowers:

The search for Ohio's wildflowers is a fun addition to your hike. With the wildflowers peaking in April, you can hit a new location every week and enjoy different species and scenery every time.

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

 

 

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Stay up to date on all health mandates and safety precautions. Learn more about the guidelines surrounding COVID-19.

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