State Nature Preserves
Thanks to warm, sunny days for most of last week, there has been an explosion of color in our forests across the state. From around April 15 to May 1 is arguably the best period to capture the spring woodland wildflowers in bloom in the buckeye state. We had many reports submitted to us this week to share. There are too many new bloomers to list them all so here are some noteworthy ones: squirrel-corn (Dicentra canadensis), wild ginger (Asarum canadense), large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna), miterwort (Mitella diphylla) and false rue-amemone (Enemion biternatum). Nothing new with southern Ohio leading the way in number of blooming plants; however, central Ohio has caught up a fair amount and northern Ohio has a little bit more than a half dozen species in bloom.
We’ll begin in southern Ohio where there are some wildflower interpretive hikes this weekend to witness the beautiful spring flora and learn a little as well. The state wildflower and mega-bloomer, large-flowered trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is in bloom! Snow trillium is done but now you can see up to five species of trilliums in southern Ohio. Drooping trillium (Trillium flexipes) and red trillium (Trillium erectum) are in bud and you may spy a few individuals in bloom in the upcoming days.
At Whipple State Nature Preserve, wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) has started to bloom on the dolomite rocks and cliffs. At Shawnee State Park, the 1.5 mile Lookout Trail has one of the richest wildflower displays of any trail at Shawnee. State Park’s naturalist Jenny Richards reported seeing Jacob’s-ladder (Polemonium reptans), rue-anemone, white trout lily (Erythronium albidum), bloodroot, long-spurred violet (Viola rostrata), wild ginger and slender toothwort (Cardamine angustata) in bloom with large-flowered trillium in bud along the trail. You may join Jenny Richards and State Nature Preserves’ manager Josh Deemer on a spring wildflower hike on Saturday, April 13 at Whipple. Please check Nature Areas and Preserves facebook page or calendar for more information.
State Park’s naturalist Kathryn Zeppernick provided the first bloom report for Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve. She found harbinger-of-spring still blooming with Dutchman’s-breeches, spring beauty, common blue violet and sharp-lobed hepatica in bloom as well. Just to the east at Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve and adjacent Caesar Creek State Park, state park volunteers Jim and Kathi Hickman, and Karen Dalton reported round and sharp-lobed hepaticas in bloom with rue-anemone, marsh-marigold, bloodroot, spring beauty, purple cress and Dutchman’s-breeches.
You can see many of the same wildflowers at Cowan Lake State Park plus kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus), yellow trout lily (Erythronium americanum) and common yellow violet (Viola pubescens). Along the bike trail at Little Miami State Park, Dutchman’s-breeches, spring beauty, bloodroot and purple cress are a few wildflowers you will encounter.
At Burr Oak State Park, a similar group of flowering plants with the addition of giant blue cohosh (Caulophyllum giganteum) and rue-anemone.
As with southern Ohio, the first blooms of large-flowered trillium have appeared, not as many as you will see in southern Ohio, but if you live in central Ohio you do not have to drive as far to see it. You will see the state wildflower while walking or bicycling along the bike trail at Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve. Other blooming plants at Blackhand Gorge include giant blue cohosh, yellow trout lily, rue-anemone, sharp-lobed hepatica and bloodroot.
At Clifton Gorge, this weekend you can expect to see early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum), wild ginger, Dutchman’s-breeches, squirrel-corn, sessile trillium, Virginia bluebells, spring beauty and large-flowered bellwort in bloom. The very last blooms of snow trillium can still be seen! Miterwort and bluets (Houstonia caerulea) have started to bloom.
We have our first report from Stages Pond State Nature Preserve for the season. Stages Pond has some stunning displays of white trout lily along its trails. Other wildflowers currently in bloom include rue-anemone, spring beauty, common blue violet, purple cress and cut-leaf toothwort. We don’t normally include shrubs in the bloom report, but spicebush is at peak bloom there, and bees are loving it! At nearby A.W. Marion State Park, bloodroot is at peak bloom with cut-leaf toothwort, spring beauty and sessile trillium.
There are a number of new bloomers in northern Ohio. Earlier this week, State Nature Preserves manager Ryan Schroeder said, “What a difference a week can make.” He is so right. Ryan reported a big change has occurred at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve with harbinger-of-spring and acute-lobed hepatica in peak bloom with purple cress, bloodroot, spring beauty and cut-leaf toothwort in bloom. Many other species are emerging and developing their flower buds for the upcoming weeks. Johnny Appleseed Park District’s naturalist Beth Theisen reported harbinger-of-spring, spring beauty and bloodroot are in bloom at Kendrick Woods State Nature Preserve.
On the other side of the state at Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve, spring beauty and bloodroot are blooming. Marsh-marigolds are blooming in northeast Ohio as well. Earlier this week, Bill King shared with us his picture of bloodroot from Olsen State Nature Preserve.
Along the Hemlock Gorge Trail at Mohican State Park you will see bloodroot, spring beauty, Dutchman’s-breeches and wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia).
We recommend visiting the sites listed in this report plus Fort Hill State Memorial and Nature Preserve, Miller Sanctuary State Nature Preserve and Ohio River Bluffs Preserve. With the wildflowers in bloom, the myriad of bees buzzing around them and birds singing from the tree tops, it is a very exciting time to take a walk in the woods. For this weekend, Saturday is shaping up to be the best day to see wildflowers. Take a break from your busy schedules and walk in the woods to enjoy the beautiful splendor of our spring wildflowers!
Bloodroot, Clifton Gorge, 11 April 2019 Caulophyllum giganteum, Blackhand Gorge, 11 April 2019 Claytonia virginica, Blackhand Gorge, 11 April 2019 Columbine, 11 April 2019 Erythronium americanum, Blackhand Gorge, 11 April 2019 Large flowered bellwort, Clifton Gorge, 11 April 2019 Sanguinaria canandensis, Blackhand Gorge, 11 April 2019 Sanguinaria canandensis, Blackhand Gorge, 11 April 2019 Sessile Trillium, Clifton Gorge, 11 April 2019 Thalictrum thalictroides, Blackhand Gorge, 11 April 2019
The Ohio wildflower bloom report is updated weekly from the first full week of March to the middle of May. We encourage you to take spring wildflower photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag #ohiowildflowers. Follow @ohiodnr and @OhioFindItHere on Twitter and Division of Natural Areas and Preserves on facebook to see more wildflower photos.