2024 Spring Wildflower Bloom Report – Week 7

Halberd-Leaved Violet
Welcome back to our weekly Ohio Spring Wildflower Bloom Report! The time has arrived—our wildflowers are beginning to reach peak bloom conditions across much of the Buckeye State! There’s never been a better time to head outside and discover the impressive displays of incredible wildflowers flourishing in Ohio. This past week’s unseasonably warm weather has flowers blooming all over; in some places, new spring species are finally appearing for the first time.
Shooting Star
This week’s featured wildflower is the dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata). Not the typical large iris of our wetlands but still a charming and brightly colored woodland bloomer. Dwarf crested iris blooms in April and May throughout southern and northeastern Ohio. You’ll find it in sunny to shaded sites along streams, lower wooded slopes, and ravines. The light to dark purple flowers have a yellow and white splotch and crest on their sepals. On rare occasions, you might see a white version. Their rhizomatous habit enable large colonies to form in the right conditions.
This week’s preserve to visit is the well-known and popular Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve in Greene County. It’s a wildflower enthusiast’s paradise with more than two dozen species blooming right now, such as large-flowered trillium, drooping trillium, Virginia bluebells, early meadow-rue, large-flowered bellwort, miterwort, wild ginger, squirrel-corn, and Jack-in-the-pulpit, which are all exquisite. Its lush display is not only because of the variety of spring wildflowers appearing, but the mixing of different species and large blankets of flowers on the gorge’s rich slopes will provide some unforgettable spring memories. The preserve also offers fascinating geologic formations including impressive cliffs, boulders, and fissures. To really enjoy all that this preserve offers, be sure to hike the preserve’s Gorge, Rim, and Narrows trails when you’re there.
Dwarf Ginseng

South Region

Right now, southern Ohio absolutely stunning with both delicate and bright wildflowers blooming in near peak conditions. Recent sun and warmth has brought forth an amazing assembly of wildflowers. Adventure seekers can find scarlet paintbrush, fire pink, showy orchis, pink lady’s slipper, prairie trillium, blue-eyed mary, bird-foot violet, dwarf crested iris, vernal iris, violet wood-sorrel, wild hyacinth, foamflower, shooting star, trailing arbutus, wild stonecrop, American gromwell, bear-corn, hispid buttercup, perfoliate bellwort, two-flowered Cynthia, and yellow mandarin ALL in bloom! Other fan favorites ranging from peak to fading conditions include large-flowered trillium, bluebells, dwarf larkspur, numerous violets, wild ginger, and wild blue phlox. Want to see the most wildflowers with one foray? Consider a visit to Whipple, Davis Memorial, Lake Katharine, Scioto Brush Creek or Shoemaker state nature preserves soon! Other wonderful wildflower stops include Shawnee State Forest and State Park, East Fork State Park, and Wayne National Forest’s Ironton District.

Dwarf Crested Iris

Central Region

The Central Region is also nearing peak conditions; we’re seeing dozens of wildflowers gracing the landscape. Regional Preserve Manager Michelle Comer, whose office is located at Clifton Gorge, is reporting peak trillium season with large-flowered, sessile, and drooping trillium all showing off nicely. Additionally, bluebells, wild blue phlox, miterwort, early meadow-rue, large-flowered bellwort, Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel-corn, wild ginger, and wild stonecrop are looking great too. In some places, you may be able to find bloodroot, hepatica, and purple cress still blooming. Think that’s all?

Red Trillium
We’ve got more! Additional wildflower species flourishing across central Ohio include wood anemone, ragworts, Jacob’s ladder, spring beauties, trout-lilies, and numerous violet species. Some wonderful sites to catch a glimpse of spring ephemerals include Blackhand Gorge, Cedar Bog, Christmas Rocks, Clifton Gorge, Davey Woods, Gallagher Fen, and Shallenberger state nature preserves. State parks also offer wooded trails with spring blooms on display; consider stopping at Alum Creek, Delaware, Cowan Lake, John Bryan, and Malabar Farm soon.
Large-Flowered Bellwort

North Region

The last week has wrought marvelous changes to our northern region woodlands. It may take longer for the spring blooms to appear, but the past week has turned a trickle of new species into a torrent. Because of this week’s weather, some of the region has quickly accelerated to peak-like flowering. As in the south and central regions, trilliums have begun appearing here as well. Large-flowered, sessile, and red trilliums are looking sensational across northern Ohio. Wildflowers in bloom, more typical for this region, include Carolina spring beauty, dwarf ginseng, American golden saxifrage, goldthread, halberd-leaved violet, round-leaved violet, sessile bellwort, and fly honeysuckle. It seems that some of our over-achieving Lakeside daisies have even begun to bloom in Marblehead, but peak is still weeks away (and we’ll let you know when they get close). Terrific places to view northern Ohio’s spring blooms include Augusta-Anne Olsen, Eagle Creek, Goll Woods, Johnson Woods, Kendrick Woods, Lawrence Woods, and Lou Campbell state nature preserves.

Blue-Eyed Mary
Want to keep track of what you see at Ohio’s state nature preserves, parks, wildlife areas and forests? Download our handy spring wildflower checklist.

The Ohio Wildflower Bloom Report is updated weekly from March to the middle of May. We encourage you to take spring wildflower photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag #OhioWildflowers and #OhioHeartOfItAll. Follow @ohioDNR and @ohioDNAP on Instagram and Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Division of Natural Areas & Preserves on Facebook to learn more about Ohio’s spring wildflower season.

Information courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources