COLUMBUS — Ohioans will soon have their winter patience rewarded with a spectacular display of native spring wildflowers. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves will track this year’s wildflower show with the weekly Bloom Report every Friday through mid-May, beginning on March 25.
“Spring blooms in a beautiful way across Ohio, as wildflowers make their annual debut,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Taking a walk in some of our wooded areas over the next few months is a great way to see the colorful blossoms and enjoy the outdoors.”
Often known as spring ephemerals, woodland spring wildflowers are awoken by the warming temperatures and longer days. With varying temperatures and rainfall in any given year you never know what display Ohio will see. Many spend the winter as bulbs and begin to pierce the thawed soil as early as March, flower and set to seed, then senesce and go dormant all before summer, hence their ‘ephemeral’ moniker.
Ohio’s spring wildflower displays can be seen in our forests and woodland habitats, beginning in the south and later blooming in the northern part of the state. They take advantage of the abundant sunlight reaching the forest floor prior to the canopy leafing back out. Once the forest floor darkens with shade the displays wane significantly. While most woods in Ohio contain at least a few native spring wildflowers, the best displays and showcases are found in older, more undisturbed locations away from urban areas. The centuries of leaf and wood decay make for rich soil that benefits our first bloomers.
Keep an eye out for Ohio’s more common and widespread spring wildflowers such as bloodroot, spring beauty, cut-leaved toothwort, large-flowered trillium (Ohio’s state wildflower), Virginia bluebells, wild geranium, mayapple, and jack-in-the-pulpit.
For more information on the progress of Ohio’s spring wildflowers check out the Ohio Wildflower Bloom Report. The bloom report will be updated every Friday starting March 25 through mid-May with the latest reports on what’s in bloom, what’s to come, and where to catch the greatest action! Printable versions of the spring wildflower checklist and wildflower field guide are available on this webpage to enhance your wildflower experience along trails in Ohio’s State Parks and State Nature Preserves.
ODNR and Ohio. Find It Here. encourage people to take spring wildflower photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag #OhioWildflowers. Follow @ohiodnr and @OhioFindItHere on Twitter, @ohionaturalareas_scenicrivers and @ohiodnr on Instagram, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Division of Natural Areas & Preserves, and Ohio. Find It Here. on Facebook to see more spring wildflower photos.