Ohio has numerous places to see nature at its best and this week’s report will provide details on a number of sites mostly in central and southern Ohio to view wildflowers with some detailed information on “hot spots” for spring wildflower color and beauty.
At Caesar Creek State Park and adjacent Caesar Creek State Nature Preserve in Warren County the following wildflowers are in bloom: spring beauty, bloodroot, cut-leaved toothwort, purple cress, rue-anemone, blue phlox, and common blue violet are in bloom or beginning to bloom.
Along the Wildlife and Wildflower Connection Trail at Cowan Lake State Park in Clinton County you will find harbinger-of-spring is still blooming but beginning to fade. Blooming at peak or near peak include spring beauty, cut-leaved toothwort and bloodroot. Yellow trout lily is beginning to bloom and sessile and large white trilliums are in bud. Next Saturday from 9 until noon, there will be guided wildflower walks, a photography workshop and an art workshop. The trilliums should be in bloom. Please contact Park Naturalist, Sarah Blairfor more information.
Strouds Run State Park the best place to see wildflowers right now is the Rochhouse Trail on the SW side of the park. Blooming at peak or near peak include: purple cress, spring beauty, cut-leaved toothwort, bloodroot, white trout lily, and early saxifrage. Just beginning to bloom include common blue violet, common yellow violet, bluets, yellow corydalis, and Virginia bluebells. Squirrel-corn, golden ragwort, common blue phlox and giant cohosh are in bud and may start blooming very soon. At the nearby Desonier State Nature Preserve has similar wildflowers but the wildflowers are not as far along as Strouds Run State Park. Blue Cohosh was just beginning to bloom.
Our last site in the south region is Burr Oak State Park. Purple cress, spring beauty and sharp-lobed hepatica are in bloom.
The hot spots for spring wildflowers are Miller Nature Sanctuary’s Falls Trail, Highlands Nature Sanctuary’s Valley of the Ancients Trail, and at Fort Hill State Memorial in Highland County. You can see gorgeous displays of large white trilliums, Virginia bluebells and many others at these sites. Fort Hill has one of the largest populations of squirrel-corn in the state. It will likely be at its peak the third weekend of April.
In central Ohio, spring wildflowers are not too far behind southern Ohio. If you are interested in riding your bike and see some wildflowers, Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve near Newark is a great place to visit. Bike, jog or walk the bike trail and on the steep north-northeast facing slopes you will find spring beauty, sharp-lobed hepatica, rue-anemone and bloodroot in full bloom with giant cohosh, cut-leaved toothwort and Dutchman’s-breeches just beginning to bloom. Large white trillium and miterwort are in bud. The Large white trillium should be in full bloom the third weekend of April.
Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve near Urbana in Champaign County is a great place to see the golden flowers of marsh marigolds. They are beginning to bloom and in the upcoming days they should be in full bloom.
We have featured Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve about every week so far this year. Virginia bluebell, early meadow-rue, large-flowered bellwort and large white trillium are beginning to bloom and you may still see a snow trillium in bloom.
White trout lily are common at Stages Pond State Nature Preserve and will be at their peak this weekend. Bloodroot, spring beauty, and purple cress are in full bloom with Dutchman’s-breeches beginning to bloom. Jacob’s ladder, false mermaid-weed and blue phlox are in bud.
Spring beauty and bloodroot are the only wildflowers in full bloom at Gahanna Woods State Nature Preservein Franklin County. Cut-leaved toothwort, purple cress, Dutchman’s-breeches and rue-anemone are beginning to bloom.
At Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve spring beauty, bloodroot, cut-leaved toothwort, Dutchman’s-breeches, marsh marigold, early saxifrage and trailing arbutus are in bloom and wild ginger is beginning to bloom. A few miles further south at Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preservespring beauty, cut-leaved toothwort, and bloodroot are in bloom with giant cohosh and rue-anemone beginning to bloom.
Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve has some of the best wild ginger displays in the state and Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve has spectacular large white and drooping trillium displays. We suggest waiting until about April 22-29 to see these displays at their maximum.
Finally we have a wildflower, spring beauty, blooming at Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve. Late April to early May, Eagle Creek will provide an incredible wildflower display that is worth a visit. On the other side of the state more spring beauty and hepatica are blooming at Goll Woods State Nature Preserve.
In northwest Ohio, Kendrick Woods State Nature Preserve in Allen County has the following in bloom: spring beauty, sharp-lobed hepatica, harbinger-of-spring and purple cress.
Be patient northern Ohioans, your time will come. There are more plants coming into bloom, not the numbers being seen in southern Ohio but there are more and more signs of spring!
Last weekend was sunny for the most part but chilly. The forecast for this weekend calls for more normal temperatures, but it will be a little wet. Take advantage of a break in the rain clouds this weekend and visit one of the sites mentioned in this report or one of your own favorite wildflower spots. It is important to get out and enjoy the outdoors to be a little healthier emotionally and physically.
This weekend, there are a number of scheduled wildflower walks. For State Nature Preserves wildflower programs visit our calendar. 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 spring wildflower photos.