COLUMBUS - Ohioans will soon be treated to a spectacular
display of native spring wildflowers as this year’s milder winter will
allow for some early bloomers. This year’s season will begin in early
March in Ohio’s southern counties and gradually move northward as the
season comes to an end in early May, according to the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources (ODNR).
known as spring ephemerals, woodland spring wildflowers are triggered
to bloom after long periods of cold temperatures. Early spring warmth
followed by a sudden hard frost can damage their delicate blooms and
leaves, dampening the display. The most spectacular wildflower seasons
are brought on by a gradual warm-up through March and April with
frequent rain. The timing of the blooms is heavily dependent upon
forests showcase the largest array of wildflowers throughout the spring
months. Spring wildflowers bloom early to take advantage of the
sunlight streaming through the forest canopy before the leaves of the
trees unfurl above. The earliest flowers emerge soon after the ground
thaws, having formed flowers and leaves underneath the forest floor the
year before. While most woods in Ohio have at least some native spring
wildflowers, the best populations are found in relatively undisturbed
locations, away from urban areas.
first bloomer of the spring, the odorous skunk cabbage, a member of the
arum family, opened quite early this year, responding to unusually mild
weather in late January. With a brownish-red colored horn-shaped spathe
as its flower, one could easily miss this spring sentinel. Low, wet
springs at the base of wooded hills and in stream valleys are the best
places to find it. Snow trillium, harbinger-of-spring, hepatica and
bloodroot follow soon after. Ohio’s state wildflower, the large white
trillium, reaches peak bloom in April.
more information on spring wildflowers in Ohio, check out the Ohio
Wildflower Bloom Report at naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/wildflowers. This
report will be updated weekly with the best places to see spring
wildflowers in Ohio, as well as specific information on native
wildflowers in the state. Miller Nature Sanctuary, Davey Woods, Clifton
Gorge, Eagle Creek, Goll Woods and Boch Hollow state nature preserves
will be featured in the season’s reports.
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