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March Wildflowers in Ohio.

March 31, 2012

I thought I’d start a series of monthly wildflower posts, sort of a roundup of what I’m seeing blooming out in the parks and the woods that I frequent.  Admittedly, wildflowers are easier to photograph than birds and animals, but they’re nice-looking and worth a closer look!

March started out slow but ended up big on the wildflower front here in Ohio.  A couple weeks of hot early spring weather following a warm winter spurred things along too, I’m sure.  Some plants are blooming ahead of schedule.

On lawns, early in the month you could see the following:

Persian Speedwell

These tiny flowers are easy to miss, but have a delicate beauty.

Hairy Bittercress

There’s a lot of this in the state this year; it’s even been noticed by the press:

Lawn A Mess?  It’s Bittercress (Columbus Dispatch)

Also, down in the corner, notice a tidy lawn’s enemy- the dandelion.  Their numbers are increasing.


This teeny wildflower is very easy to miss, but looks really neat.


Perhaps the earliest regularly-blooming sizable flower is a classic that escaped from gardens a while back.  It’s in certain areas if you know where to look.

By the middle of the month, all sorts of wildflowers started blooming.  The slow start was over!

Ground Ivy

This little plant can be found on lawns and wood edges.  It makes an attractive ground cover.

Common Periwinkle

You can see this plant in landscaped yards as well as in the wild, where it escaped from ‘captivity’.


This is a weed that’ll be around a while, it can be seen from street curbs to agricultural fields.


This brightly colored plant likes wet areas, and is easy to confuse with Ragwort.  There’ll be more of this soon.

Golden Ragwort

This plant is showing up in woods and in waste areas.

Purple Dead Nettle

This ground cover plant seems to like moisture- it shows up on lawns as well as along wood edges.


This is a handsome little flower that likes grassy and waste areas.


These classic spring lawn flowers are growing in number in the last half of the month.  Always good to see!


This mustard family plant is just getting started blooming.

Spring Cress

I saw a couple patches of this plant in a field.

Hispid Buttercup

Kidney-Leaved Buttercup

Garlic Mustard

This invasive plant is just starting to bloom at the end of the month- there’s a lot more to come.  I’m noticing its leaves in many places.

Siberian Squill

This pleasant flower has escaped from cultivation and has adapted well to blooming along wood edges.

Out in the woods, by the middle of the month many blooms have started to emerge.  There are lots of interesting plants that are finally maturing!

Spring Beauty

Perhaps the classic spring flower, there’s lots of this carpeting the forest floor in certain areas.  It can also be seen in park grass and on lawns.  It has long thin almost grass-like leaves.

Purple Cress

This flower rivals Spring Beauties in number in moist areas of the forest.

Cutleaf Toothwort

Another numerous woodland plant, its leaves are quite distinctive.

Virginia Bluebells

I always think I’m in a garden when I run across colonies of this plant in the woods.

Lesser Celandine

This plant can cover the ground with large colonies in wet areas.


A unique woodland flower- check out its single large leaf that embraces the stem as it grows.

Rue Anemone

This delicate plant has distinctive lobed leaves.

Blue Phlox

This common forest flower is just getting started- there’s more to come.

Dutchman’s Breeches

One of my favorite spring blooms with its very unique flowers.  Its leaves are quite distinctive too.  This plant doesn’t stay around long, unfortunately.

Next month, the spring wildflower explosion continues.  It’s an exciting time for plant enthusiasts and for those who appreciate Mother Earth’s beauty.  I have to remember when I’m out birding to keep an eye on the ground now, too.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2012 7:41 pm

    Nice! It’s amazing how far ahead the season is “down south” in Ohio – the wildflowers are just barely getting started here.

  2. March 31, 2012 7:44 pm

    Really nice shots and you sure know your wildflowers! I was out today in our local arboretum and didn’t come across half of what you saw. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. March 31, 2012 8:00 pm

    Wow, thanks! I think you just helped me identify some of the wildflowers growing in my backyard.

  4. March 31, 2012 8:06 pm

    What a great set of photos, Tracy! I love the wildflowers in Ohio. The violets are one of my favorites.

  5. March 31, 2012 9:46 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to put that post together for those of us who want to learn more about the flowers we see.

  6. March 31, 2012 10:05 pm

    Recognized a lot of flowers we’ve been trying to identify. We’ve been seeing Bittercress a lot this year too. Our yards are full of it, neighbor was commenting on it last weekend. I shot Siberian Squill recently, posted pictures, but had no idea what they were. I don’t recall seeing them before. They certainly are pretty and delicate looking. Thanks for posting this!

  7. March 31, 2012 11:07 pm

    You’ve found lots of pretties this month. I have no doubt periwinkle escaped, it’s an amazing ground cover.

  8. March 31, 2012 11:08 pm

    Well I think we have everything you featured here but darned if I knew the names until now! Thanks. I will have to tag this so I can refer back to it! Margie

  9. March 31, 2012 11:11 pm

    Wonderful photos; I recognize most of them, since I’ve been pulling quite a few of the invasive types from my garden. Love the blue phlox, though – wonderful plant along with the Virginia bluebells.

  10. April 1, 2012 1:37 am

    What a great collection! There are only several that I recognize from here. The differences between our areas are interesting! And ours have not really started yet.

  11. April 1, 2012 7:36 am

    Wonderful, and as Margie said, a good reference for the names too! Looking out into the yard from the kitchen table, I see the welcome yellow of forsythia and our snowdrops bloomed.

  12. April 1, 2012 9:16 am

    These lovely pictures make me want to let my garden go wild…. I love the way the flowers pop through the dull brown leaves – little bright spots on the floor of the woods!

  13. John Northcutt Young permalink
    April 1, 2012 10:32 am

    Lovely. Always look forward to your posts.

  14. April 1, 2012 11:51 pm

    The beauty and heartiness of wildflowers is remarkable. Your pictures of the tiny flowers is amazing. I know how hard it is to get the tiny lovelies photographed. Great photos and information. 🙂

  15. April 2, 2012 4:43 pm

    Hi Tracy. It’s amazing how much you have in bloom. Nothing here, not even Coltsfoot. I love the Periwinkle. I have it all over the edges of my woods and it makes lots of green right now. We do have crocuses in bloom. Jane

  16. April 5, 2012 1:09 pm

    Excellent photos! You’re quite a bit ahead of us. I think I’ve only seen two or three of what you’ve posted, but spring is happening here as well. After the week of abnormal heat temps have returned to normal and plants are growing a little slower, as they should.

  17. April 7, 2012 9:22 pm

    Thanks for the comments everyone! I used to puzzle about what this or that flower was, and decided to check into their identities out of curiosity. I figured I’d share this info- and I’m sure sooner or later I’ll get something wrong, so keep me on my toes! 🙂

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