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April Wildflowers in Ohio.

April 28, 2012

The diversity of spring wildflowers continues here in the Buckeye State.  The most prominent blooms of this month include Winter Cress, Garlic Mustard, and Violets.  In the woods, Blue Phlox, Buttercups and Wild Geraniums can be seen in good numbers.  Here’s what I’ve seen this month!

Winter Cress

This plant dots fields and can be found along roads and waste areas.  It’s very common right now.

Garlic Mustard

This invasive plant is widespread this month, it seems to be most everywhere but the deep woods.


This common flower can be found in a number of of settings, in different varieties and colors.


A familiar sight this season along roadsides and in wet areas.

Golden Ragwort

A frequent sight along wood edges.

Spring Cress

 Another plant found along wood edges this month.

Dame’s Rocket

This pleasant flower is growing in number along wood edges and in open woods.


This aster-like plant is just getting started this month- it’ll grow in numbers soon.

Wild Strawberry

This has also just started blooming in fields.

Oxeye Daisies

I’ve seen 2 patches of these classic blooms so far this month- they’re early this year!

Purple Dead Nettle

Spring Beauties

Much reduced in numbers at the end of this month.

Wild Hyacinth

This flower is very striking when you run across it in meadows or open woodlands.

Bastard Toadflax

This plant reminds me of a white milkweed.  Uncommon.

Yellow Iris

This plant loves wet and swampy regions.

Meanwhile, on lawns and grassy areas:


This familiar flower needs no introduction!


These tiny blooms are easy to miss.


Another small bloom, easy to miss unless it’s in large colonies.


White Clover

Clover leaves have been growing among grass for a while, its blooms are just getting started.

Black Medick

Slowly growing in number, this easily overlooked tiny plant can be found on lawns.

Wood Sorrel

These pleasant little yellow flowers are just starting to bloom.

Ground Ivy

And in the woods there are a lot of blooms:

Blue Phlox

A common plant in the spring woods.

Wild Geranium

Growing in numbers under the forest canopy.

Hispid Buttercup

Common along woodland paths this month.

Kidney-Leaved Buttercup

A modest and less noticeable Buttercup.


This flower is locally common in moist areas of woods.  There are different types that have differently-shaped leaves.


These plants are easier to notice by their whorls of leaves- the tiny white blooms are harder to spot.

Sweet Cicely

A late arrival this month, this plant has notable compound leaves.

Virginia Bluebells

Still hanging in there at reduced numbers.

Dutchmen’s Breeches

Another plant that’s fading away this month.

Squirrel Corn

This can easily be mistaken for Dutchmen’s Breeches unless you look closely.

Sessile Trillium

Uncommon but interesting!

White Trillium

An absolutely gorgeous plant, few in number.  Please don’t pick these!


Small colonies of this plant dot the woods, but they’re just starting to bloom- look for a single white flower hanging down beneath the leaves.


A lovely flower with distinctive round-lobed leaves.

Greater Celandine

Seen here and there, not as common as Lesser Celandine was last month.

Jacob’s Ladder

A modest plant that’s uncommon.

Golden Alexander

At first glance it looks like Wild Parsnip, but this plant grows in wooded areas, not in fields.

Spring continues to give us a variety of wildflowers to enjoy.  I hope this helps you identify a flower you’ve seen recently!

43 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2012 8:27 pm

    Yes, it did help me identify some wildflowers that I’ve seen on our farm – some of them look so darned much alike!

  2. April 28, 2012 9:16 pm

    So many lovely little treasures you’ve found to share and identify for us. 🙂

  3. April 28, 2012 9:52 pm

    Thank you for yet another great post, and it has helped me to identify a few of the flowers I see around here. The most important one is the garlic mustard, for it is a big problem in this area. Of all the photos of it I have seen, yours is by far the best. As soon as I saw your photo, I thought to myself, “Oh, so that’s what they are talking about!”. I see it around here, but didn’t know that’s what it was. I even read a press article about a garlic mustard pulling party that is going to be held in Aman Park, but the press photo was so bad, I couldn’t tell what plant that they wanted pulled. Great job! And thank you!

    • May 1, 2012 9:33 am

      You’re welcome! There’s quite a bit of Garlic Mustard around this season, by June it starts to fade away luckily. But it is one of the more noticeable invasive species for sure.

    • Marie permalink
      April 21, 2017 5:32 pm

      Garlic mustard is edible. It’s fantastic as a green & can be used to make mustard from the seed. I just picked some recently and used it as a side dish, delicious!

  4. April 28, 2012 10:38 pm

    Tracy, what a lovely collection of wildflower portraits! I saw some of the same things blooming here in W. Pa this morning while walking the dog, although you may be ahead of us by a few days – no Dame’s Rocket here yet, one of my favorites.

    • May 1, 2012 10:59 am

      Funny how western PA is so close to here, but is on a different schedule- I guess that’s what mountains will do for you! I used to have relatives near the Allegheny Mountains, what a great area!

  5. John Northcutt Young permalink
    April 28, 2012 10:51 pm

    Right now I’m looking at my Audubon Wildflowers calendar. Your pictures fit right in. Thanks.

  6. April 28, 2012 11:51 pm

    I sure enjoyed seeing all of those! We share many of them, but there are also many I’ve never seen. How interesting!

  7. April 29, 2012 3:05 am

    Fabulous and so precise! Your love of nature is exemplary and your sharing of it an inspirastion!

  8. April 29, 2012 9:32 am

    Hi. You have so many flowers in bloom! We still have ice on the ponds. I love the Wild Strawberry and knowing that those white flowers will soon be delicious little berries! I also like the heartshaped seeds of the Pepperweed. The Squirrel Corn and Dutchmen’s Breeches must be closely related. Thanks for the tour! Jane

  9. April 29, 2012 10:21 am

    Great post! Very informative, with beautiful illustrative photos.

  10. April 29, 2012 10:50 am

    Try eating some of those pepperweed seeds. You’ll find them… peppery!

  11. Jo Woolf permalink
    April 29, 2012 12:50 pm

    What an amazing variety. Some look familiar to me, others I’ve never even heard of. Beautiful photos and a fascinating post.

  12. April 29, 2012 1:04 pm

    W.S….wonderful wildflowers…and a name here and there that have counterparts in flowers that we see in garden centers…they, of course, are a lot bigger, and maybe more color..but not more beautiful…I love wildflowers cause “they just come up”…no cultivation…in fields, along side roads and even interstates…are wildflowers…thanks…these are beautiful and the colors are great…and they bloom all summer and into fall…not necessarily the same ones but different ones in different seasons…thanks for the spring ones…no doubt, more to come…thanks…

  13. April 29, 2012 3:33 pm

    What a great collection. I am amazed … so far, I have only found one Spring flower blooming here.

  14. April 29, 2012 4:37 pm

    Thank you for your beautiful photos. I do enjoy learning the names of all the flowers!

  15. April 29, 2012 6:47 pm

    Ooh, aah….just glorious Tracey. I am partial to yellow in the spring. So bright and cheerful.

  16. April 30, 2012 11:51 am

    Excellent pictures. I’m always surprised by how much farther ahead of us you are. I wonder if the plant you call “cleavers” is the same as sweet woodruff? If not they could be twins. I’ve never heard of water leaf or enemion, so I was surprised to find that they were borage and false rue! Great post!

    • May 1, 2012 9:49 am

      Cleavers are Galium Aparine Enemion is also known as False Rue Anemone as you say- there are lots of names things are known as for sure. I typically go by the names used in Robert Henn’s book ‘Wildflowers of Ohio’ for simplicity’s sake, I usually don’t get into Latin names for fear of too many readers’ eyes glazing over. I’ll write a post on plant names one of these months to discuss this issue 🙂

      • May 1, 2012 9:58 am

        That’s odd-niether the leaves or flowers on the wiki page look like your example. In any case, I’ve never seen it. Looking forward to your post on plant names. That can be quite a subject to chew on, so good luck!

    • May 1, 2012 10:55 am

      Yeah, that particular image on Wikipedia isn’t a classic picture of the plant, a Google Image search under Galium Aparine brings up many more images that look much more like what I see in the woods right now 🙂 The long creeping stems with whorls of 6-8 narrow leaves are pretty diagnostic. The flowers are so tiny it’s hard to get a great look at them!

  17. April 30, 2012 12:54 pm

    It’s simply amazing how many wildflowers there are! I’m thinking of throwing a packet of wildflower seeds into my garden and waiting to see what comes up and might thrive there. The Dame’s Rocket and Wild Geranium are especially appealing to me. Beautiful pictures – I can use this post as a reference!

  18. May 1, 2012 6:55 pm

    How do you know the names of all these plants? I am so impressed. More impressed that this is the first time I have seen a yellow violet of that kind. And the buttercup – I love its lacquer-like petals. Wonderful post!

    • May 1, 2012 7:17 pm

      Thanks Marina! I have a good ID book and take pictures of every wildflower I run across, plants are far easier to study than birds by virtue of their immobility 🙂

      • May 1, 2012 7:20 pm

        well, you have a knack. I am going to refer people to your site when they have a question about a plant’s name 🙂

  19. May 2, 2012 11:15 am

    Now I know what some of the flowers are that have been blooming recently around here. Thank you! 🙂

  20. May 3, 2012 10:14 am

    Amazing, Tracy! A gorgeous collection! Thank you for posting and identifying the wildflowers. We will be in Ohio later this month. I’m looking forward to seeing the wildflowers that grow everywhere!

  21. May 5, 2012 8:40 am

    Thanks for the great comments everyone!

  22. May 14, 2012 11:44 am

    I’ve seen many of these, but didn’t know the names… thanks for sharing!

  23. May 31, 2012 7:46 pm

    Such a lovely collection of photos! Thanks!

  24. April 7, 2013 9:13 pm

    Great reference for those who think anything they don’t know the name of is a weed. When a plant has a name it seems to have more value (at least for some people in my world)
    Great photos too!

    • April 8, 2013 9:31 am

      Many thanks Stacy- it’s that time of year again to ask, ‘what is that plant? I sorta remember it from last year…’


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