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August Wildflowers in Ohio.

August 25, 2012

The summer’s end is here, and those cool mornings are a hint of things to come.  Wildflower selection is changing too, heralding autumn.  Sticking to the more ‘classic’ flowers of late summer, here’s some of the blooms I’ve seen this month.

Wingstem is an excellent wildflower to highlight this month.  There’s a good amount of it around, it being one of a number of yellow sunflowers and coneflowers that are dotting the late summer countryside (though technically it’s a member of the Aster family).  Its petals are swept back, and the central flower area is ‘spiky’, which separates it from some of the more traditional prairie and field plants in bloom right now.

Speaking of all of those yellow prairie-style flowers out now, here’s a look at some others:

Three-Lobed Coneflower

Black-Eyed Susan

Grey-Headed Coneflower

Green-Headed Coneflower

Notice the leaves are a darker green and thicker-lobed than its cousin the Grey-Headed.  It blooms later in the season, too.

Cup Plant

Note how the leaves clasp the stem of this plant- water can collect in this ‘cup’ area, providing settlers with a convenient drink; hence the name.


Helianthus is a name of a particular genus of plants in the Aster family- think of them as sunflowers.  These plants can be hard to tell apart, and they hybridize, too.  A few of the more well-known plants of this type are Ox Eye, Jerusalem Artichoke, and Woodland Sunflower.

Hairy Sunflower

The stiff upswept leaves help identify this prairie flower.

Whorled Rosinweed

This tall prairie plant has whorls of 3  leaves spaced along the stem.

Prairie Dock

Perhaps the most notable prairie plant, with its large flowers and massive basal leaves.  This plant can reach 10 feet tall.

Other prairie flowers:

Purple Coneflower

Wild Bergamot

Blazing Star

Cardinal Flower

Perhaps Ohio’s reddest wildflower.

Other notable and numerous late summer plants:

Queen Anne’s Lace

Some call this plant Wild Carrot.


Its roots are sometimes used as a coffee substitute.


This has been in bloom since last spring, but now white Asters are starting to bloom, so you can’t just assume it’s all Fleabane now!


My favorite midsummer wildflower.

Evening Primrose




Lady’s Thumb

Obedient Plant


Wild Lettuce

Blue Lettuce


This plant is prominent in waste areas and can fill whole fields.  It can interfere with planted crops.



There are different types of Thistle, such as Field Thistle and Bull Thistle.

Canada Thistle

Biennial Guara


Curly Dock

This plant is more often rust-colored than green in late summer.

Birdsfoot Trefoil


This plant looks like all of its petals have been nibbled off- but there’s no petals!

St. John’s Wort

Spiny-Leaved Sowthistle

Monkey Flower

This uncommon plant can be spotted in moist areas.

Common Teasel

Its purple blooms are often browning by now.

Cut Leaved Teasel

Its white blooms separate it from Common Teasel.  It blooms later, too.


This classic late summer plant is slowly increasing in number.


This plant likes moist areas, and can be identified by its leaves that hug the stem.


Mountain Mint

There are a few plants that look like Morning Glories:


Wild Potato Vine

Morning Glories

These classic flowers can be seen in white, purple, blue and red colors, sometimes growing on cornstalks in farmer’s fields.

Greater Ragweed

Lesser Ragweed

If you suffer from hay fever, Ragweed is often the culprit!

Tall Bellflower


Often found along wood edges.

Blue Vervain


Its purple blooms are often accompanied by berries now.

Common Burdock


Crown Vetch


A favorite of Hummingbirds, found along wood edges.

Woodland plants:

Wood Nettle

These can sting, be careful!


Leaf Cup

Wetland plants:


Purple Loosestrife

Swamp Rose Mallow

Swamp Milkweed

Seen around the yard:




Wood Sorrel

And finally, autumn foliage slowly but surely starts blooming:



Stay tuned for more autumn flowers to come!

38 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2012 7:25 am

    Great photos and info! So helpful in making IDs.

    • August 26, 2012 8:04 am

      Thanks Pat! It’s taken me a while to figure out some of these flowers, and I’m sure I’m still making some mistakes here and there. Nothing keeps you guessing and humble like Mother Nature!

  2. August 26, 2012 9:06 am

    You really know your flowers, great post.

  3. August 26, 2012 9:35 am

    Very nice, as always!

  4. August 26, 2012 9:58 am

    What a great collection. Thanks for ID’ing so many for us!

  5. August 26, 2012 12:22 pm

    Beautiful August blooms. Ohio is truly blessed with flowers so radiant in glows like sunshine. Thanks.

  6. August 26, 2012 7:30 pm

    Hi. I like the photo of the Nightshade, and the Jumpweed is one I haven’t known about before! Thanks! Jane

  7. August 26, 2012 7:56 pm

    I love your posts like these, beautiful photos and great information!

  8. August 26, 2012 8:03 pm

    I love all those flowers. The purple coneflower I know doesn’t look anything like that, though.

    • August 26, 2012 8:21 pm

      Thanks, Song of the Wolf! Purple Coneflowers are sort of individualistic in their appearance, depending on their age and the soil conditions (that’s my guess, anyway!)

  9. August 26, 2012 10:30 pm

    gorgeous gorgeous close up shots!

  10. August 27, 2012 12:06 am

    What what a summer collection! I can really appreciate the work you put into this post and thank you for it! We have some of these species here but others were brand new to me and I loved seeing them!

    • August 27, 2012 9:19 am

      Many thanks, Montucky! I enjoy your wonderful photos from Montana, which is quite a bit different from Ohio to be sure!

  11. August 28, 2012 12:28 am

    So pretty! You find many nice things to share with us.

  12. August 28, 2012 4:57 pm

    Hi Season, We have a few of these here on my place here in TN. You have taken a nice set of pictures. Nature sure does give us outstanding views. Have a wonderful Wed. tomorrow!

  13. August 28, 2012 11:10 pm

    Gorgeous photos. I admire the time and heart that you put into taking the photos, uploading the photos and putting them in order and writing their names and captions. You’re amazing. Thanks for making the blogging world a prettier and more enjoyable place. 🙂

    • August 29, 2012 7:24 am

      Many thanks, E.C.! Originally when I started this blog, it was with the idea of learning as I go about nature and sharing the results with others. Glad you’re finding it useful!

  14. August 30, 2012 8:09 am

    You’ve got a lot of plants blooming that I haven’t seen here, like the rosin weed and rose mallow, and the ever elusive teasel. The English plantain is a good find-I’m not even sure if we have that here. Excellent post-thanks for the effort.

    • August 30, 2012 5:16 pm

      Isn’t it interesting how one state’s abundance is another state’s elusive possibility? Plantain and teasel are incredibly common here in Ohio. The Rosinweed is a tallgrass prairie plant so that makes sense, seeing there isn’t much in the way of prairie east of Ohio- as far as I know anyway! The Rose Mallow I’ve only regularly seen along the Scioto River, I’m sure it’s around elsewhere in areas I frequent less often.

  15. September 5, 2012 10:13 am

    I saw a lot of familiar plants here… I’m ready for Autumn’s changes.

  16. September 9, 2012 10:32 pm

    What a stunning collection of flower photos! I also watch the wildflowers as a sign of the changing seasons–and am usually both happy and sad for the change.

  17. mary biscuso permalink
    August 30, 2013 10:30 am

    Aah, I was wondering about a purple or blue flower I’d seen this year–it’s either Obedient plant or self heal. Saw one in the woods that looked a little different from the prairie ones, so maybe a self-heal? Your blog is beautiful. Good to see you enjoying your well-earned time off!

    • August 31, 2013 9:30 pm

      Many thanks, Mary!

      Plants are interesting- I’ll occasionally see one that I can’t identify. Sometimes I give a made-up name to a mystery plant and scour identification books and the internet until I happen upon it (sometimes by happy accident) and then I know what it is.

      The way I look at it, I like having plenty to learn- it would be terrible to know everything and take away the wonder and mystery of the natural world 🙂

  18. August 29, 2014 6:42 am

    An encyclopedia of Ohio summer wildflowers. Great job!

  19. Donna permalink
    August 29, 2014 7:53 am

    This was really helpful -I had a flower that I was having trouble IDing -Biennial Gaura -thanks for helping me with this!

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