Yes, there are millions of Virginia bluebells at
Carley State Park.
What they don’t mention is that there are at least as many false rue anemones:
This one tree contained an entire spring wildflower ecosystem:
bluebells, of course, and also bellworts:
early meadow rue:
more false rue anemones:
and soon, trilliums:
More photos from Carley State Park
Early spring is when all of my favorite wildflowers bloom. My garden has a few – hepatica, spring beauty, trillium – but the best place to see nearly every Minnesota ephemeral is the
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. I visited on a sunny afternoon three weeks ago.
White trout lily:
and yellow trout lily:
Wild ginger’s shy flower:
Hepatica rising out of the carpet of oak leaves:
False rue anemone:
Bloodroot is my absolute favorite, possibly because they’re so delicate and so short-lived. This time I decided to take video of flowers blowing in the wind, with birds singing and bees buzzing in and out:
There was even a turkey roaming around, not at all concerned that I was watching:
Earlier this week, I returned to see what’s happening now. There are many more varieties, and the brown groundcover is quickly being replaced by new, green growth.
The bloodroot I filmed is long gone, the leaves growing large but being overtaken by invasive periwinkle:
Many varieties of violets:
I was wondering whether there are any jack-in-the-pulpits and literally before I finished that thought, I found one hiding among the leaves:
Several kinds of trilliums:
And coming soon: lots of wild geraniums.
I spent three days and two nights
camping with friends at Tettegouche State Park north of Duluth a week and a half ago.
Bunchberry, northern bluebells, wild strawberry
We went on a long hike each day – one through the woods to High Falls, and one along Lake Superior to Shovel Point.
Self-heal, evening primrose, fireweed
As is my habit, every hike turns into a wildflower hunt.
Wild avens, wild rose, cinquefoil
It felt like every other minute I was stopping to photograph yet another specimen.
Tall agrimony, American vetch, pussytoes
Most were at ground level, but some were at eye level.
Cow parsnip − some of these were taller than me!
Black snakeroot, meadow rue
Wild columbine, yarrow, bush honeysuckle
The bush honeysuckle above is not a wildflower, but there were so many blooming that I had to include them. There were many other flowering shrubs, berries, and ferns that I’m not including.
I’m not sure whether this pretty buttercup is a native wildflower.
Many of the wildflowers we saw are natives, but of course there were also many non-natives…
Alsike clover, red clover, white clover
Clockwise from top left: campion, field mustard, chickweed, alfalfa, field pennycress seed pods
…including several on the Minnesota Wildflowers
Invasive – ERADICATE! list.
These two invasives look so similar except for their color, and they have similar common names: devil’s paintbrush and Glaucous King-devil. (The yellow one may instead be meadow hawkweed; I can’t tell the difference. If so, I’d like to switch to the other common name for the orange one – orange hawkweed – so these two flowers still match.)
Pretty but invasive: daisy and birds-foot trefoil
Back to the natives! Fortunately for me, the park’s visitors center compiled a list of the flowers that were blooming, so I had a head start on identifying those I didn’t already know:
One-flowered pyrola points nearly straight down, so I had to nearly lie on the ground to see its face.
Shinleaf, pink corydalis, twinflower
A new Instagram friend saw
spotted coralroot a week earlier, an orchid I was disappointed to miss! I settled for a few black-eyed susans that were starting to bloom.
Black-eyed susan (please ignore the invasives in the background)
Quite a fun weekend for discovering wildflowers.
Long-overdue posting of showy lady’s slippers from a late-June drive through the countryside looking for wildflowers.
This is an enormous clump of at least 50 of these pretty orchids on the side of a quiet road in Mahnomen County in northwest Minnesota:
Showy lady’s slipper is
Minnesota’s state flower and is on my car’s license plate, a Critical Habitat specialty plate that supports the state Department of Natural Resources.
I didn’t notice until looking at the pictures after returning home, but some of the photos make it look like the flowers have faces — yellow eyes over a wide-open mouth:
What a treat to see this beautiful flower in the wild.