Feature

Seize the daisies: Go see wildflowers before they’re gone

Robert Hudson Westover
Office of Communication
May 6th, 2019 at 2:45PM
A picture of bright yellow wildflowers in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
Wildflowers in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. USDA photo by Preston Keres.

As spring literally blossoms across the nation, the brilliant colors of wildflowers—their reds, oranges, blues and yellows—splash across the landscape from wildlands to city parks to manicured lawns.

In recognition of National Wildflower Week, which is always the third week of May, the USDA Forest Service wants you to enjoy this natural and wild bouquet by visiting a national forest or grassland wildflower viewing area.

And we’re making planning your visit just that much easier by helping you find one or more of the over 300 places to view wildflowers by visiting our webpage dedicated to your search for springtime amazement.In addition to locations, we also provide information on the best times for peak viewing.

Visitors to the wildflower webpage can search by geographical region, state, or national forest or grassland. We want it to be simple so that you can plan day trips or extended journeys to enjoy the colorful displays of wildflowers.

This search engine is part of the agency’s Celebrating Wildflowers webpage, which includes more than 10,000 plant images and over 1,500 pages of information about the aesthetic, recreational, biological, medicinal and economic values of native plants as well how to conserve native plant habitats.

A picture of a sunrise on Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie perfectly illuminates beautiful wildflowers.
A sunrise on Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie perfectly illuminates beautiful wildflowers. USDA Forest Service photo.

Don’t miss the pageantry of colors. Wildflowers have already begun blooming: Ephemerals such as bloodroot, Virginia bluebells and squirrel corn don’t last long. Spring ephemerals are perennial woodland wildflowers that appear in early spring, flower, set seed and then die back to their underground parts before the trees unfurl their leaves.

Other spring wildflowers seen in early to mid-spring include wild gingers, hepaticas and trilliums. If you can’t take a trip this spring, you still have time. In late summer and early fall, the last wildflowers of the year appear, including asters, sunflowers, goldenrods, cardinal flowers and gentians.

So, remember, when it comes to wildflowers you have to live in the now because before you know it, they’ll be gone!

 

A picture of bright blue wildflowers that adorn the lawn of a Northern Virginia home.
Wildflowers adorn the lawn of a Northern Virginia home. USDA Forest Service photo by Robert Westover.