When exploring the nature of Ohio, you are sure to come into contact with various types of wildflowers. However, if you are not familiar with the wildflowers of Ohio, you may not know what secrets they hold.
Flowers are known for their different properties that can either be helpful or extremely harmful to humans. And it can be disastrous if you don’t know the difference.
In this article, we have 45 common types of Ohio wildflowers explaining what they can do for you or if you should run in the other direction. We have organized them by color and even included photos!
Never be confused about Ohio wildflowers again!
Spreading Dogbane is a prolific grower, as you would have inferred from its name, which is why you can find it all over North America and Europe. It is extremely poisonous to dogs, which is why it is known as “dogbane” (and humans too).
Little, pink bell-shaped flowers on spreading dogbane have a lilac-like aroma. This wildflower can be found in Ohio in the sandy soil along stream banks.
The Joe Pye Weed flower is native to Ohio. The large pink clusters that bloom at the end of long stems make them excellent at attracting pollinators. Perfect if you are looking to grow your garden.
Joe Pye Weed naturally grows at the margins of wooded areas and moist meadows. It grows best in partial shade if you put it in your yard.
It is also naturally deer resistant which is excellent if you often find them in mulching on your shrubs.
When navigating the nature of Ohio throughout spring, you can expect to find this stunning flower in abundance. Spring Beauty covers the planes of Ohio in gorgeous pinks, whites, and yellows.
It is especially attractive to native bees that enjoy indulging in the nectar inside the Spring Beauty and further pollinating the area around them. Spring Beauty can be found in areas with full sun and some partial shade.
Depending on which way the sun hits this adapting flower, it can range from pink to purple. But it is always vibrant.
The pink Marsh Hedgenettle is an invasive wildflower in Ohio that is native to Europe and Asia. It’s advisable to restrict its growth or place it in an isolated area because its quickly expanding root system can quickly outnumber other plants.
You can find Marsh Hegenettle in wetter climates such as ponds, bogs, and swamps.
In the summer, the Virginia Meadow Beautiful puts on one of the most breathtaking displays of violet, rose, and blue flowers. After the blooming season, the seed capsules, stems, and leaves are all equally eye-catching in the fall.
This native plant is widely distributed and grows in wetlands, bogs, sandy places, and open fields that have recently had fire damage.
One of Ohio’s most beautiful pink wildflowers is the Showy Evening-Primrose. Its fragrant blooms open in the evening, as its name implies, and it can paint vast vistas in pink and white.
Showy evening primrose can be grown as a decorative plant in your garden, but you may want to confine it in pots due to its rapid growth and potential for invasion. Moreover, finches consume the seeds, whereas moths prefer the blossoms.
The Rose Gentian or more commonly known as Rosepink is a true wildflower that grows freely within nature.
It can be spotted with its fragrant pink or white star-shaped flowers and a large yellow center that often take over large fields.
Butterflies and other pollinators are drawn to the rose gentian, which grows in thickets, marshes, and forest edges.
Unfortunately, the majority of Ohio’s herbivores avoid this pink wildflower due to its unpleasant taste.
You will know it when you spot a Mountain Laurel bunch. The flowers have distinctly geometric shapes, as you can see, and fused petals that resemble little cups.
The petals contain vivid pink spots and are either white or pale pink.
This native shrub naturally covers forest floors in dense thickets, but you will frequently find it grown as a tiny tree in gardens and parks.
This blue wildflower is common and can be found all around Ohio. This plant is commonly found in wet meadows, soggy fields, open woods, floodplain forests, sand thickets, riverbanks, and at the sides of roads.
Excellent sources of nectar and pollen are Narrowleaf Blue-eyed Grass. Because of this, this plant is effective at luring bees, butterflies, and other insects.
Due to the fact that numerous birds consume these perennial seeds, it might also draw songbirds.
The people of Ohio often complain about the Common Blue Violet and will more commonly refer to it as a weed. This is because it can begin growing in the middle of your garden out of nowhere.
Mason bees, caterpillars, wild turkeys, rabbits, deer, doves, and ants can all be drawn to it if it occurs. Its seeds have a protein coating that attracts ants.
Despite its rather unappealing name, the Blue Toadflax is an adorable wildflower flower. It can be found in dry sandy areas such as roadsides, prairies, and grasslands throughout Ohio.
This is a great plant for attracting critters as caterpillars enjoy munching on the leaves while bees and butterflies enjoy the nectar.
Also known as Sweatroot, American Greek Valerian, Blue Bells, Creeping Jacob’s Ladder, Spreading Jacob’s Ladder, and Spreading Jacob’s Ladder.
This striking flower can be found in moist areas of Ohio’s woodlands. It enjoys the shade but it can also grow in sunny areas with a cooler climate.
Bees of all kinds, including honeybees, bumblebees, mason bees, cuckoo bees, butterflies, skippers, and moths, are drawn to Jacob’s Ladder’s nectar and pollen.
This aquatic blue wildflower thrives in a variety of wetlands, including ponds, streams, and lakes in Ohio.
Butterflies and bumblebees will come to pickerelweed’s blossoms in search of nectar. A lot of ducks also consume their seeds!
Typically, Ohio’s major cities are the only places to find this blue wildflower. Yet, it frequently makes its way into your garden via bags of soil you bought.
Because the blossoms on this plant only last one day, it is called a “Dayflower.” The Asiatic Dayflower serves as a host plant for the caterpillars of the Pearl Crescent butterfly.
If you are looking for a flower that smells wonderful and will attract butterflies and hummingbirds, then you have to plant Blue Moon.
It is an unusual flower as its appearance is soft but the stems are often hairy and sticky to the touch making it deer resistant.
When looking for a flower that is going to survive anything, the Common Chickweed is the perfect flower. Its seeds can survive in the ground for up to 50 years making it almost indestructible.
Look for tiny white blooms with a capsule form to identify Common Chickweed in meadows, along roadsides, in wastelands, and in open spaces.
It will fiercely compete with your native plants for nutrients if you let it spread in your gardens.
Springtime brings Cut-leaved Toothwort for around two weeks. Toothwort fills the landscape with various colors of white, pink, and red blossoms.
The bell-shaped, four-petaled blossoms have a pleasant scent. You may also be familiar with its coarse-toothed, green leaves.
You can often find Cut-leaved Toothwort in moist areas such as rocky banks, floodplains, and forest floors.
The commercial strawberries we consume today are modified versions of Ohio’s natural white wildflower, called Wild Strawberry.
This plant grows in a variety of disturbed environments, including roadsides, meadows, riverbanks, and forests.
While being much smaller than the strawberries we grow in gardens, wild strawberries still have just as much flavor and nutrition.
Animals like birds and mammals also consume the wild strawberry’s sour fruits.
Moreover, the flower’s flowers draw pollinators including bees, butterflies, and insects. This plant can be used as a ground cover or to prevent erosion in gardens.
An invasive weed called hoary alyssum can thrive in lawns, pastures, riverbanks, and along roadsides. In addition to displacing native plants, it can also be dangerous to horses that consume it.
Hoary alyssum pollen will be consumed by bees, wasps, and other insects, but it’s best to remove this weed before it spreads throughout your land.
It can withstand both hot and cold climates. Moreover, it grows widely and thrives in unfavorable soils, making it quite challenging to eradicate.
Although this white wildflower is native to Europe and Asia, it is regarded as a naturalized species in Ohio.
It spreads so quickly that it can engulf pastures, roadsides, wastelands, and lawns. Thankfully, White Clover normally doesn’t outcompete local plants.
You can spot the White Clover from spring to fall. It is an excellent plant as every part of it is edible and can be made to make tea or for seasoning food.
The White Trout Lily is one of the great wonders of Ohio. It only blooms for around 2 weeks throughout spring and can be found on the moist forest floor.
Try to find White Trout Lily in its native deciduous forests. It produces a single, bright yellow anther or pollen frond that is white in color. Two dark green leaves with purple spots are present on mature plants.
If growing this plant from a seedling, it can take around 4 years to bloom.
Your garden will be rewarded with an abundance of flowers that bloom in bunches if you plant Yarrow.
They have tiny, feathery leaves that resemble ferns, and you might think of chrysanthemums when you smell them.
Natural habitats for yarrow plants include disturbed regions, grasslands, open woodlands, and highway medians. They can endure drought and endure under imperfect circumstances.
This flower is one of the most recognized wildflowers of Ohio. With large white petals and a striking middle center, they are hard to miss.
The largest, most flamboyant, and possibly most well-known species in its genus, Large-flowered Trillium, lives up to its name.
Unfortunately, it takes this wildflower seven years to bloom from seed, therefore opt for nursery purchases of fully grown plants or bulbs.
The Large-flowered Trillium is recognized by gardeners for its lone, three-petaled flower that sits atop a single stalk.
The waxy white petals, which have ruffled edges and a pointed tip, later turn pink. It naturally grows in luxuriant mixed upland woods.
The farmed parsnip has a cousin known as the Cow Parsnip. But you shouldn’t eat this white wildflower that grows in Ohio. When growing next to this plant, exercise extreme caution!
Its torn leaves can exude a sap that can lead to skin sores that take months to recover.
Alfalfa is frequently grown by farmers as a crop for feeding livestock, and through its roots, it fixes nitrogen from the air into the soil.
Warmer climates are where this purple wildflower originates from, and it draws a lot of bees, butterflies, and birds.
Spotted Knapweed is an extremely popular plant throughout Ohio, however, it is an aggressive plant that has learned to always come out on top.
Spotted Knapweed can already overcrowd other species in the area but it can also make chemical changes to the soil to prevent other species from growing.
It is often found along the side of the road and in open fields throughout the state of Ohio.
You can generally find New England Aster in wet environments, however, this determined wildflower can also survive in drier climates throughout Ohio.
They bloom throughout the cooler months of fall and into winter.
If planting in your own garden make sure to remove the seeds and collect them for future planting.
Despite its stunning bold appearance, this wildflower is often considered a weed to the people of Ohio.
Tall Morning Glory seeds have been employed in the past as psychedelics.
In order to deter recreational use, the seeds you find for sale are frequently coated with poisonous methylmercury, which serves as a preservative and a toxin.
Because the purple coneflower is so resilient, Ohio residents adore cultivating it in their gardens. These flowers can survive in difficult environments since they are also heat- and drought-resistant.
Many tiny, highly nectar-filled blooms make up the cone-shaped disc. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to the vibrant blossoms.
Now, this striking plant is one to avoid as much as possible. While Bittersweet Nightshade carries berries that are delicious for birds, all parts of this wildflower are poisonous to humans if ingested.
Bittersweet Nightshade can be found in greener areas of the woodlands such as hedges, marshes, and scrublands.
Whatever you do, do not eat anything from this flower!
This perennial is generally found on moist, rocky hillsides that are shaded by deciduous trees. These flowers hardly ever grow in direct sunlight.
Bumblebees, butterflies, and moths are just a few of the pollinators that benefit from the nectar of the showy orchid.
The Violet Wood Sorrel is a native wildflower to Ohio and can be found in damp climates such as the forest floor, stream banks, and damp prairies.
Over time this gorgeous flower has become an endangered species.
All sections of the Violet Woods Sorrel are edible, however, due to their high concentration of oxalic acid (also known as the salt of lemons), which can be hazardous, they shouldn’t be consumed in big amounts.
Yellow Wood Sorrel contains clover-like leaves in addition to small, vivid yellow flowers. This yellow wildflower, which is native to North America, proliferates strongly in Ohio.
Yellow Wood Sorrel can be found growing along roadsides, in disturbed areas, meadows, and woodlands. It is poisonous to pets and cattle, so if it grows close to your property, you might wish to remove it.
Gumweed bears clusters of fragrant, yellow flowers that resemble daisies. It thrives in disturbed roadside areas, dry plains, and abandoned croplands.
It is a great source of pollen for many insects but it is mostly ignored by many due to its bitter, and unpleasant taste.
We like to think of this wildflower as a mini sunflower. They can be found in dryer climates such as woodland clearings, roadsides, and prairies.
Thin-leaved From July until the first frost, coneflower adorns the landscape with deep golden blossoms. Growing this wildflower is quite simple.
It self-seeds, is resistant to drought, and repels pests. It can be planted in gardens, wildflower meadows, and perennial borders.
This may look similar to the Thin-Leaved Coneflower above but its petals are longer and have a warming orange towards the middle.
They are great for attracting bees, birds and butterflies to your garden.
Yellow Lady’s Slipper is easily recognized by its purple-striped petals and sepals that encircle a bright yellow pouch. The name of the flowers comes from the way they resemble tiny shoes.
In the wild, sand-covered forests, savannas, prairies, dunes, and roadsides are good places to seek for Hoary Puccoon. Sadly, because it is famously difficult to germinate, it is not frequently found in home gardens.
Instead, you can order them as potted plants or transplants from nurseries.
While many scramble after the Common Sunflower in the summer and fall, the Woodland Sunflower is just as impressive.
This native plant can be found growing in profusion along roadsides, in limestone glades, rocky forests, sparsely forested bluffs, savannas, and hill prairies.
Orange & Red Wildflowers
Its gorgeous crimson, tubular flowers contain orange and yellow dots inside, and they are upturned.
This plant is surprisingly simple to grow and resistant to common pests and illnesses. The hummingbirds will soon appreciate your efforts if you plant some of their seeds in your lawn!
The Orange-fringed Orchid is a big, strong, and flamboyant flower. It produces abundant clusters of vibrant yellow-orange flowers that pollinators, especially butterflies, find attractive.
It is regarded as rare in 13 states and endangered or extinct in seven as a result of habitat degradation.
The Crossvine stands out among the rest of Ohio’s orange wildflowers, as you may have noticed.
For starters, it is a creeping vine that, with support from trees and fences, may grow to amazing heights. It also blooms into the colder months, giving it a superb source of food for birds that overwinter.
A variety of sunflowers known as the blanket flower has a striking display of red, orange, and yellow petals. If you see lots of bees and birds where these flowers thrive, don’t be shocked!
In order to produce honey, a lot of beekeepers employ blanket flowers. This orange wildflower in Ohio produces mellow, creamy, and amber-colored honey.
The vivid red-orange petals of the Michigan Lily (Also check out Common Types Of Michigan Wildflowers) are distinctive because they are speckled with brown and purple hues.
The petals revert to a stem-backward bent. It is a pretty unique flower and is difficult to ignore!
Native Americans have traditionally chewed the root of butterfly weed to treat pleurisy, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions.
This orange wildflower, when made into tea, is useful for treating gastrointestinal problems. In fact, Asklepios, the Greek deity of medicine, is mentioned in the genus name Asclepias.
Its root and sap can be extremely toxic when ingested in large quantities!
Ohio is a large and gorgeous state that can take you on many adventures. Especially when it comes to being in nature and enjoying the outdoors.
So, we hope this article helps keep you safe by knowing 45 of the most common wildflowers in Ohio. Know when you can enjoy a flower presence, use it for cooking or even medicinal remedies, and when you should steer clear.
Now, go explore!