12 Best Yellow Wildflowers In Michigan To Spot On Your Next Adventure

While Michigan is probably better known for other things, the state has an incredibly diverse flora and fauna scene. In Michigan, you’ll find unique species of flora and fauna that help make the state so much more beautiful.

12 Best Yellow Wildflowers In Michigan To Spot On Your Next Adventure

In particular, Michigan’s wildflowers are super special. In fact, it may come as a surprise to you but some of Michigan’s most beautiful wildflowers can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

When the winter snow starts to melt, the wildflowers start to emerge, bringing vibrance to the landscape.

Today, we’re going to show you the best wildflowers in Michigan. However, because there are so many, we’re only going to look at the best yellow wildflowers in Michigan.

If you want to learn more about the state’s diverse plant life, you’ve come to the right place. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the list!

1. Bladderwort

Bladderwort flowers are only small but that doesn’t stop them from being mighty. Found in wetlands across the state, you’ll often find bladderwort covering a large area. Typically, they bloom between June and August.

When they do bloom, you’re in for a real treat. Blooming in clusters, small yellow sacs, or bladders reveal themselves on small and thin stems. Interestingly, this plant is an insect killer too.

When brushed by an insect, the bladderwort pulls its prey using strength up to 600 times stronger than gravity.

2. American Lotus

The American Lotus is a beautiful flower that has a cheery yellow and white blossom. This lotus plant’s flowers rise above the surface of the water to reveal a stunning multi-layered flower with delicate petals.

The best time to spot the American lotus flower is between mid to late August in the south of the state. Popular viewing locations include Monroe County and Erie Marsh Preserve.

The flower blooms early in the morning and in the evening for approximately three days.

3. Bloodroot

Bloodroot is another yellow and white flower that you can find in abundance across Michigan. This flower shares a similar appearance to the American lotus but it doesn’t have multiple layers of petals.

This flower is also found in different locations. You’ll find the bloodroot flower in dense deciduous forests and floodplain forests. It can usually be found in early spring.

Despite its name, this flower isn’t actually named after its white and yellow bloom.

Instead, it gets the name bloodroot from its red and orange sap which can be found in the plant’s stem.

4. Black-Eyed Susan

The next flower we have for you is easily one of the most recognizable wildflowers in Michigan. The black-eyed Susan is a small, yet vibrant yellow wildflower that often fills fields and woods across the state.

Thousands of these flowers can be seen blooming at once, creating a wonderful spectacle you don’t want to miss. Usually, the black-eyed Susan will bloom from June to August and occasionally into September.

You’ll notice they have a similar appearance to the sunflower. That’s because they are actually a relative of the sunflower. The name black-eyed Susan was given to the flower because of its dark black floral disc.

5. Trout Lily

One of the more unique and quite frankly bizarre yellow wildflowers you can spot in Michigan is the trout lily. When this flower emerges, it reveals an alien-like display that features trout-like patterns, hence the name trout lily.

When the trout lily blooms in April, it’s fair to say spring has arrived. You’ll find large colonies of this flower in rich soils deep in Maple-Beech forests. A popular place to spot this flower is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.

One interesting fact about the trout lily is that the average trout lily colony can be up to 150 years old. If left untouched, it is believed a colony could live for well over 1,000 years.

6. Birds-Foot Trefoil

With a name like birds-foot trefoil, you can probably already tell that this is a unique flower. Also known by the names bloomfell, cat’s clover, crowtoes, and birdfoot deervetch, this flower grows on a perennial plant that can reach 8 inches tall.

Super small, the birds-foot trefoil flower blooms in late spring and early summer to reveal a gorgeous yellow, orange, and occasionally red flower. These small and delicate flowers grow at the top of a thin and long stalk.

In many parts of Michigan, this flower is considered invasive. It has a tendency to choke other native plants.

7. Marsh Marigold

The next Michigan wildflower you should look out for on your next adventure is the marsh marigold. As the name would suggest, this wildflower grows in wet marshlands and swamps. It also grows along streams and in marshy hollows.

The best chance you have of spotting marsh marigolds is in early spring. It is in early spring that bright yellow flowers start to emerge from the plant. Each flower has five kidney-shaped petals that light up the ground.

This flower is often seen as a large buttercup. They are found in abundance across the state.

8. St. John’s Wort

Known scientifically as hypericum perforatum, St. John’s wort is a perennial plant that grows to be 11 to 35 inches tall. Requiring full sun exposure to grow, this plant blooms in the summer to reveal the most magical flowers.

Blooming in clusters, the flowers that bloom on the St. John’s wort are super showy and vibrant. As you would expect, they are also bright yellow in color.

If you want to find this wildflower, your best bet is to look in pastures, disturbed fields, and sandy soils.

Unfortunately, despite its stunning appearance, this plant is considered an invasive species across North America. It can be fatal to other plants, sheep, and horses.

9. Sneezeweed

You may know sneezeweed by the name bitterweed or false sunflower instead. It is a tall summer-to-fall wildflower that looks like a sunflower. You can find this wildflower across Michigan near streams, swamps, ponds, and wetlands.

Despite the strange name, this flower isn’t likely to trigger any allergic reactions. Instead, its name comes from an old medicinal practice that saw the leaves crushed to make snuff. Snuff is a powder that can cause sneezing.

This wildflower is very important to the state as it attracts butterflies, honey bees, native bees, and wasps.

10. Green-Headed Coneflower

During your next adventure, keep an eye out for the green-headed coneflower near stream banks, roadside ditches, swamps, and woods. Bright yellow, tall, and pretty unique, you’d do well to miss this wildflower.

This wildflower also grows in meadows, where it attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees. This flower usually blooms between summer and fall.

Towards the end of fall, the flowerheads are eaten by goldfinches and songbirds that like the taste of the flower seeds.

11. Wild Parsnip

Next up, we have the wild parsnip. This is a much larger plant that can grow to be 59 inches tall. However, the flowers it produces are still only small. In fact, they are tiny.

Blooming early in the summer, the wild parsnip blooms clusters of tiny yellow flowers that sit at the end of thin, yet strong stems.

The wild parsnip is a relative of the popular root vegetable but unlike the traditional parsnip, it can’t be eaten. The wild parsnip is actually quite dangerous. Its leaves and stems can cause severe burns and blisters.

This is despite the fact that wild parsnips smell and taste like cultivated parsnips.

12. Common Sunflower

Let’s face it, the common sunflower was always going to make our list. After all, it’s easily one of the most recognizable flowers in the world. This impressive flower can be cultivated at home or found in the wild.

In the wild, the common sunflower can be found in grasslands, prairies, old fields, forest edges, and roadside. You’ll easily be able to spot this flower thanks to its extreme size and vibrant yellow flower.

The common sunflower can reach heights of 120 inches so there’s no way you’ll miss it on your next adventure. Common sunflowers usually bloom throughout the summer so keep your eyes peeled.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, 12 of the best yellow wildflowers you can find in Michigan on your next adventure. As you can see from our list, Michigan is jam-packed with vibrant and unique yellow wildflowers that have so much to offer.

No matter where you are in Michigan, there’s a good chance you’ll find a type of yellow wildflower. All you have to do is make sure you look in the right place. With that being said, it’s now time to get your shoes on and head out in search of these flowers.

We’re sure you’ll have no problem finding some of the best wildflowers in Michigan.

Diane Peirce
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