10 Best Yellow Wildflowers In Ohio To Spot On Your Next Adventure

The midwestern state of Ohio is known for being predominantly rural, meaning that it’s got loads of gorgeous natural landscape for you to explore and enjoy.

10 Best Yellow Wildflowers In Ohio To Spot On Your Next Adventure

This natural land is filled with all kinds of exciting animals and interesting plants, and this is especially true when it comes to Ohio’s collection of yellow wildflowers.

If you don’t know already, a wildflower is a type of flower that grows out in the wild, rather than one that has been deliberately planted or seeded by somebody. In other words, a wildflower is indigenous to its region, because it grows there naturally.

In our fascinating guide below, we’ve got the 10 best yellow wildflowers in Ohio for you to spot on your next adventure. Each of them are unique in their appearances, though all of them share one key characteristic: they’re a beautiful, vibrant yellow!

1. Yellow Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum)

We’re starting our list off with a yellow wildflower with a very interesting name – the Yellow Lady’s Slipper! In terms of their appearance, you’ll be looking for a plant that has bright yellow petals in the shapes of moccasin slippers – hence the name!

Meanwhile, these gorgeous flowers are accompanied by lush green leaves with stylish purple veins going along them. Thankfully, these won’t be too hard to find in Ohio either, because they’re widespread across the state!

More specifically, you’ll want to be looking in forests and shrublands, as well as on the shores of lakes and rivers. On top of that, you may even find some in thickets.

They aren’t just nice to look at, either, because they’re also helpful to wildlife! Their nectar attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

2. Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)

Our next pick is the Woodland Sunflower, which is also commonly referred to as the rough sunflower.

Though you probably know what a common sunflower looks like, given that those are some of the most popular flowers on our planet, the Woodland Sunflower actually looks a little different to those famous flowers!

For one thing, the key difference is that they’re smaller and thinner. However, in terms of similarities, the flowers still have rays, between 8 and 15 of them, and these surround a central disk. The disk tends to be yellow-brown or orange.

Meanwhile, the plant’s stem is rough. In terms of where to look for them, you should find Woodland Sunflowers in hill prairies and savannas in Ohio, as well as woodlands with plenty of rocks in them.

Limestone glades may also have a few, and you should check the sides of roads too. The flowers should be in bloom during two months of the summer, so make sure you’re looking for them then!

3. Seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia)

While it may sound like something you’d use to help feed birds, the Seedbox is actually a beautiful type of yellow wildflower that is native to Ohio! It gets its interesting name from the square fruits that appear on it in fall and winter, and these fruits contain seeds.

As for the rest of their appearance, the Seedbox has 4 vibrant yellow petals to each flower, and these are accompanied by 4 green sepals. Its petals either have an obovate shape (meaning they are narrower at their base) or they’re in the shape of ovals.

The flowers bloom between summer and fall. To try and find some yourself in Ohio, try looking around the wetter areas! For example, Seedboxes are popular in marshes, floodplains, swamps, and wet meadows.

4. Buttercups (Ranunculus)

Our next pick is a wildflower that you’ll definitely have heard of before, the beautiful Buttercup. They get their great name from a mistaken old belief that they helped to give butter its golden-yellow look.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, because Buttercups are actually poisonous to cows and livestock! If you look for a Buttercup, you’ll be looking for a plant with 5 bright yellow petals, which are accompanied by 5 green sepals.

The petals are vibrant and shiny, looking a little like wax. This shiny effect is caused by a layer of reflective cells that sits beneath the surface cells of each petal. The flowers themselves will be in bloom between the start of spring and through to summer.

Yellow isn’t the only shade that Buttercups can come in, though, because you might also find them in oranges, red, pink, and even purple!

To try and find some in Ohio, have a look around moist habitats. On top of that, they can grow in meadows and fields, as well as at the sides of roads.

5. Yellow Woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta)

Our next pick of Ohio’s best yellow wildflowers is typically in bloom between May and September, so make sure to look for it around then. As for appearance, these have small yellow flowers with 5 petals each.

If you’ve ever seen a clover, they look like one of those, only yellow! Each of these flowers are on the end of long stalks, and the stems of the plants are purple to green in color.

Though it may look perfectly pretty, Yellow Woodsorrel is actually toxic to animals, putting pets and livestock at risk. For this reason, try to safely remove any you come across!

If you want to try and find some Yellow Woodsorrel for yourself across Ohio, try looking for them in meadow and wooded areas. On top of that, they can also be found at some roadsides.

6. Common Goldstar (Hypoxis hirsuta)

There’s no prizes for guessing what our next yellow wildflower pick looks like! Each of the flowers looks like a goldstar, each having six vibrant yellow petals.

Of course, the shade of the petals can change depending on each plant, and some of them might look more orange than yellow. Either way, they look like a shining star! Meanwhile, the leaves for each plant look like grass, each of them having parallel veins.

These are the reasons for one of the wildflower’s other names, “Yellow Star Grass.” The flowers are only in bloom between spring and summer, to make sure to look for them during that period.

7. Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)

Though it might not have the most flattering name (who wants a flower named after a fish?!), you can bet that this next Ohio yellow wildflower is pretty to look at.

Each Yellow Trout Lily has a nodding yellow flower, and the plant has leaves with patches of maroon on it. Additionally, the petals and sepals of the plant are bent backwards, which reveals 6 brown stamens.

The flowers will be in bloom during the spring, so be sure to look then. You can find Yellow Trout Lily in Ohio by searching the banks of streams and wooded bluffs. In addition to that, dense woodlands should also have some.

In fact, they should be easy to find, because these wildflowers attract more wildlife to them than any other type of yellow wildflower in the entire state!

8. Wood Betony (Pedicularis canadensis)

While you might sometimes find them with purple or reddish-purple flowers, yellow is the most common color for the flowers of the Wood Betony, and you should be able to find plenty of these around Ohio – if you look in the right areas!

The yellow flowers themselves (which also have shades of green in them) appear in clusters attached to dense spikes, and then the plant has hairy leaves too. You’ll find the flowers in bloom during the last parts of spring and the first parts of summer.

If you want to try and find some yellow Wood Betony for yourself, have a look in the woodlands and savannas of Ohio. If you’re not lucky there, try the dry prairies instead!

9. Perfoliate Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata)

Our penultimate pick of the best of Ohio’s yellow wildflowers goes to the Perfoliate Bellwort, a flower that you should find in bloom during the period of spring to summer.

This interestingly-named flower can be recognized thanks to its light yellow bells, which droop down from it and look like elongated tubes or lampshades. Meanwhile, they’re surrounded by light green leaves, a color which goes very well with the yellow.

You can find Perfoliate Bellworts for yourself in the hardwood forests of Ohio, but they’re also common in the dry woodlands and floodplains. 

10. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Our final pick is a flower that you’ll have definitely come across before, the beautiful Dandelion! You’ll find these flowers blooming during the seasons of spring and fall, and they can be identified thanks to their bright yellow petals.

If you want to find some for yourself, search the fields and meadows of Ohio. Failing that, have a safe look at the shores of rivers and lakes!

Final Thoughts

Ohio is packed with all kinds of beautiful, vibrant yellow wildflowers. You can identify and locate the 10 very best of them with the help of our guide!

Diane Peirce
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