No matter how you like to enjoy the forest - on your bike, hiking, trail running or just plain exploring, spring is the perfect time to remember to stop and smell - and appreciate - the abundance of wildflowers that are coming alive all around you.
Wildflowers aren't just beautiful, they are critical to our eco-system. In the mid-Atlantic region they provide food for more than 19 species of bees and thousands of other pollinators, which are critical to sustaining plant life that in turn sustains other wildlife and plays an important role in crop production.
This symphony of floral blooms begins in May and continues throughout the summer with blooms of all shapes, sizes and colors. Some flowers are fleeting and others last much longer, but spring, with its sudden explosion of flowers is the perfect time to notice these wonderful little adventure companions.
Below are just a handful of the many flowers we encountered on our explorations the last few weeks as we wander the Mid-Atlantic Region to bring you all the best adventures the region has to offer.
Trillium erectum, the red trillium, also known as Red Wakerobin, Stinking Benjamin, Wet Dog Trillium, Wet Dog Wakerobin, Purple Trillium, Purple Wakerobin. We are really curious about why this is called Stinking Benjamin... or Wet Dog?
Painted Trillium, Painted Wakerobin
Sweet White Violet, Woodland White Violet
Purple Violet in the Mid Atlantic region, but also called Missouri Violet, Florida Violet, Meadow Violet, Confederate Violet, Dooryard Violet, Wood Violet, and/or Hooded Violet.
Squirrel Corn and/or Wild Bleeding Heart
Buttercups - of course!
Dames Rocket - because we just love the purple!
Pink Lady Slipper
See a flower on your adventures that you want to learn more about?
Check out Wildflowersearch.org. Search by location, month, type of plant, number of flowers, color - the world of wildflowers is a big one - and we hope you enjoy the show!
Want a field guide to take with you on your next adventure?
For Kids: A wildflower lifecycle learning video offered by Cornell Botanic Gardens (7 min).
For Adults: Geek out on over 100 species of wildflowers with this video on Wildflowers of the Mid-Atlantic Region created by the Virginia Native Plant Society.
Let Purple Lizard Maps be your guide.
I held my breath with each up and down, stopping every so often to let out some tears. The creek was rushing and beautiful this morning. The sun was bright, the sky was clear, and the temperature was perfect. Approaching the finish, I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. Before the last climb, I took one more glance at the water and smelled the pine that surrounded me. I will always belong out here. The forest took care of me this week, I will forever be thankful.