Get ready for spring by searching for these wildflowers

Celebrate the arrival of spring with a walk in the woods.

With spring setting in around the Mountain State, now is a perfect time to take a hike through a West Virginia state park and look for colorful wildflowers. From the yellow fawn lily to the eastern red columbine and common blue violet, hiking trails and forest floors will soon erupt in a display of spring color.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite wildflowers. See how many you can find! But remember: Don’t pick any wildflowers and leave no trace.

Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Trillium flowers come in many different sizes and colors, including pink, red and yellow. The largest and possibly the most beautiful is the large-flowered trillium, which blooms in early spring and is easily recognized by its three-petaled white flowers.

Fawn lily (Erythronium americanum)

When the snow recedes, this yellow flowering plant blooms in rich, moist forests around the state. The fawn lily blooms in early spring and can often be found in large patches and its leaves are often mottled with purple or white blotches.

Blue violet (Viola papilionacea)

This flower is the most common violet in West Virginia and can be found in every county in the state. You might know them better as Johnny-jump-ups. The blue violet blooms in early spring and has heart shaped leaves and grows in woods and meadows.

Pink lady’s slipper (Cypripedium acaule)

This orchid is easily identifiable by its pouchlike pink bloom that hangs down from its stalk like a slipper. The pink lady’s slipper blooms in the spring and grows best in dry, acidic soil in mixed forest. Keep an eye out for lady’s slippers in other colors, such as yellow.

Early saxifrage (Saxifraga virgiensis)

You’ll find these tiny white flowers growing all over dry hillsides and rocky cliffs. The early saxifrage blooms in April and has hairy stems and clusters of small five-petaled fragrant flowers.

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

Also known as cowslip, this yellow flower is a member of the buttercup family. The marsh marigold is common in high elevations in bogs and along streams. You’ll likely to find lots of these growing in wetlands around Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley Resort.

Plan your trip today

If you need assistance with identifications, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture has produced a downloadable full-color guide to native spring wildflowers.

As you search for wildflowers, remember that it’s against the law to remove any tree, shrub, plant or plant part in a state park.

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