Ohio Ephemeral Flowers
by Lee Hamzy
Now is the time to hunt Spring Ephemerals. Spring Ephemerals refers to perennial plants that emerge quickly in the spring and die back to their underground parts after a short growth and reproduction phase. In a deciduous forest, like ours, they grow before the trees have their leaves allowing sun to reach the forest floor. This is a very short amount of time, so take advantage of the timing, and head out today and for the next week or so.
Here is an excellent Ohio Spring Wildflowers downloadable field guide from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Please remember, these flowers only grow once a year. Please stay on the paths while out searching and do not pick them! We want them to be there for many springs to come. Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.
How many can you find?
Here is a list of the ephemerals that we often see here at the Little Schoolhouse in the Woods or in nearby parks. Refer to the field guide for pictures to help identify them. Remember to look at the leaves, several flowers have look a likes. Happy Spring hiking!
Harbinger- of -Spring
White Trout Lily
Wild Blue Phlox ( can also come in pink)
Lesser Celandine (highly invasive, not native)
Dutchman’s – breeches ( one of Ms. Lee’s favorite 😉 )
A Note from Mr. Jay- Are you interested in a formal lesson plan for grades 1 through 3, but easily adapted for older and younger students? I use Ohio New Learning Standards and the National Geographic Learning Framework to create a formal lesson plan. This is good for any teacher whose administration requires formal lesson plans, or for alternative educators who seek academic language to support their strategies. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I love feedback!
Thanks and I hope you enjoy getting outside with your children!