7 More Easy Spring Wildflowers You Can Identify on Your Next Hike in Southern Illinois

Have you went through the last list of 8 Easy Wildflowers You can Identify and find yourself discovering wildflowers that were not on the list?

This article expands upon on the 8 and brings you 7 More Easy Wildflowers to Identify.

As our last article on wildflowers was two weeks ago, some of the them are hard-to-find now, like Bloodroot and Trout Lilies, but this group should be easy to spot this spring.

As stated in the last article: The following wildflowers are easy to recognize amongst the new growth, but for more detailed descriptions I highly suggest the Peterson Field Guide: Wildflowers or the more concise and simpler to use Peterson First Guides: Wildflowers.

I always carry the first one on any spring hike.  Even after all these years exploring I still come across wildflowers that I have never seen before.  Always a thrill!

1.  Squirrel Corn

Gotta love the name, but have never seen any squirrels nibbling on this wildflower.

If you take a quick glance while walking by you may mistake this one for Dutchman’s Breeches.  They both have similar leaves, and the flower colors are both brilliant white.

If you examine closely though, this wildflower does look like corn, and of course The Dutchman looks like inverted pants

Squirrel Corn

Squirrel Corn

Where To Find: Rim Rock

2.  Blue Phlox

Pronounced flocks, this wildflower can sometimes been seen in large groups.

This is one of my favorites.  It can reach well over one foot and be seen in many different areas in the Shawnee Hills.

Not to be mistaken for the next wildflower, moss phlox, note that the leaves are not notched and that the leaves are opposite the stem.

Blue Phlox

Blue Phlox

Where to Find: Big Rocky Hollow Trail at Ferne Clyffe State Park

3.  Moss Phlox

The “creeping” sibling of Blue Phlox, these two can easily be mistaken.

Look for notched flowers and a lower stature than Blue.  Also, the leaves are more “pointy” and scrubby.

Moss Phlox

Moss Phlox

Where to Find: Trillium Trail at Giant City on the upper bluff section of trail

4. Wood Poppy

Poppies, Poppies.  Brings back memories of The Wizard of Oz, when I think of this flower.

This is an unmistakable treat of the spring forest.  Usually when you see one there can be hundreds that are in the surrounding areas.

I have specifically gone each year to several locations in the Shawnee Hills, just to greet these wildflowers.

Wood Poppy

Wood Poppy

Where to Find: Trail of Tears State Forest along banks and valleys of main visitor area

5.  Shooting Star

Like a flaming meteor, this flower receives it name from its unusual swept back look.

This one is a treat to find and arrives in mid to late spring.  This wildflower can reach over 2 feet and usually hangs out on top of rocky bluffs.

 

Shooting Star

Where to Find: Bell Smith Springs

6.  Virginia Cowslip

Cowslip is what some call this delicate bell shaped flowers, but I prefer the more stately name Virginia Bluebells.

This one cannot be mistaken for any other Shawnee Hills wildflower.  The pink and blue flowers droop and can reach a height of 2 feet.

This one is usually found in large groups along low, moist creeks.

 

Virginia Cowslip

Where to Find: Scatters Road near La-Rue Pine Hills

7.  Columbine

This is one of the more elusive wildflowers in the Shawnee Hills.  When I first saw this jester-hat wildflower I couldn’t believe it grew in Illinois.

They do grow here and consider it a great spring hike if you encounter this unmistakable red blaze.

This flower loves high rocky slopes.  If you happen to find a large group of these flowers on your next hike, please shoot me an email.

Columbine

Columbine

Where to Find: La-Rue Pine Hills

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Disclaimer

About Gary Marks

Explore - Photograph - Live. Three words that describe my love of nature. These photos and articles are my small attempt to bring to others the great "undiscovered" beauty of Southern Illinois and beyond. It is my hope that you will view this website and leave with a better understanding of the area and will motivate you to get outside where ever you live and explore your own backyard.

Comments

  1. Paul V Corley says:

    Hiked at Schwegman Geo Area off of Bowman Bottoms Rd. last Sunday April 7. We saw lots of Columbines on the north east side of the power cut both above & in the canyon area! Also spotted plenty around the Bulge Hole Geo area! Saw some at Kaney Branch Barrens but were not blossoming there just yet! Wondered if there was any wild Orchids in those areas?
    Thanks,
    Paul

  2. Gary Marks says:

    Thanks for the comment Paul. I have never visited those areas during spring, but know am planning a trip now. As for the orchids, I have seen photos of them being in southern Illinois, but don’t know of the location of any. Thanks again Paul.

  3. mel ehrhardt says:

    I formerly lived at Collison Illinois and always enjoyed seeing the skunk cabbage bogs with their very early spring blossoms, but have not yet found any skunk cabbage in the Shawnee… Do you know of any?

  4. Gary Marks says:

    Thanks for the comment. I actually don’t, but will know keep my eyes open and keep you up-to-date if I find anything.

  5. Earl Shumaker says:

    Thanks to your site I was able to identify some wildflowers yesterday.

  6. Gary Marks says:

    Thanks, Earl. It’s great to know that some of the information that’s put out there others are using.