Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Cincinnati Wildflowers

Enjoying nature’s garden

close up of light purple woodland phlox blooms

Joseph here, your GPOD editor. Last week I was in the Cincinnati area for a work project, and I took some time to hike in a few area parks. It was perfect time for spring wildflowers, and I saw some real beauties!

close up of purple and white wildflowersThis was my hands-down favorite plant on the trip: Delphinium tricorne (Zones 4–8). The familiar garden delphiniums are hybrids of European species, but we have some native species in the United States as well. This one is a small spring bloomer that then goes dormant in the summer—and what a beauty it is! Ranging from white to dark purple, each plant was a little different, but all were beautiful. I’m not sure why it isn’t common in gardens; it would be a great spring-blooming change from the normal daffodils and tulips.

butterfly visiting a wildflowerA terrible picture, but the butterflies were enjoying the delphinium flowers too!

close up of pawpaw flowerIt’s always fun to see the strange little brownish flowers of the pawpaw (Asimina triloba, Zones 5–9). These little flowers will develop into delicious fruit later in the summer.

close up of buckeye tree flowerHow fitting for a trip to Ohio, the Buckeye State, to see a buckeye tree (Aesculus glabra, Zones 4–9) in bloom! The greenish yellow flowers are easy to miss from a distance but quite beautiful up close.

close up of purple spiderwort flowersSpiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana, Zones 4–9) is a plant I’ve seen many times in gardens, but it was fun to see it growing in the wild. The purple flowers are so velvety and perfect.

hiking trail with spiderworts along the sidesIn one park the spiderworts were lining the path, making a display that I am itching to try in my home garden.

close up of blue and white wildflowersBlue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna, annual) has the sweetest little blue flowers. This wildflower is a true annual—the seedlings germinate in the fall, overwinter, and then bloom and die in the spring.

close up of light purple woodland phlox bloomsWoodland phlox (Phlox divaricata, Zones 3–8) was dotted all over the woods, and every plant was a little different: Some more pink and others bluer, some with wide petals and others with narrow ones. This clump was particularly beautiful to my eye.

close up of Trillium with white flowerTrillium flexipes (Zones 3–8) is a beautiful species of trillium with huge leaves and clear white flowers.

close up of Trillium with yellow flowerI was also blown away by this specimen of Trillium lutea (Zones 3–8), which may be the largest one I’ve ever seen.

I always love getting out into nature. We can only aspire in our gardens to make something half as beautiful as what nature does all on its own.


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View Comments


  1. nwphilagardener 05/02/2024

    Thanks for showcasing these wildflowers, Joseph. It is especially interesting to see plants that are cultivated for garden use as they grow in a natural habitat.

  2. User avater
    user-7007816 05/02/2024

    Thanks for sharing. There were a couple of new ones for me that I will be looking for a source.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 05/02/2024

    What a nice post of wild flowers in a park! And I loved the action photo of the butterfly- I thought it was really a great photo!

  4. btucker9675 05/02/2024

    Thank you so much for these beautiful wildflowers! Those delphiniums are particularly beautiful!

  5. CarolIntheGarden 05/04/2024

    I love Collinsia verna! Once I grew it long ago. Sigh. It pops with the bicolor flower.
    Thank you. Who would not admire the deep purple of Delphinium tricorne?

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