Backyard Challenge: Wildflower Scavenger Hunt

Spring has brought beautiful wildflowers to Hamilton County! We’ve put together a scavenger hunt you can do in your favorite park or on your neighborhood walk. Check out these wildflowers in bloom now, and if you find them, send us a photo or tag us on social media.

Download the scavenger hunt here, and upload it to your Instagram story or print it! Be sure to tag us on Instagram!

Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides): Found in woodlands, this small flower generally has petals in multiples of threes and grows in areas where lots of other wildflowers are found. American Indians once made tea from its roots to treat diarrhea and vomiting.

Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria): This flower’s interesting shape is striking and it’s easy to see how it got its common name! This common wildflower is found in wooded areas and is chiefly pollinated by bumblebees.

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica): This beautiful wildflower is among the state’s most coveted, and can grow in enormous colonies under the right conditions. Rarely, a white-flowered form is found. Virginia bluebells grow in low-lying damp woods, floodplains and near streams.

Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis): These pretty flowers look similar to Dutchman’s breeches but the heart-shaped flowers distinguish them. These are popular with squirrels and chipmunks, but are toxic to humans – even touching the flowers can cause minor, short-term skin irritation.

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica): One of the earliest spring wildflowers, spring beauties are incredibly common in Hamilton County. The flowers of this species are an important early spring source of nectar for pollinating insects, mostly small native bees and some flies, so if they’re in your yard, you may consider putting off your first mowing of the year!

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum): This strange little plant looks like a closed umbrella right now, but in a few weeks, they will open up and a little white flower will appear at many of the plants’ bases. Eastern box turtles play an important role in seed dispersal, as they are fond of the fruit.

Want more nature education fun that you can do at home? Click here for all of our backyard challenges.

Information from Ohio Division of Wildlife and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.