Wildflowers of the Eastern Woodlands

Deciduous forests cover much of the eastern United States, gradually giving way to coniferous forests farther north and grasslands to the west. Dominated by deciduous trees, eastern forests typically have several vertical layers of vegetation, including a dense, upper canopy of mature trees; a subcanopy of smaller or immature trees; and an understory of shrubs and low-growing herbaceous plants. Many woodland wildflowers, called spring ephemerals, bloom before the trees have leafed out; other species, which can tolerate partial or complete shade, flower later. The species in this collection comprise some of the most common spring wildflowers in eastern deciduous forests.


Thumb Species Characteristics

Actaea rubra
Red baneberry

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Sun, Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist

Anemone quinquefolia
Wood anemone, Nightcaps

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist

Aquilegia canadensis
Eastern red columbine, Wild red columbine

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist, Dry

Aralia nudicaulis
Wild sarsaparilla

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Light: Sun, Shade
Water: Moist

Arisaema triphyllum
Jack in the pulpit, Indian jack in the pulpit, Jack-in-the-pulpit

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Sun, Shade
Water: Wet, Moist

Caltha palustris
Yellow marsh marigold, Yellow marsh-marigold, Cowslip

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Wet, Moist

Claytonia caroliniana
Carolina springbeauty

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Part-shade
Water: Wet, Moist

Clintonia borealis
Bluebead, Yellow bluebead-lily, Clintonia, Blue-bead lily

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade
Water: Moist

Cornus canadensis
Bunchberry dogwood, Canadian bunchberry

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Sun, Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist

Cypripedium acaule
Moccasin flower, Pink lady's slipper

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist, Dry

Cypripedium parviflorum
Lesser yellow lady's slipper, Yellow lady's-slipper orchid

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Part-shade
Water: Wet, Moist

Cypripedium reginae
Showy lady's slipper

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light:
Water: Moist

Dicentra cucullaria
Dutchman's breeches

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Sun, Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist

Erythronium americanum
Yellow trout-lily, American trout-lily, Dogtooth violet, Eastern trout-lily, Adder's tongue

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Part-shade
Water: Moist

Geranium maculatum
Spotted geranium, Wild geranium, Cranesbill

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist

Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa
Roundlobe hepatica, Round-lobed hepatica, Liverleaf

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist, Dry

Linnaea borealis
Twinflower, American twinflower

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Sun, Shade, Part-shade
Water: Wet, Moist

Maianthemum canadense
Canada Mayflower, False Lily-of-the-valley

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Wet, Moist

Maianthemum racemosum
Feathery false lily of the valley, False Solomon's seal, Feathery false Solomon's seal, False spikenard, Solomon's plume, Smilacina

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light:
Water:

Podophyllum peltatum
Mayapple, Indian apple, Wild mandrake, Pomme de mai, Podophylle pelt

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist

Polygala paucifolia
Gaywings, Fringed Polygala, Flowering wintergreen

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light:
Water: Moist

Sanguinaria canadensis
Bloodroot

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade, Part-shade
Water: Wet, Moist

Silene virginica
Fire pink, Scarlet catchfly

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Part-shade
Water: Moist, Dry

Tiarella cordifolia
Heartleaf foamflower, Heart-leaf foamflower

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade
Water: Moist

Trientalis borealis
Starflower

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade
Water: Moist

Trillium cernuum
Whip-poor-will flower, Whip-poor-will-flower, Nodding trillium

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade
Water: Moist

Trillium erectum
Red trillium, Wakerobin, Stinking Benjamin, Wet dog trillium, Purple trillium

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Part-shade
Water: Moist

Trillium grandiflorum
Large-flower wakerobin, Large-flowered trillium, White trillium

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Sun, Shade, Part-shade
Water: Moist

Trillium undulatum
Painted trillium, Painted wakerobin

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Sun, Shade
Water: Moist

Uvularia grandiflora
Largeflower bellwort, Large-flower bellwort, Merrybells

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Light: Shade
Water: Moist