Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 07, 2016

From: Woodland Park, CO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: When to See Wisconsin Wildflowers Blooming?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

When is the best time for Southern Wisconsin wildflower blooming?

ANSWER:

The Wildflowers of Wisconsin website has some wildflower destinations that you might consider ...

Oh my, so many options. One that always comes to mind is the Table Bluff Segment of the Ice Age Trail, near Cross Plains. June or July depending how this season goes. I’ve got a new edition of 60 Hikes Madison coming out in a month (already on Amazon) and there are a number of them listed in there. Cherokee Marsh north isn’t bad either. Greene Prairie in the Arboretum, south of the Beltline may have Pasque flowers right now. Worth hunting for. 

If you’re ever in the La Crosse area check out Holland Sand Prairie State Natural Area, the visitor center of the La Crosse District of the Upper Miss. National Wildlife Refuge on Brice Prairie or the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge.

These 3 sites have hiking trails. Holland Sand Prairie and the Brice Prairie tract of the Upper Miss Refuge are pretty close to one another. HSP is a fine example of a remnant prairie whereas the Brice Prairie tract is an example of a planted prairie.

In addition to hiking trails, Trempealeau has a nice auto tour loop which is even better on a bike.

And there's website that is a guide to Wisconsin's best wildflower hikes that might be of interest. This website lists where to hike and what to look for. For example, Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit. Just north of West Bend, you’ll find more than 132 miles of trails that wind through beautiful glacial terrain. Select from hiking options suitable for all ages and abilities and explore this rolling landscape that’s filled with spring wildflowers.

What to look for

Orchids: Keep an eye out for Yellow Lady’s Slippers, a flower that resembles a small, delicate shoe. The flowers can grow as tall as 30 inches but most are much smaller. Look for them in damp, shady areas of the forest.

And for next year, this article from 2014 lists Department of Natural Resources State Natural Areas that had good wildflower viewing in late May.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Information about the bluebonnet
October 03, 2008 - What other plants live near a bluebonnet? What problems does the plant face, such as people, weather, and insects?
view the full question and answer

How long do bluebonnets last?
April 21, 2009 - How long do bluebonnets last? When should I no longer expect to see the beautiful state flower along the side of the road? I want to know how long I have to take memorable pictures of my children. Tha...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Decatur GA
June 14, 2012 - Hi: In early May 2012 we visited the Center--fantastic. There was a large shrub/tree with yellow blooms near a silo. Is it Retama? Also there was a lot of a purple blooming plant in with the conef...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds that drop into a sidewalk crack
May 31, 2006 - This is an odd question. I'm writing a children's book about a seed that gets dropped in the crack of a sidewalk or driveway and blooms there. Can you tell me if there are any wildflowers that it ...
view the full question and answer

Locating red clay for wildflower seed balls
September 26, 2007 - I am trying to locate a local source for the Powdered Red Clay spoke about in making wildflower seed balls. I live in Round Rock, Texas and have called many local nursery and no one knows what I am t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.