Color returns to the Mitten State as the trees, shrubs, grasses, herbs, and flowers are lulled from their winter slumber. People get outdoors more often with the moderate temperatures, and visitors from other areas of the country begin to arrive to enjoy the beauty, too.
If you like to hike, whether it’s among tall stands of pine, on a boardwalk through a wetland, the hardwoods, or along one of the Great Lakes, you’ll come across some of Michigan’s beautiful flowers. Although it can be tempting to pick every flower you see, it’s best to leave flowers in their natural environment. They grew there, after all.
Trillium (Top Photo)
One of the surest signs of spring is the awakening of the state flower, the trillium, in the Michigan woods. You’ll see mostly white blossoms although occasionally you do see purple ones. In fact, there are eight species native to Michigan. Four are rare or endangered, so it’s best not to pick them and leave them for other appreciative eyes to find. This can be difficult, as the trinity of petals framed by a trinity of leaves makes the trillium an attractive and peaceful flower.
The Morning Glory got its name because the appearance of many flowers in bloom is glorious. Most of us think of the blue Morning Glory, but it can also be pink or white. The subtle star on the face of the flower is softened by rounded, bell-like edges. It’s a vine, with intricate networks that make it an excellent climber or a dense ground cover. They bloom in early summer and attract butterflies.
If you’ll be walking the beaches and dunes of the Great Lakes this summer and fall, keep an eye out for white Sea Rocket flowers. They usually like full sun and very sandy conditions. Since it’s a succulent plant, it has thick, shiny leaves.
The vibrant blue and sharp-pointed lobes of the petals distinguish Bachelor’s Buttons from similarly designed coneflowers and asters. Light blue and white Bachelor’s Buttons can also be found among the field grass. Entire fields can be covered in them, making for a charming spectacle.
Michigan meadows are full of colorful, fragrant surprises. One of the most common flowers you’ll find is the Black-Eyed Susan. A member of the sunflower family, these lovely flowers are bright yellow with a hairy stem. They are very common all across much of the United States, and they make for a cheerful bouquet in the RV.
Many of Michigan’s trails traverse through wetlands and swampy areas. If you were to go walk one of those trails in that type of habitat in April, May, June, or July, you would undoubtedly see a carpet of yellow Buttercups, which stand out against the green and brown tones of marshes and wetlands in which they reside. They are smaller, almost delicate blossoms and a happy sparkle in the woods.
Another flower you can find along the dunes and beaches is the soft, purple Beach Pea. Almost tropical in its appearance, this lovely flower is commonly found around Lake Michigan beaches and grows one to two feet high. It’s sensitive to trampling and heavy traffic areas, so you’ll most likely find it on lesser known shores.