Minnesota Wildflowers (Image Gallery)


1: Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)
1: Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) | Source
  • Perennial (lives 2+ years)
  • Height: 6-12 in. / 15-30 cm
  • Sun exposure: Sun to partial shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 9b

When I think of the shore of Lake Superior, I think of Harebells growing in cracks in the glacial rocks and boulders down by the water.

They're one of those amazing plants that seem to thrive in tiny crevices where, over eons, soil has settled. When I see these flowers, I know I'm home.

Walking along the shoreline of Lake Superior, the flat boulders, ground smooth and flat from glaciers, stretch as far as the eye can see.

Harebells growing in patches in little cracks in the rocks add a softness and beauty to the already beautiful landscape.

Large-Leaved Lupine (Blue-Violet)

2:  Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)
2: Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) | Source
  • Perennial (lives 2+ years)
  • Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Sun to partial shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 7b

It may get cold and snowy in Minnesota, but I'm absolutely in love with every season here. I ask nothing more in the summer than some warm sunshine and fields and fields of wild lupines. Though they prefer to grow next to creeks and streams, the ones I've seen have mostly been on top of the embankments or in fields (usually surrounded by forest.)


3:  Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis scorpioides)
3: Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis scorpioides) | Source
  • Perennial (lives 2+ years)
  • Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Light shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 8b

Forget-me-nots grow all over the place in Northern Minnesota; in the forests, in the shade, and on little islands in many of the rivers and creeks. They range from periwinkle blue to purple, and everywhere in between. These have been my favorite flowers since I was a girl. They're tiny, perfect, and beautiful. My favorite colors.

Bachelor's Button

4:  Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus)
4: Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus) | Source
  • Annual (lives for 1 year)
  • Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness Zone: N/A

It's amazing what you start to see when you open your eyes to what's all around you. Walking through the forests or the fields, it's easy to see just a forest, or just a field. If you take a closer look, you'll start to see little details and flourishes, like this one.

Blue Columbine

5:  Blue Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea)
5: Blue Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea) | Source
  • Perennial (lives 2+ years)
  • Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Sun to partial shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 9b

I grew up with these when I lived in Boulder, Colorado as a kid. Imagine my surprise when I noticed them growing in the forests and woods of Northern Minnesota! It's a completely different temperature and growing zone, but I'm so glad we get to have them here.

Video: Wildflowers On The Gunflint Trail

Large-Flowered Trillium (White)

6:  Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
6: Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) | Source
  • Perennial (lives 2+ years)
  • Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Partial to full shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 9b

My mom used to tell my brother and I that trilliums were extremely rare. I guess they were almost killed off a few decades ago. But now in the forests of Minnesota (and Michigan), they grow in the thousands upon thousands, covering every inch of the forest floor. I don't think we need to worry about them going extinct anymore.

Queen Anne's Lace

7:  Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
7: Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) | Source
  • Biennial (flowers alternate years)
  • Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Sun to partial shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 9b

My parents grew up, went to college, and met in the lower peninsula of Michigan. My mom has always loved Queen Anne's Lace and pointed them out, since they're also a common wildflower in Michigan. There are a few copycat flowers out there, but you can tell this is the real McCoy by looking at the leaves.

Red Columbine

8:  Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
8: Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) | Source
  • Perennial (lives 2+ years)
  • Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to full shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 4a through 8b

This always reminds me of the Colorado Rockies, especially the Flatirons, since they're a reddish color (as are the rocks of the Rockies.) What a beautiful find out in the middle of nowhere in the forests of Northern Minnesota! Apparently they're not supposed to grow here, but they do (see image proof above!)

Large-Flowered Trillium (Pink)

9:  Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
9: Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) | Source
  • Perennial (lives for 2+ years)
  • Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Partial to full shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 9b

This species of trillium turns pink as it ages. It was amazing how the entire floor of the forest was covered in white, light pink, and dark pink trillium blooms. Unfortunately it was difficult to get a good en masse image; however, here's a beautiful pink one close up! Maybe this spring I'll be able to get a good image showing them by the thousands.

Large-Leaved Lupine (Pink)

10:  Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)
10: Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) | Source
  • Perennial (lives for 2+ years)
  • Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Sun to partial shade
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 7b

Wild Lupines remind me of vast open fields bordered by forests (we are in Minnesota, after all, and there's bound to be a forest just about everywhere.) Lupines are, to me, absolutely beautiful and almost larger-than-life. They hybridize so you get pinks, purples, blues, whites, yellows, and all the shades between.


11:  Echinacea (Echinacea pallida)
11: Echinacea (Echinacea pallida) | Source
  • Perennial (lives for 2+ years)
  • Height: 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness Zone: 3a through 10b

Of course the health benefits of echinacea have come to the fore in the last decade or so, but I love this MN native for its shear beauty alone.

Despite appearances, the flowers are actually quite large, growing 2-4 feet tall, with the flower a few inches across.

Plant Hardiness Zones: US

Plant Hardiness Zones, US
Plant Hardiness Zones, US | Source

Choose Your Favorite

Which flower is your favorite?

  • 01: Harebell
  • 02: Lupine (blue-violet)
  • 03: Forget-Me-Not
  • 04: Bachelor's Button
  • 05: Blue Colombine
  • 06: Trillium (white)
  • 07: Queen Anne's Lace
  • 08: Red Colombine
  • 09: Trillium (pink)
  • 10: Lupine (pink)
  • 11: Echinacea
See results without voting

Copyright © 2012 Faceless39. All rights reserved.

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Comments 35 comments

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Fabulous photos and details. It's beginning to feel a lot like Spring with this hub!

Pannonica profile image

Pannonica 4 years ago

Thank you, such a delight to view such stunning photographs, your close up's are beautiful.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

Your wildflower photographs are absolutely stunning! Many of these wildflowers are familiar, and I was pleased to learn their names and more information about each one. Great hub! Voted up across the board!Pinned and shared.

sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Beautiful hub! I love flowers and your pictures are excellent! I have several of these in my yard now. I loved the Lupine! I am going to have to try some of these this year. Excellent hub! Voted up and beautiful! :)

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Considering the warm winter this year, I'm hoping spring will arrive before mid-June! Thanks for all the comments!

SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

What a beautiful hub! I always had a soft spot for flowers in the shades of violet-blue. These photos are just stunning! I love lupines. They grow very well here in Sweden. Voted up and beautiful. Thanks!

one2get2no profile image

one2get2no 4 years ago from Olney

Beautiful flowers and an interesting hub. Thank you.

cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu

Very nice how I wish I have those in my garden :) Thanks for sharing this wonderful photos

Aaron Megquier profile image

Aaron Megquier 4 years ago from Belfast, ME

Great hub! You take beautiful photos, and it's nice to see a hub about wildflowers. We used to have large-flowered trillium in Maine, but they haven't been seen in about 20 years and are considered extirpated from the state. I still check a spot where they used to grow, but to no avail. I'm glad they are thriving where you are! We have lupine, queen anne's lace, and forget-me-nots everywhere. And a few harebells as well. Thanks again for the great hub!

Lateral3 profile image

Lateral3 4 years ago

Superbly done faceless. Love the Harebells. We see them here in the UK growing on the chalk downs and iron age hill forts.

Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Your photographs are absolutely stunning! Wow!

gree0786 profile image

gree0786 4 years ago from United States

Wonderful! I went to college in Duluth, and always vacation on the Gunflint Trail. Brought back some memories :D I like that video on flowers along the Gunflint.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Really love wildflowers! They remind me of summertime and hiking in the mountains here in the Pacific Northwest. I've never visited Minnesota, but would love to see some of these gorgeous flowers one day. Best, Steph

Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 4 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Wow, Kate... this is a beautiful hub with the most amazing flowers here. I would choose the Blue Colombine as perhaps my favorite, but really they are all so beautiful.

This is very beautiful. And so therapeutic too. :)

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

It looks like spring will be coming early to northern Minnesota this year. We're set to get into the mid-40s tomorrow (which is almost unheard of.) Think spring!

Thanks for all of the wonderful comments; I appreciate and use feedback to guide the direction of future hubs.

Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Faceless,

Your photographs are breathtakingly beautiful.

I live in the province of Ontario. Our provincial flower is the White Trillium.

Voted up and away!

Have a good evening.

kasiapl profile image

kasiapl 4 years ago from New Jersey , USA

Love them :) beautiful flowers :) I wish there were ones like that growing in NJ .

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Such gorgeous wildflower photos! I like how you put the pertinent facts like growing zone, etc. to the right of the text under the photos. Voting this useful, interesting, beautiful and will share with my followers + tweet.

JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

What a gorgeous hub. The Harebell looks very similar to the Bluebells we get in England. I also recognise the Echinacea, as we sell them in the Garden Centre where I work, very popular as are the Lupins. Voted up etc.

jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Beautiful flowers, beautiful photographs. Sharing this hub with my followers.

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