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Minnesota Wildflowers: Image Gallery

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1: Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

1: Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)


  • 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.

2:  Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)

2: Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)

Large-Leaved Lupine (Blue-Violet)

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

Minnesota may get cold and snowy, 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)


  • 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. They are my favorite colors.

4: Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus)

4: Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus)

Bachelor's Button

  • 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 a field. If you take a closer look, you'll start to see little details and flourishes, like this one.

5: Blue Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea)

5: Blue Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea)

Blue Columbine

  • 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.

6: Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

6: Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Large-Flowered Trillium (White)

  • 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 me 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.

7: Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)

7: Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)

Queen Anne's Lace

  • 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.

8:  Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

8: Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Red Columbine

  • 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!)

9: Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

9: Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Large-Flowered Trillium (Pink)

  • 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.

10: Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)

10: Large-leaved Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)

Large-Leaved Lupine (Pink)

  • 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)


  • 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

© 2012 Kate P


Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on August 31, 2018:

@Robin, "Who can say no to any flower" .. indeed! I love all the flowers just like you. I think you're probably right about the European import of Queen Anne's Lace. It's a type of carrot, so it would make sense they'd carry it with them to the 'new land.'

Robin on August 16, 2018:

I vote for the article and I had to vote for Queen Anne;s lace- which, I believe, is one of those wildflowers (some call weeds...silly folks) that we imported from, probably, Britain long long ago with our first immigrants, although I love them all almost all the same amount. Who can say no to any flower...

Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on September 08, 2015:

Thanks for the nice notes, I appreciate them! And yes Chantelle, we do have Lady's Slippers in MN. They're beautiful! :)

Chantelle Porter from Ann Arbor on September 08, 2015:

I grew up in the UP and my Grandma's yard was filled with trillium and Forget Me Nots. She also had Lady's Slippers. Do they grow where you are? They are divine little orchids that enchant. If you haven't seen them before I hope you do someday.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on January 02, 2015:

Beautifully and carefully put together photoessay Kate. I like the layout of the photos, and the combination of key facts and personal reminiscences in the text.

A nice tribute to native flowers of Minnesota, many of which - as mentioned by Nettlemere - also have garden varieties. I always prefer to see the wild forms, so it was nice to see this article.

I voted for the harebell by the way. Oh, and I also voted for the hub :) Alun

Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on July 31, 2012:

There are wildflowers that bloom in each part of the spring, summer, and fall. We'll be quickly winding down to fall, where just the wild purple Asters (my profile image) remain against the dry leaves and dead grass.

I can't wait to see these all again next year.

Thanks so much for the comments (and shares!)

oceansider on July 10, 2012:

I really enjoyed your article about Minnesota's wildflowers and I voted for the Forget me nots, although they're all beautiful. A close friend of mine is from St. Cloud, Minnesota....I'll give her the line to your hub so she can take a look at the flowers. (She's not a Hub pages member), but will enjoy this!.....Thank you, Helen

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on May 30, 2012:

Sorry, I couldn't choose just one favorite, when it comes to flowers I'm a kid in a sweet shop. The Queen Ann's Lace look amazing. great hub, voting up

Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on April 17, 2012:

Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your stories, and for the nice comments! When you see the flowers in your area every year you don't always imagine them in other countries. Very cool!

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on April 06, 2012:

Interesting to see flowers we know as garden plants in the UK growing wild and also to see that we have 2 in common - the harebell and the forget me not. (NB I've double checked the Latin names to confirm that)

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on April 03, 2012:

Flowers soothe the soul. How beautiful. I cannot wait for my garden. I have tulips blooming and this is our first year!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on March 29, 2012:

What beautiful photos! I'm crazy about lupines but have had no luck growing them. And I'm wondering about the Queen Anne's Lace - I read where the true QAL has a little dot in the center, people call it the lady bug. If there is no dot, it may be something else. I thought I was growing QAL but it doesn't have the dot. It may be hemlock but I'm not sure. Voted up and awesome!

Coach Bags on March 13, 2012:

Thanks a lot for giving everyone a very terrific opportunity to discover important secrets from here.

girltalksshop on March 08, 2012:

I love all your photos! : ) It was hard to choose. Thanks for sharing such a colorful hub. Very informative and helpful.

Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on March 07, 2012:

@JKenny, the Harebells (US) are actually called Bluebells (UK), so they may well be the same flower.

@Moonlake, what I did for my mom (who loves Queen Anne's Lace) is to pick a bunch of it in the fall, dry it out, and collect the seeds to plant in the spring. They yield lots and lots of seeds, so food for thought.

Thank you all very much for your kind comments and stories. It's interesting to see where these flowers can grow; apparently they range all over the country and the world~!

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on March 07, 2012:

These are beautiful photos. I especially like the way you grouped them by colors. So pretty. I enjoyed reading about each flower as well. There was a species of trillium that was found in the forest on the grounds where I worked. Everyone was quite excited about the find. So glad you put these on Hubpages.

moonlake from America on March 07, 2012:

My very favorite wildflowers are the Lupine and Queen Ann's Lace. I have tried many times to get Queen Ann's Lace to grow in my yard but with no luck. I ask at the nursery if I could get the seeds they told me they don't sell them because their not native to Wisconsin. How does that flower know if it's in MN or Wisconsin. I also see many growing in Michigan.

Great hub enjoyed reading about the wildflowers. All of the flowers you have listed also grow here.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on March 07, 2012:

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

James Kenny from Birmingham, England on March 07, 2012:

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.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 07, 2012:

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.

Kathy from New Jersey , USA on March 07, 2012:

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

Sueswan on March 06, 2012:

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.

Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on March 05, 2012:

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.

Cathy Nerujen from Edge of Reality and Known Space on March 05, 2012:

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. :)

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 03, 2012:

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

gree0786 from United States on March 02, 2012:

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.

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on March 02, 2012:

Your photographs are absolutely stunning! Wow!

Lateral3 on March 02, 2012:

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

Aaron Megquier from Belfast, ME on March 02, 2012:

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!

cebutouristspot from Cebu on March 02, 2012:

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

Philip Cooper from Olney on March 02, 2012:

Beautiful flowers and an interesting hub. Thank you.

SanneL from Sweden on March 02, 2012:

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!

Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on March 01, 2012:

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

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on March 01, 2012:

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! :)

Stephanie Henkel from USA on March 01, 2012:

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.

Pannonica on March 01, 2012:

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

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 01, 2012:

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