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Minnesota Wildflowers (Image Gallery)

Updated on June 13, 2016

Harebell

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.)

Forget-Me-Not

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.

Echinacea

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?

See results

Copyright © 2012 Faceless39. All rights reserved.



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    • Faceless39 profile image
      Author

      Faceless39 2 years ago from The North Woods, USA

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

    • Chantelle Porter profile image

      Chantelle Porter 2 years ago from Chicago

      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 profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 2 years ago from Essex, UK

      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

    • Faceless39 profile image
      Author

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      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!)

    • profile image

      oceansider 5 years ago

      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

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      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

    • Faceless39 profile image
      Author

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      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 profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      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)

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

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

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      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!

    • profile image

      Coach Bags 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      girltalksshop 5 years ago

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

    • Faceless39 profile image
      Author

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      @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~!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      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 profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      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.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

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

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 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.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 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.

    • kasiapl profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from New Jersey , USA

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

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 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.

    • Faceless39 profile image
      Author

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      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.

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 5 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. :)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 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

    • gree0786 profile image

      gree0786 5 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.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Your photographs are absolutely stunning! Wow!

    • Lateral3 profile image

      Lateral3 5 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.

    • Aaron Megquier profile image

      Aaron Megquier 5 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!

    • cebutouristspot profile image

      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

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

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 5 years ago from Olney

      Beautiful flowers and an interesting hub. Thank you.

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 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!

    • Faceless39 profile image
      Author

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

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

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 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! :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 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.

    • Pannonica profile image

      Pannonica 5 years ago

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

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

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