Looking for and photographign wildflowers is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities, according to the National Forest Service. So, to make it easier, the agency has issued an interactive national wildflower map showing the way to some of the best wildlfower spots in the country.It lists six places in Minnesota's national forests. Here is a sampling:
The Pennington Bog near Bemidji:
A wide assortment of beautiful and unique orchids grows beneath a dense canopy of white cedar, balsam fir, and black spruce. This incredible bog extends on to adjacent State Scientific Natural Area. The site crosses from federal to state land and the State limits the number of people entering the site. The best time to visit the site is early - to mid-summer to view the wildflowers. Permission is required from the Regional DNR office in Bemidji, Minnesota.
Stony Point on Leech Lake:
A self-guiding trail from the campground leads you through the forest and gives you a glimpse of the many wildflowers including: Trillium, Dutchmens Breeches, Wild Onion, Wild Ginger, Bloodroot and Jack-in-th-Pulpit. The trail will also lead you past an older Anishinabe maple-sugaring camp.
The Fall River Patterned Fen near Grand Marais:
A distinctive pattern of miniature ridges (strings) and pools (flarks) is formed and arranged perpendicular to the slope. The pattern is best seen from the air, but is observable on the ground. In the Fall River Patterned Fen, the strings and flarks patterning is most visible on the ground toward the middle. A keen observer will also notice that some plants occur only on strings and others only in flarks. In addition to having higher species diversity, fens can be distinguished from bogs by the presence of fen indicators species. Some examples of fen indicators that you will not see in bogs are bogbean, white beakrush, mud sedge, and intermediate-leaved sundew. The Fall River Patterned Fen is on the mineral-poor end of the spectrum, so many bog species are present, and some of the species found in more mineral-rich fens are absent.
Flower and friend
The Magnetic Rock Trail near Grand Marais:
Early in the summer is the best time to see Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense), bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis), wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia), Juneberry (Amelanchier sp.), pincherry (Prunus pensylvanica), and pale corydalis (Corydalis sempervirens). Although many of the reindeer lichens (Cladina sp.) burned off in 2007, you can still find patches of these lichens on bedrock exposures. In mid-summer, wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum) and Bicknells’ geranium (Geranium bicknellii) are visible along the trail.