Wildflower searching often involves a lot of waiting. We wait for the snow to melt and the snow trilliums to appear. We wait for the pasque flowers to bloom, the kittentails to sprout up, the western prairie fringed orchids to make their appearance, and the four kind of gentians to appear later in the summer. We wait for pitcher plant flowers to open like pinwheels and for rose pogonia to blossom above the peat moss. We wait, we hope, we look, and sometimes we find.
Now we are waiting again for spring, but we are waiting, too, for our book Searching for Minnesota’s Native Wildflowers: A Guide for Beginners, Botanists, and Everyone In Between to be published at the beginning of May. Like a long-buried seed, this book has been germinating for years as we took road trips and hiked through prairies and bogs and forests and along lakeshores to see some of Minnesota’s native wildflower treasures–and looked, too, closer to home. We started with a yearning to know these flowers, a guidebook or two, a roadmap, a camera, and a field notebook. Along the way we learned more than we ever imagined about when native flowers bloom, where they bloom, what they might bloom with, and why they matter. We’ve waded creeks, lost boots in mud, and gotten lost ourselves more times than we can remember. Impatiently hopeful, we’ve driven north only to find the woods still buried in snow. Now, with snow outside our windows, we wait for spring and a new season of wildflower searching.
And we wait, too, to see our book bloom.
Author: Phyllis Root
Photographer: Kelly Povo