Full archive: Iowa wildflower Wednesday nature walks

Bleeding Heartland authors have featured about 250 plant species since I launched “Iowa wildflower Wednesday” in 2012. You can find most of those posts in this archive, alphabetized by common name from alumroot to zigzag goldenrod.

But not every post in the wildflower series focuses on one or two kinds of native plants. Many chronicle the author’s visit to a park, prairie, natural area, or wooded trail, where they may have photographed a dozen or more species. When I’ve updated the archive, I haven’t linked to every post that includes one picture of, say, spring beauty or Culver’s root or rattlesnake master.

For this piece, I compiled links to all of the Bleeding Heartland posts that survey a range of plants in a given area, arranged by season. I hope these links will help readers who are wondering which flowers may be blooming at different times of the year, or are trying to identify a plant they saw on their own nature walk. By the way, Lora Conrad reviewed many guides to Iowa wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.

Words can’t convey how grateful I am to guest authors who have showcased corners of Iowa that are unfamiliar to me, from Shimek State Forest (southeast) to Motor Mill (northeast) to the Loess Hills (southwest) and the Little Sioux River valley (northwest).


Kara Grady visited prairies in different parts of Iowa in the spring of 2023.

Lisa Green-Douglass allowed me to publish her photos from Johnson County conservation properties in spring 2023.

Patrick Swanson hiked through the northern Loess Hills in May 2023.

Lora Conrad took readers on a tour of the Croton Unit of Shimek State Forest (Lee and Van Buren counties) in 2022.

Kenny Slocum featured several spring wildflowers from wooded areas of Motor Mill (Clayton County) in 2022.

Elizabeth Marilla photographed insects on native plants in the spring of 2021.

Elizabeth Marilla hiked in many southeast Iowa parks during that lockdown spring of 2020.

I published an early spring medley in 2018 and photographed a selection of spring wildflowers near a woodland edge in Polk County in 2016.

Some spring bloomers were featured in my collection of red, white, and blue wildflowers, published on July 4, 2018.


Some of Kara Grady’s prairie visits stretched into the summer of 2023.

Kenny Slocum explored several prairies in northern Iowa in late July 2023.

Kara Grady visited “monarch waystations” in the summer of 2023.

Kara Grady visited the Macbride Nature Recreation Area in the summer of 2023.

Bruce Morrison featured wildflowers blooming on a prairie home remnant in O’Brien County in 2022.

Kenny Slocum showed many plants that bloom at Motor Mill during the summer in 2022.

Katie Byerly toured the Rock Creek Wildlife Area (Mitchell County) in late June 2022.

I visited Lee Tesdell’s farm prairie strip in Polk County in early July 2022.

Katie Byerly visited the Hansen Wildlife Area (Cerro Gordo County), newly open to the public in 2022.

Patrick Swanson joined a multi-day hike through the Loess Hills in June 2021.

Many of Elizabeth Marilla’s pictures of insects on native plants were taken during the summer of 2021.

Grinnell College students Tommy Hexter and Jacy Highbarger wrote about a prairie planting on campus in 2021.

Bruce Morrison shared a selection of his northwest Iowa landscapes in 2021.

Elizabeth Marilla wrote about unusual and beautiful fungi in 2021. Eileen Miller allowed me to publish many of her fungi photographs in 2014.

I featured a range of flowers blooming on woodland trails in Polk County in July 2020.

Emilene Leone’s guide to converting part of a suburban lawn to native plants included many summer wildflowers in 2020.

Patrick Swanson hiked on “Brent’s Trail” in the Loess Hills in June 2019.

I took friends to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in early August 2019.

Some summer bloomers were featured in my collection of red, white, and blue wildflowers, published on July 4, 2018.

In August 2018, I photographed wildflowers near a trail along Walnut Creek in Windsor Heights, which had flooded earlier in the summer.

Eileen Miller allowed me to share her images of insects on native plants in 2016.

I featured several types of white and yellow asters in July 2015.


In August 2022, I shared images of many flowers I’d found blooming on nature walks during Augusts past.

Kenny Slocum chronicled the oak savanna restoration at Bloody Run County Park (Clayton County) in August 2021.

Bruce Morrison featured autumn landscapes from southeast O’Brien County in November 2022.

I visited a prairie planting in Windsor Heights in October 2023.

In October 2022, I shared photos of plants blooming during that month in past years.

I took a walk on Mike Delaney’s restored Dallas County prairie in September 2021.

Lora Conrad contributed nine photographs of berries or berry-like fruit on plants in Van Buren County in November 2021.

Bruce Dickerson took readers on a walk around his Appanoose County pasture in October 2020.

In November 2020, Katie Byerly allowed me to publish a selection of her pictures of flowering plants gone to seed.

I covered several plants that produce sticky burs in October 2019.

Phil Specht allowed me to publish pictures of asters on his Clayton County property in November 2017.

I featured selections of fall asters in November 2016 and in November 2013.


Patrick Swanson photographed plants on his Harrison County prairie remnant after an ice storm in February 2020. This post also includes instructions on making a DIY bee house using native plants.

Patrick Swanson photographed plants on his property after a snowfall in February 2019.

Top photo is by Katie Byerly and first appeared in her post about the Rock Creek Wildlife Area (Mitchell County).

Tags: Wildflowers

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