Last Updated on September 12, 2019 by Janet Frost
My initial intention for this article was to highlight Wildflowers of the Western United States. I asked some of my fellow bloggers to join in. But as the blooming desert burst around me I realized that I needed to expand beyond just wildflowers. I simply could not leave out the beautiful cactus flowers of Arizona or the vivid flower fields of Oregon that Kit shares. Sage stayed true to the wildflower theme in her seasonal line-up of undulating colors across the Kansas prairie. Flower tourism encourages travelers to search out the unique flora of every region of the world.
Let’s Go! Learn Things about flowers in the Western United States…
A Guide to Kansas Wildflowers by Season: Spring, Summer, and Fall
Sage Scott of Everyday Wanderer invites us to visit her floral state of Kansas.
From early March until at least mid-November, wildflowers are abundant in Eastern Kansas. One of the best way to see Mother Nature’s ever changing floral display is to hike one of the greater Kansas City area’s nature trails or spend time in one of the parks. Some of my favorites include Black Hoof Park / Lake Lenexa, Indian / Tomahawk Creek Trail, Mill Creek Streamway Park, and Shawnee Mission Park, the most visited park in the state of Kansas. While they may still be in bloom in early summer, these Kansas wildflowers generally bloom within the spring months of March, April, and May: Black-eyed Susans, Bloodroot, Bluebell, Mallow, and Phlox.
Although they’re not wildflowers, one of the most distinctive signs that spring has arrived in Eastern Kansas is the thick, bright pink flowers in redbud trees. While some of the spring wildflowers may still be in bloom in the early summer, here are the additional blooms you can scout for during the months of June, July, and August: American Bellflower, Black-Eyed Susan, Clover, Coneflower, Goldenrod, Indian Paintbrush, Larkspur, Mallow, Milkweed, Plains Coreopsis, Sage, Sunflowers, and Verbena.
Fun Fact: While the sunflower is the state flower of Kansas, across the border to the north, this Kansas wildflower is listed as a noxious weed in Iowa. And as summer morphs into fall, look for Aster and Beggar-Tick to join the Black-Eyed Susans, Clover, Goldenrod, Sage, and Verbena still going strong from summertime.
Learn More: About Kansas wildflowers, visit Everyday Wanderer Kansas Wildflowers
Oregon Offers a Stunning Array of Blooms
Kit Emens-Hesslink of Persnickety Living joins our flower show from the state of Oregon
When you think of Oregon, green trees (and lots of them!) may come to mind. However, the mild climate is perfect for showcasing gorgeous flowers in bloom. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon takes place every year from the end of March to the end of April or beginning of May. There are 40 acres of stunning tulips to view, and the festival attracts 100,000 people from all over the world.
Roses and irises
From Mother’s Day to the end of May, you can visit 10 acres of blooming irises and other spring flowers at Schreiner’s Iris Display Gardens located in Salem, Oregon. It is outrageously beautiful. The Schreiner’s irises are internationally recognized as some of the best. Portland is the City of Roses and home to the renowned International Rose Test Garden located in lush Washington Park. Free tours are given daily at 1 pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, but you can visit any time. Peak bloom times are in June.
Take a day and drive through the Hood River Fruit Loop in the Hood River Valley where you can visit farms, orchards, wineries and vineyards, plus two lavender farms: Lavender Valley in Parkdale, Oregon and Hood River Lavender Farms (2 locations) in Hood River. Snow-capped Mt. Hood overlooks this beautiful valley. The Lavender Daze Festival happens in July.
Another option is to visit the Swan Island Dahlia Farm located in Canby, Oregon. The fields are open during the bloom season from August 1 to September 7. It is also the location for the Annual Dahlia Festival which takes place over two weekends: Aug 24-26 and Aug 31-Sep 7. I have just skimmed the surface here; Oregon is full of gorgeous gardens and fields where you can take in the breathtaking beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Learn More: About Oregon’s flowers, visit Persnickety Living
Schreiner’s Iris Gardens near Portland, Oregon
Arizona Desert Flowers
Janet Frost right here at Go! Learn Things has been learning about all the blooms in her new home state of Arizona
2019 was an extraordinarily wet winter in the western United States. Wet winters bring spring flowers in states like New Mexico, Arizona and California. Even without a wet winter, the desert will surprise and amaze you with its blooming colors. If you have never visited the Sonora desert in March-June you should start making your plans for 2020. Each week of spring brings new blooms from wildflowers, shrubs, cacti and agave.
Learn More: About Arizona’s flowers, visit Go! Learn Things
Arizona Blooming Desert Flowers
Hawaiian Botanical Gardens
More from Go! Learn Things
Botanical gardens are a great way to learn about the flora of a region. Although wildflowers are beautiful to experience in the wild, it is nice to learn the names and details in a well laid out botanical garden.
The islands in the state of Hawaii are covered with lush tropical landscapes, harsh volcanic fields and picture perfect beaches. The four main islands (Hawaii, O’ahu, Kauai, and Maui) have widely diverse topography from each other. Each island represents a different stage in the volcanic life-cycle. Unfortunately, there are also vast areas on the islands lost to urban development. Several Hawaiian botanical gardens allow visitors to discover the unique vegetation of Hawaii without having to travel every mile of every island. These gardens also educate, preserve, and protect the landscape for future generations.
Learn More: Discover several Hawaiian Botanical Gardens at Go! Learn Things
Discover Flower Tourism for yourself
Janet, Sage and Kit have shared some Flower Tourism from their beloved states. Admittedly, the best time for Flower Tourism is spring and early summer. But it is never the wrong season to start planning your trip to enjoy the flowers of the Western United States.