Wild about Wildflowers

By: Hannah Park, Interpretive Ranger at Bear Brook State Park

The week of exploration has commenced for the Interpretive Rangers! I have the pleasure of wandering around Bear Brook State Park. To my surprise, wildflowers are popping up everywhere to greet me! Take a moment to appreciate some of these beautiful blossoms with me and learn where to find them in park.

Hedyotis (Houstonia) caerulea.

The small flowers above grow in clumps and are sprinkled all over the park from April until the end of June. With the name “bluets”, one would assume they would be more blue but the pigmentation tends to vary flower to flower.

Cypripedium acaule

 The unusual flowers above are known as pink lady slippers, although I’m not sure how they would fit into todays fashions. As a part of the orchid family, lady slippers are finicky. They do not transplant and take years to just flower, so be sure to leave these interesting flowers where they are. Blooming from April until June, look under pines and near rocky areas for these wildflowers, which happen to be the State Wildflower of New Hampshire.

Lotus corniculatus.

Be sure to look down as you hike up Broken Boulder Trail to checkout the old Bear Hill 4H camp. Along the roadside at the end of the trail you can spot some Bird’s-Foot Trefoil (photo above) from June until September.

Achillea millefolium

In the same area as above, the yarrow plant grows from June to September. Yarrow root and leaves have been used as a medicinal plan to aid in toothaches and headaches within many native cultures.

Iris versicolor

Alongside the marsh areas within the park, you might be lucky enough to spot the flower above. Larger blue flag is a member of the Iris flower. I had only seen these flowers in my families garden growing up and was surprised when I spotted these in the wild.

Kalmia angustifolia

The sheep laurel can be found around Beaver Pond. I noticed the flower while taking a break on the 1.5-mile hike around the pond. Poisonous to mammals, this wildflower is also known as lamb-kill, calf-kill, kill-kid, and sheep-poison.

The wildflower season has just begun! Come out to Bear Brook State Park to experience the many beauties it has to offer. If you spot some that I have not mentioned, please comment below where you saw it within Bear Brook!

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Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and made possible by generous financial support from Eversource. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming. Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required.

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