Wildflowers are one of the many splendid delights of springtime. As you trek gloriously muddy hiking trails to gushing waterfalls, keep a look out for the region's beautiful blooms. 

Wildflower Season

The wildflower season is heralded by wild daffodils springing up alongside country roads and across farmers' fields in the Willamette Valley. It is a local tradition to cruise the country roads around Junction City every March, admiring the yellow blooms. 

Wildflower season is best from April through June. In April, beautiful purple camas and pond lilies in the low wetland areas of the Willamette Valley start budding. Pair colorful wildflowers with another springtime highlight - the sight of ducklings and goslings at play at Delta Ponds and West Eugene Wetlands. Another splash of purple is the wild iris concentrated around Wild Iris Ridge but found trail-side throughout the region. 

Some of the flowers you might see include coast fawn lilies, cut-leaved goldthread, flowering currant, Hartwig's wild ginger, Indian plum, Oregon grape, Oregon fawn lilies, Oregon fetid adder's tongue, Oregon selaginella, Marshall's saxifrage, saucer bishops cap, spring gold, trillium, violets, western wood anemone and many more.

A meadow full of green grass and indigo camas flowers with blue sky above.
: Melanie Griffin

Camas meadow at Mount Pisgah in spring.

Wander through the wildflower meadows at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum and pick up a copy of their local plant list. Mount Pisgah is a natural destination for wildflower hunting. Hiking trails crisscross the two-hundred-acre park preserve from the banks of the Willamette River to the top of the mountain. Check their calendar for family-friendly, guided wildflower walks. In May, the arboretum typically hosts an annual Wildflower Festival with plant workshops, exhibits and wildflower walks by local botanists. 

Hendricks Park in the Spring by Colin Morton

Spring Rhododendrons

Oregon Coast Blooms

Since 1908, Florence has celebrated every May with a spectacular Rhododendron Festival. This event includes a street fair, car show, 5K run, carnival and a Rhododendron Floral Parade with a queen and king crowned.

Rhododendrons aren't the only magnificent flower on the Oregon Coast — with the advent of spring, the Darlingtonia Californica, a red and green carnivorous bloom, sends up single, nodding flowers followed by larger pitchers to trap their prey. This fascinating flower can be viewed at Darlingtonia Wayside in Florence, a state park dedicated to this rare flora's preservation.

Hike along the coastal cliffs and around coastal lakes to spot more wildflowers. Look for wild iris, beach pea and sand lupine. Nothing is more splendid than wildflowers framed by beach and sea.

Urban Florals

Jaunts around town can include everything from poppies growing in the sidewalk cracks to verdant gardens overflowing yards. Enjoy the flush of pinks on the cherry trees and the delicate whites of the dogwoods. Rhododendrons are a popular neighborhood feature, resistant to deer and beautiful for native landscaping. Along with daffodils and California poppies, Shasta daisies are often amassed along roadsides.

Gardens & Parks

May is also the time for cherry blossoms in shades of white to deep pink. Visit the century-old black tartarian cherry tree in Eugene's Owen Rose Garden. Over 4,000 roses burst into bloom in this riverside garden, peaking with glorious color in June. Not wild, but still a treasured sight for flower enthusiasts. 

On the McKenzie River, Belknap Hot Springs Resort offers sprawling mountain gardens. Graveled paths lead to forested riverside glens, moss-covered water features, pretty flower beds or open sunlit meadows.

And don't forget Oregon's native rhododendrons. In Eugene, Hendricks Park's 80-acre woodlands include a manicured rhododendron and native plant garden — just perfect for a springtime stroll. Inspired by the beauty? Visit one of the region's nurseries for your own garden planning.

Cascade Mountain Wildflowers

And wildflower scouting isn't over yet! As spring eases into June, head into the Cascade Mountains for wildflowers and butterflies along Oakridge's mountain biking trails. Through late July, discover meadows of buttercups, tiger lilies, orchids, bunchberry, Oregon boxwood and groundsel. The higher elevations stretch the wildflower season out until late summer when the terrain starts to turn golden. Places to go include Tire Mountain, Patterson Mountain Meadow and Waldo Lake. Above Cottage Grove, explore Bohemia Mountain.

Hiking Alpine Trail in summer
: Norman Coyer

Hiking Alpine Trail in summer among wildflowers

Along with scenic vistas, the wildflowers make every hike and ramble magical.

In July, visit the McKenzie River Lavender fields which hosts the annual McKenzie River Lavender Bloom festival. The festival is a rich sensory experience where sweet-smelling rows of deep purple buzz as lazy bumblebees gather nectar which will be next years local honey. Take home a piece of this early summer festival with a u-pick bundle of fresh lavender, hand-crafted skincare products or delicious local produce. For wildflowers, wander Horsepasture Mountain nearby.

Flowers at Groundwork Organics Farm
: Melanie Ryan Griffin

U-Pick sunflowers at Groundwork Organics Farm

U-Pick Flowers & Farms

Since picking wildflowers or cultivated flowers in parks or on public lands ranges between illegal (where and what being the key factors) to poor trail etiquette (please leave them for others to enjoy) to foolhardy (wildflowers are delicate and the bloom may wilt quickly); the best way to bring home a flower's beauty is from local farms. All along the South Willamette Valley Food Trail are vegetable and fruit farms that also grow fields of tulips, sunflowers, dahlias, snapdragons and zinnias. With a basket, scissors and your camera – because the photo opportunities in flower fields are amazing – gather armfuls of flowers to brighten your day or someone else's! Hanging flower baskets are also a popular take home and can be found at summer farmers' markets and farm stands across the Willamette Valley.

For detailed local information on wildflowers, connect with the Emerald Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon. They maintain lists of rare plants and invasive plants. Please do not pick or disturb wildflowers, plants or animals.