This page includes photos of just a few of the many wildflowers that can be found in Douglas Park, especially in the sanctuary and at the edges of the lagoons. The photos are arranged in order of the seasons, from early spring through late fall.
With its large patches of wetland, meadow, and prairie-like habitats, Douglas Park specializes in summer and fall flowers. There are no older woodlands in the park, so we do not find traditional woodland wildflowers, like trillium and Trout Lily. (We did find one patch of Spring Beauty this April.)
Some of the earliest spring blooms we do find in the park are flowering shrubs and trees.
The some of the park’s early wetland and meadow flowers we brought it this area by European immigrants. Below are a few examples.
Some of the original Illinois prairie and meadow wildflowers begin blooming in late May. They are just a prelude to the sanctuary’s riot of summer colors.
If you search the edges of park’s lagoons and ponds, you can find these summer wildflowers.
Beginning in July, the park’s meadow and prairie-like habitats are in full display mode.
The edges of the lagoons also have wildflowers in July and August. One of my favorites is Swamp Milkweed. I enjoy both Swamp Milkweed flowers and the bugs the flowers attract (including Carpenter Bees, Great Black Wasps, and Monarch Butterflies).
There’s lots more color to be found in the park’s sanctuary in late summer and early fall, and — let’s be frank — most of it is yellow.
A few purple flowers swim in the the sanctuary’s summer sea of yellow, especially once the asters start to bloom.
By September, the edges of the Douglas Park lagoons are putting on a show.
By October, most of the park’s wildflowers have gone to seed. But that’s a good thing! Wildflower seeds are beautiful, too, and they provide food for goldfinches, sparrows, and other migrant birds.