May is a transitional month for the southern portions of the state. For Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers locations see last month’s newsletter.
May is also a great time on the prairie for wildflowers. The Prairie White orchid blooms mid to late May, Prairie Smoke blooms in early May. Some of my favorite prairie preserves are: Cottonwood River Prairie, Prairie Coteau, Red Rock Prairie TNC, and Hole-In-The-Mountain Prairie TNC. All of these locations are in the south west corner of Minnesota; you can pick two or three sites to visit on a weekend trip.
The Calypso Orchid blooms in late May. This small but strikingly beautiful orchid is found in the bogs of the coniferous forests in north central Minnesota. Letimilitva . Iron Springs Bog SNA, Gustafson’s Camp SNA, and Red Lake Peatland SNA are good bets for finding this delicate beauty.
Some other orchids that potentially bloom in May include: Putty Root, Striped Coral Root, Early Coral Root, Ram’s Head Lady Slipper, Small and Large Yellow Lady Slippers. This is a partial list.