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Plant Group

Wildflower and Herbs

Wildflowers and herbs are non-woody, flowering plants

These may be plants in a garden, or they could thrive on their own in the wild. Some wildflowers are native species, that is, they are indigenous to an area or region. Other wildflowers have been introduced to an area but are able to maintain their own populations or are maintained by people. Some species of wildflowers are very common while others are quite rare.

For the purposes of conducting observations, this category includes forbs—plants that die back to the ground over the winter months and re-emerge in the spring—and cacti. Examples of Wildflowers and Herbs include the Black-eyed Susan, Large flowered trillium, Wild bergamot, Butterfly milkweed, and Plains prickly pear.

Phenology Status

Life events for this plant group revolve around leafing, flowering and fruiting. Each member of this group is unique. For example, the first ripe fruit phenophase for the large flowered trillium differs from the first ripe fruit for the common milkweed.



No flowers or buds visible.

First Bud Emerged

Date when the first flower bud is visible.

Flower Bud Burst

Date when the flower sepals (bud scales) have opened to reveal the emerging flower. The color of the flower can be recognized.

First Flower

Date when the flower is fully open. When open, you will see the stamens/pistils among the unfolded petals.

Early Flowering

Few flowers are open (less than 5%).

Middle Flowering

Half or more of the flowers are completely open.

Late Flowering

Most flowers have wilted or fallen off (over 95%).

All Flowers Withered

All flowers have wilted or fallen off.

Fruits or Seeds

No Ripe Fruit

No ripe fruits or seeds are visible. There is no fruit, or fruit is not yet ripe.

First Ripe Fruit

First fruits are fully ripe, or a few seeds are dropping naturally from the plant. Usually indicated by a change in color to the mature color, or by drying and splitting open (for dry fruits such as capsules).

Early Fruiting

Only a few ripe fruits or seeds are visible (less than 5%).

Middle Fruiting

Half or more of the fruits are completely ripe or seeds are dropping naturally from the plant.

Late Fruiting

Most fruits or seeds have been dispersed from the plant (over 95%).


First Shoot

First appearance of the growing shoot is visible above ground.

First Leaf Emerged

First leaf has emerged. The leaf shape should be clearly visible, but it can still be partly folded.

First Leaf Unfolded

First leaf has unfolded and is at least 75% of its mature size.

All Leaves Unfolded

All emerged leaves are fully visible in their mature form.

First Leaf Withered

First leaf, of those that developed this season, has lost its green color or is dried and dead.

All Leaves Withered

Most or all of the leaves that developed this season have lost their green color or are dried and dead.

Find a Budburst Wildflower & Herb Species

Here are some examples of Wildflower & Herb species

  1. Cream false indigo
  2. Green milkweed
  3. Wild quinine

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