May Yellow Wildflowers

A month ago, at the end of April, most of the early blooming wildflowers in Eliza Howell Park were in the woodlands. As May progressed, more flowers began to appear in the fields and meadows.

Once again this year I have been struck by how many of these early meadow species have yellow flowers.

Golden Ragwort

Small patches of Golden Ragwort are scattered in the park. They are less than 2 feet tall and, growing among other meadow plants, can be missed from a distance. When my walks bring me close, the clusters of small blooms always lead me to stop and admire.

Yellow Wood-Sorrel

Yellow Wood-Sorrel is a small wildflower that is very common in this part of the country (gardeners often see them). Each tiny 5-petaled flower is 1/2 inch across at most. They’re distinguished from other small 5-petaled yellow flowers (like Cinquefoil) by the leaves that resemble 3-leaf clovers.


There are different Cinquefoil species with yellfow flowers. This one (Common Cinquefoil, I think) grows along the ground and sends up individual flowers, which are about 1/2 inch across. Each petal is slightly notched.

Yellow Goat’s Beard

Yellow Goat’s Beard is a taller flower, reaching above the rapidly growing grasses in single flowers, nearly 2 inches across and resembling tall Dandelions.

The color yellow has often been recognized as symbolizing sunshine. Goat’s Beard and Dandelion are two wildflowers that might suggest sun.


Dandelion needs no description and is usually considered a weed (a weed being in many cases a flower growing where it is unwanted).The scattered bright yellow Dandelions in Eliza Howell Park add to the overall scene of attractive yellow May wildflowers.


Just now, as May is nearing the end, Coreopsis is beginning to bloom. It is the first of the larger meadow and prairie wildflowers that will populate the park in the months to come.

Coreopsis flowers appear singly on the tips of the stems. Each has 8 petals with each petal having several lobes at the tip.


There have been a few wildflowers blooming in May that are not yellow, but yellow has definitely been the dominant color.

The color yellow is often said to symbolize happiness and optimism (in addition to sunshine). It fitting, perhaps, that yellow is the dominant flower color in May, a month of rising spirits for many.

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