Rain is needed in small doses throughout the winter. Too little rain provides a poor climate for seed germination. Too much rain, and the seeds could rot or be washed away. Showers too early or too late in the season may not help the flowers bloom.
Temperature is also critical. Warm days are a good indicator of a full bloom ahead. If the sun gets too hot, though (over 85 degrees F.), the seeds may become parched and the seedlings scorched. Cool nights can assist flower seedlings by slowing the growth of competitors like grasses and mustards. However, very cold temperatures mean bad news for blossoms.
When will the flowers bloom? None of us know for sure. Each year’s bloom is unique in its variety, profusion and timing. Click here for our Wildflowers of Starved Rock Guide that is designed to help you identify wildflowers by common name, color and/or description, and time of year that they are known to bloom. This list is printable – print a copy, bring it with you and check off all the wildflowers that you see!