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Field Notes - A look back at May in Indiana

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

A small sampling of photos and plant phenology sightings selected from the 3564 observations made by our Indiana Backyard Observers, as well as from iNaturalist Observations made in Indiana during the month of May.

Flowering Shrubs and Trees


These shrubs and trees flowered during the month of May.


Early May Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) Common Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)

Mid May Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) Guelder-Rose (Viburnum opulus) Mapleleaf Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) Common Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)

Late May Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) Guelder-Rose (Viburnum opulus) Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) Black Elderberry (Samucus canadensis) Common Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)

We Might Be Weeds


Though often dismissed as mere weeds, these plants fill important roles in our ecosystems. They can be found in yards and gardens, from roadsides to fields. Some of these are native, but many are not.


Early May

Butterweed (Packera glabella)

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

Bitter Wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris)

Red Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)

Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)

Philadephia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus)

Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea)

Catchweed Bedstraw (Galium aparine)

Corn Speedwell (Veronica arvensis)

Roundleaf Ragwort (Packera obovata)


Mid May

Butterweed (Packera glabella)

Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis)

Catchweed Bedstraw (Galium aparine)

Clustered Sanicle (Sanicula odorata)

Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea)

Bitter Wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris)

Hairy Puccoon (Lithospermum caroliniense)

Spring Avens (Geum vernum)

Mock Strawberry (Potentilla indica)

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

Late May

Butterweed (Packera glabella)

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

Clustered Sanicle (Sanicula odorata)

Hemp Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum)

Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Black Medick (Medicago lupulina)

Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius)


Flowering Invasives


Early May

Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

Common Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)


Mid May

Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

Common Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

White Mulberry (Morus alba)

Late May

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

Herbaceous Plants

Herbaceous Plants great waterleaf, wild blue indigo, and foxglove

Early May

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum)

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Canadian Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Great Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum appendiculatum)

Cream Violet (Viola striata)

Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

American Cancer-Root (Conopholis americana)

Bristly Buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus)


Mid May

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus)

Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Great Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum appendiculatum)

Wild Lupin (Lupinus perennis)

Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Solomon's Plume (Maianthemum racemosum)

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum)

Cream Violet (Viola striata)

Large White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Miami Mist (Phacelia purshii)

White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda)

Late May

Lance-leaved Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Wild Lupin (Lupinus perennis)

Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus)

Great Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum appendiculatum)

Blue Flag (Iris virginica)

Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)

Fire Pink (Silene virginica)

Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Smooth Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)

Bluejacket or Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)

Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea)

Developing Fruits


Mid May

Catchweed Bedstraw (Galium aparine)

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Spring Avens (Geum vernum)

Mock Strawberry (Potentilla indica)

Box Elder (Acer negundo)

Silver Maple (Acer saccarinum)

Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

Late May

Mayapple (podophyllum pelatum)

Spring Avens (Geum vernum)

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

White Mulberry (Morus alba)

American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)


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