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Indiana Dunes Flower Quest—AUGUST

Autumn may be just around the corner, but there are still plenty of floral gems blooming in the Indiana Dunes! There’s still time to go on the Indiana Dunes Flower Quest, and see how many you can spot before they disappear for another year!

How many of these fleeting wildflowers can you find? We’ve created an online reference below for you to track your progress. In the interest of being environmentally friendly, we encourage you to keep a mental note of your progress or take notes using your smart phone.

Be sure to tag @indianadunes and use #dunesflowerquest.

Need some help identifying your discoveries?  Try identify.plantnet.org.

A Note on Invasive Wildflowers

The Indiana Dunes are home to so many beautiful wildflowers. Unfortunately, not all of them belong here. Over the years, non-native species have taken root in the region, crowding out native species that are crucial for supporting fragile ecosystems. The parks, non-profit organizations, and volunteers work diligently to restore these areas.

If you spot an invasive species, please leave it be: it takes careful oversight to remove these plants without damaging the area, and poison ivy, ticks, and sometimes even toxins from the plants themselves can be a hazard.

Chicory

These purple flowers are part of the sunflower family. Although they may look lovely, they are invasive, crowding out native plants. They are thought to have been brought over from Europe in the nineteenth century.

Oriental Bittersweet

This vine is native to Asia, and it has small greenish flowers that are replaced by bright reddish-orange berries. With its bright berries, it was once popular both for gardens and decorating, but its vines can spread quickly and choke native trees.

Purple Loosestrife

With multiple purple flowers growing from a tall spike, the purple loosestrife was brought over from Europe in the nineteenth century as a colorful addition to gardens. This hardy plant poses such a danger to native wildflowers that its sale was outlawed in 1996.

More Things to See & Do

Tales from the Dunes

The Indiana Dunes Blog

The Indiana Dunes National Park is 7th in the nation for vascular plant biodiversity and 3rd in the nation for species density. We pack a lot of flowers in a small space! Read these blogs for more of the story.

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