Scouting wildflowers in Minnesota's prairie

A plains prickly pear cactus.
A plains prickly pear cactus.
Courtesy of Kelly Povo

With summer in full swing, it's a great time to get out and see Minnesota's wildflowers in bloom — especially on the prairie.

MPR News host Cathy Wurzer recently checked in with Phyllis Root and Kelly Povo for tips on prime places to find flowers. They're authors of the new book "Searching for Minnesota's Native Wildflowers: A Guide for Beginners, Botanists, and Everyone in Between."

Root and Povo suggest stopping by Carleton College's McKnight Prairie to see splashes of color from flora like leadplant, prairie rose and prairie sage.

Or head to Blue Mounds State Park to glimpse prairie rose and cinquefoil — and if you're lucky, rattlesnake master or even a western prairie fringed orchid. You might also spot the delicate yellow flowers of a prickly pear cactus. (Yes, Minnesota has native cacti!)

For the most up-to-date info on what's blooming, check in with park staff when you visit — or call ahead before you go.

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