The forests throughout most of the state have a luxuriant undergrowth consisting of a great variety of shrubs, flowering plants, grasses, ferns and mosses, and the display of magnolias, azaleas, kalmias, golden rod, asters, jessamines, smilax, ferns and mosses is often one of unusual beauty.
Buttercups, violets, anemones, spring beauties, trilliums, arbutus, orchids, columbine, laurel, honeysuckle, golden rod and asters are common wild flowers, and of ferns there are many varieties.
Nearly all the species of plants which grow on these prairies are common to Europe (paeonics, Hemerocallis, asters, pinks, gentians, violets, Cypripedium, Aquilegia, Delphinium, aconites, irises and so on), but here the plants attain a much greater size; a man standing erect is often hidden by the grasses.
Cowslips, violets, anemones, buttercups and blood-roots are conspicuous in early spring, the white pond lily and the yellow pond lily in summer, asters and golden-rod in autumn, and besides these there are about 1500 other flowering plants in the state and more than 50 species of ferns.
Among indigenous fruit-bearing trees, shrubs and vines the state has the bird cherry, black cherry, blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry, strawberry, grape and black currant; and conspicuous among a very great variety of shrubs and flowering plants are the rose, dogwood, laurel, sumac, holly, winterberry, trilliums, anemones, arbutuses, violets, azaleas, eglantine, clematis, blue gentians, orange lilies, orchids, asters and golden rod.
Some of the more popular annuals, hardy and half-hardy, have been very much varied as regards habit and the colour of the flowers, and purchases may be made in the seed shops of such things as China asters, stocks, Chinese and Indian pinks, larkspurs, phloxes and others, amongst which some of the most beautiful of the summer flowers may be found.
Others, as the asters, spread rapidly; those possessing this habit should be taken up every second or third year, and, a nice patch being selected for replanting from the outer portions, the rest may be either thrown aside, or reserved for increase; the portion selected for replanting should be returned to its place, the ground having meanwhile been well broken up. Some plants are apt to decay at the base, frequently from exposure caused by the lifting process going on during their growth; these should be taken up annually in early autumn, the soil refreshed, and the plants returned to their places, care being taken to plant them sufficiently deep.