The Dirt on Wildflowers

Updated: Sep 6

There are an abundance of wildflowers that bloom in spring and summer, dotting the sides of mountains, sticking up alongside rivers, and roaming the open spaces next to roads, ultimately creating seas of colors. Depending on the ecosystem where you live, the types of wildflowers will differ. Wildflowers are flowering plants that grow in the wild and are not intentionally planted or genetically manipulated, which means that the plant most likely is not a hybrid or a cultivated variety of a plant. Wildflowers, which are also usually native to an area, are typically found in woodlands, prairies, and mountain ecosystems. However, some wildflowers can be introduced to an area instead of being native to that area. Wildflowers are the source of all cultivated varieties of flowering plants found in gardens or used in landscapes.



Weeds can often be confused for wildflowers, but the main distinction between the two is that weeds usually grow in unwanted areas and can be invasive. Wildflowers are a special type of flower that is wild, fragrant, and colorful. Even though wildflowers are wild, you can get wildflower seeds or wildflower cultivars to plant in your garden or use in your landscape. Wildflowers are perennials that grow back yearly and come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and types, making them some of the most beautiful and breathtaking plants found in a landscape. Wildflowers also typically attract pollinators, which help ecosystems and the environment.



Common wildflowers include:


1. Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa

2. Aster family which includes Sunflowers and Daisies

3. Bitterweed, Hymenoxys odorata

4. Snowdrop, Galanthus

5. Wild Daffodils, Narcissus pseudonarcissus

6. Iris varieties

7. Winter Heliotrope, Petasites fragrans

8. Coneflowers, Echinacea

9. Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hitra

10. Poppies, Papaver

11. Lupine, Lupinus

12. Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja

13. Yarrow, Achillea millefolium

14. Primrose, Primula vulgaris

15. Goldenrods, Solidago



There are about 32,000 kinds of wildflowers that grow in America north of New Mexico. All 50 states have some kind of wildflower, and states with similar climates or ecosystems produce similar types of wildflowers. Wildflowers grow everywhere, high and low, sprinkling the earth with little dots of colors creating a magical scene come springtime.