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15+ Types of Wildflowers (With Names & Pictures)

Do you know there are hundreds of wildflowers native to your region or exotic species that can be grown as both perennial and annual?

Wildflowers range from native or foreign to meadow, desert, and woodland species for home and garden, including Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly weed, Cornflower, Cosmos, Indian Blanket, Milkweed, and Shasta daisies.

Read on to learn about different types of wildflowers and what makes them an exceptional choice for your home or garden.

The fossil records indicate that the wildflowers first appeared about 80-90 million years ago.

The millions of years of evolution and gradual spread worldwide have introduced unique colors and intricate patterns to these flowers, making them ideal for gardens and houseplants.

Remember, some wildflowers would thrive in the outdoor garden instead of houseplants because they would naturally grow in meadows, woodland, or deserts.

Here is the list of selected wildflowers for you.

1. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Hirta)

Black-Eyed Susan is a Native American wildflower usually found growing as an ornamental plant in meadows, prairies, driveways, or gardens.

This wildflower boasts about 74 varieties with rich blooms and flowers every summer or fall when providing sunlight at least 6-8 hours a day.

Image represents yellow flowers of Black-Eyed Susan
Yellow perennials usually grow flowers that are yellow in color or gain a yellowish hue as they mature.
  • Under the full sun, it proliferates to a height of three feet with hairy, lance-shaped leaves spanning 3-6 inches long.
  • The flowers are daisy-like with bright yellow petals surrounding a dark brown/black center and reach 2-3 inches in diameter.
  • It exhibits a pleasant, sweet smell similar to sweet grass.
  • The plant is hardy to hardiness zones 3-11 and can withstand cold temperatures up to -30°F (-34°F).
  • These bloomers are relatively fast-growing and can reach full maturity within a few months of planting, requiring deadheading spent blooms in summer.
Additionally, the seeds of the Black-eyed Susan are a favorite food source for many species of birds, including goldfinches and chickadees.

2. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa)

Butterfly Weed is a milkweed variety native to eastern, central, and northern America that blooms throughout spring and summer.

A hardy perennial plant that grows in USDA zones 3-9 has been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including respiratory infections.

Remember, a summer bloomer requires at least 6-hours of direct sunlight to flourish.

  • It grows to 1-2 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide with long, narrow leaves that spread about 3-6 inches long.
  • The blooms are small and star-shaped in a bright orange or yellow shade, forming a cluster at the top of the stem.
  • The flower nectar produces a sweet smell that attracts many pollinators, making them perfect outdoor plants.
  • Care to provide full-sun and well-draining soil that is not too fertile and deadhead every summer to promote additional blooming.
As the name suggests, Butterfly weed is an important host plant for several species of butterflies, including the monarch butterfly.

3. California Poppy (Eschscholzia Californica)

California Poppy, aka the Golden Poppy, is a popular Californian bloomer that gives out golden flowers every spring and summer.

Did you know the California Poppy has a long history of use by Native American tribes in California for medicinal and ceremonial purposes?

It prefers full sun for hours each day, which gives it a signature golden shade but beware of soil that is well-draining and too fertile.

  • A hardy annual or perennial found in zones 7-11 grows about 1-2 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
  • It is a relatively fast grower and produces fern-like leaves which grow 6-12 inches long.
  • The cup-shaped flowers are the showstoppers that grow 22-3 inches across and offer shades of golden, orange, yellow, or red.
  • Additionally, it is drought-tolerant once established and does not require a lot of water.
  • When grown indoors, please keep them in a south-facing window, patio, or terrace.

Also, California Poppy glorifies as the official state flower of California State.

4. Cornflower (Centaurea Cyanus)

Although Cornflowers are native to the temperate regions of Europe, these bloomers thrive in most eastern and central US regions.

Boasting intense blue blooms, Cornflowers produce natural color that is often used for food coloring.

Did you know they are considered the national flower of Estonia and Germany and used in traditional medicine?

  • Cornflower is a hardy plant that survives cold weather and grows annually in zones 2-11.
  • A matured plant can grow up to 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide with narrow, gray-green leaves that reach 2-4 inches long.
  • Talking about blooms, they are shaped like daisies and grow to be about 1-2 inches across in shades of blue, pink, white, and purple.
  • Care to provide direct sunlight throughout spring and summer to ensure healthy blooms and well-draining soil to promote additional blooming.
  • You can use freshly harvested flowers to infuse with your tea or use them in other beverages.

5. Coreopsis (Coreopsis Spp.)

Coreopsis, popularly known as Tickseed, is an American wildflower grown for centuries for its medicinal purpose.

It displays brightly colored flowers that thrive in full or partial sun and makes perfect house or garden plants.

Coreopsis flower
It is a hardy plant that can be grown annually in zones 4-7 and as a perennial in zones eight and above.
  • Expect to see these wildflowers grow up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide in full or partial sunlight with typically narrow, lance-shaped leaves.
  • The daisy-like flowers grow about 2 to 3 inches wide and produce multiple shades of yellow, pink, red, and orange.
Coreopsis blooms every summer and sometimes fall, but produces little to no fragrance.

However, you can widely grow them outdoors to attract bees and butterflies to the garden.

6. Showy Goldenrod (Solidago Speciosa)

Showy Goldenrod is a popular North American wildflower that is widely found growing in the province of Ontario and the eastern US.

  • A perennial herb thrives outdoors under full sunlight and is quite hardy, surviving subzero temperatures in USDA zone 3.
  • They would make the perfect plants for your garden, meadow, and patio, where they would be 3-5 feet tall.
  • Talking about the foliage, the leaves get 3-6 inches long in dark green color.
  • The large and yellow flowers grow in clusters every summer and fall, producing a sweet fragrance.
Did you know these wildflowers were widely used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including wounds, sore throats, and fevers?

7. Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia Maritima)

Did you know Sweet Alyssum, also called Sweet Alison, makes a perfect wildflower to deter predators like deer from the garden?

Along with beautifying your garden with white, pink, or purple flowers, they also add a fragrant scent that attracts pollinators.

  • These are widely grown annually and hardy to zones 4-11. Otherwise, grow them as houseplants in containers or hanging baskets.
  • Although short, these bloomers grow pretty fast, reaching a height of 4-6 inches and 12-15 inches wide.
  • Their leaves are small and lance-shaped, and their flowers are small and delicate with a sweet, honey-like fragrance.
Sweet Alyssum can bloom in white, pink, and purple from spring to late fall.
  • Regularly provide full to partial sun and deadhead in the growing season to ensure healthy blooming.

8. Wild Lupine (Lupinus Perennis)

Wild Lupine is a herbaceous wildflower that grows widely in North American plains with showy blooms.

Did you know Native Americans used these vibrant flowers for food, medicine, and as a dye?

Wild lupines are also essential host plants for the endangered Karner blue butterfly.

  • These flowers are hardy in zones 3-9, where they grow to be 1-2 feet tall and wide.
  • The leaves are palmate-like and medium to dark green.
  • When in full bloom, these flowers come in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white with a sweet fragrance.
  • Care to provide full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil to witness healthy bloom throughout spring and summer.
Note: Consider growing the Wild Lupine as complementary garden plants because they are nitrogen-fixing plant, meaning they take nitrogen from the air and provides it to other plants.

9. Wild Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

Wild Sunflowers are the standard counterparts of garden Sunflowers but are slightly different in size and blooms.

They can be tall or short than the garden ones, with smaller blooms, 2-5 inch in diameter.

However, they would make the perfect alternative if you are looking for a wildflower species in your garden.

  • These are hardy in USDA zones 4-9, where they grow to be 3-12 feet tall.
  • Wild Sunflowers leaves are large and ovate, with a coarse texture.
  • Wild Sunflower blooms are showy and come in shades of yellow, orange, and red every late summer and fall.
  • Care to provide full sun to ensure healthy-looking blooms and deadhead spent blooms in fall.
  • These large bloomers prefer well-draining, fertile soil with much compost and organic matter.

10. Cosmos Flowers (Cosmos Bipinnatus)

Cosmos, commonly known as Garden Cosmos or Mexican aster, is a flowering herb native to Mexico and Central America.

Cultivated since the 18th century as a garden plant, the wildflower is named after the Greek word “harmony.”

Beautiful pink Cosmos plant.
Cosmos plants are generally seen growing in meadows, gardens, and walkways.
  • You can also grow this wildflower as a garden plant throughout USDA zones 2-11, where they reach 1-6 feet.
  • A relatively fast grower can reach full size within a single growing season, provided with full sun and occasional feeding.
  • The leaves of Cosmos are feather and fern-like, while the flowers are showy and round in shape that comes in shades of pink, purple, white, and red.
Cosmos bloom from early summer to fall and have been known to self-sow, where they can quickly colonize an area if left unchecked.

11. Evening Primrose (Oenothera Spp.)

Did you know Evening Primrose is a popular wildflower used to reduce pain severity and improve mobility?

Evening Primrose is also sometimes used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including asthma, eczema, and arthritis.

This Native American wildflower was first introduced to Europe in the 17th century and has become a popular garden plant.

  • They are hardy in USDA zones 3-9, where they grow 6 inches to 4 feet, depending on the variety and availability of sunlight.
  • The evening primrose leaves are typically long and lance-shaped, and the flowers are generally large and showy.
  • Expect to see them grow in shades of pink, yellow, and white and particularly bloom in the evening; hence, the name.

Care to provide full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil to ensure healthy blooming.

12. Water Lilies (Nymphaeaceae)

Water Lilies are aquatic wildflowers native to South America and Africa and have been cultivated for ornamental purposes since ancient times.

  • These wildflowers are hardy in USDA zones 4-11 and tropical in zones 9-11.
  • The leaves can grow up to 2 feet in diameter. The flowers vary in size and are usually large and showy, which come in various colors; yellow, pink, red, and even blue.
  • They typically bloom during summer and require full sun to grow correctly, with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • You can use fresh flowers to decorate your home or office or for special occasions.

Additional 5+ Wildflowers with Distinct Features

The list of gorgeous wildflowers does not end here.

Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)It is native to central and eastern US and has been used medicinally to treat various ailments.

It is hardy in USDA zones 3-9 and grows 1-2 feet tall with lance-shaped leaves.

The flowers are bright yellow and sized 1-2 inches in diameter, which bloom every spring and summer.
Lavender hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)It is a perennial herbaceous plant native to North America, hardy in zones 4-9
The plant grows 2-4 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide with lance-shaped, green leaves
It produces long spikes of small, tubular lavender-pink flowers in mid to late summer
Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera)Also known as coneflower, it is native to North America and has many medicinal purposes.

It grows best in hardiness zones 3-9 to a size of 2-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide.

Mexican hat flowers resemble a somberro with a tall, cone-shaped center and comes in maroon or brown shade.
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)It is a popular wildflower that boasts over 100 species and has a long history of medicinal uses.

Milkweed is hardy in zones 3.-9 and grows about 1-8 feet tall.

It boasts large leaves and show flowers typically in pink, orange, or purple shade with a sweet fragrance.
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)The plant is primarily found in the central and eastern regions and has been used medicinally by Native American tribes for centuries.

Hardy in zones 3-9, it grows about 2-5 feet tall and boasts large, green leaves.

The flowers are daisy-like in shades of deep purple to pink with cone-shaped center.
Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)It is a hybrid of various daisy species native to Europe and Asia hardy in zones 4-9.

It typically grows to a height of 2-3 feet and 1-2 feet wide.

The flowers are large, showy white with yellow centers that bloom from late spring to early fall and grow up to 4 inches in diameter.

From Editorial Team


Wildflowers are naturally low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, which makes them perfect.

Moreover, these flowers can help bring pollinators and deter pests and predators from your vegetable garden.

Be careful when choosing the wildflower, as many gardeners confuse invasive plants for wildflowers, which may harm other garden plants.