Wildflowers are types of different flowers that grow in the wild. These native flowers have grown without human intervention.
The flowers you grow in your backyard may have been bred for particular attributes, but they all descend from wildflowers.
Wildflowers can have many distinct features and can add to a landscape’s natural beauty. Arizona, for instance, is home to many different types of wildflowers, from the high mountainous regions to the low, bare deserts.
These plants grow at different times throughout the year, though spring is usually the best time to see full, colorful fields.
As long as there has been enough rain during late winter and early spring, Arizona’s deserts can come to life, growing lots of wildflowers as spring begins. Many people visit Arizona from around the globe to take in these beautiful sights.
You’ll find 45 of the most common types of Arizona wildflowers below. These all have vivid colors and thick leaves that add to Arizona’s natural beauty.
Before we get into the list, please note that this isn’t a recommendation for flowers to plant in your backyard. Some of the species below are intrusive and need to be eliminated if they begin to grow in your home.
Keep reading to discover some of Arizona’s most notable wildflowers!
Blue Colored Wildflowers
1. Chicory – Cichorium intybus
This strange wildflower can be found all through the state of Arizona. Chicory tends to grow in dry and sunny locations, like open fields and across the state’s roads.
One interesting fact about chicory is that it is edible. Chicory’s leaves are full of minerals and vitamins. The leaves go well inside salads, but take caution, as some find that they taste quite bitter.
Chicory wildflowers are special in that they only open for a single day, but if the weather is particularly hot, the flower may only bloom for a couple of hours.
2. Teasel – Dipsacus Fullonum
These wildflowers are easily recognized, thanks to their interesting blue-purple flowers, bristly leaves, and thorny stem.
Teasel lures some types of birds, like goldfinches, as their seeds are a significant source of food during cold winters.
Teasel is also known for its purpose as a kidney tonic. This is a substance that encourages broken bones and inflamed, torn, or injured connective tissues to heal.
This is ideal for those experiencing Lyme disease symptoms, as the Lyme-inducing bacteria usually target the muscle, connective tissues, and nerves.
3. Parry’s Mountain Gentian – Gentiana Parryi
This vibrant wildflower produces bell-shaped blue flowers with green-purple flecks. The plant’s blooms usually open completely on sunny days.
You can find Parry’s Mountain Gentian in moist areas in Arizona, like streambanks and meadows. The plant’s season begins at the start of summer and continues until the beginning of fall.
4. Common Periwinkle – Vinca Minor
Other names for Common Periwinkle include Dwarf Periwinkle and Lesser Periwinkle. The wildflower blooms throughout the year and can grow between four and six inches tall.
Common Periwinkle isn’t native to North America, but hails from south Switzerland, areas of the Mediterranean, and around places in North Africa.
This wildflower is a perennial, which means it can last for three or more seasons. It attracts Anthophoridae bees, bumblebees, and Mason Bees, and is also deer resistant.
5. Common Blue Violet – Viola Sororia
Common Blue Violet is known by many other names, including Purple Violet, Wood Violet, and Wooly Blue Violet.
Some may see this wildflower as beautiful, but a lot of people view the plant as a weed. Common Blue Violet can begin to grow in the center of your lawn, attracting ants, caterpillars, and even deer as a result.
Common Blue Violet can also self-fertilize inside itself without the need to bloom. The seed capsules can rotate around and fire their seeds as much as nine feet away from the original flower.
6. Bachelor’s Button – Centaurea Cyanus
Bachelor’s Button also goes by the name Cornflower and often attracts butterflies around Arizona. It has a yearly lifecycle, blooming between late spring and late summer, reaching between one to three inches in height.
Bachelor’s Button produces blue flowers that resemble daisies, which are also disease and pest free. It’s a nice plant to introduce in flower bed borders as it is very easy to grow.
7. Blue Vervain – Verbena Hastata
Otherwise known as Swamp Verbena or American Vervain, Blue Vervain is found in Arizona’s ditches, wet fields, and foothills. Its adult height ranges between two to five inches and blooms around the beginning of summer to fall.
Blue Vervain resists drought well and draws in moths, butterflies, and beneficial honeybees. It’s a nice host plant as notable caterpillars eat their leaves.
8. Forget-me-not – Myosotis Scorpioides
Forget-me-not has a perennial life cycle and can reach between six and twelve inches tall. It is said that its name comes from the wildflower’s disagreeable smell and taste, both of which are hard to forget!
Other names for this wildflower include Mouse-ear, Snake Grass, and Scorpion Weed. The latter name is related to the plant’s coiled stalk, as it resembles a scorpion’s tail.
9. Virginia Bluebells – Mertensia Virginica
Virginia Bluebells (Also check out Common Types Of West Virginia Wildflowers) are some of the earliest blooming flowers that grew within Arizona. The perennial plant is usually located around the edges of broadleaved forests and wet shades.
The plant initially begins to form pink buds, then starts to bloom charming pale blue flowers. It also draws in butterflies and hummingbirds, creating a beautiful sight as a result.
Purple Colored Wildflowers
10. Bull Thistle – Cirsium Vulgare
This common plant needs caution when you handle it, as it has many thorns. Bull Thistle’s life cycle lasts two seasons and blooms in both summer and fall.
Its seeds make a great food source for birds, like goldfinches. These birds also use thistledown to make their nests, so they cannot raise their young until summer arrives, as this is when the flowers bloom.
11. Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass – Triodanis Perfoliata
This interestingly named wildflower also goes by two other names: Clasping Bellflower and Roundleaf Triodanis. Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass can be found in sandy, dry soils around Arizona, like woods and gardens.
You can recognize the plant by searching for flowers opening in its rounded leaves. This self-pollinating wildflower can reach as high as 36 inches tall and easily attracts bees, small butterflies, and flies.
12. Common Burdock – Arctium Minus
Common Burdock usually grows in Arizona’s hayfields, railways, roadsides, and pastures. It has vibrant purple flowers and big leaves. The wildflower looks a little like rhubarb, making it easy to recognize.
If Common Burdock’s head dries, it acts like velcro, as it sticks onto animals and humans to move their whole seed head. Be cautious around this wildflower, as it may lead to allergic reactions or skin irritation.
13. Bee Balm – Monarda Fistulosa
This attractive plant creates distinct, lilac flowers.
Some people like to grow Bee Balm in their gardens, as they lure in pollinator bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. If the plant is fully grown, insects and birds love to fly towards their flowers, as they are brimming with nectar.
You can find Bee Balm in dry locations around Arizona, like roadsides, prairies, and fields.
14. Heal All – Prunella Vulgaris
Other names for this plant include Blue Curls, Heart of the Earth, and Carpenter’s Herb. This perennial plant can reach between six and twelve inches tall, blooming from late spring to late fall.
Heal All grows along woodlands, lawns, and roadsides. It also grows a lot in big, grassy areas. Some use it as a ground cover on meadows and border fronts, as it can hide unsightly areas to make them look better.
Pink Colored Wildflowers
15. Spreading Dogbane – Apocynum Androsaemifolium
As the name suggests, Spreading Dogbane is prone to growing, so you’ll often notice it around Europe and North America. The term ‘dogbane’ refers to the plant’s toxicity to dogs, though it is poisonous to humans as well.
Spreading Dogbane has an aroma that resembles lilac and grows pink bell-shaped flowers. It’s often found in Arizona’s streambanks with sandy ground.
16. White Ratany – Krameria Bicolor
White Ratany produces bright pink petals and gray-green stems coated with silky, white hairs. The plant can reach up to three feet tall and flowers from April to September.
You can find White Ratany growing in slopes and plains around Arizona’s deserts, as well as rocky and dry sandy areas around the state.
17. Joe Pye Weed – Eutrochium
Joe Pye Weed is a name given to plants from the Eutrochium class. These wildflowers are indigenous to Arizona and are safe to plant in a backyard.
Joe Pye Weed forms around the edges of damp meadows and woodlands. You can identify the plant by its big, pink flowers that grow on the end of lengthy stems, as they lure in a lot of different pollinators.
If you choose to grow it at home, Joe Pye Weed thrives best in partial shade.
18. Fireweed – Chamerion Angustifolium
Fireweed is a strong wildflower that can grow in areas that were affected by forest fires. The plant also goes by the name Willow Herb and can grow as tall as 120 inches.
If you want to locate Fireweed, search for distinct spikes of pink/purple flowers that shroud a landscape. The plant also attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and moths easily. Both the vivid flowers and buzzing wild insects make this a gorgeous sight to see.
19. Wild Mint – Mentha Arvensis
Wild Mint has thick clusters of pink, white, or lavender bell-shaped blooms. Its minty fragrance becomes stronger when its leaves are impaired.
Wild Mint can grow as tall as 39 inches and blooms from late spring to early summer. You can find this plant growing in Arizona’s wetlands that receive partial sunlight. The wildflower thrives best along river banks and streams.
20. Everlasting Pea – Lathyrus Latifolius
Everlasting Pea is a plant that stands up to frost well and spreads like a weed if it isn’t maintained. The wildflower originates from Europe, but has been growing in North America ever since the 18th century.
Everlasting Pea first starts with pink flowers, but they begin to turn white as the plant gets older. You can find it growing in sunny banks that have a lot of clay-rich soil.
Its vibrant flowers and lengthy tendrils look great when they mount fences in a garden, though you can also use it as a groundcover around slopes and banks.
21. Crown Vetch – Securigera Varia
Crown Vetch creates amazing large blooms, but the plant is invasive. Hailing from Africa, Europe, and Asia, this wildflower was brought into America to be used as a groundcover, as it worked well at preventing soil erosion.
Crown Vetch can be found in Arizona’s sandy, sunny banks, where it can drive out less robust foliage.
Yellow Colored Wildflowers
22. Bird’s-foot Trefoil – Lotus Corniculatus
This bold plant has lengthy stalks and vibrant yellow flowers, which occasionally have red streaks running through them. Though the flowers are attractive, Bird’s-foot Trefoil is thought to be an invasive species in several locations in Arizona.
The wildflower is particularly combative in parks, fields, and sandy soil. Despite this, the plant does have its uses, provided that you manage its growth. Bird’s-foot Trefoil is a great food supply for important pollinators, like moths, butterflies, and bees.
23. Goldenrod – Solidago
There are more than 120 types of Goldenrod plants that originate from North America. They have very small blooms, but their bright colors make them a gorgeous sight during summer and fall.
Goldenrod has rigid leaves and forms in clusters on branched stalks. It can spread fast when growing in gardens, but you can maintain them by pruning them frequently and growing them in pots.
24. Sneezeweed – Helenium Autumnale
This interesting wildflower also goes by the name Bitterweed and False Sunflower. Sneezeweed usually grows along swamps, ponds, and streams. You can spot the flower in Arizona by searching for daisy-like blooms during the fall.
Though the name may suggest otherwise, its pollen won’t necessarily lead to allergies. The name is the result of an old practice that involves processing its leaves to create snuff.
This is a powder that initiates sneezing, as it was believed to eliminate evil spirits from one’s body.
25. Wild Parsnip – Pastinaca Sativa
You may enjoy eating parsnips at home, but Wild Parsnips are very dangerous for your well-being. Their fragrance and taste is just like parsnips, but their stems and leaves can cause serious burns and blisters.
Wild Parsnip has small, attractive, yellow flowers, but other than being dangerous, it is also an invasive plant. It can thwart native plants and harm animals that ingest it.
26. Common Sunflower – Helianthus Annuus
The Common Sunflower is a flower that is well-known all over the globe. They have big, yellow petals and distinct dark cores, making them a beautiful sight as summer draws to a close.
You can find sunflowers in Arizona’s grasslands, woodland edges, and roadsides. They are also grown in gardens for people, animals, and insect pollinators to enjoy.
27. California Poppy – Eschscholzia Californica
California Poppies each produce four bright petals that reach one to two inches wide. Their season starts in late winter and continues until the beginning of fall.
You can find these wildflowers around many desert areas in Arizona, like open slopes, grassland, and roadsides. California Poppies also grow in New Mexico and west Texas.
28. Green-headed Coneflower – Rudbeckia Laciniata
Green-headed Coneflower has big, lengthy, and vivid yellow flowers that are easily spotted. You can grow the plant in meadows and prairies to lure in butterflies, bees, and different pollinators.
Green-headed Coneflower has rhizomes that will disperse rapidly underground, so it will require room to grow. Its tall flowers work better in bigger landscapes.
29. Common Mullein – Verbascum Thapsus
Common Mullein originates from Asia, Africa, and Europe, but it is now thought to be a naturalized plant in Arizona. The wildflower spreads easily, so it can grow over meadows, pastures, and roadsides.
You can spot Common Mullein for its little yellow clusters and thick smooth leaves at its base. Its stalks grow directly from a group of big leaves, which make it resemble corn.
30. Spiny Sow-thistle – Sonchus Asper
This is an invasive species that is found all over Arizona. You can find it on roadsides, grasslands, and pastures.
If you notice Spiny Sow-thistle around your yard, act quickly to avoid it spreading. It can harbor diseases that can affect your backyard crops and plants.
31. Dandelion – Taraxacum Officinale
Dandelions are easily spotted from their vibrant yellow flowers that transform into silver, tufty heads.
Dandelions often form in Arizona’s lakes, fields, meadows, and river shores. Its flowers, roots, and leaves are also edible. Fresh Dandelion tastes sweet but can become bitter as it matures.
White Colored Wildflowers
32. English Plantain – Plantago Lanceolata
This wildflower is easy to spot, thanks to its lengthy, bushy spikes. These grow little, unnoticeable white flowers.
English Plantain grows in dry meadows, roadsides, and grazing pastures. Beetles and flies regularly pollinate their flowers, while birds use their seeds for food.
33. Virginia Strawberry – Fragaria Virginiana
Virginia Strawberries produce five, equally large petals that have a cluster of yellow stamens at the center. They can grow up to five inches tall and start growing from late spring to late summer.
This wildflower can be found along Arizona’s fields, roadsides, and meadows. Other than Arizona, Virginia Strawberries also grow in a lot of North America’s western states.
34. Catnip – Nepeta Cataria
Catnip is well known for being a stimulant for cats, though it also has culinary and medicinal uses. The plant is also part of the Mint family, growing fragrant leaves that can deter termites, cockroaches, and mosquitoes.
You can spot Catnip for its little white, or purple spotted blooms and veiny, triangular leaves. Look for the plant along Arizona’s dry banks, roadsides, and streams.
35. Indian Hemp – Apocynum Cannabinum
Indian Hemp has bushy leaves and rigid, red stems. Though originates from North America, it is thought to be a robust weed within Arizona. You can find it growing in meadows, rocky woods, and farms.
Indian Hemp is also toxic to livestock, dogs, and humans. Don’t touch its milky sap, as it can lead to itchy skin blisters.
36. Whorled Milkweed – Asclepias Verticillata
This single-stemmed plant forms flat-topped groups of several little flowers. Its aromatic blooms are seen in Arizona’s open woods, roadsides, and dry prairies.
If you see Whorled Milkweed, you’ll often notice butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds around it. The plant is also a significant food supply for caterpillars and butterflies.
37. White Clover – Trifolium Repens
White Clover blooms with a mix of thick white, curved blooms. Its leaves are well known in culture, as a four-leafed clover is thought to be lucky!
All parts of this wildflower can be eaten. Their flowers can be drunk as tea or added to bulk up a salad. Their gentle vanilla flavor goes down a treat!
38. Yarrow – Achillea Millefolium
This wildflower has little, feather-like leaves and a fragrance that resembles chrysanthemums. Yarrow has plenty of flowers that form in clusters and grow along grasslands, roadsides, and disturbed areas.
Yarrow regularly draws in beetles, butterflies, bees, and moths. The combination of pretty flowers and wildlife insects create an incredible sight.
39. Queen Anne’s Lace – Daucus Carota
Queen Anne’s Lace has little white blooms and shaggy stems. Though attractive, it is a robust weed that can invade roadsides, grasslands, and meadows.
The plant can be eaten when it is young, but as it gets older, its roots turn fibrous and inedible.
40. Oxeye Daisy – Leucanthemum Vulgare
This wildflower forms attractive white petals and vibrant yellow cores, but it is an invasive plant within Arizona. Its seeds spread fast, taking over original ecosystems.
You can spot Oxeye Daisies forming in meadows, open forests, and grassy meadows.
Orange and Red Colored Wildflowers
41. Cardinal Flower – Lobelia Cardinalis
This plant creates groups of flowers on the end of a tall stalk.
If you like hummingbirds, you can plant Cardinal Flowers to lure them into your area. Some insects can struggle to pick up the nectar within, but hummingbirds have long beaks that easily reach inside the tubular blooms.
42. Butterfly Weed – Asclepias Tuberosa
Butterfly Weed grows in many backyards in Arizona. You can spot these for their flat-topped, vivid orange clusters.
Native Americans traditionally used Butterfly Weed root for medicinal purposes, believing it would cure a range of respiratory conditions.
43. Spotted Coralroot – Corallorhiza Maculata
This plant grows around Arizona’s wooded areas. Spotted Coralroot is unique as it doesn’t grow any leaves. Its bare stems create groups of unique-looking flowers.
Mining bees are particularly drawn to this wildflower. These insects do pollinate the plant, but it is capable of self-pollination, moving its pollen as it blooms.
44. Tulip Prickly Pear – Opuntia Phaeacantha
This bright wildflower produces large petals that are orange or yellow. They may also have a red center, though some grow without one. It can reach two to three feet high and has a season that lasts from April to July.
You can find Tulip Prickly Pear growing in various habitats around Arizona, including mountains, valleys, rocky areas, and grasslands.
45. Blanket Flower – Gaillardia Pulchella
Blanket Flower resembles a sunflower and grows a gorgeous sight of orange, yellow, and red petals. It naturally attracts a lot of birds, bees, and butterflies wherever it grows.
Some beekeepers even use this wildflower to create honey. Blanket Flower honey has a light, buttery flavor, and a pleasant amber hue.
Now you know some examples of common wildflowers that grow around Arizona!
We hope you enjoy looking for some of these bright and beautiful plants when you’re next visiting the state.