20 Common Types Of Colorado Wildflowers Including Photos

Colorado is well known for being a place of immense natural beauty. If you’ve taken a trip to the region recently, then chances are that you’ve come across many of the amazing wildflowers growing in the region.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of these blooms, and they all come in different colors, shapes and sizes. 

20 Common Types Of Colorado Wildflowers Including Photos

The trouble is, with so many different species of wildflowers growing in the Colorado region, it can be incredibly tricky to identify each of these different blooms. Don’t worry, because that’s where we come in.

Below, we’ve compiled a handy guide, which takes a look at some of the most common types of wildflowers you’re likely to encounter in the Colorado region. 

We provide pictures of each flower as an easy means of identification, as well as giving a brief background of each, including when you’re likely to see them in bloom.

We hope that this guide comes in handy, and that you can refer back to it in future to aid your identification process. 

To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look. 

1. Chicory 

Why not start off our list with a wildflower that grows ubiquitous in the Colorado region? You’ll find this one all over the state, where it likes to form in grassy, dry, and sunny areas.

The chicory flower is fairly drought tolerant, and enjoys lots of sun exposure in order to thrive. In this case, you’re most likely to come across this wildflower during late spring, spanning all through the summer period. 

The most interesting thing about the Chicory wildflower, is that a lot of people actually enjoy eating it. It has a bitter flavor, but with an earthy contrast that isn’t altogether unpleasant.

Many people will use the leaves and petals within salad food items, as they’re known for being incredibly rich in antioxidants. 

In terms of the root, some people will clean this, then boil it in order to eat. The root is sometimes even used within coffee grounds, to give added flavor to the beverage. 

2. Blanket Flower 

These flowers, which are native to Colorado, have an incredibly distinctive appearance if you look closely enough. The center of the flower tends to be a very deep burgundy color, whereas the petals are very much a pale red.

Around the ridges of the petal, you’ll find yellow markings. Why are they called Blanket Flowers? We hear you ask. Well, it’s because these pretty little wildflowers are actually deeply embedded within Native American culture.

They were actually considered to be a sacred flower in Native American society, and they represented the colorful blankets that these tribes would wear around their shoulders. 

3. Great Mullein 

This plant, which now grows ubiquitously in the Colorado region, is actually native to Asia and Europe. It grows on an incredibly thick and tall stem, where yellow flower petals sprout out intermittently throughout.

In terms of diameter, these surrounding flowers can reach up to 30 inches, which makes it quite the force to be reckoned with. 

In just a matter of two years, this flower can actually reach a height of six feet, so perhaps it might not be the best option for your own garden. It can be seen blooming during late summer, when these wildflowers tend to thrive. 

4. Scott’s Sugar Bowls

These delicate little flowers are some of the more unusual ones on our list.

They are named sugar bowls because of the way in which they are shaped, and they have their name ‘Scott’, because of John Scott, who was the first person to discover these little blooms when he found them on the vast mountain slopes of Colorado. 

They are known as shrubs, and as a result, you’ll find these flowers growing in large bushy areas. They can actually reach up to one and a half feet wide, and one feet tall. 

5. Common Blue Violet 

This is a flower that most of you reading this list will likely already be familiar with. It’s not just native to the Colorado region, but it actually grows all over the US.

It’s known for its striking purple color, and has a perennial life cycle, which means that you can expect to see this flower blooming anywhere from spring to summer. 

This flower is actually self fertilizing, and in order to grow, it will shoot out seeds intermittently into the ground. It’s a great pollinator, and attracts a whole host of different insects.

You can find this flower in grassy areas such as meadows, where it tends to thrive best. 

If you’re somebody who’s actually native to the Colorado area, then you might actually consider the common blue violet to be a pest.

This is because it can occasionally rise up in people’s gardens, and although it’s pretty to look at, it can attract wildlife such as deer and rabbits that like to gnaw down on the leaves. 

6. Teasel 

The Teasel is common in the Colorado area, and if you’ve never seen it before, chances are that you might mistake it for a thistle.

This wildflower is very similar to a thistle in terms of appearance, and has a striking purple base, which gradually turns green at the top portion of the flower. 

You’ll find the Teasel in its full glory during the summertime, when it tends to bloom, and it lasts all the way through to late autumn.

They’re very good for wildlife, and their seeds act as a source of food for many of the areas’ bird populations. They like to stack up on these seeds before the winter months come. 

In terms of human consumption, the Teasel is actually known for having a number of different health benefits. It’s often ground down, and turned into a liquid beverage.

It’s then drunk, and in turn, it can help promote the repair of damaged cells within the body, such as cuts, burns or bruises. 

7. Western Wallflower 

The Western Wallflower is a large yellow flower that likes to grow in clusters when sprouting out of the stem, forming a shape that looks very much like a ball. You will find this one in planes all over Colorado, and it also likes to grow in large open fields too. 

When the seed is first emitted, it will take two years for these flowers to actually sprout out of the ground. So, if you’re planning on growing these in your own garden, patience is sure to be a big virtue. 

These flowers actually come in a range of different colors, despite yellow being the most prevalent. You might also spot these in red or orange. 

They’re considered to be a very important flower for Mexican people, as they’ve been used in ancient medicine for generations. They’re often ground down, and used as a topical treatment for conditions such as arthritis, or any general aches or pains. 

8. Forget Me Not 

If you’ve seen these little blooms only in images before, then chances are that you’ll be taken in by their beautifully delicate appearance, and little purple flowers.

If however, you’ve had the displeasure of encountering them in person, then you’ll know that they’re one of the most foul smelling flowers in the region. 

In fact, people believe that the reason that they’re called a Forget Me Not, is because you’re not likely to forget the scent of these flowers anytime soon. So, if you witness these in the wild, we wouldn’t recommend breathing in their odor. 

These can sometimes sprout up in your own garden, as they like grassy areas where they can thrive.

Because they’re so important to local wildlife however, we would recommend not destroying these flowers, but instead, moving them elsewhere where they won’t be considered a pest. 

9. Rocky Mountain Beeplant 

If you haven’t already guessed, the reason why this flower is called a Rocky Mountain Beeplant, is because it’s an amazing source of pollen for a wide variety of different bees.

It’s also great for a whole host of other insects, and even hummingbirds will use it as a resource. 

The flowers are quite distinctive in terms of shape, and the blooms themselves tend to be a purplish pink, or even sometimes red. They’re actually widely eaten by Native Americans, because of their nutritional properties. 

10. Bachelor’s Button 

We can honestly say that this flower is one of the most vibrant on our entire list. It’s an incredible blue color, with reddish flecks sprouting out from the center of the flower.

It grows in large bundles, and because it’s so beautiful to look at, many people will opt to cultivate these in their own gardens too.

This is highly encouraged, as these flowers are considered to be incredibly beneficial to surrounding wildlife, perhaps most importantly butterflies. 

It’s a part of the daisy family, and as a result, it’s also incredibly easy to take care of. You can expect to see these blooms sprouting up each year after you’ve planted them.

In addition, they’re also completely disease resistant, so you don’t need to worry about them wilting away prematurely. 

11. Common Burdock 

The Common Burdock (This wildflower is also present in Montana. Find out more about it.) is another flower that you’re likely to see sprouting up all over the Colorado region. They’re incredibly hardy, and tend to bloom during the summertime, and they’ll last until the latter portion of the fall season. 

You can find these in hayfields, roadsides, and pretty much anywhere that isn’t too damp. These are known to be a little bit of a pest if you’re native to the Colorado region, because they’re very apt to stick to clothing if you get too near.

Their sap acts very much like a velcro, and if you manage to get any of this on your hands, chances are you’ll find it a little difficult to get rid of. 

But why are they so sticky to touch? Well, it’s actually for the plant’s survival. By sticking to other objects and people, they’re able to carry their seeds to other areas, where more of them can grow in the future. 

Although this can be amusing, and you might be tempted to touch these wildflowers, we’d recommend exercising caution.

This is because they tend to be very irritating when they come into contact with human skin. They can cause redness and swelling, which can be altogether unpleasant. 

12. Creeping Charlie 

If you’re a native of Colorado, then the name Creeping Charlie is sure to send shivers down your spine. These flowers, although they look incredibly pretty and delicate, are actually considered to be one of the region’s most ardent pests. 

They like to grow in areas that have shaded areas, which can sometimes mean your own garden. If you notice Creeping Charlie growing in your garden, then it’s best to rid yourself of it immediately.

This is because the plant grows incredibly quickly, and can overtake your entire garden if left for long enough. 

It’s also known for being incredibly difficult to get rid of, and if you’ve tried before, then you’ll know that trying to pull it out by hand or using a lawn trimmer simply doesn’t work. It’s best to seek professional advice on how to dispose of this pesky wildflower.

13. Purple Loosestrife 

If you’ve been taking any walks around the Colorado region recently, then chances are that you’ve come across these wildflowers, which is known as the Purple Loosestrife.

It’s impossible to miss because of its incredibly long stems that burst out the water, with a whole host of purple petals forming on top. They tend to be very vibrant in color, making them almost unmissable. 

It’s actually difficult for many people to believe that this beautiful flower could ever be considered a pest, but nonetheless, it is. The reason being because Purple Loosestrife is an  incredibly aggressive wildflower.

It likes to push other surrounding plants and flowers out of the area, and can quickly take over. 

One of the reasons why it’s so aggressive is because of the number of seeds it produces. Just one single stem from this flower can actually create more than 40 thousand individual seeds.

So, chances are that if you’ve seen this plant in the wild, they will have been growing in incredibly expansive reaches. 

14. Mountain Mahogany 

This little shrub is called mahogany in order to represent its earthy color. Some people reading this list may be surprised to discover that it’s actually considered to be a part of the rose family.

If you’ve taken a trip to the Great Plains recently, then chances are that you’ve come across this wildflower, as they are ubiquitous in the region. 

When the flowers first bloom, they will be a rich red in terms of color, but as their season moves on, they will then transform into a stark white. Following on from this, the Mountain Mahogany will actually begin to sprout little berries.

These fruits are actually amazing to look at, and tend to be an incredible silver in terms of color. 

15. Blue Columbine

This flower is incredibly easy to recognize, and if you’ve come across it before, it’s not a bloom that you’re sure to forget anytime soon. These flowers are highly unusual, purely because their petals alternate in terms of color.

They tend to be blue and white, and each petal will be formed intermittently with these shades. Their petals are also incredibly large, and can grow up to 40 millimeters in terms of length. 

Despite being called ‘Blue Columbine’, you may sometimes also find pink varieties of this color whilst you’re out on your travels. 

16. Fireweed

The Fireweed flower (This wildflower is also present in Alaska. Find out more about it.) is incredibly hardy, and you’re most likely to recognize these flowers because of their incredibly spindly stems, which have lots of dense leaves bursting out throughout.

Their stems grow all the way underground, and they will always be formed in incredibly large bundles. 

These are sometimes considered to be a pest if growing near your home, because as you can imagine, they’re very difficult to uproot.

Despite sometimes being considered a pest however, they are actually extremely good for surrounding wildlife, particularly the bees. 

17. Purple Coneflower 

If you’ve come across the purple coneflower before, then chances are that you’ve made the assessment that they look very much like a purple daisy. They have an incredibly thick, brown centerpoint, where lots of little purple petals sprout out. 

They grow best in areas that have full sun exposure, and they thrive in warm weather. This also means that they’re incredibly resistant to drought, and can handle extreme weather conditions whilst still being able to thrive. 

They’re also fantastic for wildlife, including bees and hummingbirds. If you’re looking for an easy to care for wildflower to plant in your own garden, then we’d definitely recommend this one. They’re incredibly easy to grow and care for.

The only downside of these wildflowers is that they can sometimes attract creatures such as deer, who like to chow down on the leaves, so take this into consideration first. 

In addition to this, bear in mind that the Purple Coneflower tends to grow incredibly tall, and wide, and so you’ll  need to make sure that you have an appropriate space to accommodate. 

18. Windflower 

These flowers aren’t often the easiest to spot, as they tend to sprout very near to the ground, and are often small in terms of size.

They are actually a part of the buttercup family, and if you get the chance to take a closer look at them, you’ll notice that they look almost identical, but have reddish petals, with a yellow center. 

They grow ubiquitously in the northern regions of America, and sometimes, you’ll find them growing in Southern areas too depending on where you are. You are most likely to find these little flowers growing during spring and summer months. 

If you take a closer look at these flowers, you’ll actually notice that unlike many other species of buttercups, they’re actually covered with lots of small white hairs.

These white hairs are actually toxic, so make sure that your skin doesn’t come into contact with them. They can cause redness and irritation, as well as a host of other unpleasant symptoms. 

19. Heal All 

These unusual flowers are one of the most common in the entirety of the Colorado region. You’ll find these growing ubiquitously in areas all over the state. They have longish stems, which sprout little purple petals and the top. 

They’re known by a number of different names, with Heal All being the most common, simply because this wildflower is known for being great at treating a whole host of ailments, most commonly cuts and scratches. 

20. Swamp Milkweed 

As you may have already guessed, you’ll find this flower growing in swampy areas, where it tends to thrive. The flowers are typically a pastel pink in terms of color, and they grow in clusters. 

If you get the chance, be sure to smell these fragrant flowers, as they emit an incredible odor that attracts a numerous number of insects toward them. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, there are a whole variety of different wildflower species that you can find in the Colorado region. We hope that this guide will be helpful to you in future, when you need a point of reference in order to identify a bloom. 

Diane Peirce
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