From bright buttercups that cover meadows in spring, to bright snowdrops that shroud old forests, wildflowers can be a beautiful sight to witness.
Other than making scenes beautiful, wildflowers are also important for providing a food source for pollinators and invertebrates.
Lots of wildflowers grow around North American states. You’ll learn more about some of Kansas’ common wildflowers in this post. These may have different colors, scents, and optimum conditions for growth.
We’ve divided this list of Kansas wildflowers into separate color groups, but before we get into the list, please note that a wildflower’s color is a debatable point.
For instance, we may think that a plant looks purple, but you may think that it looks more pink and should belong in a different segment.
Now we can get into the list! Here are 45 common wildflower varieties you may find in Kansas.
White Colored Wildflowers
1. Garlic Mustard – Alliaria Petiolata
This wildflower was brought from Europe during the 19th century. It’s an invasive species that can quickly colonize native plants.
Garlic Mustard’s wrinkled leaves smell like garlic when they are crushed. It has tall stalks that have lots of small, cross-shaped flowers on them.
You can find it growing along roadsides, woodland habitats, and floodplains around Kansas.
2. Mayapple – Podophyllum Peltatum
Mayapple produces a big, lemon-like fruit around May, which gives the plant its name. However, be careful if you have livestock or pets, as its roots, leaves, and unripe fruits are toxic to humans and animals.
You can find Mayapple growing in Kansas’ riverbanks, shaded fields, and deciduous woodlands.
3. Yarrow – Achillea Millefolium
Yarrow has little, feather-like leaves and groups of white, delicate flowers. Yarrow was brought in from Europe, but there are some native subspecies of the wildflower within Kansas.
Yarrow plants can be found in grasslands, roadsides, and open woodlands around Kansas.
4. Hedge Bindweed – Calystegia Sepium
Hedge Bindweed produces pink, red, and white blooms that look like trumpets. It blooms between spring and fall, reaching as high as ten feet tall.
Hedge Bindweed can be an invasive species, so if you have it in your garden, keep pruning it frequently to prevent it from becoming unmanageable. You can find it growing in Kansas’ marshes, coastal beaches, and open forests.
5. English Plantain – Plantago Lanceolata
English Plantain is easily identified, thanks to its tall, spiky blooms and little white flowers.
English Plantain can adapt to various settings based on how humans attempt to destroy it. For instance, it grows naturally in tall stalks, but if the area is mowed regularly, the wildflower will start growing lower to the earth to prevent being trimmed.
You can find it growing in grazing pastures, dry meadows, and disturbed sites around Kansas.
6. Cut Leaved Toothwort – Cardamine Concatenata
This wildflower is known by a lot of names, like Pepper Root and Crow’s Toes. Its leaves and roots are also edible, as it has a pleasant flavor that resembles radish.
You can find Cut-leaved Toothwort growing in Kansas’ rocky banks, damp woodlands, and floodplains.
7. Common Chickweed – Stellaria Media
Common chickweed is very robust, which is why it’s thought of as a weed within Kansas. If it spreads in gardens, it will fight your other plants to receive their nutrients.
You can find Common Chickweed growing in wastelands, open sites, and meadows around Kansas.
Yellow Colored Wildflowers
8. Gumweed – Grindelia Squarrosa
Gumweed produces fragrant blooms in various yellow hues. It’s a great pollen supply for native bees, but its bitter flavor deters most wildlife from nibbling on their foliage.
You can find Gumweed growing in Kansas’ abandoned croplands, disturbed roadsides, and dry prairies.
9. Thin-leaved Coneflower – Rudbeckia Triloba
Thin-leaved Coneflower grows very easily. It resists pests and stands up to droughts well, making it a nice choice to include in gardens and perennial borders.
However, take caution when doing so, as rabbits, groundhogs, and deer use the flower’s leaves for food.
You can find Thin Leaved Coneflower growing in Kansas’ roadsides and forest clearings.
10. Yellow Lady’s Slipper – Cypripedium Parviflorum
This interesting wildflower is easily spotted, thanks to its deep purple sepals that grow around a vibrant yellow center. Their name comes from their appearance, as they resemble dainty shoes.
Yellow Lady’s Slipper grows in a variety of environments, so you can find it growing all over Kansas.
11. Spiny Sow-thistle – Sonchus Asper
This yellow wildflower is an invasive species that grows all over Kansas. If you notice it growing near your home, act fast, as it can quickly take over native greenery.
You can spot Spiny Sow-thistle from its spiky foliage and yellow blooms on lengthy stalks. This wildflower grows in grasslands, roadsides, and waste areas around Kansas.
12. Hoary Puccoon – Lithospermum Canescens
Hoary Puccoon flowers between spring and summer, producing bold clusters of yellow flowers as it grows.
Hoary Puccoon is hard to germinate, so it isn’t often planted in home gardens. You can find it growing in Kansas’s savannas, roadsides, and dunes.
13. Sulfur Cinquefoil – Potentilla Recta
Otherwise known as Upright Cinquefoil, Sulfur Cinquefoil blooms between late spring and summer, reaching up to 20 inches in height.
This rapidly spreading wildflower is an invasive species within Kansas. It can form in a lot of different environments, so you may see it growing in Kansas’ wastelands, fields, and lakesides.
14. Large-flowered Bellwort – Uvularia Grandiflora
Large-flowered Bellwort produces yellow blooms which resemble hanging bells, which give the plant its name.
The wildflower is endangered in some locations, so if you notice them growing around Kansas, leave them alone to grow.
You can spot Large-flowered Bellwort growing in Kansas’ floodplains, woodlands, and mountainous areas.
Purple Colored Wildflowers
15. Dame’s Rocket – Hesperis Matronalis
Dame’s Rocket goes by several names, like Winter Gilliflower, Good & Plenties, and Dames-wort. It grows between one and four feet tall and blooms between the beginning and middle of spring.
Dame’s Rocket grows all over Kansas, as it spreads quickly among woodlands and meadows. As it spreads fast, it is thought to be an invasive species, despite adding color to areas it grows in.
16. Canada Toadflax – Nuttallanthus Canadensis
Canada Toadflax is also called Old-field Toadflax and Blue Toadflax. It blooms between the beginning of spring to summer and can reach up to ten inches in height.
Canada Toadflax blossoms in huge numbers during spring, so they are an important source of nectar for butterflies and honeybees. Its leaves also make great food for caterpillars.
You can find Canada Toadflax growing in Kansas’ sunny areas, like grasslands and roadsides. However, take care, as its components can be toxic when consumed.
17. American Hog Peanut – Amphicarpaea Bracteata
Otherwise known by the name Ground Bean, American Hog Peanut can reach as high as five feet tall. It’s unique as its upper and lower parts pollinate differently.
American Hog Peanut’s lower flowers stay closed to self-pollinate, while its upper blooms open to be pollinated by invertebrates.
Both sets of blooms create seeds, but the lower ones produce a Hog Peanut, a juicy fruit that gives the wildflower its name.
You can find American Hog Peanuts growing in forests around Kansas.
18. Great Blue Lobelia – Lobelia Siphilitica
This distinct wildflower can reach up to four feet in height and blooms between summer and fall. Great Blue Lobelia also goes by the names Blue Cardinal Flower and Great Lobelia.
It can’t pollinate by itself, so it needs to be pollinated by bumblebees, hummingbirds, or insects. You can find Great Blue Lobelia growing in damp, shady settings around Kansas, like lake margins, roadside ditches, and swamps.
19. Showy Orchid – Galearis Spectabilis
Otherwise known as Showy Orchid, Showy Orchis starts to bloom in spring and can reach up to 12 inches in height. It’s a great source of nectar for a variety of pollinators, including butterflies, moths, and bumblebees.
Showy Orchis doesn’t grow in full sunlight, but thrives in shady locations. You can find it growing in Kansas’ shady hillsides and beneath deciduous trees.
20. Wild Geranium – Geranium Maculatum
Other names for Wild Geranium are Wood Geranium, Spotted Geranium, and Cranesbill. These wildflowers are usually found in big groups and are ideal garden plants.
Wild Geranium even has uses in herbal medicine, as its astringent qualities can help cease bleeding. You can find it growing in moist and dry woodlands around Kansas.
21. Field Pansy – Viola Bicolor
This purple-blue flower draws in wildlife and provides a nectar supply for bees that travel to it. Birds also use its seeds for food, while caterpillars from fritillary butterflies nourish themselves with its leaves.
You can find Field Pansies growing along Kansas’ roadsides, meadows, and wild gardens.
22. Kudzu – Pueraria Montana
Kudzu is also known by other names, including Kudzu Vine, Japanese Arrowroot, and Kudzu Vine. It blooms from summer to fall and can reach as high as 30 meters tall.
Kudzu creates interesting, deep purple blooms, but it is very invasive within Kansas. Its seeds spread fast from birds, mammals, and human activities.
Orange and Red Colored Wildflowers
23. Berlandier Flax – Linum Berlandieri
This gorgeous plant only flowers for one to two days before withering. It has long, green-gray leaves and distinct, pale orange petals.
Berlandier Flax is native to Kansas and forms in a lot of different environments.
24. Columbine – Aquilegia Canadensis
Red Columbine is a native wildflower within Kansas. You can spot it from its descending, red, bell-shaped blooms.
Columbine can add more color and draw in butterflies, hummingbirds, and bumblebees to your backyard. You can find it growing in woodlands all around Kansas.
25. Indian Paintbrush – Castilleja Coccinea
Rather than using photosynthesis to produce nutrients, Indian Paintbrush feeds on nutrients from other plants. It needs to link its roots to another host’s roots to gather nutrients.
Its parasitic characteristics mean that it’s difficult to add to home gardens, as it struggles to transplant effectively. This is why it’s often found in open meadows among various grasses and wildflowers.
You can find Indian Paintbrush growing in grasslands and forest clearings around Kansas.
26. Butterfly Weed – Asclepias Tuberosa
Butterfly Weed grows in a lot of home gardens around Kansas. It draws in butterflies and hummingbirds with its plentiful supply of nectar.
Butterfly Weed is easily spotted, thanks to its vivid orange flowers that brighten up landscapes around Kansas.
However, please take care when searching for this plant, as its sap and roots are poisonous to humans in large amounts.
27. Toadshade Trillium – Trillium Sessile
Toadshade Trillium produces funnel-shaped blooms in shades of yellow, purple, and red. It also has a noticeable smell that attracts beetles and flies.
You can find Toadshade Trillium growing in several habitats around Kansas, including floodplains and deciduous forests.
28. Painted Leaf – Euphorbia Cyathophora
This wildflower is easily spotted, thanks to the reddish splotches at the base of its leaves. This has a painted effect, giving the wildflower its name. It also produces little yellow flowers that are hard to notice at first.
You can spot Painted Leaf growing in various soils around Kansas, from open fields to the edges of woodlands.
29. Wine Cup – Callirhoe Involucrata
This wildflower’s name comes from its cup-shaped blooms. Its petals are a vibrant shade of red that have white spots at their base.
Wine Cup can be planted in hanging pots to draw in butterflies and hummingbirds around your garden. You can find it growing in clearings and open regions around Kansas.
Blue Colored Wildflowers
30. Jacob’s Ladder – Polemonium Reptans
Jacob’s Ladder goes by several different names, including Abscess Root, Stairway to Heaven, and Blue Bells. Its bloom time begins in spring and can reach up to three feet in height.
Jacob’s Ladder produces pollen and nectar that draws in butterflies, bumblebees, and moths. You can find it growing in Kansas’ floodplains and moist woodlands.
31. Creeping Bellflower – Campanula Rapunculoides
Creeping Bellflower also goes by the name Rampion Bellflower. It can grow up to 31 inches tall and blooms between summer and the beginning of fall.
Creeping Bellflower originates from West Siberia and Europe, but since it has been brought into Kansas, it has turned into an invasive species that takes over other plants.
It’s practically impossible to destroy as it can reproduce by itself. Every plant can create 15,000 seeds and multiply with its lengthy tuberous roots.
You can find Creeping Bellflower growing in several areas around Kansas, including roadsides, meadows, and dry hills.
32. Virginia Waterleaf – Hydrophyllum Virginnianum
Virginia Waterleaf also goes by the name Eastern Waterleaf. It creates big groups in damp, deciduous woods and spreads by multiplying with rhizomes (underground roots).
Virginia Waterleaf grows between one to two feet tall and starts to bloom in spring. It regularly lures in flies and sweat bees, but a drawback is that deer often chew their foliage.
33. Blue Mistflower – Conoclinium Coelestinum
This wildflower produces spiky blue-purple blooms with a darker center. It blooms throughout the year and can reach up to 36 inches in height.
Blue Mistflower usually lures in a lot of butterflies and bees. The sight of the insects and flowers is beautiful to witness, but as it can spread fast, the wildflower can easily become an annoyance.
You can find Blue Mistflower growing in humid meadows, forest edges, and damp soils around Kansas.
34. Blue Flag Iris – Iris Versicolor
Blue Flag Iris goes by several other names, including Northern Blue Flag, Poison Flag, and Larger Blue Flag. It can grow up to three feet tall and blooms between late spring and the beginning of summer.
Though Blue Flag Iris is pretty, its roots and leaves are toxic and can lead to intestinal inflammation. If you, your pets, or your livestock ingest the wildflower, seek immediate medical help.
Blue Flag Iris grows along Kansas’ stream banks, sedge meadows, and wetlands.
35. Pasque Flower – Pulsatilla Patens
Pasque Flower is known by lots of other names, including Windflower, Eastern Prairie Snoke, and Eastern Meadow Anemone. It produces blue-purple petals that surround a vibrant yellow center.
Pasque Flower is attractive, but unfortunately, all of its parts contain toxic elements that can lead to blisters in your mouth and nose.
You can find it growing in dry soil areas around Kansas, like prairies, but to avoid unpleasant symptoms, never give it a sniff!
36. Western Blue Flax – Linum Lewisii
Western Blue Flax blooms for a few weeks between late spring and the middle of summer, but its flowers only last for a day, opening in the morning until the afternoon.
This blue wildflower has rigid stems that American Indians used for cords, nets, and ropes. Other names for Western Blue Flax include Lewis’ Flax, Wild Flax, and Prairie Flax.
37. Virginia Iris – Iris Virginica
Other names for this wildflower include Great Blue Flag and Southern Blue Flag. Virginia Iris starts to bloom in summer and grows between 12 and 36 inches.
Virginia Iris (Also check out Common Types Of West Virginia Wildflowers) is a nice choice to add to bog gardens and lily pools, as it is deer, pest, and disease resistant. Despite this, some individuals get a rash after contact with it, so be careful when you are around this wildflower.
You can find Virginia Iris growing in several environments around Kansas, including lakesides, open woodlands, and meadows.
Pink Colored Wildflowers
38. Maryland Meadow Beauty – Rhexia Mariana
This wildflower is easily identifiable, thanks to its distinct yellow stamens and pink petals. It’s a nice choice for landscaping as it doesn’t spread aggressively.
Bumblebees usually pollinate this plant, but Maryland Meadow Beauty will also lure in butterflies and other types of bees to your backyard.
You can find this wildflower growing in Kansas’ pond areas, roadsides, and bogs. However, you should avoid picking them when you see them, as this helps to maintain this native wildflower.
39. Deptford Pink – Dianthus Armeria
Deptford Pink produces very small blooms, but their vivid color helps you identify them wherever they grow. Otherwise known as Grass Pink, this wildflower blooms between spring and fall, reaching up to 30 inches in height.
You can find Deptford Pink growing in Kansas’ ditches, fields, and roadsides.
40. Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias Incarnata
This wildflower is native to Kansas. It can be identified by its deep pink flowers that attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Its leaves also act as a food supply for caterpillars.
You can plant Swamp Milkweed in your garden to attract a range of pollinators. You can find it growing in Kansas’ lakesides and damp meadows.
41. Carolina Rose – Rose Carolina
This is one of Kansas’ more popular wildflowers. Carolina Rose produces beautiful blooms, but it also draws in lots of wildlife around the state.
The wildflower’s leaves act as food for caterpillars, while its rose hips are enjoyed by small mammals and songbirds. Despite its uses, be careful, as its prickly stems and leaves can irritate your skin.
42. Prairie Onion – Allium Stellatum
This wildflower forms blooms that resemble white and pink spheres. Its groups of flowers appear on top of lengthy stalks that rise out of tufty foliage. Butterflies are often drawn to Prairie Onion’s vibrant flowers.
Prairie Onion is also edible, as its flavorful stems and bulks can be enjoyed raw, boiled, or sprinkled as a seasoning on many dishes. You can find it growing in areas where plants don’t usually form, like limestone cliffs and rocky soils.
43. Sweet Joe Pye Weed – Eutrochium Purpureum
Sweet Joe Pye Weed has bold pink blooms and a pleasant vanilla aroma, which is why it’s loved by pollinators and gardeners alike!
You can plant this wildflower in your garden to add to its beauty, as well as attract native bees and butterflies to your home.
Sweet Joe Pye Weed grows in Kansas’ meadows that are near streams and lakes.
44. Crown Vetch – Securigera Varia
Otherwise known as Purple Crownvetch, this wildflower blooms between summer and fall, reaching as high as 72 inches when fully grown.
Crown Vetch produces gorgeous, light pink blooms, but it is an invasive species within North America. It grows along Kansas’ sunny banks, taking over less resilient plants.
45. Common Milkweed – Asclepias Syriaca
Common Milkweed is an aromatic wildflower that attracts a lot of pollinating species. It’s also used as a food source, as around 450 types of insects nibble on its parts, like moths, ants, and beetles.
Common Milkweed can be found in Kansas’ woodland clearings, roadside ditches, and abandoned fields.
Now you know some examples of wildflowers that grow all around Kansas!
These all have distinct characteristics that add to their beauty, but remember that not all of these are suitable to plant in home gardens.
Many wildflowers are invasive species that can colonize other native plants, so always take caution before adding a plant to your backyard.
We hope that you enjoyed learning about some of Kansas’ many wildflowers!