A wildflower is a flower that forms in the wild. Its name usually applies to plants that grow naturally, without human intervention.
Many wildflowers have bright colors and pleasant aromas that add to a landscape’s natural beauty. They can be found in a lot of different areas, like rivers, forests, streams, and deserts.
Wildflowers are usually native to the location in which they grow, but some varieties are related to plants brought in from different territories.
The state of Maine is home to some common kinds of wildflowers which all have different characteristics.
You’ll find 45 of these wildflowers in this list, but before we get into the flowers themselves, do not take this list as a recommendation for flowers to plant in your backyard.
Some of the flowers below can add to a garden, but some invasive varieties should never be planted in your home.
Here are 45 types of wildflowers that you will see across Maine:
Purple Colored Wildflowers
1. Smooth Blue Aster – Symphyotrichum Laeve
Smooth Blue Aster is a vibrant flower that grows in Maine’s hillsides, meadows, and plains. It reaches one to three feet in height and forms during summer and fall.
Similar to a dandelion’s hairs, Smooth Blue Aster has pappi, which are thin feather-like hairs around its seeds.
The pappi let the wildflower disperse its seeds with the wind. Other names for Smooth Blue Aster include Michaelmas Daisy and Glaucous Aster.
2. Wild Geranium – Geranium Maculatum
This dainty wildflower can be found in Maine’s damp and dry woodlands. They usually grow in big groups and are often used in garden plants.
Other names for Wild Geranium include Spotted Geranium, Wood Geranium, and Cranesbill. It can reach as high as 24 inches, blooming between late spring and the middle of summer.
3. Alfalfa – Medicago Sativa
Alfalfa also goes by the name Lucerne. It blooms during Spring, Summer, and Fall, and can reach between one and three feet tall.
Farmers usually use alfalfa for food cropping purposes, as it can be cultivated for use as livestock. It usually grows in warmer temperatures and easily lures in birds, butterflies, and bees.
4. Creeping Charlie – Glechoma Hederacea
Creeping Charlie goes by several other names, including Field Balm, Run-away-robin, and Catsfoot. This wildflower thrives in damp, partially shaded locations, and can stand up to the sun quite well.
Creeping Charlie is considered an invasive plant in some of Maine’s lawns and woodlands. It’s thought to be a weed as its broad root network makes it hard to remove by mowing or by hand.
5. Purple Loosestrife – Lythrum Salicaria
You can find this vibrant wildflower in Maine’s marshes, ditches, and lakesides. Purple Loosestrife may not seem like it, but it is thought to be a weed, as it can advance and take over native plants.
Purple Loosestrife can replicate fast, as every spike on the plant can create around 300,000 seeds. The wildflower can also spread by forming new shoots out of its roots.
6. Bittersweet Nightshade – Solanum Dulcamara
Bittersweet Nightshade is also known by a lot of other names, like Snakeberry, Blue Bindweed, and Poisonberry. You can find Bittersweet Nightshade growing in Maine’s hedges, woodlands, and scrublands.
Other than its distinct purple leaves, it also produces bold red berries. However, please note that the entirety of this plant is poisonous, toxic to any animals or humans that ingest it.
7. Purple False Foxglove – Agalinis Purpurea
Purple False Foxglove also goes by the name Purple Gerardia. It can reach up to 36 inches in height and blooms during the summer and fall.
This beautiful purple plant is safe to plant in your backyard, though it does thrive best in damp, sandy soil.
However, if you do choose to plant it, beware, as the plant is semi-parasitic. It will sustain itself by taking nutrients from plants that are near, like native grasses, Sweetgum Trees, or Sycamore.
White Colored Wildflowers
8. Common Chickweed – Stellaria Media
This resilient wildflower is thought of as a weed, as its seeds can live in the earth for up to 50 years. It shouldn’t be planted in gardens as it can take over other plants to receive nutrients.
You can identify Common Chickweed by searching for little, capsule-like blooms in Maine’s wastelands, meadows, and roadsides.
9. Star Flower – Trientalis Borealis
This flower gets its name for its star-shaped arrangement of sepals. Starflowers have silky leaves, long stems, and vibrant yellow stamens.
You can find Starflowers growing in Maine’s wetland areas and hardwood forests.
10. Large-flowered Trillium – Trillium Grandiflorum
This wildflower is one of Maine’s more discernible plants. It forms attractive, aromatic flowers that lure pollinators to your location.
You can spot Large-flowered Trillium with its single stalk and three, waxy petals. It grows naturally in Maine’s mixed forest areas.
11. Hedge Bindweed – Calystegia Sepium
Hedge Bindweed grows in the summer and has noticeable trumpet-like blooms. You can find it growing in Maine’s marshes, coastal beaches, and open woods.
This wildflower can become invasive fast, so keep pruning it before it starts to grow out of control.
12. Wild Calla – Calla Palustris
This unique flower has white petals and a distinct yellow spike.
Even though it is pretty, Wild Calla’s leaves are toxic to animals and humans. It’s best to leave it alone if you spot it in Maine’s lakes, swamps, or lakes.
13. Oxeye Daisy – Leucanthemum Vulgare
Oxeye Daisy produces bright white petals around a yellow circular core. It originates from Europe and is considered an invasive species within Maine. Its rhizomes and seeds can spread fast, taking over native plants.
You can find Oxeye Daisies growing in Maine’s meadows, open woodlands, and grassy fields.
14. Hoary Alyssum – Berteroa Incana
Hoary Alyssum is an invasive species that can compete with other native plants. Its pollen is a food source for insects, but it’s best to kill it before it starts battling your home.
You can spot Hoary Alyssum by its little white flowers and leaves coated with gray hairs.
15. Mayapple – Podophyllum Peltatum
This wildflower grows in Maine’s riverbanks and shaded fields. A lot of bees are drawn to its blooms, while turtles and squirrels use its seeds for food.
Be careful around Mayapple, as its leaves, roots, and unripe fruits are toxic to humans and animals.
Blue Colored Wildflowers
16. Common Blue Violet – Viola Sororia
Other names for this distinct plant include Wooly Blue Violet, Wood Violet, and Purple Violet. It can reach between six and ten inches tall and blooms from the middle of spring to summer.
Common Blue Violet is beautiful, but some residents in Maine view it as a weed. The wildflower can begin to form in your backyard, drawing in rabbits, doves, and caterpillars.
It can also fire its seeds as much as nine meters away, attracting ants that feed on these protein-filled seeds.
17. Virginia Bluebells – Mertensia Virginica
This noticeable plant goes by a lot of different names, including Blue and Pink Ladies, Chiming Bells, and Smooth Lungwort. This perennial is one of the earliest wildflowers that formed in Maine.
You can find Virginia Bluebells in wet shaded areas, like on the outskirts of Maine’s hardwood forests. The flower begins to form pink buds, then starts to form pale blue flowers as it matures.
This wildflower also draws in butterflies and hummingbirds, creating a beautiful sight when paired together.
18. Forget-me-not – Myosotis Scorpioides
Forget-me-not is known by many different names, including Mouse-ear, Snake Grass, and Scorpion Weed. It is easily spotted, thanks to its light blue leaves and vibrant yellow center.
Forget-me-nots may look nice, but their seeds can disperse fast, so you may notice them in areas that you didn’t originally plant them in.
The good news is that the flower can be moved without any issues, so if this occurs, you can dig up the plant and move it to a different site. It’s best not to destroy it, as it attracts beneficial moths, bees, and butterflies.
19. Chicory – Cichorium Intybus
Chicory flowers only bloom for a single day, though if the weather is particularly warm, they may only bloom for several hours. You can find Chicory growing in Maine’s dry and sunny areas, like open fields and roadsides.
One characteristic of Chicory is that it is edible, as its leaves are full of beneficial minerals and vitamins. Just take care before trying it, as this wildflower can taste bitter!
20. Common Periwinkle – Vinca Minor
Other names for Common Periwinkle are Dwarf Periwinkle and Lesser Periwinkle. This wildflower blooms throughout the year and reaches between four to six inches in height.
Common Periwinkle lures in different types of bees throughout Maine, like bee flies and Mason bees. It’s also deer resistant, which is why many Maine residents use it as ground cover.
21. Bachelor’s Button – Centaurea Cyanus
Bachelor’s Button also goes by the name Cornflower. It’s known for luring in butterflies, as well as being a good flower to cut and dry.
Bachelor’s Button’s blooms are, for the most part, disease and pest free. They can also stand up well against drought and deer, so they are a nice choice to plant in flower beds in your yard.
22. Blue Vervain – Verbena Hastata
Other names for this drought-resistant plant include Swamp Verbena and American Vervain.
You can find it growing in Maine’s wet soils, shores, and foothills.
This blue wildflower lures attractive butterflies, honey bees, and helpful wasps. Blue Vervain is also a wonderful host plant, as caterpillars and moths use their leaves for food.
Yellow Colored Wildflowers
23. Yellow Wood Sorrel – Oxalis Stricta
Other than its little, vibrant petals, this wildflower’s leaves may make you think of clover. Yellow Wood Sorrel originates from North America and grows a lot inside Maine.
You can search for Yellow Wood Sorrel in Maine’s meadows, roadsides, and woodlands. Keep in mind that if it does grow near your home, remove it as soon as possible, as it is poisonous to livestock and pets.
24. Woodland Sunflower – Helianthus Divaricatus
Woodland Sunflowers aren’t as magnificent as regular sunflowers, but they are still a gorgeous sight to witness. Their large, bold, and yellow flowers flourish for around two months during summer.
You can find Woodland Sunflowers in Maine’s rocky woodlands, roadsides, and sand prairies.
25. Yellow Marsh Marigold – Caltha Palustris
Known for their bright, goblet-shaped flowers, Yellow Marsh Marigolds are a kind of buttercup – not a marigold!
This aquatic wildflower thrives in cold, moist conditions. You can find it growing in Maine’s swamps, wet forests, and marshes. They are also disease-resistant and low maintenance, so they are a nice choice to plant in water gardens.
26. Black-eyed Susan – Gloriosa Daisy
This wildflower is native to North America and can be found in Maine’s fields, roadsides, and open woods. Black-eyed Susans produce beautiful orange, brown, and yellow blooms. Their name comes from the darker ‘eye’ at their core.
A lot of different butterflies, bees, and birds flock to these flowers, while goldfinches are known to eat their seeds.
27. Common Goldstar – Hypoxis Hirsuta
One of Maine’s native wildflowers, Common Goldstar can reach as high as 18 inches and blooms from spring to summer.
It’s easy to mix up its leaves with common grass, so it may be easier to spot when it fully matures. You can find Common Goldstar in Maine’s woodlands, glades, and fields.
28. Winter Cress – Barbarea Vulgaris
This robust flower can be identified from its long, rigid stems and deep green leaves. Wintercress comes from Asia, North Africa, and Europe, but it is thought of as a weed within Maine.
Even though it is an invasive species, Wintercress is a great source of pollen and nectar for bees and butterflies. Grosbeaks and doves also use their seeds for food.
29. Bearded Beggartick – Bidens Aristosa
This wildflower’s name is related to its prickly fruits that can stick to you after a hike. Bearded Beggartick can reach as high as 72 inches and thrives during the fall.
You can plant this wildflower in your garden to lure in pollinators, like butterflies, bees, and other useful insects.
30. Sulphur Cinquefoil – Potentilla Recta
Sulphur Cinquefoil produces pretty yellow flowers, but as it spreads rapidly, it is considered an invasive weed within Maine. It can easily take over native plants and threaten other ecosystems.
Sulphur Cinquefoil grows in a lot of different environments, so you can find it growing in Maine’s wastelands, fields, and lakesides.
Orange and Red Colored Wildflowers
31. Red Trillium – Trillium Erectum
Red Trillium is one of the first wildflowers to grow in Maine following winter. It produces blooms with three petals and can reach as high as 16 inches.
You can find this wildflower in shaded forest areas around Maine, like on the edge of woodlands.
32. Spotted Touch-Me-Not – Impatiens Capensis
This wildflower is well known for its orange petals covered with brown spots. Its name comes from its seed pods, as they will burst whenever they are touched.
Its tube-like blooms are quite appealing to hummingbirds, as they can use their long beaks to gather its nectar.
33. Blanket Flower – Gaillardia Pulchella
This sunflower creates a gorgeous sight of yellow, orange, and red flowers. Blanket Flowers’ bright colors naturally draw in lots of birds and bees around Maine.
Some beekeepers use this wildflower to create a certain type of honey. This honey has a pleasant amber shade and a gentle, buttery flavor.
34. Wood Lily – Lilium Philadelphicum
This wildflower’s petals face upwards, easily drawing in traveling butterflies and hummingbirds. This is ideal for cross-pollination, a process that is necessary for reproduction.
Wood Lilies can reach as high as 36 inches tall, blooming from the middle of summer for a maximum of five weeks. Their bulbs are also edible, as they have a flavor that resembles turnips.
35. Butterfly Weed – Asclepias Tuberosa
Butterfly Weed can be spotted by its flat-topped, vivid orange groups of flowers (This wildflower is also present in Missouri. Find out more about it.). Native Americans used to use its root to cure a range of lung conditions.
However, if you are thinking of ingesting Butterfly Weed, use with caution, as its sap and root are poisonous in large amounts.
36. Scarlet Bee Balm – Monarda Didyma
One of Maine’s native wildflowers, Scarlet Bee Balm forms tubular flowers that are a great source of nectar. This lures in lots of hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
Though the wildflower is mainly grown as an ornamental plant in gardens, you may find it growing on the edge of Maine’s woodlands in full sunlight.
37. Trumpet Honeysuckle – Lonicera Sempervirens
This bright wildflower draws in bumblebees, butterflies, and birds. Its trumpet-like blooms are particularly appealing to hummingbirds.
Trumpet Honeysuckle is often confused with the Trumpet Creeper, but it isn’t as aggressive and won’t grow as large. This makes it a better choice for growing in your garden.
Pink Colored Wildflowers
38. Carolina Rose – Rose Carolina
This is one of Maine’s most popular wildflowers. Its bold, pink flowers make a gorgeous display and also lure in lots of wildlife to areas around Maine. Hoverflies, beetles, and bees travel to the blooms and use their components for nesting supplies.
If you are looking for Carolina Rose around Maine, take care, as its hairy leaves and thorny stems can cause skin irritation.
39. Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias Incarnata
This pretty pink flower is one of Maine’s native wildflowers. It forms around lakeshores and damp meadows. You can spot it easily, thanks to its groups of light pink petals.
You can plant Swamp Milkweed in your yard if you want more pollinators to visit. Its aromatic blooms lure in butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Its leaves are also a great food source for some types of caterpillars.
40. Obedient Plant – Physostegia Virginiana
Obedient Plant goes by other names, including False Dragonhead, Virginia Lionsheart, and Obedience. It’s known as ‘obedient’ as its blooms will remain in place if they are bent to one side.
You can find Obedient Plants growing in Maine’s meadows, prairies, and fresh fields. If you’d like hummingbirds and butterflies to travel to your garden, you can plant this wildflower in your garden borders and beds.
41. Virginia Meadow Beauty – Rhexia Virginica
This gorgeous wildflower creates amazing sights of blue, purple, and pink flowers during summer. Its leaves, seeds, and stems are also a nice sight around fall, as they change to red after their flowering time.
Virginia Meadow Beauty (Also check out Common Types Of West Virginia Wildflowers) draws in butterflies and moths, but it can only be pollinated by bumblebees. You can find it growing in Maine’s sandy areas, bogs, and wetlands.
42. Deptford Pink – Dianthus Armeria
Deptford Pink produces small flowers, but despite their size, their vibrant colors make them incredibly beautiful. If you examine its petals closely, you’ll notice delicate patterns of white, purple, and pink.
This wildflower originally came from Europe, but it has become a naturalized species in North America. It grows easily, so you may see large swathes over Maine’s fields, roadsides, and ditches.
43. Fireweed – Chamerion Angustifolium
As the name suggests, Fireweed is a strong wildflower that is the first to form in areas affected by forest fires. It can reach as high as 120 inches in height, blooming in late spring and summer.
You can locate Fireweed by searching for distinct purple-pink blooms over Maine’s scenic areas. You may find butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds around Fireweed, as they use the wildflower as a food source.
44. Mountain Laurel – Kalmia Latifolia
This unique wildflower can reach as high as 384 inches. It’s easily spotted, thanks to its geometric flowers and bright, dotted petals.
Hummingbirds and butterflies are drawn to the wildflower’s bold white and pink flowers. You may see Mountain Laurel bushes across woodland floors, though it is normally planted in parks and gardens.
45. Pink Lady’s Slipper – Cypripedium Acaule
This robust orchid has deep magenta flowers on the end of tall stems. It’s one of the most beautiful flowers you may see in Maine, but it is quite rare, as it doesn’t spread as well as other types of wildflowers.
If you do see Pink Lady’s Slipper in the wild, don’t pick its blooms, as it would have taken years to grow until maturity.
Those were some common types of wildflowers that grow inside Maine! Now that you know the names of some of these plants, you can start to look for them when you’re next visiting the state.
Just remember that even though these wildflowers are beautiful, many of them are aggressive species and should not be planted in home gardens.
We hope you enjoy looking for some of Maine’s common wildflowers!