Massachusetts is known for its diverse and incredible wildlife – from dense forests to sprawling meadows and fierce shores, there’s something special around every corner.
In addition to this, you’re rewarded with hundreds of different wildflower species.
Since there are so many, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the flower you have found. This is because there are tons of hybrids and cultivar varieties, too.
With this in mind, we have created a detailed guide looking at 45 of the most common types of wildflowers that you may encounter on a hike or walk through Massachusetts.
1. Blue Vervain – Verbena Hastata
This drought-resistant and hardy flower can be found in wet soils, shores, ditches, wet fields, foothills, and plains throughout Massachusetts.
In addition to this, it has the ability to attract various species of honeybees, butterflies, moths, wasps, and moths.
Moreover, common buckeye butterfly caterpillars and verbena moths enjoy nibbling on their leaves.
2. Chicory – Cichorium Intybus
This wildflower is non-native to Massachusetts, although it can be found throughout the state. Generally, it is found in dry and sunny areas – in open fields and along roads.
One interesting fact about chicory flowers is that you can eat them. In fact, the leaves are high in minerals and vitamins and can be added to your salad.
That said, be warned that they have an incredibly bitter aftertaste.
3. Common Periwinkle – Vinca Minor
While the common periwinkle isn’t native to North America, it has the ability to attract tons of wildlife, including mason bees, bee flies, bumblebees, and anthophoridae bees.
Moreover, it is generally used as a ground cover in Massachusetts due to its deer-resistant properties!
4. Common Blue Violet – Viola Sororia
Some residents of Massachusetts consider this delightful flower to be a weed. This is because it has the ability to start growing in random places – like the middle of your lawn.
When it appears, it can attract a host of animals, including caterpillars, mason bees, rabbits, wild turkeys, doves, ants, and deer.
An interesting fact about this plant is that it has self-fertilizing abilities – fertilizing without opening its petals.
5. Forget-Me-Not – Myosotis Scorpioides
The forget-me-not flowers are believed to get their name due to their unpleasant taste and odor that is hard to forget! In addition, they are also known as the Scorpion Weed thanks to their ability to coil their stalk like a scorpion’s tail.
These flowers have the ability to dot around in the most random places; you may find them popping up in places you didn’t plan.
6. Teasel – Dipsacus Fullonum
You can easily identify this wildflower thanks to its unique blue-purple leaves and its prickly stem.
Moreover, they attract a range of wildlife, including goldfinches, since the seeds found in these plants are an important food source in the winter.
In addition to this, they have health benefits, too, this includes healing torn or broken bones and inflamed or injured connective tissue.
7. Bachelor’s Button – Centaurea Cyanus
If you’re looking for a plant to attract swarms of butterflies to your backyard, then you need to add these bachelor button flowers to your yard.
These flowers are reminiscent of daisies and, in addition to this, are virtually disease- and pest-free. Plus, they are drought- and deer-tolerant, too! Perfect for growing around rock gardens and around flower bed borders.
8. Virginia Bluebells – Mertensia Virginica
These Virginia bluebells are considered one of the earliest blooming wildflowers you can find in Massachusetts.
Plus, you can find them growing on the edges of deciduous trees and in the wet shade. These flowers are unique in that they start with pink buds and then bloom into beautiful sky-blue flowers.
9. Common Burdock – Arctium Minus
You can find this wildflower in open prairies, pastures, roadsides, hayfields, railways, disturbed areas, barnyards, and old fields.
This flower is easily identifiable thanks to its deep purple flowers and large leaves that some people believe to resemble rhubarb.
10. Bull Thistle – Cirsium Vulgare
This wildflower is found throughout Massachusetts. However, be careful when handling it since it can be extra prickly!
Moreover, the seeds in this wildflower are an excellent source of food for goldfinches. Likewise, they use this flower to line their nests for their young, too.
11. Bee Balm – Monarda Fistulosa
This beautiful perennial has stunning lilac-purple petals and can be found in dry locations, including prairies, fields, and on the sides of the road.
Bee balm also has the ability to attract tons of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. This is because, when in full bloom, various insects can’t resist visiting its nectar-rich flowers.
12. Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass – Triodanis Perfoliata
These wildflowers can sprout up in dry and sandy soils, including gardens, woods, and disturbed areas.
Moreover, they can be easily identified thanks to their ability to bloom in rounded leaves. Plus, they have the ability to self-pollinate and attract small bees, butterflies, and flies.
13. Purple Loosestrife – Lythrum Salicaria
Typically, you’ll find purple loosestrife growing in wet areas throughout Massachusetts. For instance, in marshes, wet meadows, and on the sides of lakes.
That said, these plants aren’t welcomed by many. This is generally due to their invasive nature whereby they can push out and take over various native plants.
In addition to this, they have the ability to reproduce extremely quickly – with each new flower producing around 300,000 seeds!
14. Creeping Charlie – Glechoma Hederacea
These wildflowers are typically grown in large groups and are able to tolerate the sun very well – growing in moist, semi-shaded areas.
That said, this wildflower is considered a weed by many residents in Massachusetts. This is generally due to the plant’s extensive root system which is difficult to remove from yards.
15. Purple Coneflower – Echinacea Purpurea
These flowers are known to be extremely hardy – making them a favorite to be grown in gardens all around Massachusetts. In addition, they are drought-resistant and heat-tolerant.
The only negative you may encounter is that rabbits, and other small animals, love eating and nibbling on the leaves.
16. Dame’s Rocket – Hesperis Matronalis
You can find this wildflower throughout Massachusetts. Dame’s rocket can be found in woodlands and meadows and is incredibly fast-spreading.
As such, it can be considered invasive in some areas. That said, the young leaves on this flower are extremely high in Vitamin C and can be eaten in salads.
17. Heal-All – Prunella Vulgaris
This wildflower is among the most common plants found in Massachusetts. You can find it growing along roadsides, lawns, and on the edge of woodlands, too.
Moreover, the wildflower is known to attract a range of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. As such, it is typically used as a ground cover for meadows, border front, and landscapes.
18. Giant Ironweed – Vernonia Gigantea
Giant ironweed is known for its tall and solid appearance with large purple blooms. Plus, it is generally found in woodlands and meadows across Massachusetts.
When planted in a group, these wildflowers make a perfect addition to your backyard. Plus, they attract tons of butterflies to your garden, too, including Monarchs and swallowtails.
19. Spreading Dogbane – Apocynum Androsaemifolium
As its name suggests, spreading dogbane is considered to be a prolific grower. As such, it can be found throughout Europe and North America.
Likewise, it gets its name “dogbane” as a result of being highly poisonous to dogs, this includes humans, too!
20. Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias Incarnata
In Massachusetts, swamp milkweed is a native wildflower and can be found throughout the state, particularly along lakeshores and wet meadows.
If you want various pollinators to visit your garden, then planting this wildflower is ideal. Its fragrant flowers are attractive to bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
Moreover, its leaves are an incredible source of food for Monarch caterpillars, too.
21. Joe Pye Weed – Eutrochium
Belonging to the genus Eutrochium, Joe Pye Weed is the most common flower in the state. In fact, they are native to Massachusetts and are recommended to plant in your garden.
They can be easily identified thanks to their large, pink flower clusters that sit at the top of their stems – attracting various pollinators.
Naturally, you can find these flowers growing on the edges of wet meadows and woodlands.
22. Common Milkweed – Asclepias syriaca
If you want a fragrant flower to attract tons of pollinators to your yard in Massachusetts then you’re sure to love the common milkweed.
Approximately 450 species of insects feed on this flower, including butterflies, beetles, bees, moths, flies, ants, and wasps.
That said, it does have the ability to smother and push out small plants. Therefore, if you want to plant this flower, choose an isolated area away from other plants.
23. Wild Mint – Mentha Arvensis
Wild mint contains various dense clusters of pink, lavender, or white flowers. Like other types of mint, their scent is particularly potent when the leaves are crushed.
You can find this wildflower in Massachusetts in wetland areas containing partial sunlight. Plus, it is best grown on river and stream banks.
24. Spring Beauty – Claytonia Virginica
If you’re looking for a flower that really explodes with color, then you can’t go wrong with spring beauty (This wildflower is also present in Vermont. Find out more about it.).
It will paint your yard thanks to its beautiful patches of yellow, pink, and white blooms. Likewise, if you look closely, you’ll see that each petal is lined with stunning dark veins.
25. Everlasting Pea – Lathyrus Latifolius
The everlasting pea is one of the most low-maintenance plants that require minimal care and can grow like a weed when not controlled.
Before being naturalized in North America, it was native to Europe, however, it was introduced in the 1700s.
You can find this flower in clay-rich soil on sunny banks in Massachusetts. In addition, this plant’s purplish-pink flowers and long tendrils look beautiful on garden fences.
Moreover, you can find it used as a ground cover on slopes and banks, too.
26. Fireweed – Chamerion Angustifolium
As its name suggests, this is a resilient plant and is known to grow in the clearing of forests that have been devastated by fires. For instance, after the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980, it was seen growing throughout Washington State.
To identify this flower, all you have to do is look out for its striking, purple-pink flowers. Moreover, butterflies, hummingbirds, and moths love to feed on this plant.
27. Birds-Foot Trefoil – Lotus Corniculatus
These flowers come in shades of red, orange, and yellow on top of large, towering stalks. However, despite being beautiful, it is a considered species in Massachusetts.
This is because it tends to overtake fields and gardens and choke out native plants in a specific area. That said, if you can control its growth, it can be a useful plant.
Birds-foot trefoil is especially prominent in fields, sandy soils, roadsides, and parks. Plus, it is an important food source for various pollinators, including moths, bees, and butterflies.
28. Crown Vetch – Securigera Varia
Despite being beautiful, crown vetch is actually an invasive species in North America. Native to continents like Africa, Europe, and Asia, it was initially introduced as a groundcover used to control soil erosion.
You can find this wildflower on sandy and sunny banks in Massachusetts where it has the ability to push out less hardy plants.
Therefore, if you decide to plant this flower, make sure it is away from other garden plants.
29. Sneezeweed – Helenium Autumnale
This flower can be identified as being a fall daisy-like flower. Plus, they can be found in ponds, along streams, wetlands, and swamps.
These flowers can be grown in your backyard and feature showier flowers than those in the wild.
Despite its name, this flower isn’t likely to cause any allergic reactions.
30. St. John’s Wort – Hypericum Perforatum
These flowers feature clusters of showy yellow flowers. Plus, they are prominent in pastures, prairies, sandy soils, and disturbed fields.
That said, it is considered to be an invasive species in North America. Not only does it outcompete other plants, but it can be fatal to animals, including sheep and horses if eaten.
31. Green-headed Coneflower – Rudbeckia Laciniata
You will typically find this flower growing near stream banks, wood, and roadside ditches. They feature tall, large, and bright yellow flowers that are hard to miss.
Plus, they are grown throughout Massachusetts in meadows and prairies to attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
32. Black-Eyed Susan – Rudbeckia Hirta
This Massachusetts native wildflower can be found in prairies, open woods, roadsides, and fields. They grow graceful flowers in shades of orange, brown, red, and yellow.
In addition, its name comes from the fact that it contains a striking dark eye in the middle. Moreover, various species of insects are known to love this plant, including birds, bees, and butterflies.
Moreover, they are a favorite in parks and gardens everywhere! Looking fantastic when mixed with various wildflowers and container pots.
33. Goldenrod – Solidago
There are over 120 native species of goldenrod in North America. Despite being small, they make up in size thanks to their vibrant colors in the summer and fall months.
In addition to this, you can find them growing in clusters atop branched stems featuring stiff leaves.
While goldenrod is typically blamed for causing hay fever, the culprit is usually ragweed which contains a similar look.
This unique flower is perfectly safe to enjoy, however, be warned; it can spread aggressively around your yard.
34. Wild Parsnip – Pastinaca Sativa
While you may already be familiar with the parsnip vegetable, you should know that these two plants’ similarities stop at their name. In fact, wild parsnips are extremely dangerous for your health.
Despite smelling and tasting like cultivated parsnips, their stems, and leaves can cause severe burns and blisters.
To identify this plant, look out for flat-topped clusters of yellow blooms atop grooved stems.
35. Common Mullein – Verbascum Thapsus
Despite being native to Asia, Europe, and Africa, the common Mullein (This wildflower is also present in Mississippi. Click here to know more) is now considered to be a naturalized species across Massachusetts.
In fact, it grows so well that it is known to take over meadows, roadsides, and pasture lands. It is identifiable thanks to its tall stems which feature velvety and dense leaves all around the base.
Some consider it to look like corn!
36. Common Sunflower – Helianthus Annuus
The sunflower is one of the most popular flowers in the world, and this is for good reason, too. The large petals featuring a gorgeous yellow color are incredibly popular in the late summer and early fall.
You can find sunflowers in the wild in places such as grasslands, prairies, roadsides, old fields, and forest edges. That said, you can enjoy them in your garden, too.
37. Spiny Sow-Thistle – Sonchus Asper
This is an invasive species of wildflowers that can be found throughout Massachusetts. As such, it can be found in vacant lots, pastures, grasslands, roadsides, waste areas, and grasslands – native to Asia, Europe, and North Africa.
However, if you see this plant growing near your yard, you shouldn’t allow it to spread! This is because it is known to host diseases and overwhelm native plants.
38. Buttercups – Ranunculus
You may already be familiar with the beloved buttercup. However, you may not be aware that it is a part of a genus containing 600 different species all around the world.
While they are commonly known for their yellow appearance, they can also be found in shades of red, pink, purple, and orange.
39. Fleabane – Erigeron Annuus
Fleabane is a part of a genus that contains approximately 400 various species – many of which are native to Massachusetts.
As such, they are usually a favorite among gardeners thanks to their delicate and thin petals that are attached to a yellow-disc center.
Butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and moths are just a few insects that love these flowers. Plus, they can be found growing in pastures, dry mountains, grasslands, and roadsides.
40. Dandelion – Taraxacum Officinale
These flowers may be more recognizable when they grow into balls of silver-tufted heads. Plus, they can be found across Massachusetts in fields, meadows, disturbed habitats, river shores, and lakes.
Likewise, dandelions are known to grow like weeds on roadsides and lawns. Moreover, this species is native to Asia and Europe, however, it has spread worldwide thanks to its resilience.
41. Oxeye Daisy – Leucanthemum Vulgare
This flower features beautiful white petals all ensuring a beautiful yellow disc center. However, saying that, this is an invasive species from Europe.
This is due to the fact that its underground rhizomes and seeds spread aggressively with the ability to colonize whole ecosystems.
Now, you can find it in grass fields, disturbed sites, meadows, and open woodlands.
42. Whorled Milkweed – Asclepias Verticillata
This plant is a single-stemmed wildflower that has clusters of 7-20 tiny flowers. They are fragrant blooms that can be found in open woods, prairies, roadsides, and fields.
If you find this native wildflower in Massachusetts, you’ll likely find it surrounded by bees, hummingbirds, flies, butterflies, easpes, beetles, and skippers.
Plus, they are an important food source for Monarch butterflies, too.
43. White Clover – Trifolium Repens
Despite being native to Europe and Asia, the white clover is now considered to be naturalized in Massachusetts.
In fact, it grows so well that it can take over entire pastures, lawns, waste areas, and roadsides.
44. Boneset – Eupatorium Perfoliatum
These plants feature fuzzy, small clusters of white flowers all on top of dense foliage. In addition, it has long blooming seasons where they bloom from midsummer to fall.
45. Indian Paintbrush – Castilleja Coccinea
This flower is known as a hemiparasite, which means that it feeds on the nutrients taken from other plants as opposed to making its own through photosynthesis.
Its most common hosts include grasses and sagebrush.
There are hundreds of species of wildflowers native to Massachusetts. As such, identifying a particular flower you come across can be somewhat difficult.
However, with the help of this guide, this should no longer be an issue. Hopefully, this guide has informed you on 45 of the most common wildflowers in Massachusetts.
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