Missouri is home to many different kinds of wildflowers, so many in fact, that it can be a bit hard to keep track of them all. There are over 2000 species of plants in the state, so as you can imagine, the number of flowers is quite high!
If you enjoy identifying flowers and plants, it can be quite hard to identify them all just because there are so many, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get acquainted with a good chunk of them.
We have put together a list of 44 of the most common types of wildflowers in Missouri so you can have a better understanding of which ones you can find in the state.
We have also included photos so you don’t have to scratch your head working out the differences between a Chicory flower and Blue Vervain!
Check out the list below to get better acquainted with some of Missouri’s beautiful wildflowers!
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) is a type of hardy wildflower that usually grows during the early summer to the fall.
It can be found in all different kinds of habitats in Missouri, some of which include wet soils, ditches, shores, foothills, plains, and wet fields.
This wildflower is also great for attracting lots of insects such as honeybees, beneficial wasps, moths, skippers, and butterflies. Blue Vervain can be regarded as a host plant because a few species of moths and caterpillars tend to feed on their leaves.
The Chicory (Cichorium intybus) can be found anywhere in Missouri where it is warm and dry, so it is quite common to find it growing in open fields and along roads. It is a summer and fall wildflower, so expect to see it in full bloom during these months.
You can actually eat the leaves of the chicory wildflower and they are high in minerals and vitamins. You can even eat the roots by boiling them.
The Chicory is actually not native to Missouri, but it can be found in abundance throughout the state in this day and age.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a wildflower that usually blooms in the summer and it is a popular garden flower.
As the name would suggest, butterflies can usually be found near and on this flower, as well as hummingbirds due to the wildflower’s abundance of nectar.
The Spotted Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens capensis) goes by many names, some of which include Orange Jewelweed, Jewelweed, Spotted Snap Weed, Silver Leaf, and Silver-cap.
As the name suggests, it’s not in your best interest to touch this wildflower because if you do, the seed pods will explode all over you!
This is a great plant to put in your garden if you want to attract birds because they absolutely love it!
Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) was introduced into Missouri sometime in the 1800s. It blooms in the summer and early fall and it can be quite invasive because it grows aggressively fast.
Its black-tipped orange-red to yellow flowers are great for attracting various pollinators.
Other names that this wildflower is commonly known by include Orange Aster, Devil’s Paintbrush, King Devil Hawkweed, Grim-the-collier, and Orange Hawkbit.
Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) is a native Missouri wildflower that blooms in the summer and fall. It is a fantastic nectar source for birds and insects and the flower will regularly attract many bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to it.
You will typically find the Scarlet Bee Balm in gardens, but it is also quite common to spot it growing on the edge of forests too. It needs full sun in order to thrive, so never keep it somewhere shady.
The Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) blooms during mid-summer and the early fall, and it grows to be about 3.6-72 in (9-183 cm) tall.
Hummingbirds are particularly fond of the nectar that is produced by the cardinal flower, but because the flowers are tubular, insects may find it difficult to reach the nectar inside.
They can thrive in a particle sun environment, so a little shade is fine if you want to keep these flowers in your garden.
The Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) is actually considered to be a weed by some people in Missouri.
This has a lot to do with the fact that the Common Blue Violet tends to randomly start growing in your garden, and it tends to attract lots of bees and caterpillars. It can also attract other wildlife, such as rabbits and deer!
Other names the common blue violet is known by include Purple Violet, Woolly Blue Violet, and Wood Violet.
The Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor) can bloom all year round and it thrives in particle sun areas, as well as shaded areas.
It isn’t actually native to North America, but it can be found abundantly throughout the country, not just in Missouri.
It attracts lots of different species of bees, including Anthophorid Bees, Mason Bees, and bumblebees. Other names for this wildflower include Lesser Periwinkle or Dwarf Periwinkle.
The Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) is easily identifiable by its unique appearance and prickly stem. They attract lots of birds, especially goldfinches because their seeds are actually a good source of food during the winter.
Teasel wildflowers have great medical benefits, especially in combating Lyme disease symptoms due to their natural healing properties towards broken bones and inflamed connective tissue.
This wildflower is also known as Wild Teasel and Fuller’s Teasel.
Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) is a type of wildflower that is also known as the Scorpion Weed. This is because it features a coiled flower that looks like the tail of a scorpion.
Forget-me-nots are known for their rapidly spreading seeds, and it’s quite common for you to see them sprouting in places you wouldn’t expect.
They attract all sorts of insects including butterflies, bees, and moths and they bloom in the spring, summer, and the fall.
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are a type of wildflower that only bloom in the spring and they can usually be found on the edge of woodland areas.
They are a combination of pink/purple and blue colors and they are one of the most beautiful wildflowers in all of Missouri.
They go by many other names, some of which include Virginian Bluebells, Blue and Pink Ladies, Virginian Spiderwort, Mertensia pulmonarioides, Chiming Bells, and Kentucky Bluebells.
Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea cyanus) is a type of blue wildflower that blooms in the late spring into the late summer.
This particular wildflower can be considered to be a magnet for butterflies, and it’s quite common to find lots of them around this flower.
The Bachelor’s Button is practically disease-free and pest free, and they are easy to grow. If you are looking for an easy-to-look-after wildflower in your garden, this could be the perfect choice for you.
The Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is a type of wildflower that attracts many different kinds of birds and insects. You will most commonly find goldfinches around this wildflower, as well as butterflies ands giant bees.
This wildflower blooms in summer and the fall, and it goes by many other names, some of which include Boar Thistle, Common Thistle, Dodder, and Spear Thistle.
The Common Burdock (Arctium minus) can be found in abundance all over Missouri. Some of the most common places you will find this wildflower include barnyards, railways, roadsides, old fields, open prairies, and hayfields.
While you can handle this plant, it is best to be careful around it because the Common Burdock can cause skin irritation, and it’s not uncommon for some people to have an allergic reaction to it.
The Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass (Triodanis perfoliata) blooms in the spring and the summer and it is usually found in areas with dry, sandy soils.
It is especially common in disturbed areas, as well as woodland and gardens.
The Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass is a self-pollinating wildflower and you will regularly find insects such as butterflies, bees, and flies around it.
Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is known by many other names, some of which include Catsfoot, Run-away-robin, Alehoof, Ground Ivy, and Hedgemaids. It typically blooms during the spring and summer.
You will find Creeping Charlie most commonly in lawns and many people consider it to be a weed because it has a complex root system that can make it quite difficult to remove from your garden.
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is also known by the names Spiked Loosestrife and Purple Lythrum, and it blooms during the summer months.
Typically, you will find it in wet areas such as marshes, along lakes, and in wet meadows.
This particular kind of wildflower produces seeds extremely quickly, and each flower spike can produce up to 300,000 seeds at a time! It is quite an invasive species, so you may not want to keep it in your garden.
The Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) blooms in the summer and the fall and they are heat and drought resistant.
They tend to attract rabbits, who like to nibble on their leaves, so keep that in mind if you choose to have them in your garden.
They also go by other names, such as Eastern Coneflower and Eastern Purple Coneflower. This wildflower is full of nectar and attracts lots of insects, such as bees and butterflies, and also hummingbirds.
The Giant Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), which is also known as the Tall Ironweed, blooms in the summer and fall months and it can usually be found in the woodlands and meadows of Missouri.
This wildflower is another type of “butterfly magnet” and if you keep it in your garden, you will see many species of butterflies come to visit it, some of which include swallowtails and Monarchs.
The Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) blooms in the summer and fall months and it is a native flower to Missouri. You can usually find it in wetlands, wet meadows, and along lakeshores.
The leaves of the Swamp Milkweed are a great source of food for Monarch caterpillars, and the wildflower also regularly attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. It is sometimes referred to as the Pink Milkweed as well.
Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) blooms during the summer months and they get its name due to the fact that they are a prolific grower.
You can find this particular wildflower all over North America and Europe and it is highly poisonous to dogs, as well as humans.
You can find Spreading Dogbane in sandy soil, especially that of streambanks and it also goes by the names of Fly-trap Dogbane and Bitterroot.
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium) is a type of wildflower that blooms during the summer. They can thrive in full sun or full shade environments and can be found they are native to the state of Missouri.
You can usually find it growing on the edge of woodlands and in wet meadows. You can keep this wildflower in your garden, but if you do decide to, it’s best to keep it in an area that has partial shade.
The Springbeauty (Claytonia virginica), also known as the Virginia Springbeauty, is a spring-blooming wildflower that can vary in vibrant blooms of pink, white, and yellow.
They can thrive in environments with full sun cover as well as partial shade areas.
This wildflower is intricately detailed, and if you look closely at the star-shaped flower, you will notice wonderful, vibrant dark pink viens on the petals.
Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis) can be found in dense clusters of lavender, pink, or white bell-shaped flowers. This plant smells like mint, and the smell is a lot more prominent when the leaves have been broken or damaged.
Wild Mint is most commonly found on streams and river banks, as well as other wetlands areas that have partial sunlight. The flowers usually bloom from the late spring to the early summer.
The Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius) blooms in the late summer and fall, and it doesn’t require much care in order for it to grow. It is actually native to Europe but was introduced into North America sometime in the 1700s.
Butterflies and bees are especially drawn to this wildflower, so expect to see them nearby!
The Crown Vetch (Securigera varia) is actually an invasive species in North America and is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. You can find this wildflower in sunny and sandy banks throughout Missouri.
The Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) can be found all over Missouri, especially in places like fields, parks, and roadsides.
It is another wildflower species that is considered to be an invasive species in Missouri, but the flowers are an important source of food to bees, butterflies, and moths.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a beautiful plant that is believed to help aid in sleep, but unfortunately, it is considered to be an invasive species across most of North America.
Butterflies, bees, and some other insects do use it as a food source but is recommended not to let this wildflower spread in landscapes.
Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) can be found in areas like ponds, swamps, streams, and other kinds of wetlands.
It’s strange name comes from an old practice of drying and crushing its leaves to make snuff, which is a kind of powder that causes you to sneeze!
Other names for the Sneezeweed include False Sunflower, and Bitterweed.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) can be found in many areas of Missouri, especially areas such as prairies, open woodlands, fields, and roadsides.
They come in many different colors, but you will commonly find them in their yellow variety in Missouri.
Green-headed Coneflowers (Rudbeckia laciniata) can be found growing in lots of places within Missouri, especially areas such as stream banks, near woodland, and swamps.
They usually bloom in the summer and fall months, and if you are planning to keep them in your garden, bear in mind that they quickly spread underground and they need plenty of space to grow.
Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is quite a bit different from its edible counterpart.
This wildflower is actually really dangerous to your health and it can cause quite severe blisters and burns if you touch the leaves and stems.
This wildflower is considered to be an invasive species across all of North America and should be avoided as much as possible.
Goldenrod (Solidago) is a kind of wildflower that is often blamed for hay fever, but it is usually similar-looking plants that are the actual culprits.
Goldenrod blooms in the late summer and fall and it can spread quite rapidly in a gardens if left unattended.
The Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is one of the most popular and well known flowers in the world, and it can also be found in Missouri! It needs full sun cover to grow and usually grows in the summer months only.
The Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) was originally native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but it is now considered to be naturalized to Missouri.
In ancient times, this wildflower was used to treat pulmonary diseases, inflammations, and various other ailments.
Buttercups (Ranunculus) are another well-known species of wildflowers, and they can be found in areas of Missouri such as fields, meadows, and roadsides.
They usually bloom in the spring and summer and they come in a variety of different colors.
Spiny Sow-thistles (Sonchus asper) bloom in the spring and summer is an invasive species in Missouri that can be found in places like construction sites, grasslands, roadsides, and pastures.
They look a lot like dandelions, but they are a lot spikier.
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are extremely common throughout Missouri, and they can be found in areas such as river shores, lakes, meadows, and fields.
They are actually native to Europe and Asia, but they have spread all over the world.
Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) is actually a genus of plants with over 400 species. They are loved by butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds, and they usually bloom in the spring all the way to the fall.
Indian Hemp (Apocynum cannabinum) can be found in places like meadows, and prairies. It can be quite invasive, especially in farms, and hinders crop growth.
It is also highly toxic to humans, dogs, and livestock, so do not consume this wildflower.
English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) is highly adaptable to different conditions, and it is quite invasive to many habitats.
It is native to Europe and Asia but has quickly spread throughout Missouri and most of North America.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a summer-blooming wildflower and it was introduced to North America during colonial times.
There are many subspecies of Yarrow that can be found in Missouri, and they can be found in areas such as open forests, grasslands, and roadsides.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) blooms in the spring all the way to the fall and it is a recreational stimulant to cats.
It can be found in areas such as streams, roadsides, dry banks, and fields. It is also a fantastic pollinator and attracts many different kinds of insects.
So there you have it! 44 common types of Missouri wildflowers that you can spot all over the state! Even if you are only just starting out in plant identification, you should be able to find these plants on your outings.
These wildflowers are ubiquitous in Missouri and with the pictures, they should be too hard to identify!