Throughout the entire nation of America, Montana is home to some of the most outstanding forestry and wildlife. With open land, farmland, and reservations, many wild animals and flowers select Montana as their home.
Wildflowers are absolutely breathtaking. Whether you are taking a hike through the mountains or a relaxing stroll through the forest, you are sure to come across a different type of wildflower every day.
However, with so many types of wildflowers spanning across the state of Montana, it can be difficult to know which species you’ve found.
In this article, we have 45 of the most common types of wildflowers that you may find in Montana. Pictures included of course.
We have separated the wildflowers into colored sections to make it easier for you to find your special flower!
1. Common Burdock
The Common Burdock is also commonly known as Lesser Burdock, Louse-bur, Button-bur, and many other names.
They typically bloom around mid-July through to mid-October, meaning you will often find them on hiking trails.
Search for this wildflower in disturbed environments including railroads, barnyards, pastures, open prairies, hayfields, roadside ditches, old fields, and hayfields in Montana.
2. Bee Balm
You may recognize this incredible wildflower by the name Wild Bergamot, Horsemint, or even Wild Bee Balm.
Growing to an adorable 4 inches, this flower blooms through the summertime and enjoys a good soak in the sun.
The blooms on this perennial are stunning lilac-purple. In Montana, bee balm can be found growing along roads, on prairies, and in dry fields.
3. Purple Loosestrife
The scientific name for this eye-catching plant is Lythrum Salicaria. Although, it is more commonly known as Spiked Loosestrife and Purple Lythrum.
You can find them throughout the warm summer months soaking up all they can of the sunshine.
You can often find Purple Loosestrife in wet areas such as wet meadows, along the banks of a lake, and in marshes.
This Heal-All plant is commonly used as a medicinal plant. Known for its aid in healing wounds, throat infections, and other common ailments.
Heal-all can be found in lawns, at the sides of the road, and at the border of wooded areas. On big grassy areas, it is very aggressive.
Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are drawn to this plant. As a result, meadows, naturalized landscapes, and border fronts frequently use it as a ground cover.
5. Dame’s Rocket
Dame’s Rock or more commonly known as Damask Violet, is a widely popular flower through Spring time. With its gorgeous purple and lilac color reaching out to touch the sun, you really cannot miss it.
Dame’s Rocket is a quickly proliferating plant that inhabits forests and meadows. Search for them in pre-made “wildflower seed” mixtures.
This plant is deemed invasive in some locations. The young leaves of this flower, which blooms in the spring, have a mildly bitter flavor, are high in vitamin C, and can be consumed in salads.
6. Creeping Charlie
If you live in the more rural parts of Montana, you may find Creepy Charlie in your garden or on bushes and your first instinct may be to get rid of it. But you are most likely going to fail.
Creepy Charlie has an extremely complicated root system that makes it impossible to get rid of by hand-pulling or mowing.
This wildflower thrives in big clusters in damp, partially shady locations and is quite tolerant of the sun. Particularly, bees enjoy gathering pollen from Creeping Charlie.
7. Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass
This plant is also known as Roundleaf Triodanis or Clasping Bellflower. It typically blooms within the spring and summer and has an annual life cycle.
This wildflower grows in dry sandy soils in disturbed areas, gardens, and forests in Montana.
Watch for the flowers blooming in the rounded leaves to spot Clasping Venus’ Seeing Glass. This plant has the ability to self-pollinate and draws little bees, butterflies, and flies.
8. Bull Thistle
The Bull Thistle is not a plant you want to mess with. It is also known as Common Thistle, Dodder, Boar Thistle, and Spear Thistle. And when you see it up close, you will know why.
For goldfinches, the seeds of this thistle are a great source of food. These birds wait till the blooms bloom in the late summer to rear their young because they also line their nests with thistledown.
It’s also a fantastic flower to grow if you want to draw huge bees and butterflies.
9. St. John’s Wort
This eye-catching wildflower is known for its medicinal uses when it comes to medical issues such as ADHD, depression, and menopausal symptoms.
Many gardeners grow St. John’s Wort in their gardens.
Regrettably, in North America, this plant is an invasive species. In addition to outcompeting other plants, St. John’s Wort can be lethal to horses, sheep, and other livestock when consumed.
10. Green-Headed Coneflower
Green-headed Coneflower is frequently seen growing close to wooded areas, stream banks, wetlands, and ditches along roadways.
Large, tall, and visibly yellow, the blossoms are impossible to miss.
Remember that the Green-headed Coneflower needs room to flourish because its underground rhizomes expand swiftly. Larger settings are better suited for taller blooms.
Scientifically known as Solidago, this gorgeous plant almost looks like fairy dust. And with over 120 species of Goldenrod native to North America alone, it is certainly magical.
Goldenrod has tiny blossoms, but its vivid color in the summer and fall more than makes up for its diminutive stature. They develop in groups atop branched stalks with stiff-leaved stems.
It’s completely safe to admire the unusually formed blossoms, but this wildflower may spread quickly in gardens. By growing it in pots and regularly cutting it, you can control its growth.
12. Common Mullein
Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, common mullein is currently regarded in Montana as a naturalized species. It spreads so quickly that it can engulf pasture areas, meadows, and roadside vegetation.
The herb common mullein is highly beneficial for health. It was used to treat lung conditions, inflammations, and other conditions in antiquity.
These days, health stores carry its dried leaves, blossoms, and oil extracts.
13. Spiny Sow-Thistle
Spiny Sow-Thistle is a rather adorable wildflower that is commonly known as Rough Milk Thistle.
It can be found in waste places, grasslands, bare lots, building sites, and pastures. It is indigenous to Asia, North Africa, and Europe.
If you notice Spiny Sow-thistle growing close to your yard, don’t allow it to spread. It can smother native species and serve as a host for pests and illnesses that harm crops and garden plants.
Look for spiky leaves and long stems with yellow flowers that resemble dandelion flowers to identify Spiny Sow-thistle.
Anyone else hear Sid The Soth in their head? No, just us? Okay then.
Dandelions are easily identified by their bright yellow blooms, which develop into silver-tufted seed heads in the shape of balls.
These widespread wildflowers can be found in Montana’s meadows, fields, riverbanks, lakes, and disturbed habitats. Dandelions attract honeybees and other useful insects.
The dandelion’s leaves, roots, and blooms are edible. As the plant ages, they lose its honey flavor and instead becomes bitter. Make jam, salad, wine, or tea with them.
We all know that you have to hold a Buttercup under your shine to discover if you like butter or not. But what you probably don’t know if that it is a genus flower with over 600 unique species across the world.
Look for this wildflower growing along roadsides, in fields, meadows, and other wet areas in Montana. Their typical blooming seasons are spring and summer.
16. Common Sunflower
Everyone is aware of the common sunflower, and many of us grow them in our own yards.
Late summer and early fall are prime times to see these flowers because of their imposingly huge golden petals and alluring dark centers.
In addition to being beautiful, common sunflowers provide food for bee, butterfly, and insect pollinator populations. The seeds are loved by mammals and birds, and the greatest thing is that you may eat them as a pleasant snack as well!
17. Wild Parsnip
We all know the parsnip as a wonderful vegetable served around the holidays, but the Wild Parsnip is its colorful relative. And it is actually dangerous for humans.
Wild parsnips have a similar aroma and flavor to farmed parsnips, but their leaves and stems can seriously burn and blister.
In North America, the wild parsnip is an invasive species. It spreads quickly, endangering native plants with suffocation and poisoning livestock who eat it.
In the early spring, look for its bright yellow blooms in ditches, along roadsides, and in vacant fields.
The Sneezeweed has a similar appearance to the Common Sunflower, earning it the name False Sunflower.
Look for lovely daisy-like flowers blooming in the fall to recognize this wildflower in Montana.
Sneezeweed can be found along ponds, swamps, wetlands, and streams. Several varieties are widely grown in gardens and have more colorful flowers than those found in nature.
19. Birds Foot Trefoil
Birds-foot trefoil’s long stems of yellow, orange, and occasionally red-streaked flowers hold the blooms.
Despite having lovely blossoms, this wildflower is regarded as invasive in many parts of Montana. It frequently takes over large gardens and fields and suffocates native flora.
But, if you can manage its growth, a Birds-foot Trefoil can be helpful. Many pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and moths, depend on their blossoms as a major source of food.
20. Spreading Dogbane
Also known as Fly-trap Dogbane or Bitterroot, this incredible wildflower can be found in the summer.
Spreading Dogbane is a prolific grower, as you would have inferred from its name, which is why you can find it all over North America and Europe.
It is extremely poisonous to dogs, which is why it is known as “dogbane” (and humans too).
21. Joe Pye Weed
The common name for plants in the genus Eutrochium is Joe Pye Weed. It is highly advised to plant these native Montanan wildflowers in your yard!
Large pink flower clusters at the ends of long stalks that draw a variety of pollinators make it easy to identify!
Planting Joe Pye Weed in your yard is a great way to promote growth and prosperity in other plants.
From this image you can guess where it got it’s name. Startling and captivating.
Look for spectacular spikes of purplish-pink flowers covering a landscape to identify Fireweed (This wildflower is also present in Alaska. Find out more about it.). This wildflower attracts hummingbirds, moths, and butterflies that eat it.
It is a resilient plant that spread and grows quickly across open planes of grass that have previously been destroyed by a forest fire.
23. Crown Vetch
Crown Vetch is a mesmerizing wildflower but it is not native to North America. Crown Vetch, a plant that is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, was brought locally to be utilized as a groundcover to prevent soil erosion.
You can find Crown Vetch is drier climates such as sandy banks. When growing this vigorous plant in your own garden, be sure to plant it far away from others. It will quickly grow to push others out.
24. Everlasting Pea
For those that aspire to have a green thumb but don’t have the time, the Everlasting Pea is a great choice. They require little care but they can get a little out of hand if they are not tended to.
Whether climbing trellises or fences in your yard, the Everlasting Pea’s long tendrils and purplish-pink blossoms are stunning. On banks and slopes, you can also use it as a widespread groundcover.
25. Wild Mint
Wild Mint carries hues of pink, purple, and white flowers. And like other species of mint, it carries a refreshing aroma when the leaves are torn or broken.
You can find this fragrant wildflower is wetter areas of Montana. It grows best on river banks or around streams where the sun is limited and water in bountiful.
26. Common Milkweed
There are multiple species of milkweed but this type is common to Montana and does best in regular garden soil.
It is excellent for attracting insects with its pollen and helps other plants thrive.
Milkweed also has some excellent medicinal uses as it can be turned into a salve for swelling, rashes, and fevers, and can even be added to soups for some added flavor!
27. Swamp Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed is the best wildflower to grow if you want a variety of pollinators to visit your yard. Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies are drawn to the flowering plant’s clusters of fragrant blossoms.
The leaves are a crucial part of the caterpillars’ diet for monarch butterflies.
It is native to Montana and can be found near rivers, swamps, and marshes.
28. Deptford Pink
Despite Deptford Pink’s little blossoms’ diminutive size, they make up for it with their stunning color. The petals have a complex pink, white, and purple dotting design that may be seen when you look at them closely.
29. English Plantain
This has a similar appearance to Common Mullein only much smaller with white stems.
With its long, hairy, blooming spikes, it is one of the most easily recognized lawn weeds. White blossoms on these spikes are tiny and unnoticeable.
English plantains can be found growing along roadsides, in grazing pastures, in dry meadows, and in disturbed habitats. Flies and beetles pollinate its blossoms, while songbirds consume its seeds.
That’s right, your cat’s favorite plant grows in abundance in Montana.
A well-known plant with a long history of culinary and therapeutic uses is catnip. Of course, you may be familiar with catnip as a recreational stimulant.
It belongs to the mint family and has fragrant leaves that help deter termites, cockroaches, and mosquitoes.
You can find Catnip along the roadside, streams, wastelands, dry banks, pretty much anywhere you look!
30. Oxeye Daisy
This gorgeous white flower is a wonderful plant that is often included in flower arrangements.
Regrettably, this wildflower is an invasive species in Montana and is from Europe. Its underground rhizomes and seeds proliferate quickly, invading local environments.
It now grows in open forests, disturbed places, meadows, and grassy fields.
31. White Clover
This is also known as Honeysuckle Grass and blooms from spring right through to fall.
Interesting fact: The White Clover can be eaten in its entirety. The young leaves can be used in a salad or the dried blooms can be used to create tea.
The petals and seed pods can also be ground and used as seasoning on cooked dishes. It tastes faintly of vanilla.
33. Lylall’s Angelica
Lyall’s Angelica is native to Montana and has seen to increase in strength across the state.
You can most commonly find this white wildflower in wetter climates such as meadows, forest floors, avalanche slopes, and streams.
34. Candy Tuft
Candy Tuft is considered a woody shrub as it grows underneath rocks and earth. It is an easy-growing wildflower that requires little maintenance to thrive.
It can often be found along hiking trails, on top of mountains, and even in your own garden!
35. Blue Vervain
Now, contrary to pop TV culture, this wildflower is not going to protect against any vampires.
The plains, slopes, moist soils, ditches, shores, and wet fields in Montana are good places to look for this tough and drought-resistant wildflower.
It is also great for attracting bees, honeybees, small butterflies, moths, and beneficial wasps.
36. Common Periwinkle
The Common Periwinkle is not a native wildflower to Montana but it has great benefits for those hunting. It is most commonly used as a ground cover as it is deer resistant.
It is also great for attracting various types of bees to further pollination and growth of the environment around it.
Also known as Mouse-ear, Mouse-ear Scorpion Grass, Scorpion Weed, Water Forget-me-not, True Forget-me-not, Love-me, and Snake Grass.
The Scorpion Weed is another name for the Forget-me-not. This is due to the flower stalk’s coiling, which resembles a scorpion’s tail.
Some claim that the common name for this plant, “forget-me-not,” comes from its disagreeable flavor or smell, which is difficult to forget!
38. Bachelors Button
In Montana, this popular wildflower attracts butterflies. It also works well for drying and cutting.
The daisy-like blossoms of the bachelor’s button are virtually pest- and disease-free. And would you suppose they can withstand drought and deer?
This has a similar appearance to the Common Thistle with its blue/purple head and small spikes.
Teasel is good for your health since it strengthens your kidneys and helps connective tissue that has been damaged, wounded, or inflamed heal faster.
40. Common Blue Violet
While it has a truly stunning appearance, many residents of Montana consider the Common Blue Violet an annoying weed. Due to its ability to grow wherever it pleases, it can be a hindrance in gardens.
Mason bees, caterpillars, wild turkeys, rabbits, deer, doves, and ants can all be drawn to it if it occurs. Its seeds have a protein coating that attracts ants.
While it grows in abundance throughout Montana, Chicory is not native to the area.
Chicory is intriguing because you can eat it! Minerals and vitamins abound in the leaves. The leaves are edible as a vegetable or in a salad, but use caution as they have a strong bitter flavor.
Red & Orange Wildflowers
42. Orange Hawkweed
Orange Hawkweed is an exceptional addition to any garden with its bright orange flowers and red outside.
They are known for aggressive growing patterns and generally need a lot of attention.
43. Blanket Flower
A variety of sunflowers known as the blanket flower has a striking display of red, orange, and yellow petals. If you see lots of bees and birds where these flowers thrive, don’t be shocked!
44. Wood Lily
The upward-facing petals of the wood lily attract hummingbirds and butterflies as they fly by. Cross-pollination, which is crucial for its reproduction, is aided by this.
Gardeners are drawn in by its beautiful red-orange blossoms with purple freckles.
45. Scarlet Gilia
Scarlet Gilia is impossible to miss with its impressive fiery red color. It is typically found in sunny spaces such as mountain shrive, alpine timber communities, and areas of high elevation.
There you have it! 45 gorgeous types of wildflowers can be found in Montana. And with such large open spaces, you have plenty of forestries to discover each and every one.
However, it is important to remember that some species are dangerous to humans and should be avoided when out in nature.
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