15 Best Purple Wildflowers In Virginia To Spot On Your Next Adventure

If you’re looking for an adventure in Virginia and want to see some of the state’s most beautiful wildflowers, there are plenty of purple-hued blooms to explore.

15 Best Purple Wildflowers In Virginia To Spot On Your Next Adventure

Whether you’re exploring a meadow, hiking through woodland, or simply taking a leisurely stroll around town, these purple-toned flowers are sure to add some color to your day.

1. Smooth Blue Aster

The smooth blue aster is a wildflower native to North America and parts of Eurasia. It is an unmistakable and striking wildflower that can be seen in the state of Virginia in diverse environments.

It has uniquely beautiful dark purple petals surrounding a yellow center, with a wide variety of sizes from 1 to 2 inches.

This wildflower grows throughout the plains and meadows of Virginia’s hillsides, clinging close to the ground among grasses and other foliage.

It’s easy for this versatile flower to propagate itself – like many types of asters, it has rings of fine feathery hairs surrounding its seeds.

2. Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet nightshade is a prominent type of flowering plant in the nightshade family. It is best recognized by its purplish, bell-shaped flowers and orange fruits that hang down like strings of beads.

It can be found growing wild in many parts of Europe and North America, though it is considered to be an invasive species in some countries.

The berries are highly toxic if consumed; however, traditional herbalists have used both the leaves and berries to treat skin problems such as rashes and eczema, as well as insect bites and stings.

3. Common Grape Hyacinth

The common grape hyacinth is a beautiful small perennial flower with a unique belle-like shape. Its vibrant purplish-blue hue and delicate tiny petals put it in an elite category of stunning spring flowers.

While lacking the brashness of other bulbs in the family, such as tulips and daffodils, the beauty of this small bloom lies in its subtle sophistication.

Due to its highly fragrant aroma, the common grape hyacinth has become a source of joy for gardeners all over the world.

It’s a favorite among wildflower enthusiasts as well due to its hardiness that allows for growth in a wide range of temperate climates.

4. Tall Morning Glory

Growing up to six feet tall, Tall Morning Glories bloom in vibrant colors throughout summer and into fall.

Tall Morning Glories are easy to cultivate and thrive in full or partial sun with well-drained soil. This plant grows quickly and produces lovely blooms best suited for trellises, walls, and fences.

Planting more than one near each other may help create a spectacular display of color from all angles.

Additionally, the fast-growing vines may help provide shade and act as an effective living wall against wind or noise pollution.

5. Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife is an invasive weed that’s been a problem in Virginia for many years. It is a purple wildflower with tall, upright flower spikes that can be seen in ditches, wet meadows, marshes, and along lakes throughout the state.

Each flower spike can contain up to 300,000 seeds, making it one of the most prolific reproducers among weeds. It has become a nuisance because it spreads quickly and takes over native plants.

When blooming in full force with its distinctive purple flowers, it strives to catch attention with bright shades of magenta-purple to violet-purple emerging from long spike clusters up to 90 cm in height.

6. Bee Balm

Bee Balm is a gorgeous beautiful garden charm bloom with lilac wildflowers, commonly found in prairies, and dry fields along roads.

In full bloom, the plant is an irresistible draw for not only birds, hummingbirds, and butterflies but also pollinator bees.

Bee Balm typically grows in dry or moist soils with exposed patches of full sun or partial shade. The leaves are ovate-shaped, with the margins deeply cut into two-three inches long lobes resembling serrated teeth.

Its tubular flowers bloom from summer to early autumn and can range between purples, pinks, whites, and reds often blushed with lavender.

7. Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass

The Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass is a beautiful, bright purple wildflower commonly found in Virginia.

It has rounded leaves, typically sporting up to three flowers each, making it an attractive addition to gardens and other habitats.

Wherever you find dry sandy soils such as disturbed areas or woods, you’re likely to spot this unique flower.

After flowering, the seed pods crack open for self-pollination contents inside, providing sustenance for local wildlife such as small butterflies, bees, and flies.

8. Common Burdock

Burdock is common throughout Europe, parts of Asia, and North America. The edible root of this herbaceous perennial has long been appreciated for its many therapeutic benefits.

The Common Burdock is a familiar purple wildflower in Virginia, with large leaves and unique deep purple rhubarb-like flowers.

This flower easily sticks to people and animals thanks to its hook-like seed head, which is often thought of as similar to Velcro!

This plant provides a great source of nectar to pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds alike.

9. Dwarf Purple Iris

The Dwarf Purple Iris features deep green foliage and an abundance of tiny blossoms that appear most often between mid-March and mid-April.

The petals come in shades of intense violet and indigo blues mixed with purple hues.

One of the smallest varieties of iris plants, Dwarf Purple Irises reach a mature height between 4” and 8” and give off a delicate scent reminiscent of violets or clove pinks while they are blooming.

This luscious little bloom offers a pleasant fragrance along with a splash of color to your garden or outdoor space. Its relatively short stature makes it perfect for gardeners with limited space.

10. Purple Thistle

The Purple Thistle is a herbaceous biennial thistle that is native to the Eastern United States and Canada.

It prefers open sunny areas with well-drained soil, such as marshes, meadows, or dry woodlands. The Purple Thistle can grow up to five feet tall.

Its tall nature is quite beneficial since they are often used as food sources for grazing animals such as deer and bunnies.

11. Rough Blazing Star

Blooming from late summer into early fall, this flower prefers moist soil that is kept consistently wet but well drained.

The vibrant purple flowers bring pollinators such as bees and butterflies flocking for their nectar and pollen reward.

Because this species of wildflowers self-propagates easily, it is often found in natural meadows or fields where light shade provides the perfect spot for them to thrive.

They bloom during the spring months of March and April, appearing in both open fields and thick woods alike.

Bees are attracted to its vibrant colors, making it an important food source for these important pollinators.

12. Sharpwing Monkeyflower

The Sharpwing Monkeyflower produces long-tubed, two-lobed yellow flowers that are usually marked with deep purple spots near the eyes, which give them an almost alien appearance.

This attracts hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators to visit the flower for their nectar and help spread its seeds.

The stems are covered in fine, stiff hairs that can stick to unprotected skin and cause mild irritation, so be sure to wear gloves when gardening with this plant.

Because of its drought tolerance and fast growth rate, the Sharpwing Monkeyflower makes a great choice as a border plant in sunny gardens, where it can bloom nonstop until frost arrives in autumn.

13. Field Pansy

The Field Pansy is a wildflower that can be easily identified by its bluish-purple hue and a brilliant yellow center.

This flower grows in Virginia in prairies, meadows, and wild gardens, but is also commonly seen along roads and railroads. The plant blooms between June to September, offering a delight to nearby animal life.

The Field Pansy is a popular garden flower due to its hardiness and easy maintenance requirements. It blooms heavily throughout mid-spring to early summer, and may even produce secondary blossoms during this time.

14. Wild Geranium

Native to Virginia, the delicate purple wildflower known as wild geranium can often be found throughout moist and dry forests.

This perennial comes in shades of deep pink to pale washed-out lilac and is usually seen in large blooming clusters. While these flowers are often used for ornamental purposes, their healing properties should not be overlooked.

Wild geranium has proven to be an effective astringent that can help to stop bleeding when applied topically.

15. New England Aster

The New England Aster is a remarkable wildflower that can bring color and beauty to any garden.

This purple perennial floral delight blooms between August and late October and is native to wet environments found throughout Virginia.

This amazing flower is an attractive center point in gardens, with its intricate petals providing a long bloom time later into autumn compared to many other wildflowers.

Final Thoughts

Purple wildflowers are a stunning addition to any garden, and Virginia is blessed with an abundance of them.

From the Field Pansy to the New England Aster, there are plenty of options for adding beautiful blooms throughout the year.

Diane Peirce
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