23 Types Of Purple Wildflowers Found In The United States

While they are considered fairly rare, if you ever do manage to get a good look at a field of purple wildflowers, it really is quite the sight to behold especially because of how vibrant and elegant they are in their appearance.  

23 Types Of Purple Wildflowers Found In The United States

Many people actually aren’t aware that there are more than a few purple wildflowers scattered across the entire country, and since most of them will bloom during the spring and summer months, it’s really never a bad idea to see them for yourself to take in all of their natural beauty. 

Here are 23 different types of purple wildflowers that have commonly been spotted in several areas across the United States.

1) Bee Balms

While Bee Balms is the name commonly used to refer to these light and gorgeous North American flowers, they also go by a few other names including Horsemint, Oswego Tea, and Bergamot. 

They only grow to around 4 inches when fully matured and they can most commonly be found in dry areas like fields and prairies. Many people will actually use their leaves to make tea since they offer several very beneficial health benefits. 

2) Purple Loosestrife

Commonly found in ditches, wet meadows, and in tight-knit groups along marshes and lakes, the Purple Loosestrife is actually referred to as a weed by some people because of how it will override and push away native plants when it is beginning to mature.

These lavender-colored flowers also expand rapidly across the environment because of how quickly they reproduce, with each flower spike being able to produce over 300,000 seeds. 

3) Canada Toadflax

While it may be on the smaller side in terms of appearance, the Canada Toadflax actually grows in very large numbers during the spring, and it’s very common to see fields of this light purple flower stretching over miles worth of fields and hills as far as the eye can see. 

They are also a crucial source of nectar for bees and butterflies, while their leaves are often eaten by smaller creatures including caterpillars and slugs. 

4) Bittersweet Nightshade

There’s no denying that at first glance, the Bittersweet Nightshade can look like a fairly intimidating plant, and you would be correct in thinking that it poses some sort of danger because it is actually poisonous for humans and animals to consume. 

With that being said, it also grows very small and plump berries that will sprout off its leaves which smaller birds will pluck off and eat from time to time. 

5) Creeping Charlie

It can often be hard to spot these small and delicate purple wildflowers because they require a lot of shade to grow and reach maturity, so they will often hide under leaves and bushes, however, they are also considered a fairly aggressive plant that will take over entire portions of woodlands because of how fast they grow. 

This plant grows all across the US and can actually be spotted in many back gardens when the temperatures begin to rise during the summer but also in the spring.

6) Common Grape Hyacinth

Commonly spotted blooming in fields and foothills across California in the springtime, this plant gets its name because of its peculiar appearance, looking like a cluster of grapes all stuck together. 

These wildflowers are fairly tall and grow to about 11 inches, and they are commonly preyed upon by animals including squirrels who are often lured in by the flower’s appetizing appearance.

7) Violet Weed Sorrel

While the Violet Weed Sorrel is admired for its vibrant beauty and can even be eaten in moderate quantities, it has unfortunately been listed as an endangered species.

The plant is actually native to South Africa, but it has also been spotted blooming in damp woods and across steam banks during the spring in a few American states including Ohio (Also check out Common Types Of Ohio Wildflowers) and Wyoming.

8) Shooting Star

Commonly found in Alaska (Also check out Common Types Of Alaska Wildflowers) and across many northern states, the Shooting Star is a beautiful wildflower that is actually fairly unique in how it grows and develops since the flower actually grows downwards while the flower stalk continues growing upright, giving it a very strange appearance that you can’t really find on any other purple wildflowers. 

Additionally, the seeds on the Shooting Star are planted by gentle gusts of wind that remove them from the plant and carry them along toward the soil, making this a dazzling but very strange flower. 

9) Rice Button Aster

This small and light purple wildflower is a favorite among pollinators, especially butterflies and native bees, and its blooming season actually lasts for most of the year, beginning in the summer and lasting until the final few months when it has enough exposure to the sun and is situated in a warmer climate. 

10) Rough Blazing Star

The Rough Shooting Star are deep purple flowers that are joined together as part of a stalk that can stretch as high as 48 inches.

Because of this, they can often be seen stretching upwards and out of any bushes or surrounding terrain so that they can be fully exposed to the sun with them being most prevalent in warm and hot climates. 

11) Lyreleaf Sage

The Lyreleaf Sage is a beautiful but also fairly strange plant when it comes to its appearance since the purple color actually becomes more prominent the longer it remains in the shade, while exposure to sunlight will see it turn more white and almost creamy in its color palette. 

The leaves of the Lyreleaf Sage give off a very minty aroma which many people love using as part of a delicious and healthy salad. 

12) Giant Ironweed

Also commonly referred to as the Vernonia Gigantea, this is a perennial plant that can now be found across multiple states, though it was first discovered in Iowa and Kansas.

This deep purple flower is actually grown by many in back gardens, especially because of how attractive it is to many different types of butterflies, along with the fact that they look downright jaw-dropping during their blooming period in the summer and fall. 

13) American Hog Peanut

Aside from the very light and soft appearance of these miniature wildflowers, another reason they are so well known is because of their structure, and more specifically, how the top of the flower is the only portion that can be pollinated by insects. 

The bottom section of the American Hog Peanut is usually underground and is never available to pollinate, making this incredibly unique and unlike many other wildflowers which are usually fully available for pollination. 

14) Purple Coneflower

The incredible and eye-catching mixture between pick and purple grants these wildflowers a very bright and warm appearance that looks even more astonishing when you get a full view of these wildflowers huddled together during their spring blooming season. 

While it may look fairly fragile, the Purple Coneflower is actually resistant to droughts and extreme heat, meaning it can easily thrive and develop even among threatening weather conditions.

15) Showy Orchis

The Snowy Orchis is one of the very few purple wildflowers that actually prefer staying in the shade rather than ever being fully exposed to the sun, which is why you can usually find them hidden away in bogs, swamps, and pine barrens. 

Unfortunately, the population of this wildflower has decreased considerably since the turn of the 21st century due to habitat destruction, but it can still be found in shady areas throughout multiple states in the south and southeast

16) Hoary Vervain

A wildflower native to Nebraska, the Hoary Vervain is a wildflower that grows along stout and square stems that can reach up to 3 feet tall, making them very noticeable if you ever go out looking for them in dry and sandy environments. 

This flower is actually very important to the ecosystem since its seeds are a big part of the diet of many small birds while the leaves are commonly consumed by caterpillars, making the Hoary Vervain quite the appetizing snack in the eyes of many small creatures. 

17) Wild Geranium

The Wild Geranium is a small and delicate wildflower that can be found in large groups within dense forests across multiple states including Alabama, West Virginia, and South Carolina. 

They are very popular as a garden plant, but many people have also advocated their use as a herbal medicine since it was commonly used medicinally by Native Americans to cure mouth ailments and to stop bleeding. 

18) Tall Bellflower

As the name might suggest, these flowers are very tall in their stature and will usually reach out from bushes to face the sunlight when it’s time for them to bloom in the summer.

They can easily be spotted across the Great Lakes region which comprises eight states including Illinois, Indiana (Also check out Common Types Of Indiana Wildflowers), and Michigan, where they will grow in woodland edges and overgrown fields. 

19) Hookedspur Violet

If you want to catch a glimpse of this blue-to-purple wildflower, you may need to do some hiking since it most often resides at the very top of mountains across multiple states including Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming

The hooked nectar spur near the top of the flower is why it gets its very strange and unique name, however, it is also sometimes referred to as Dog Violet due to the fact that it has an inferior scent compared to its close relative, the Sweet Violet. 

The Hookedspur Violet is actually very attractive to ants and a few other small insects because the plant’s seeds contain oil which the ants will use after carrying them back to their nests. 

20) Great Blue Lobelia

Perfect for a summer garden, the Great Blue Lobelia is an upright perennial flower that thrives in very wet and moist conditions since it doesn’t require too much exposure to the sun in order for it to develop and mature. 

Each individual flower is actually split into two lips and is extremely small in their appearance.

It is therefore the three-foot tall stem that helps these wildflowers to stand out a little more when they are residing in the shady corners of marshlands or floodplains. 

21) Purple False Foxglove

Native to the eastern United States along with parts of Canada, the Purple False Foxglove can grow in just about any condition, making it very versatile, but it usually matures the fastest when growing in woodlands and open fields where it is surrounded by other plants. 

This is because this wildflower is semi parasitic, meaning it can obtain food as a host while simultaneously going through photosynthesis, as the plant will often “steal” the nutrients it requires from other surrounding plants. 

22) Early Blue Violet

The low-growing Early Blue Violet wildflower may not be one of the taller flowers you can find, but it’s the heart-shaped purple leaves that make them so well known and beloved.

The flower itself is also perfectly safe to eat, having a very soft texture that melts in the mouth with each bite you take. This softer texture means they are commonly used in chicken soups and broths as a delightful compliment to the overall flavor. 

23) Sharpwing Monkeyflower

While the Sharpwing Monkeyflower is an absolute natural marvel to look at, it actually contains no floral scent, which can sometimes make it a little harder to notice when you’re out on the look for it. 

It blooms from June all the way to September, and it is known for having an incredibly fast growth rate, so you can guarantee you won’t just spot one out in the wild, but instead, you are more likely to come across an entire group all at once. 

While it has been found in several midwestern states, it is most commonly seen in central and northern Illinois (Also check out Common Types Of Illinois Wildflowers).


There’s a whole range of beautiful and unique purple wildflowers that can be found blooming across the US, which means it is never a bad idea to grab a camera and go on a journey to see some of these gorgeous plants for yourself.

Diane Peirce
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