10 Shade Tolerant Wildflowers That Beautifully Pop With Color

Flowers are a fantastic way to add a bit of beauty and color to your garden.

There are lots of kinds of flowers that are quite low maintenance as well, so you can get the beauty without having to spend all your time out in the garden looking after them. 

10 Shade Tolerant Wildflowers That Beautifully Pop With Color

If your garden is located in a spot that is mainly shaded, this can really make it stressful to find beautiful flowers with lots of colors that aren’t going to die off from a lack of sun.

But did you know that there are actually many kinds of colorful flowers that are incredibly shade tolerant? 

When a flower is shade tolerant, this means that it can survive in areas that see more shade than the sun and you don’t have to worry about them dying.

If your garden is mostly shaded and you want to add some beautiful flowers with a pop of color, read on to find out about ten types of shade-tolerant wildflowers! 

Lots of wildflowers are incredibly beautiful, but finding beautiful wildflowers that can handle the shade can be a bit of a challenge.

But when you know what to look out for and what areas you can find them in, this makes finding those colorful shade-tolerant flowers a whole lot easier! 

In this list, you will find 10 shade-tolerant wildflowers that beautifully pop with color and they are perfect to incorporate in your garden, or just try and spot when you are on a walk in a shaded area.

These 10 wildflowers are some of the most beautiful shade-tolerant flowers you can find, so read on to find out a little more about each of them! 

1. Sweet Violet

Sweet Violet (Viola odorata) is a type of small wildflower that typically grow to be about 4 to 6 inches tall. They are vibrant purple-violet in color and they can easily be spotted despite their small size. 

Originally from Europe, they can be found all over North America in this day and age. You will usually find them in shaded, mossy areas.

If you want to use the Sweet Violet in your garden, they work fantastically well as a natural path border or even just as an addition to a wildflower-themed garden. 

Sweet Violets are known for their stunning aroma, which is described as being incredibly sweet and fragrant. These wildflowers may be incredibly small, but they definitely stand out as a beautiful kind of shade-tolerant wildflower! 

2. Foxglove 

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) wildflowers are quite common and you have most likely heard of them or seen them before.

They are a large kind of wildflower that can grow to 5ft tall! They range in color from vibrant purple to pink and even yellow in some cases. 

When Foxgloves are around, you will usually see hummingbirds around them too. This is because hummingbirds like the nectar that can be found inside their petals. 

You can find Foxgloves in moist and rich soil and you can find them in all sorts of shaded areas. They are incredibly easy to spot at a distance, so you will know them when you see them! 

3. False Solomon Seal

The False Solomon Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) is all white in color and though it might not seem like it would stand out and pop against other flowers, it definitely does!

Its white color is incredibly bright and in the fall, the red berries grow which makes it pop even more! 

This particular type of wildflower actually thrives in the shade and needs to be kept out of the sun as much as possible, so you will find it in abundance in shaded areas.

They grow to about 2 to 3 feet tall and the white flowers are easy to distinguish from other plants. 

False Solomon Seal flowers definitely shouldn’t be overlooked and they are incredibly beautiful. 

4. Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are an incredibly vibrant kind of wildflower that is usually shocking blue-violet at the top and deep purple at the bottom.

These wildflowers are incredibly easy to spot and easily stand out in big groups of plants and flowers. 

You can find Virginia Bluebells in many shaded areas, but you will most commonly find them in woodlands with rich soil, so next time you go for a walk in the woods, see if you can spot any! 

The flowers usually go dormant in the summer but you will be able to see them in full bloom the following spring. 

5. Wood Lily

Wood Lilies (Lilium philadelphicum) are another incredibly beautiful shade-tolerant wildflower that is known for their vibrant orange and yellow color.

They are native to North America and you will find lots of hummingbirds around them. 

This type of wildflower can be found in lots of different environments which range from grassland prairies to high mountain meadows. They can survive in sunny conditions, but they much prefer shaded areas. 

Wood Lilies are incredibly easy to spot amongst other plants and foliage and they would make an incredible addition to your own garden. 

6. Bunchberry 

Bunchberries (Cornus canadensis) is another kind of vibrant white wildflower that absolutely thrives in shaded areas.

They are quite small, only growing to about 6 inches, but they grow in large quantities which makes them easy to spot in their natural habitat. 

You can usually find Bunchberries growing in forested areas with plenty of shade and they can be found on the forest floor. They prefer cool and damp soil, especially in coniferous forests. 

If you want to use them in your garden, they work incredibly well as natural borders. 

7. Great White Trillium

The Great White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is a beautiful kind of white wildflower that is incredibly tolerant of the shade. They can usually be found growing on forest floors below the trees. 

They grow to be about 1 ½ feet tall and they bloom during the months of April until June. Their vibrant white color really pops against the greens of the forest and they are very easy to spot when you see them.

If you do decide to keep these wildflowers in your own garden, make sure to keep them in shaded areas and make sure that they get plenty of water. 

8. Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) range in color from pink to purple and they also have bits of orange on them.

They are an incredibly colorful kind of wildflower that can easily be spotted from a distance and they are incredibly beautiful. 

They grow atop 2 to 5-foot stems and they bloom between the months of April and September. You will usually find them in shaded areas, especially in thickets, open rocky woods, and prairies. 

You will also find lots of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds in close proximity to the Purple Coneflowers, so if you want more wildlife in your garden, these are a great kind of wildflower to add! 

9. Blue Wood Aster

Blue Wood Aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium) is a kind of vibrant blue wildflower that is easy to spot in its natural environment.

The blue color of these wildflowers can vary from pale to deep blue and they make a wonderful addition to any garden. 

The Blue Wood Aster grows to about 2 feet tall in height and you can find them in shaded environments, especially in places like disturbed sites, on the edge of woodlands, and in dry soil. 

This wildflower is incredibly beautiful, but it is also very important to the local wildlife. It is an extremely important pollinator, so if you can add some to your garden, you will be helping the local wildlife and insects thrive! 

10. Astilbe

Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis) is a vibrant kind of wildflower that is incredibly low-maintenance and a great wildflower to have in your garden if you don’t have as much experience with plants.

They usually bloom from the mid to the late summer and they range from growing really big to really small. 

In the wild, you will usually find Astilbe growing in open fields and they grow in abundance too! Though they thrive in the shade, they have no issues growing in the sun either. 

The flowers themselves rang in color from vibrant purples to deep pinks. You can easily spot them from a distance and they are not hard to identify for even beginners. 


So there you have it! 10 shade-tolerant wildflowers that beautifully pop with color! Whether you want a vibrant white flower or a shocking deep purple kind, there is something for everyone on this list. 

Each of these wildflowers can be found in lots of different environments and habitats, but the thing they all have in common is the fact that they can easily thrive in the shade, and for long periods of time.

These flowers are all quite easy to look after, especially if you are just starting out in tending your garden.

Incorporate some of these shade-tolerant wildflowers into your garden today!

Diane Peirce
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