It’s no secret that Virginia and the surrounding regions have some of the most remote, wild, and naturally beautiful scenery – not only in the United States, but within the wider world as well.
Home to many species of animals and plants, one of the main draws for a lot of people are the numerous variations of wildflowers that can be found and observed throughout the region – something that only adds to the natural beauty that the state has to offer.
Throughout this guide we will be taking a look at some of the commonly found wildflowers within the state of Virginia, and what exactly makes them so special – not just from a botanical standpoint, but also with regards to framing the natural beauty of North America.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Bee Balm/Wild Bergamot (Monarda SPP)
The Blue Ridge Mountains are home to many variations of bee balm and wild bergamot, but despite being fairly common throughout the region, they have a distinct uniqueness when compared to others found around the country.
Members of the mint family, wild bergamot are known for being quite prevalent, and they can easily spread like wildfire with little requirements from the weather or the areas they grow in.
When left to grow they can generally reach 4 or 5 feet tall, and come together to make up much of the longer grasses within the region.
2. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Bloodroot is a member of the poppy family, but rather than resembling the rich red hue of traditional poppies, these are snow white, with distinct, uniform leaves that lay in sequence.
Bloodroot develops a red liquid that emanates from the roots when cut, leading to the ominous, dark sounding name that it goes by today.
But names can be deceiving, and the bloodroot is a small, attractive, and useful flower, and one that has widely been used in traditional medicines, dye making, and all manner of other applications.
3. Butterfly Weed (asclepias tuberosa)
This charming little flower presents an orange/red hue, and is relatively small, but happens to be one of the most common wildflowers throughout Virginia and the surrounding regions.
Most notably serving as the main food source for the monarch butterflies – hence the name – butterfly weed are a summer flower, preferring drier soil, plenty of sun, and minimal rain, making them a prevalent and drought tolerant plant that can withstand even the harshest of Virginia summers.
4. Canada Lily (Lilium Canadensis)
Despite their misleading name, Canada lilies are actually found natively in Virginia and the surrounding regions, and are one of the most popular and beautiful flowers throughout the state.
Standing at roughly five feet tall, and truly remarkable to look at, these lilies are not like the somewhat dour, white lilies associated with funerals – instead possessing a vibrant, interesting color palette of oranges, reds, and purples.
5. Catawba Rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense)
Found along the Blue Ridge Parkway, these rhododendrons are lilac in color, and are a beautiful and common sight through the Appalachian region.
Known as the ‘mountain rosebay’, ‘red laurel’, and the ‘purple rhododendron’, catawbas have evergreen leaves and stems, and at full growth can reach heights of around 15 feet tall. 6.
6. Common Rose Pink (Sabatia Angularis)
This pink flower is native to Virginia, and despite its name it is not a member of the rose family.
This flower is a commonly growing sight that can be seen all along the east coast of America, and even as far inland as New Mexico – usually found in open meadows with plenty of space.
One of the main demands of this flower is sunshine – something it needs a lot of – and this explains why it does so well throughout the southeast and inland towards New Mexico.
7. Eastern Redbud (Cercis Canadensis)
Found natively throughout Virginia, eastern redbuds are trees that grow small flowers in pinks, lilacs, and purples, and are an incredibly common sight through the area.
Forming dense clutches, these are incredibly resilient, and widespread throughout the state, and add a much appreciated element of color to otherwise dull woodland areas.
Unlike many trees, the flowers actually bloom before the leaves themselves – something that makes them a curiosity amongst their kin.
8. Flame Azalea (Rhododendron Calendulaceum)
Aptly named for their blend of oranges, reds, yellows, and the characteristic curled leaves, the flame azalea really does resemble fire, and is a popular flower throughout the state of Virginia.
Usually blooming in late spring, these inject some welcome color into the dense shrubs and undergrowth atop which they grow, and are probably one of the most vivid flowers in the region.
9. Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon Digitalis)
Foxglove beardtongue are quite impressive perennial plants – usually appearing first in spring and then again in fall – and are fairly unique in their shape and appearance.
With a wispy white coloring, and covered with silky little phalanges all along the underside of the bell, these foxgloves are a common sight within Virginia, and have one of the most memorable names in the state.
10. Grass Of Parnassus (Parnassia Asarifolia)
Native throughout much of Virginia, the intriguingly named ‘grass of parnassus’ are white and yellow, star-shaped flowers that are a common sight in the state.
Found typically in the wetland regions of the state, these are a common occurrence throughout the eastern United States – usually found in boggy, moist regions, or alongside rivers, streams, and ponds.
11. Great Blue Lobelia/Cardinal Flower (Lobelia Siphilitica/Lobelia Cardinalis)
Aptly named for its violet/blue coloring, the great blue lobelia is a member of the cardinal family, and is commonly found throughout Virginia and the surrounding regions.
These are often trumpet-like in shape, and can grow to around 4 feet in some instances – usually growing densely atop a particularly long, thin stem.
12. Green-Headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia Laciniate)
With long yellow petals, and the distinctive green head – as the name suggests – the green-headed coneflower is a common sight throughout the region, and is well loved due to their vibrancy.
Growing to heights of 10 feet tall in some instances, these have long been used in the brewing of herbal teas, the making of traditional folk medicines, and other applications throughout the home and society.
13. Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis Lanceolata)
This charming yellow flower is commonly found throughout Virginia – namely in wide open meadows where it can get plenty of access to water and sunshine.
Blossoming in the late springtime, these are common sights when driving through the state, and are very much responsible for the bright colors that adorn many of the empty fields and scrub land throughout the region.
14. Meadow Rue (Thalictrum Aquilegifolium)
This somewhat unusual wildflower carries a distinctive lilac hue – which when combined with its distinctive shape makes for an attractive addition to the Virginia countryside.
Virulent and widespread, meadow rue have leaves similar to ferns, and they grow deep down in the undergrowth of the forest floor – taking advantage of the dampness at their disposal.
15. Nodding Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes Cernua)
A wildflower with one of the strangest names on this list, ‘nodding ladies’ tresses’ are named for the long feminine hair that they resemble – reinforced by their sideways facing placements on the branches, causing them to shake and bob in the wind.
Made of white, delicate petals, these might seem more understated than other flowers on this list, but they do a great job of brightening any field they happen to crop up in.
16. Pinesap (Montropa Hypopithus)
This entry to the list is without a doubt one of the strangest and anomalous plants in the world – if only for the fact that it is more than capable of growing without photosynthesis, a process wherein most plants transfer sunlight to food used for growth.
Often confused with fungi – due to their specific shade of pink/cream, and the fact that they grow in moist places – pinesap are still considered flowers, even though they undertake a process of their own called myco-heterotrophy, which involves the plant getting energy from the consumption of organic material in the ground.
17. Trillium (Trillium SPP)
As far as the flowers on this list go,trillium has some of the most vivid and dramatic color variations, and as such are considered some of the most attractive and appealing in all of Virginia.
Each variety of trillium grows stems – called ‘scapes’ – that emerge from an underground rhizome.
Rhizomes are continuously growing stems underneath the soil, which in turn produce numerous off shooting stalks that can latch onto the soil, take root, and grow under their own steam.
18. Trout Lily (Erythronium Americanum)
Growing low to the ground and emerging in early springtime, trout lilies are an unusual yet beautiful wildflower found throughout Virginia, and can be somewhat difficult to grow due to their tendency for low down growing and their need for a lot of sun in the afternoons.
However, when they do reach their full potential, they really are a sight to behold, and are a common sight throughout the Appalachian region, and despite being smaller and low to the ground, they can soon become rife under the right conditions – covering entire forest floors if the moisture and the sun is just right.
19. Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia Virginica)
One of the most prominent native flowers in Virginia and the surrounding regions, Virginia bluebells are lilac/blue in color, and have a distinctive bell-like appearance from which they take their name.
Also known as Roanoke bluebells and Virginia cowslip, Virginia bluebells are spring flowers that are generally seen around March and April, before disappearing again until the following springtime.
20. Whorled Wood Aster (Aster Accuminatus)
As its name suggests, the whorled wood aster can be found in the woodlands of Virginia, where it produces an unassuming yet undeniably attractive white flower amidst its flurry of dark green leaves.
Commonly found blooming throughout the late summertime, whorled wood aster tend to prefer high elevation, and can be found in many of the Appalachian state parks in the more mountainous, hinterland regions.
21. Puttyroot Orchid (Aplectrum Hyemale)
Developing pale flowers with purple tips, puttyroot orchids are another common sight throughout Appalachia, growing in tall, sturdy stems that branch out in thickets at the top.
Somewhat unassuming on face value, they are one of the most abundant – something that might come as a surprise when you consider that they begin as a single leaf during the early stages of growth.
22. Green Adder’s Mouth (Malaxis Unifolia)
Understated on the face of things, but more complex when you are up close, ‘green adder’s mouth’ takes its name from the numerous spiny off shoots that come from the flower itself – a flower that, while all green in color, is actually a sea of different shades and hues.
23. Tall Hairy Agrimony (Agrimonia Gryposepala)
This small perennial flower is actually a member of the rose family – something that might come as a surprise to people who know roses as being red.
These little white/yellow flowers grow in abundance throughout Virginia and the eastern United States, and have long been used by indigenous people to create medicines and salves for illnesses like diarrhea and fever.
24. Southern Agrimony (Agrimonia Parviflora)
These small yellow flowers are an understated yet attractive flower found all throughout North America, and are commonly found along stream banks, in marshes, and along roadsides.
25. Black Medic Alfalfa (Medicago Lupulina)
Another mineral-rich, yellow flower laden with medicinal properties, black medic is a form of alfalfa that has also long been used for its health benefits throughout the region’s history (This wildflower is also present in Iowa. Find out more about it.).
26. Maple Leaf Alumroot (Heuchera Villosa)
This plant is common sight throughout Appalachia, and comes in a variety of colors – ranging from green, to yellow, and even red.
Once at full maturity, they also grow miniscule white flowers that really help to improve the beauty of any meadow or woodland where they might be found.
27. American Toadflax (Nuttallanthus Canadensis)
Despite a name that doesn’t do it justice, American toadflax is a beautiful yellow/white wildflower found throughout North America – especially prevalent in Virginia where it is sometimes referred to as ‘butter and eggs’.
28. Wood Anemone (Anemone Quinquefolia)
These delicate, neat white flowers are another common sight in Virginia, where they grow low to the floor amidst ample thickets of leaves in a tight growth pattern that resembles shrubbery more than traditional flowers.
29. Thimbleweed (Anemone Virginiana)
A white, attractive flower surrounded by jagged looking green leaves, thimbleweed is a commonly distributed flower found all around the world.
Part of the anemone family, they are capable of growing taller than others of the species, and takes its name from its seed head, which resembles a thimble used for sewing.
30. Sharp-Lobed Hepatica (Anemone Acutiloba)
This herbaceous flowering plant is actually part of the buttercup family, and comes in numerous pale colors ranging from white, to lilac, and even blue in some cases.
Growing only 7 inches tall at most, sharp-lobed hepatica grow in tight, bountiful clumps, and are found throughout Appalachia.
31. Wild Celery (Angelica Triquinata)
One of the most prevalent wildflowers in North America, wild celery is a tall stemmed plant with a thick bulbous head of white flowers.
These are some of the most common wildflowers in the world, and help to make up the foundations of meadows and woodland trails.
32. Common Arrowhead (Sagittaria Latifolia)
Named for the jagged arrow-shaped leaves that have come to characterize the plant, the common arrowhead is actually a wildflower in its own right, producing small white-petaled flowers with yellow seed heads at the center.
Simple, attractive, and widely found throughout Virginia, this is a nice subtle addition to any wildflower meadow.
33. Jewelweed/Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens Capensis)
Capable of growing 3-5 feet tall, jewelweed is an annual plant commonly found along ditches and creeks – usually found alongside its lesser sister plant, the yellow jewelweed.
Perhaps the most surprising thing is how they disperse the seeds – with each seed pod containing 5 valves, which curl back and launch the seeds out in a visceral explosion of energy.
34. Smooth Sumac (Rhus Glabra)
A species of sumac native to North America, smooth sumac is a subtly attractive wildflower that is present throughout Virginia.
Producing clumps of tightly growing flowers, they are able to be a plain green or a vivid wine red in color, making them an attractive addition to their environment.
35. Indian Blanket (Gaillardia Pulchella)
Named for their vivid color schemes, which are thought to resemble Native American blanket patterns, Indian blankets are certainly one of the most beautiful wildflowers found in Virginia.
Loved by honeybees, these are a great way of attracting insects and wildlife to natural spaces, and are widely loved within the botanical community.
36. Blue-Eyed Mary (Collinsia Verna)
With striking petals of white and blue, it is easy to see why they are thought to resemble blue eyes – a natural feature that makes them a really curious addition to this wildflower list.
Found throughout Virginia, they have experienced endangerment in New York and Tennessee (Also check out Common Types Of Tennessee Wildflowers), but continue to thrive in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
37. Fire Pink Catchfly (Silene Virginica)
A member of the pink family, the fire pink catchfly is a vivid red wildflower that has a really striking physical appearance – due in part to the straight, wide spread, jagged-looking petals of the flower heads.
38. Crimson Clover (Trifolium Incarnatum)
This vivid red/pink flower is normally native to Europe, but was introduced to North America throughout the centuries.
With tightly regimented flowers that form a bulb shape, crimson clovers are fairly simple, but undeniably beautiful.
39. Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina Communis)
This is certainly one of the most striking flowers on this list – a title it can claim as a result of its vivid blue coloring, and unusual petal arrangement.
Originally native to Asia – as its name suggests – Asiatic dayflower is generally considered an invasive weed in the places where it can be found, one of which is Virginia, where it is especially widespread.
40. Highland Doghobble (Leucothoe Fontanesiana)
For a flower with an unusual name, this plant is actually fairly understated, possessing sharp, straight, rigid leaves, and white dangling flower heads adorned with small petals.
41. Dwarf Dandelion (Krigia Virginica)
As its name might suggest, the dwarf dandelion is a member of the dandelion family, and is named as such for its small size.
A common sight throughout the state, dwarf dandelions bloom in the spring, and are an annual plant.
42. Pink Ladies (Oenothera Speciosa)
Named for their delicate, attractive petals – that give off the most amazing yet subtle shade of lilac/pink, pink ladies are the epitome of elegance and beauty.
With small flower heads and neatly arranged petals, these can be found throughout Appalachia, and are a pleasant sight to behold.
43. Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea Cyanus)
This attractive, annual flowering plant has a distinctive blue hue, and a unique shaped flower head consisting of angular petals in an outward-jutting arrangement.
44. Kudzu (Pueraria Montana)
An invasive plant native to Asia, kudzu is commonly found in North America – especially Virginia, where it has much prominence.
However, while being invasive, it does produce attractive purple flowers that can brighten up any natural space – although this may be to its detriment.
45. Purple Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata)
Last but by no means least, the purple passionflower is certainly the most unusual looking on this list – almost resembling something from another world.
With a yellow center, and layered pink and white petals spanning out, the strangest part of the plant is the thin, curling phalanges that come out from the flower head to create something totally unique and oddly appealing.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about Virginia, and the 45 most common wildflowers that can be found throughout the region.
It’s true that, within the fabric of the United States, there aren’t many places that remain as wild, natural, and free as Virginia – and luckily we can now view the natural beauty of this region in all of its glory.
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