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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
43. Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea Cyanus)
44. Kudzu (Pueraria Montana)
An invasive plant native to Asia, kudzu is commonly found in North America – especially Virginia, where it has much prominence.
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.