45 Common Types Of West Virginia Wildflowers Including Photos

There are hundreds of species of flowers in West Virginia, each with its own unique colors, features, and fragrances. As such, it can be difficult to identify one you have found. 

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45 Common Types Of West Virginia Wildflowers Including Photos

Moreover, there are thousands of hybrids and cultivars that you may discover – all of which may have originated in the local garden center. 

With this in mind, we have outlined the most widespread and common species you may find in West Virginia. 

Let’s get straight into it. 

1. Blue Vervain (Verbena Hastata)

These drought-resistant and hardy flowers can be found in shored, plains, wet fields, ditched, foothills, and wet soils throughout West Virginia. 

This flower attracts many native honeybees, bees, small butterflies, wasps, moths, and skippers. Plus, some small insects even feed on the leaves. 

2. Chicory (Cichorium Intybus)

This beautiful non-native wildflower can be found throughout West Virginia, generally in dry and sunny locations, and only bloom for one day. 

An exciting aspect about this flower is that you can actually eat it. The leaves are high in minerals and vitamins. However, they are extremely bitter. 

Moreover, you can even eat the roots which can be boiled and then eaten with butter. It can be used as an additive or substitute for coffee. 

3. Common Periwinkle (Vinca Minor)

While the common periwinkle isn’t native to North America, it can attract amounts of anthophoridae bees, bumblebees, bee flies, and mason bees. 

In West Virginia, it is generally used as a ground cover. Plus, it keeps your yard deer resistant, too. 

4. Common Blue Violet (Viola Sororia)

This flower can start growing randomly in your backyard. If it does, it can attract caterpillars, mason bees, rabbits, wild turkeys, doves, ants, and deer. 

One thing about this flower is that it can fertilize itself without having to open it. Eventually, the seed capsules will shoot out of the plant and as far as 9 feet. 

5. Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis Scorpioides)

These small flowers are also referred to as the scorpion weed. This is because the stalk coils around like the tail of a scorpion. 

Likewise, some believe that the plant’s name comes from its unpleasant odor or taste – making it hard to forget!

The plant’s seeds spread incredibly quickly. Therefore, you may find the flower sprouting least where you expect it to. 

That said, you can easily dig them up and replant them somewhere else without destroying the plant. 

6. Teasel 

You can easily identify these wildflowers thanks to their prickly leaves and spines with an interesting blue-purple flower in the middle. 

These plants attract various birds, including goldfinches, since their seeds are a great source of food in the winter months. 

Additionally, the plant has many health benefits, too, such as a kidney tonic – promoting the healing of injured, torn, and inflamed connective tissue, as well as broken bones. 

This makes it ideal for treating Lyme disease symptoms, as well as Lyme-inducing bacteria that can target the muscle, nerve, and connective tissues. 

7. Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea Cyanus)

In West Virginia, this widespread wildflower is popular with butterflies. Plus, it is a great flower for drying and cutting. 

These flowers are dairy-like and are generally disease- and pest-free. Plus, they are drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, too – perfect for growing around a border in the yard. 

8. Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginica)

These Virginian bluebells are one of the easiest native wildflowers to West Virginia. Typically, they are found in shaded areas, such as on the edges of forests. 

Starting with a pink bud, this interesting flower then blooms into a beautiful sky-blue flower. Moreover, they attract butterflies and hummingbirds. 

9. Common Burdock (Arctium Minus)

This flower can be found across West Virginia in open prairies, pastures, roadsides, hayfields, barnyards, old fields, and railways among other undisturbed areas. 

These flowers are distinctive thanks to their deep purple flowers and large leaves – making them look like rhubarb. 

Once the flower dries, it has a similar texture to velcro – sticking itself to humans and animals to transfer its seeds. 

Moreover, it attracts butterflies, birds, and bees. That said, be careful when handling it since it can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation. 

10. Bull Thistle (Cirsium Vulgare)

This is a common wildflower found across West Virginia. That said, be careful when handling it since it is extremely prickly! 

While the seeds of this plant are preferred by goldfinches, they also use this plant to line their nests and wait until the flower blooms to raise their young. 

If you’re looking to attract butterflies and giant bees, then this is a great flower to do so. 

11. Bee Balm (Monarda Fistulosa)

This flower can be easily identified thanks to its striking lilac-purple petals. Moreover, you can find bee balm in prairies, fields, and along roadsides across West Virginia. 

Moreover, it is known to attract vast amounts of butterflies, pollinating bees, and hummingbirds to your backyard. 

Once the plant fully blooms, insects and birds can’t help but visit the nectar-rich flowers. 

12. Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass (Triodanis Perfoliata)

This wildflower can be found in sandy soils, woods, undisturbed areas, and gardens across West Virginia (Also check out Common Virginia Wildflowers).

You can identify this plant by looking for the flower blooming inside the rounded leaves. Plus, it has self-pollinating abilities and attracts small bees, flies, and butterflies.  

13. Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria)

You’ll find this plant growing in the wet areas of West Virginia. For instance, this includes marshes, lakes, and wet meadows. 

However, you should know that this is an invasive species that has the ability to push and remove native plants in the area. 

This is primarily due to the fact that they reproduce incredibly quickly with each spike producing 300,000 seeds. 

Moreover, they can also spread by growing new shoots directly from their roots. 

14. Creeping Charlie (Glechoma Hederacea)

These wildflowers are known to grow in bunches in semi-shaded and moist areas. Plus, they tolerate the sun extremely well. Here, bees can’t help but collect the delicious pollen. 

In West Virginia, this wildflower is considered to be a weed by many. It is generally found in yards, and, due to its extensive root system, it can be hard to remove.

15. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea)

These flowers are incredibly hardy – making them a popular flower to be grown in the backyards of residents across West Virginia. 

As such, the flowers are drought-resistant and heat-tolerant – allowing them to survive in the harshest of environments. 

The only downside to these flowers is that rabbits love to nibble on their delicious petals! 

Inside the cone-shaped disc, you’ll find various smaller flowers – all containing tons of nectar. This makes it popular among butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. 

16. Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis Matronalis)

You can find this popular wildflower across West Virginia. It is a fast-spreading and beautiful flower that can be found in woodlands and meadows. 

That said, some people consider these flowers to be invasive. Although, the young leaves found in dame’s rocket are high in vitamin C and can be added to your salads. 

17. Heal-All (Prunella Vulgaris)

In West Virginia, this wildflower is one of the most common, widespread species. You can find this plant along roadsides, lawns, and the lines of woodlands. 

That said, large and expansive grassy areas are where you’re most likely to see it. As such, it attracts bees, butterflies, and a range of other pollinators. 

As such, people generally use this flower as a ground cover on meadows, border fronts, and beautiful landscapes. 

18. Giant Ironweed (Vernonia Gigantea)

This plant stands solid, featuring dark purple blooming flowers at the top. It is generally found in woodlands and meadows across West Virginia. 

Due to its striking appearance, it makes a fantastic addition to your backyard, especially when planted with others. 

Moreover, it attracts vast amounts of butterflies, this includes monarch and swallowtail butterflies. 

19. Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum Androsaemifolium)

As its name suggests, this flower is a prolific grower, meaning that you’ll find it across Europe and North America. 

Likewise, its name is also associated with the fact that it is highly poisonous to dogs (and humans). 

Moreover, these flowers have small, bell-shaped pink petals that smell similar to lilacs. You can find this wildflower on streambanks in the sandy soils of West Virginia. 

20. Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias Incarnata)

These wildflowers are native to West Virginia. Swamp milkweed can be found along lakeshores and wet meadows. They are easily identifiable thanks to their deep pink flowering clusters. 

If you want a range of pollinators in your garden, then this is an excellent choice of flower to help achieve this – popular among butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. 

Moreover, the leaves are an important food source for Monarch caterpillars. 

21. Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium)

The name ‘joe pye weed’ is commonly referred to plants residing in the genus Eutrochium. 

The best part? These flowers are native to West Virginia and are even recommended to plant in your backyard. 

They are distinguishable thanks to their large pink flower clusters and their long stems which help to attract a range of pollinators. 

You can find this plant growing naturally along the edges of wet meadows and woodlands. If you’re planting these in your yard, it is best to keep them in partial shade. 

22. Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca)

If you’re in West Virginia and are looking for a fragrant wildflower to attract vast amounts of pollinators, then the common milkweed is a perfect choice. 

This is because about 450 species feed on this beautiful flower. Some of these include butterflies, beetles, bees, moths, ants, flies, and wasps. 

Although, be aware that common milkweed has the tendency to smother and push out other plants. 

23. Wild Mint (Mentha Arvensis)

This flower features dense clusters of pink, lavender, or white bell-shaped blooms. Like some other species of mint; its fragrance is potent once the leaves have been damaged. 

You can find this native wildflower along wetlands, river banks, and streams in West Virginia. 

24. Springbeauty 

These gorgeous wildflowers feature patches of yellow, pink, and white – making them perfect for landscaping. 

If you look close enough, you’ll see that each white flower is intricately lined with stunning pink veins. 

Plus, these flowers attract lots of pollinators who love their delicious nectar inside. 

25. Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus Latifolis)

When not controlled, an everlasting pea has the ability to grow like a weed to its hardy vines. While they are native to Europe, they have been naturalized in North America. 

As such, you can find this plant growing on the clay-enriched soil of sunny banks in West Virginia. 

The purple-pink flowers and long tendrils of the everlasting pea look amazing on fences or climbing trellises in your yard. 

26. Fireweed (Chamerion Angustifolium)

As its name suggests, this is a mighty resilient plant that is generally the first to sprout after devastating forest fires. 

For instance, in 1980, the wildflower was seen growing throughout Washington after St. Helens erupted. 

These plants are easily distinguishable thanks to their pink-purple flowers. Moreover, moths, butterflies, and hummingbirds love to feed off these flowers. 

27. Birds-Foot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus)

These flowers feature orange, yellow, and even red streaks running throughout them. Despite their beautiful appearance, they are an invasive species. 

In West Virginia, they can be found in fields, sandy soils, and along the sides of the road.

That said, as long as you control its growth, a birds-foot trefoil can be beneficial. This is because it is a popular source of many pollinators. 

28. Crown Vetch (Securigera Varia)

Despite its large, pink-covered petals and beautiful appearance, this is an invasive species in North America. 

You can find this plant in sunny and sandy banks across West Virginia where it has the ability to push out smaller plants. 

If you’re planting this flower, make sure to choose a localized area where it isn’t near other plants. 

29. Sneezeweed (Helenium Autumnale)

These wildflowers can be identified by their dairy-like flowers blooming in the Fall season. 

They can be found in West Virginia along ponds, streams, wetlands, and swamps. 

Butterflies, native bees, wasps, beetles, and honey bees are all attracted to this plant. It can be grown in most soil conditions and is resistant to common diseases. 

30. St John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)

This plant is distinguishable thanks to its beautiful clusters of yellow-blooming flowers. It can be found in disturbed fields, prairies, sandy soils, and prairies – growing in abundance. 

That said, it is an invasive species in West Virginia. Not only does it compete with other plants but it can be fatal to sheep, horses, and other livestock. 

31. Green-headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia Laciniata)

You can find this flower growing along stream banks, near woodlands, roadside ditches, and swamps. They are tall and feature bright yellow flowers – making them hard to miss! 

These flowers can be grown in West Virginia to attract various butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. 

32. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Hirta)

You can find this native flower in prairies, roadsides, open woods, and fields across West Virginia. 

These graceful flowers grow in colors brown, yellow, red, and orange. As its name suggests, there is a striking ‘eye’ in the middle.

33. Goldenrod (Solidago)

In North America, there are over 120 different types of Goldenrod. While their flowers may be tiny, they make up in size thanks to their vibrantly stunning colors. 

That said, the flower has the ability to grow aggressively in gardens. However, by potting and pruning regularly, you can keep them contained. 

In West Virginia, a variety of butterflies, bees, and beetles depend upon this wildflower. 

34. Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca Sativa)

You’re probably familiar with parsnip as the delicious root vegetable, however, its relative is grown in the wild and definitely shouldn’t be eaten! 

While wild parsnips taste and smell like parsnips, their stems, and leaves have the ability to cause severe burns and blisters. 

In West Virginia, these wildflowers can be identified by their grooved streams and yellow clustered flowers atop blooms. 

35. Common Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus)

This wildflower is native to Africa, Europe, and Asia, however, is now considered a naturalized species in West Virginia, too. 

It is distinguishable thanks to its yellow blooms that are packed together on a tall, velvety stem with tons of leaves at the base of the plant. 

36. Common Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus)

One of the most popular flowers in the world, the common sunflower features impressively large yellow petals and a striking dark center that can be found across West Virginia. 

In fact, you can find these flowers in the wild along grasslands, prairies, forest edges, roadsides, and old fields. 

Of course, you can also enjoy these flowers in your backyard, too. 

37. Spiny Sow-Thistle (Sonchus Asper)

In West Virginia, the spiny sow-thistle is considered an invasive species that can be found in vacant lots, pastures, grasslands, roadsides, waste areas, and construction sites. 

If you find this wildflower growing in your backyard, you don’t want to let it spread. They are known to host pests and diseases and can overwhelm native plants. 

They can be easily identified by their dandelion-like yellow flowers growing from the top and their spiky leaves. 

38. Buttercups (Ranunculus)

You may already be familiar with the beloved buttercup wildflower. However, you may not be aware that there are over 600 unique species growing throughout the world. 

These flowers are commonly known for their gorgeous yellow color – like butter! That said, they can also be found in shades of red, pink, orange, cream, and purple. 

39. Fleabane (Erigeron Annuus)

This wildflower has approximately 400 species, many of which can be found in West Virginia. In fact, they are generally a favorite among avid gardeners. 

They feature delicate, thin petals with a yellow disc center. Moths, bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies love to visit these flowers that can grow enthusiastically along roadsides, pastures, grasslands, and dry mountains. 

40. Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale)

Before these flowers transform into balls of silver-tufted seed heads, they feature a beautiful, bright blooming yellow flower. 

These common wildflowers can be found throughout West Virginia, especially in fields, meadows, lakes, river shores, and disturbed environments. 

41. English Plantain (Plantago Lanceolata)

Native to Asia and Europe, the English plantain has since been introduced to West Virginia. 

It is among one of the most recognizable backyard plants thanks to its long, hairy spines featuring a flowering bud on top. 

You can find these plants grazing on roadsides, in disturbed habitats, grazing pastures, and in dry meadows. 

42. Indian Hemp (Apocynum Cannabinum)

These flowers are native to North America, however, they are considered to be an aggressive weed in West Virginia. 

They are generally found in meadows, prairies, and dry, rocky woods. That said, they also thrive on farms where they are known to reduce the yield of crops. 

In addition to this, parts of the wildflower are highly toxic to livestock, dogs, and humans. 

43. Catnip (Nepeta Cataria)

This is a famous plant known throughout history for its culinary and medicinal uses. However, you may know it more as being a recreational stimulant for cats. 

It is a member of the mint family and contains aromatic leaves that are known to repel termites, mosquitos, and cockroaches. 

44. Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)

Growing this plant in your backyard will reward you with beautiful clusters of white flowers. They produce a scent reminiscent of chrysanthemums and feature small feathery leaves. 

These plants were introduced in Europe during the colonial period. That said, there are various native species in West Virginia. 

45. Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus Carota)

This wildflower was introduced by European settlers. It is considered an aggressive weed in some areas, invading roadsides, grasslands, degraded prairies, and meadows. 

Also referred to as the Wild Carrot, when the flower is young, you can actually eat it. However, as it ages the roots become fibrous and woody. 

Final Thoughts

There are thousands of species of flowers native to West Virginia. So much so that we couldn’t fit them all in this guide! 

As such, we have outlined 45 of the most common wildflowers in West Virginia. These include everlasting peas, wild parsnips, and catnip.

Diane Peirce
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