Do you want to know what wildflowers are common in Wisconsin? Maybe you have seen some wildflowers and want to know what they are called?
Or are you curious about wildflowers and want to know more? No matter the question that brought you here, we have the answers for you!
Finding out about wildflowers in Wisconsin can be tricky, especially if you are new to the world of wildflowers.
You head online for some guidance but are met with pages and pages of conflicting information. Frustrated and overwhelmed, you are left unsure where to turn or who to trust.
Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to see 39 common types of Wisconsin wildflowers and beautiful photos to help you identify them!
Get ready to become a Wisconsin wildflower expert now and dive into our list today.
1. Chicory (Cichorium Intybus)
Kicking off our list is the beautiful purple Chicory wildflower. Although it is not a native wildflower, it is found across Wisconsin, especially in sunny and dry weather. The flower grows usually in open fields and along roads.
Chicory can be eaten too! The flowers contain high levels of minerals and vitamins. It is best enjoyed in a salad or with vegetables. It can be quite bitter, so be sure to flavor it accordingly.
2. Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia Virginica)
Next, we have Virginia bluebells (Also check out Common Virginia Wildflowers). These bluebells have many names, including Bluebells, Blue and Pink Ladies, Kentucky Bluebells, Chiming Bells, Smooth Lungword, Tree Lungwort, Roanoke Bells, and more!
They are some of the earliest blooming wildflowers in Wisconsin and are found in wet shade, like the edges of woods. The flowers are unique, starting with pink buds before blooming into beautiful sky-blue flowers.
3. Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis Scorpioides)
Forget-me-nots, also known as snake grass, true forget-me-not, scorpion weed, or water forget-me-not, is another common wildflower found in Wisconsin. The flower features a coiled flower stalk that resembles the tail of a scorpion.
The seeds spread rapidly, so you are likely to find forget-me-nots growing everywhere! You don’t need to worry too much when planting them, as they can be moved anywhere!
They are a great plant for attracting butterflies and bees, so we recommend keeping some in your garden if it starts to grow!
4. Teasel (Dipsacus Fullonum)
Teasel is an easy-to-identify wildflower thanks to its unique purple-blue flowers and prickly stem. These wildflowers attract birds like goldfinches as their seeds are a good winter food resource.
The flower is also a good kidney tonic, aiding in healing injured, torn, or inflamed tissue or broken bones!
It’s worth collecting some if you see it growing in the wild. It is also used as a treatment for Lyme disease symptoms alongside Western medicine.
5. Common Periwinkle (Vinca Minor)
The common periwinkle, also known as the dwarf periwinkle and lesser periwinkle, is not native to North America, but you can still find it growing in Wisconsin. The wildflower is often used as ground cover in Wisconsin and is deer resistant!
The wildflower also attracts bumblebees and anthropoid bees, making it a good flower to boost pollination in your garden.
6. Common Blue Violet (Viola Sororia)
The common blue violet is another common wildflower found in Wisconsin. Also known as Purple Violet, Common Meadow Violet, Wood Violet, and Hooded Violet, the flower blooms from mid-spring to late summer.
These wildflowers can randomly start growing in the middle of your lawn, attracting bees, turkeys, doves, deer, and rabbits. The flower can also self-fertilize inside the plant without opening!
7. Blue Vervain (Verbena Hastata)
Good for keeping vampires out of your head, Blue Vervain is another common wildflower found in Wisconsin (This wildflower is also present in Massachusetts. Click here to know more)! This hardy and drought-resistant wildflower is found on shores, ditches, wet soils, foothills, and wet fields.
Blue Vervain attracts moths, small butterflies, honey bees, and some wasps. It’s a great host plant too, allowing caterpillars to feed on its leaves.
8. Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea Cyanus)
Bachelor’s button, also known as Cornflower, is a butterfly magnet in Wisconsin! These daisy-like flowers are practically disease and pest free! They are also easy to grow and cut and dry beautifully.
Although they are wildflowers, they look wonderful in rock gardens or as borders for flower beds.
9. Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias Verticillata)
Whorled Milkweed, also known as Horsetail Milkweed or Eastern Whorled Milkweed is another common wildflower in Wisconsin. It is a single-stemmed perennial wildflower with clusters of 7-20 flat-topped flowers.
The white blooms can be found in fields, open woods, dry prairies, and roadsides. The flower can spread quickly, but it isn’t considered invasive, making it a wonderful option for gardens. It also attracts plenty of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds!
10. Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus Carota)
Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as Bishop’s Lace, Bird’s Nest, or Wild Carrot, was introduced to North America by early European settlers. The wildflower is an aggressive weed found in degraded prairies, grasslands, meadows, and roadsides.
It is the ancestor of domesticated carrots that we grow and eat! When the flower is young, Queen Anne’s Lace can be eaten, but you have to be quick! As they age, the roots become woody and fibrous.
11. Catnip (Nepeta Cataria)
Known for sending cats crazy, Catnip is a common wildflower found in Wisconsin! It is a member of the Mint family with medicinal and culinary uses, as well as the ability to repel termites, cockroaches, and mosquitos.
Catnip is native to Asia and Europe but has naturalized in Wisconsin, and can be found on riversides, dry banks, fields, and near waste ground.
12. Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)
Next, we have another flat-topped flower, Yarrow. Yarrows also have small feathery leaves similar to ferns, with a scent similar to chrysanthemums.
Some Yarrow plants were introduced in colonial times from Europe, but there are lots of native subspecies that grow in Wisconsin.
You can find Yarrow in grasslands, roadsides, and open forests. These flowers are made to last and can survive droughts and other harsh conditions.
13. English Plantain (Plantago Lanceolata)
Originally found in Asia and Europe, the English Plantain was introduced to Wisconsin and now grows as a wildflower. You can spot it easily thanks to its long, hairy, and flowering spokes. These spikes are filled with small white flowers!
You can find English Plantain in grazing pastures, dry meadows, and roadsides. Songbirds eat their seeds, and the flowers are pollinated by beetles and flies.
14. Indian Hemp (Apocynum Cannabinum)
Also known as Prairie Dogbane, Dogbane, Hemp Dogbane, Amy Root, Wild Cotton, or Rheumatism Root, this wildflower blooms from Spring to Summer. Despite being native to North America, it is considered an aggressive weed in Wisconsin.
You can find it growing in farms, meadows, rocky woods, and prairies. When found on farms, it wreaks havoc reducing the yield of soybeans, corn, and other crops.
15. Fleabane (Erigeron Annuus)
Fleabane, also known as Dependable Daisy, Vergrettes, and Daisy Fleabane is responsible for at least 400 species, many of them growing naturally in Wisconsin!
Fleabane is popular with gardeners thanks to its yellow disc centers and thin delicate petals stemming from the center.
They are super easy to care for, growing any soil, resisting droughts, and self-seeding! You can find them in coastal gardens and rocky terrains.
16. Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale)
Dandelion, also known as Blowball, Lion’s Tooth, and Common Dandelion, is a bright yellow flower that transitions into a ball of silver tufted seeds. You will find these in Wisconsin meadows, river shores, lakes, and fields.
They can grow like weeds on roadsides and lawns too. Although native to Asia and Europe, the resilience of the Dandelion has allowed it to grow across the world.
17. Buttercups (Ranunculus)
Buttercups are another common wildflower found in Wisconsin! They are the genus of over 600 species worldwide! Buttercups are commonly known as yellow flowers, but they also grow cream, purple, red, pink, or orange flowers!
These wildflowers grow in Wisconsin in moist habitats, fields, roadsides, and meadows. You can expect them to bloom from spring to summer.
18. Common Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus)
Common Mullein is also known as Velvet Dock, Big Taper, and Flannel Plant. The wildflower is native to Asia, Africa, and Europe, but is a naturalized species in Wisconsin. The wildflower is known to take over pasture lands, meadows, and roadsides.
It is easily identified thanks to its small yellow blooms and tall stem. The base of the plant is surrounded by velvety dense leaves. The stem shoots upwards, giving the appearance of corn.
19. Common Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus)
The Common Sunflower is another wildflower commonly found in Wisconsin. They are one of the most popular flowers across the world thanks to their dark centers and large yellow flowers.
You can find them in fields, grasslands, prairies, forest edges, and roadsides.
You can also find them in gardens, enjoyed by animals and people! They are a wonderful pollinator and their seeds can be enjoyed by humans and birds too!
20. Goldenrod (Solidago)
Goldenrods might have tiny blooms, but their vibrant color makes up for their size! The flowers grow in clusters on top of branch stems with stem leaves. Goldenrods are often blamed for hay fever, but other similar plants are likely to be the culprit!
It can be an aggressive plant in gardens, but if you plant it in pots and prune it regularly, you can contain the spread.
21. Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca Sativa)
Wild Parsnip is the relative of one of our favorite vegetables, the parsnip! Wild Parsnips smell and taste like cultivated parsnips, but you need to take care when handling them. Their stems and leaves cause severe burns and blisters!
You can identify Wild Parsnip with its flat-topped yellow flower clusters and grooved stems. It is often found in abandoned fields, roadsides, and ditches.
22. Green-headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia Laciniata)
The Green-headed Coneflower is also known as the Thimbleweed, Cutleaf Coneflower, and Wild Goldenglow. It often grows near swamps, stream banks, woods, and roadside ditches. These tall, large, and bright yellow flowers are always easy to spot!
These flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators in the summer. During the fall, songbirds and goldfinches will descend to eat the seeds. The wildflower does spread quickly underground, so they are best planted in larger landscapes.
23. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Hirta)
Black-eyed Susan is another wildflower that grows in Wisconsin. These flowers grow in shades of brown, red, orange, and yellow with a dark eye in the center. These flowers are popular with butterflies, bees, and birds.
The wildflower blooms within a year of the seeds being sown and looks beautiful in wildflower gardens along borders or pots.
24. Sneezeweed (Helenium Autumnale)
Sneezeweed is another wildflower commonly found in Wisconsin, also known as Bitterweed or False Sunflower. It looks similar to a daisy and tends to bloom in the fall.
Sneezeweed can be found in wetlands, swamps, streams, and ponds. Sneezeweed also grows in gardens and is popular with gardeners.
The pollen found in Sneezeweed doesn’t cause allergic reactions and was previously used to cause sneezes in old medicinal practices. The practice was believed to remove evil spirits from the body!
25. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)
Also known as Goat Weed, Tipton Weed, and Klamath Weed, St John’s Wort grows in clusters of yellow flowers. You can find it in pastures, sandy soils, fields, and prairies.
St. John’s Wort is an invasive species in North America, taking over other plants, and can be fatal to sheep and horses if ingested.
26. Birds-foot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus)
Next, we have Birds-foot Trefoil, another wildflower found in Wisconsin. Also known as Crowtoes, Cat’s Clover, Bloomfell, and Birdfoot Deervetch, the flower blooms from late spring to early summer.
It has a yellow, orange, and red flower that sits on top of long stalks. The beautiful wildflower is considered invasive in most parts of Wisconsin. This is because of its ability to overtake fields and gardens, choking native plants.
27. Crown Vetch (Securigera Varia)
Crown Vetch, also known as Crownvetch and Purple Crown Vetch, is a wildflower that grows in several different colors.
You can find these flowers in shades of yellow, pink, and sometimes purple! The large clover shape gives them their distinct appearance and makes them easy to spot!
The wildflower was originally native to Asia, Africa, and Europe, but was introduced to Wisconsin as ground cover in controlling soil erosion. It can spread quickly, so it’s best planted away from other flowers in gardens.
28. Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus Latifolius)
Everlasting Pea is another common wildflower in Wisconsin. The flower, also known as Perennial Peavine and Perennial Pea, can be found on clay-rich soil in the sunny banks of Wisconsin.
The frost-hardy vine requires little care and can grow like a weed if not controlled.
It has been naturalized in North America since the 1700s, having traveled over from Europe. You can spot an Everlasting Pea easily thanks to its long tendrils and purple-pink flowers.
29. Fireweed (Chamerion Angustifolium)
Fireweed, also known as Willow Herb, is a resilient plant that is one of the first things to grow in clearings after forest fires. You can spot Fireweed easily, thanks to its striking purple-pink spikes!
The wildflower is popular with butterflies, hummingbirds, and moths, who all enjoy feeding from this plant.
30. Wild Mint (Mentha Arvensis)
Wild Mint grows in dense clusters of pink, lavender, or white bell-shaped flowers. You can smell the mint scent at its strongest when the leaves are damaged.
You will find the wildflower in Wisconsin wetlands. It grows best on river banks and streams with partial sunlight and flowers from late spring to early summer.
31. Spring Beauty (Claytonia Virginica)
Also known as Virginia Spring Beauty, this wildflower is bursting with color! It comes in pink, purple, white, and yellow blooms with dark pink veins that line each star-shaped flower. This flower is attractive to native bees who enjoy the nectar of Spring Beauty.
32. Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium)
Joe Pye Weed is the common name for plants belonging to the Eutrochium genus. The wildflowers are native to Wisconsin and wonderful to plant in your garden. You can spot them easily thanks to the large pink flower clusters and long stems.
The flower attracts a variety of pollinators and is sure to have your garden buzzing with life. You can find Joe Pye Weed growing naturally along the edges of wet meadows and woodlands. It thrives when planted in areas of partial shade.
33. Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca)
Common Milkweed is a wonderful wildflower found in Wisconsin. It is a fragrant pollinator that feeds over 450 species including beetles, bees, butterflies, ants, wasps, moths, and flies.
The plant is known to smother and push out other plants, so if you plan to grow it, be sure to plant it in an isolated spot. You can find the plant growing naturally in roadside ditches, forest clearings, and fields.
34. Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum Androsaemifolium)
Spreading Dogbane, otherwise known as Bitterroot and Fly-trap Dogbane, is a prolific grower found across North America and Europe. Take care when you see these small bell-shaped flowers as they are poisonous to humans and dogs.
Dogbane has a similar scent to lilac and grows on streambanks where there are sandy streams.
35. Common Burdock (Arctium Minus)
Common Burdock, also known as Wild Rhubarb, Louse-bur, Button-bur, Lesser Burdock, Little Burdock, and Cuckoo-button, is another wildflower found in Wisconsin.
You can find the flower in open prairies, pastures, hayfields, old fields, railways, barnyards, and roadsides.
The wildflower has large leaves with deep purple flowers, similar to rhubarb. You can spot them easily, but take care you don’t get stuck!
Once the flowerhead dries, it is like velcro and can stick to animals and humans! The flower can also cause allergic reactions or skin irritations, so take care when handling it.
36. Bee Balm (Monarda Fistulosa)
Bee Balm is also known as Wild Bee Balm, Horsemint, and Wild Bergamot. It has lilac-purple blooms and grows in dry areas of prairies, fields, and roads in Wisconsin. The wildflower attracts pollinator bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
The native wildflower is full of nectar and draws hummingbirds in easily. If you plant this in your garden, you won’t need a bird feeder to attract hummingbirds!
37. Creeping Charlie (Glechoma Hederacea)
Creeping Charlie, also known as Ground Ivy, Gill-over-ground, Filed Balm. Hedgemaids, Run-away-robin, Alehood, and Catsfoot, is a popular wildflower in Wisconsin.
The wildflower grows in large groups across semi-shaded areas and tolerates the sun well. It’s another popular wildflower with bees, with plenty of pollen for them!
Creeping Charlie is considered a weed in Wisconsin. It can be tricky to get rid of thanks to its extensive root system, even with a mower it is stubborn to move!
38. Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria)
Otherwise known as Purple Lythrum and Spiked Loosestrife, you can find this wildflower in Wisconsin’s wet areas.
It loves to grow along lakes, meadows, and marshes. This invasive species can take over and push out native plants and is often unwelcome in gardens.
Purple Loosestrife can reproduce quickly, with each spike producing up to 300,000 seeds. New shoots also grow from their roots, spreading with ease.
39. Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis Matronalis)
Dame’s Rocket has many names! It is often known as Dame’s-violet, Damask-violet, Night-scented Gilliflower, Gilliflower, Dames-wort, Summer Lilac, Sweet Rocket, Rogue’s Gilliflower, Winter Gilliflower, Good & Plenties, and more!
The wildflower can be found across Wisconsin and spreads quickly in woodlands and meadows.
You will often find them in wildflower seed mixes. Their purple-pink flowers are beautiful and easy to spot in the wild. The flower blooms in the spring and is high in Vitamin C. You can even eat these in salad, but they can be a little bitter.
And there you have it, 39 common types of wildflowers found in Wisconsin with photos! As you can see there are lots of beautiful wildflowers across Wisconsin that can easily be identified and can grow in your gardens too!
Just be sure to take care with some species as they can overtake any current plants you have. Make sure any wildflowers are planted and cared for correctly and you too can enjoy a vibrant garden filled with flowers!