Virginia is home to many different species of wildflowers, and the state’s yellow blooms are no exception.
From bright sunflowers to sweet buttercups, Virginia boasts a wide variety of beautiful yellow wildflowers that bloom throughout the year.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best yellow wildflowers in Virginia, including the season in which they typically bloom.
1. Yellow Trout Lily
The Yellow Trout Lily is a native woodland species found in the Eastern United States and Canada. It grows as a clump-forming perennial with nodding golden flowers that appear in mid to late spring.
The heart-shaped foliage adds visual interest to the landscape and can vary from green with yellow stripes to dark purplish brown.
These varieties often thrive in moist, organically rich soil and partial to full shade, prefer soil that is acidic to neutral. When leaves die back in the winter months, they are useful as natural mulch for the plant.
Apart from being attractive, this species benefits numerous wildlife, such as deer which browse its foliage, black bears which dig up corms for forage, and chipmunks which feed on bulbs of the lily.
2. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a highly-invasive weed widespread throughout North America, having yellow flowers that grow in pastures, fields, and prairies.
The growth of St. John’s Wort can be controlled in part through the use of various herbicides targeted at weakening the plants and preventing germination, or non-selective burning which will help kill the growing weeds.
Additionally, managed grazing may be used to prevent too many plants from blooming by only allowing certain animals to feed upon them in small doses that are not capable of killing them off completely.
Luckily for us, some bees, butterflies, and beetles do still rely on the pollen from St. John’s Wort for sustenance – preserving the delicate ecological balance in agricultural regions of North America where this destructive species is wildly rampant.
3. Yellow Marsh Marigold
Yellow Marsh Marigolds are an iconic wildflower that blooms in the springtime in Virginia. With bright yellow flowers shaped like goblets, these low-maintenance plants are a great addition to any garden or natural space.
These cheery flowers enjoy plenty of sunlight and warm, wet weather during their bloom period. They can be grown in water gardens as well as along shallow bodies of water for a colorful display.
The common dandelion is another visually appealing wildflower that grows best in Virginia’s meadows, river shores, fields, and lakes.
Their bright blooms attract bees, which helps the surrounding environment thrive with pollinated plants and woods.
Dandelions also have a fluffy puffball seed head that kids love to make wishes on when they appear in their backyard gardens or lawns.
The dandelion adds a cheerful ambiance to any field or garden setting with its unique shape and vibrant colors that make it one of a kind!
5. Thin-Leaved Coneflower
Thin-leaved Coneflower is an easy and versatile wildflower, perfect for planting in perennial borders and gardens. Its yellow-brown daisy blooms are unattractive to pests, making it a great addition to any garden.
Plus, its drought tolerance makes it well-suited for drier climates. Not only does Thin-leaved Coneflower brighten up your garden with its colorful blooms, but the wildflower attracts native bees, flies, and some species of beetles that are beneficial to your yard.
6. Yellow Lady’s Slipper
Yellow Lady’s Slipper is a beautiful wildflower that can be found throughout Virginia. It stands out for its bright yellow pouch and its purple-striped petals and sepals, giving it its distinctive moccasin-like appearance.
This flower attracts a wide variety of insect pollinators, including bees. In the wild, you can find this flower growing naturally in forested areas, along riverbanks and lake shores, amongst shrublands, and in thickets.
This beautiful wildflower may be difficult to spot in the wild due to its subtle coloring, which blends well with the surrounding foliage.
7. Wild Parsnip
Wild Parsnips are generally easy to identify with their yellow flowers arranged in flat-topped clusters and grooved stems.
They smell like cultivated parsnips, but the leaves contain chemicals that cause serious burns and blisters if touched. These burns can be more severe than those caused by other dangerous plants like Poison Ivy or Poison Oak.
8. Hoary Puccoon
Hoary Puccoon is a wildflower found in most parts of North America. It blooms from around spring to late summer and has these stunning clumps of orange-yellow flowers, easily spotted from quite a distance due to their vibrant petal color.
Hoary Puccoon grows best in well-drained soil and full sunlight. The flowers are hermaphroditic so they have both male and female reproductive organs, making them capable of self-pollination as well as bee pollination.
Not only are the blooms beautiful to look at, but they are also edible with a sweet taste similar to winter squash!
Wintercress is yet another wildflower that graces fields with its blooms in early spring.
Also known as Yellow Rocket or Herb Barbara in some locations, this flower needs plenty of sun and water to develop strong enough stems to be cut and used for floral arrangements or bouquets.
Despite being a long-lasting bloomer if treated right, Wintercress can sometimes cause skin irritation, so people should take care when handling it without gloves.
Wintercress can be found throughout Virginia throughout most of the year, despite being considered an invasive weed by many.
10. Woodland Sunflower
The Woodland Sunflower is a beautiful wildflower commonly found in the United States. Its wide-petal, bright yellow flowers bloom during the summer, bringing cheer and life to limestone glades, roadsides, hill prairies, rocky woodlands, and sand prairies.
These bright blooms are great sources of pollen for bees and butterflies, which come in droves during warm weather.
It is also an important food source for other species such as doves, who feast on their nutritious seeds.
The Goldenrod is a beautiful flower with its unique and vibrant color during the late summer and early fall.
In gardens, it is important to contain the plants’ growth due to how aggressively they spread. Planting the goldenrod in large pots and regular pruning works well in this effort.
12. Common Sunflower
Common Sunflower is a vibrant yellow wildflower that can often be found in gardens and meadows.
Growing to a height of three to five feet with large blooms that range from four to twelve inches in diameter, the Common Sunflower is easily distinguished by its bright, luminous petals.
Its bud is often coppery or straw-colored, depending on the variety, and its center may contain or even exceed two hundred seeds surrounded by up to one hundred wide petals.
It blossoms between July and October, boasting many different types of wildlife as a result of its dense pollen production and large seeds which provide nourishment for birds and small animals.
13. Common Goldstar
Common Goldstar is a versatile plant that produces yellow star-shaped flowers in the spring. This native wildflower has many benefits, such as providing nourishment and habitat to butterflies and bees.
Common Goldstar thrives in rock gardens, open woodland settings, and woods. It can also spread in most lawns with delayed mowing.
The Common Goldstar is a beautiful ornamental plant that will bring a little bit of nature to any outdoor space. With its attractive star-shaped yellow flowers, it’s the perfect choice for rock gardens and woodland settings.
In Virginia, this wildflower grows naturally, providing vital fuel for bees and butterflies who rely on its nectar to survive.
Buttercups are cheery yellow wildflowers, they are a common sight in Virginia during the spring and summer months. These small blooms will bring a bit of sunshine to any landscape, whether it’s in the form of a single stem or large clusters of these vibrant flowers.
Many cultivate these colorful blooms to use for decorations and arrangements or add life to outdoor landscapes by inviting pollinators into the garden.
15. Birds-Foot Trefoil
The Birds-foot Trefoil is a wildflower native to Virginia and other parts of the US. This yellow plant is characterized by its striking, orange-streaked flowers atop long stalks.
While beautiful, this aggressive species can overwhelm other plants in sandy soils, making it potentially invasive in fields, parks, roadsides, and gardens.
To help maintain the local ecosystem, gardeners may need to contain the growth of this plant or ensure that it doesn’t spread out into adjacent areas.
However, its flowers are an important source of food for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which should be taken into account when gardening with birds-foot trefoil.
These are some of the best yellow wildflowers in Virginia. They can add beauty and color to any outdoor space as well as provide vital sources of nourishment, habitat, and flight navigation for bees and butterflies.
From the Common Sunflower to Birds-foot Trefoil, these wildflowers will enhance any landscape and bring life to Virginia’s diverse ecosystem.