Yellowstone is one of the most popular National Parks in the US and people will travel there from around the world just to check out the amazing scenery and wildlife here.
There are lots of things to check out at Yellowstone National Park including hiking, checking out the hot springs, and – wildflower spotting.
Yes, one activity that is growing in popularity is wildflower spotting. It’s kind of like animal spotting or bird watching but for the gorgeous wildflowers in an area rather than just the animals.
If you love flowers, it’s a great way to pass the time while enjoying your walks and hikes. So, just what kind of wildflowers does Yellowstone have to offer?
If you want to discover what wildflowers are waiting for you in Yellowstone then just check out the list below. There are lots of options, write them down, and see just how many you can spot during your Yellowstone visit!
A lot of people love to compare yarrow wildflowers to clouds because their heads are clustered and grow in similar shapes.
However, they are pretty short and can cover the earth with pillows of pure white flowers – so it feels like you are literally walking among clouds!
Yarrow is a parkwide wildflower that is very common so you are bound to spot it during your visit. However, it blooms during the summer so if you are not visiting in the period between June and September, then you are out of luck!
Another parkwide wildflower to try and spot during your Yellowstone visit is pussytoes.
Pussytoes are low-growing wooly wildflowers that have very fluffy heads. While they may be small, they leave their mark on Yellowstone as they are slightly unusual especially when the white petals fall off after the blooming season.
Many people think that the buds left behind resemble the toes of a cat – hence the name!
However, pussytoes only bloom between June and July in Yellowstone so you need to plan your trip accordingly if you want to see these flowers in bloom!
3. Cow Parsnip
Cow parsnip shares a lot of similarities with yarrow but grows much taller, reaching heights as tall as 10 feet!
This makes them a wildflower you will probably need to look up to spot – but they also share similar white clustered flower heads with the same cloud-resembling appearance as yarrow.
Like yarrow, cow parsnip can be found all around Yellowstone National Park but grows particularly well in wetland areas. It also blooms during the summer between July and August.
Hoping to catch some colorful wildflowers in the Yellowstone area? Then keep an eye out for some phlox!
Phlox is a parkwide wildflower that blooms between May and July, meaning that it is at its best when the park is busiest!
They can grow as upright plants or as carpets creeping across rocks and earth, hugging the ground.
This means that in some areas of Yellowstone, Phlox will completely transform the area by covering it with purple, pink, and white dainty flowers! This makes them very difficult to miss!
This vibrant wildflower can be found in the forest floors of Yellowstone, making it an easy parkwide flower for you to spot.
You can’t miss it – coralroot is large, growing up to two feet in height, has a starling red stem, and is covered with small but vibrant purple and white flowers.
When hiking through the forests of Yellowstone, you will likely come across plenty of coralroot as it shoots up from the forest floors!
Lupine is one of the most common wildflowers found across North America, so it’s no surprise that it also grows in abundance in Yellowstone National Park.
It can be found all across the park in shapes of blue and purple, growing tall and bringing a ton of color to the gorgeous scenery.
Lupines are enormous so they are hard to miss but they only bloom between June and August.
This means that if you want to visit Yellowstone when it’s at its most colorful, it’s best to visit between these months so you can gaze in awe at all the beautiful lupines around the park.
7. Wild Iris
Iris is a popular flower grown in gardens and backyards – but it also grows in the wild in places like Yellowstone. While they are small and dainty, their vibrant purple and yellow petals are impossible to miss.
Wild iris grows in the northern range of Yellowstone and only blooms in the month of June.
This means that you only have a short window to see this flower in action and you need to travel to a specific part of the park to see it – so spotting one will feel like a huge victory!
8. Wild Rose
Iris is not the only classic garden flower that grows wild in Yellowstone. You can also find plenty of wild roses in the park too!
Despite the name, wild roses look very different from their domesticated counterparts. It looks much more like a traditional flower with five large petals and a protruding stigma.
This makes them easier to miss or mistake for other flowers so spotting one will feel amazing!
In Yellowstone, you can find wild roses on the northern range blooming between June and July.
One of the most iconic flowers in the world is the tiny forget-me-not. These flowers are bright and vivid in color, making them stand out against the rest of Yellowstone’s foliage!
They bloom with small but brilliant blue and lilac flowers all dotted with a bright yellow center.
Thanks to their adorable appearance and romantic name, forget-me-nots are very popular and a flower you will be eager to spot on your Yellowstone visit!
You can find them on the northern range of the park blooming during June and July.
Bluebells are a classic meadow flower most people are able to identify on sight.
This is thanks to the flower’s bell-shaped flowers, their bright blue and violet colors, and the way they nod or droop over on one side of the stem. So, when you see one, you know that it’s a bluebell.
You can find plenty of beautiful bluebells growing in the meadows of Yellowstone.
They pop up around streams and bloom during May and July so you have plenty of time to wander around the park and find lots of them during the green meadows blue!
This parkwide wildflower may only be in bloom during the late summer (July and August) but it’s still one of the most widespread, easily recognizable wildflowers in Yellowstone.
Fireweed is a tall wildflower capable of reaching nine feet in height. Its steam and long narrow leaves are all bright purple in color, matching the small flowers that bloom up in a cone shape.
Its name doesn’t actually come from this plant’s purple color but the fact that fireweed is usually one of the first plants to reappear after either a forest or brush fire.
It can recover from such damage rapidly and be the first sign of life after such a disaster!
12. Shooting Star
The shooting star is an unusual meadow flower that grows throughout Yellowstone National Park.
Its strange-shaped petals grow back from the protruding corolla, making the flower very pointed and giving it an inverted appearance. It’s also very vibrantly colored with purple or magenta petals and a bright yellow center.
Because of this, it’s easy to recognize a shooting star flower with just a single glance!
13. White Geranium
These flowers are often found in pots in your backyard or around your home – but they can also be found growing wild in Yellowstone National Park.
These white, beautiful flowers prefer moist areas but can grow parkwide. To see them in bloom, swing by the park between July and August.
Another meadow flower for you to try and spot in Yellowstone is bistort.
This wildflower blooms in Yellowstone’s meadows between June and August, but also grows parkwide and high up in the Beartooth mountains.
It’s noticeable for its deep magenta color although some versions of bistort can bloom with white flowers. This makes spotting bistort a little more challenging although it can be found all over Yellowstone.
These gorgeous orange and yellow buds can be found in the wet areas of Yellowstone and high up Beartooth mountains.
This makes it a great wildflower for hikers to try and spot during their time exploring the park. Plus, it’s easily noticeable due to the flowers’ vibrant color and almost rose-like buds!
These are just a few of the wide range of wildflowers you can find while exploring Yellowstone National Park.
We have included some of the best and most common wildflowers for you to spot, ranging from the unusual to the gorgeous classics, but there are still tons more to discover!
So, start out with the wildflowers mentioned above but don’t forget to research more so you can be a pro at wildflower spotting in Yellowstone!