30 Native Virginia Flowers, Plants, and Wildflowers

Situated on the East Coast, Virginia is home to many beautiful native flowers and plants. Virginia provides a range of plant habitats, including woodlands, open plains, and mountainous areas. In this article, I’ll explore 30 of Virginia’s native flowers, plants, and wildflowers.

Native Virginia Flowers, Plants, and Wildflowers

Virginia Native Range & Growing Zones

Virginia has a humid climate that corresponds to USDA Growing Zones 5a to 8a. Most of the state experiences Zones 6a to 7b. A small area in the Blue Ridge Mountains encounters Zone 5, while the eastern coastal tip of Virginia experiences Zone 8a.

Central Virginia is a heavily wooded region that forms part of the Piedmont plateau. Eastern Virginia primarily provides wetland habitats like marshes and swamps as part of the Atlantic coastal plain.

How are Virginia’s Native Flowers Defined?

Virginia’s native plants are defined as plants that were growing in the state before European settlers arrived. Once the Europeans began to settle in the early 17th Century, they introduced non-native plants that have since become naturalized.

30 Types of Native Virginia Flowers and Plants


1) American Dogwood

American Dogwood are beautiful types of native Virginia flowers

Also known as flowering dogwoods, American dogwoods are small deciduous trees from the Cornaceae family. American dogwoods are native throughout the Eastern United States. The American dogwood has also been Virginia’s official state flower since 1918.

These native Virginia plants bloom in the spring and produce clusters of tiny green flowers surrounded by four white bracts. In the fall, American dogwoods have glossy red berries.

Scientific Name:Cornus florida
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:15 to 25 ft

2) Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan are beautiful types of native Virginia wildflowers

Black-eyed Susan is an attractive native wildflower from the aster or daisy family (Asteraceae). From summer until fall, Black-eyed Susan produces large flowers with bright yellow ray petals surrounding dark brown central cones.

Black-eyed Susan is native to central and eastern North America and thrives in Zones 3 to 9. This iconic wildflower grows best on prairies and open grasslands.

Scientific Name:Rudbeckia hirta
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:1 to 3 ft

3) Blazing Star

Blazing Star flowers

Also known as prairie feather, blazing star is native to prairies and wildflower meadows across eastern North America. These herbaceous perennials come from the daisy family.

Blazing star grows in clumps of narrow grass-like leaves and upright stems. During the summer, the stems are topped with feathery plumes of purple flowers. These gorgeous flower spikes bloom from the top down to the bottom.

Scientific Name:Liatris spicata
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 6 ft

4) Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed in bloom

Butterfly weed is a herbaceous perennial from the milkweed genus of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). These nectar-rich wildflowers are native to prairies and open woodlands throughout most of North America.

These native Virginia flowers have upright stems that emerge from clumps of lance-shaped leaves. During the summer, butterfly weed is laden with tiny orange, red, or yellow flower clusters. It’s popular with butterflies and bees.

Scientific Name:Asclepias tuberosa
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

5) Cardinal Flower

Red Cardinal Flowers in bloom

Cardinal flowers are herbaceous perennials from the bellflower family (Campanulaceae). These flowers are native to wetland habitats throughout North and Central America.

Cardinal flowers have deep red flowers with five deep lobes. The color is similar to the scarlet robes of Catholic cardinals, hence its common name. Cardinal flowers also have lance-shaped dark green leaves with toothed margins.

Scientific Name:Lobelia cardinalis
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:4 to 5 ft

6) Christmas Fern

Christmas Ferns growing low to the ground in wooded area of Virginia

Christmas ferns are evergreen perennial ferns from the wood fern family (Dryopteridaceae). These lush ferns are native to eastern regions of North America.

Christmas ferns grow in clumps of leathery dark green fronds. Each frond consists of up to 35 pairs of small leaves called pinnae. Black or dark brown scaled stems support the fronds.

Scientific Name:Polystichum acrostichoides
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to winter
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

7) Eastern Red Columbine

Eastern Red Columbine flowers

Also known as wild columbines, eastern red columbines are herbaceous perennials from the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). These columbines are native to eastern North America and grow in shady woodlands.

These native Virginia wildflowers have fern-like leaves and red tubular nodding flowers. These flowers have yellow inner petals and distinctive spurs at the back of each flower head.

Scientific Name:Aquilegia canadensis
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 3 ft

8) Fire Pink

Fire Pink in bloom

Fire pinks are short-lived herbaceous perennials native to central and eastern North America. These gorgeous flowers come from the carnation or pink family (Caryophyllaceae).

Fire pinks have lance-shaped leaves and bright red flowers with five notched petals. These flowers are also known as scarlet catchfly because their upright stems are covered in short, sticky hairs.

Scientific Name:Silene virginica
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 3 ft

9) Foam Flower

Foam Flowers

Foam flowers are herbaceous perennials from the Saxifragaceae family. These attractive plants are native to eastern North America and may be evergreen in mild climates.

These native Virginia plants form clumps of glossy heart-shaped leaves. These leaves may turn a reddish-brown color in the fall. During spring and summer, spikes of small pink flowers emerge above the leaves.

Scientific Name:Tiarella cordifolia
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:Up to 1 ft

10) Green and Gold

Green and Gold flowers

Also known as golden knee or gold star, green and gold is a herbaceous perennial from the daisy family. These colorful plants are native to shady woodlands across the eastern United States.

Green and gold is a low-growing plant with triangular dark green leaves that have toothed margins. In late spring, singular bright yellow star-shaped flowers appear on slender stalks.

Scientific Name:Chrysogonum virginianum
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:Up to 1 ft

11) Jack-in-the-pulpit

Jack-in-the-pulpit flowers

Jack-in-the-pulpit is a tuberous perennial with unusual orchid-like flowers. Jack-in-the-pulpit plants have hooded green spathes with purple stripes that contain a spadix of tiny purple or green flowers. These plants also have two glossy leaves that are split into three leaflets.

These native Virginia perennials come from the arum family (Araceae). Jack-in-the-pulpit is native to central and eastern North America and thrives in shady woodland habitats.

Scientific Name:Arisaema triphyllum
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

12) Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye Weed in bloom in a field

Joe-Pye weed is a member of the aster family native to central and eastern North America. Joe-Pye weed thrives in moist woodlands and prairies in Zones 4 to 9.

These herbaceous perennials have upright stems topped with large, rounded clusters of tubular pink or purple flowers. The flowers produce a vanilla-like fragrance and bloom above clumps of lance-shaped leaves with serrated margins.

Scientific Name:Eutrochium purpureum
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:5 to 8 ft

13) Mayapple

Mayapple are beautiful types of native Virginia flowers

Also known as American mandrakes, mayapples are herbaceous perennials from the barberry family (Berberidaceae). Mayapples grow in shaded woodlands across eastern North America.

These rhizomatous plants produce slender stems bearing one or two large, palmate umbrella-like leaves. Flowering stems will produce two leaves and several white cup-shaped flowers with yellow stamens. Mayapples that only have one leaf won’t produce flowers.

Scientific Name:Podophyllum peltatum
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

14) New York Ironweed

New York Ironweed showcasing striking purple foliage

New York ironweed is a herbaceous perennial with tall, upright, greenish-purple stems. The stems bear alternate lance-shaped leaves. From summer until fall, the stems are topped with clusters of up to 50 fluffy purple flowers.

These Virginia perennials come from the aster or daisy family and are also native to other eastern regions of North America. New York ironweed thrives in moist open habitats.

Scientific Name:Vernonia noveboracensis
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:4 to 6 ft

15) Partridge Berry

Partridge Berry in bloom with vibrant green foliage and ripe red berries

Partridge berries are herbaceous evergreen shrubs from the coffee family (Rubiaceae). These low-growing plants are native to central and eastern North America.

Partridge berry shrubs have a creeping habit and rarely exceed 3 inches in height. These shrubs have shiny dark green oval-shaped leaves with yellow midribs. Partridge berries produce pairs of pink or white flowers with four petals.

Scientific Name:Mitchella repens
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 3 inches

16) Shooting Star

Shooting Star are beautiful types of native Virginia flowers

Shooting stars are herbaceous perennials from the primrose family (Primulaceae) named after their flowers. Shooting stars produce pink or white flowers with five petals swept back like falling stars. The flowers only last for about a month.

These native Virigina flowers also have rosettes of lance-shaped basal leaves. Shooting stars are native to eastern North America and thrive in woodland habitats.

Scientific Name:Dodecatheon meadia
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

17) Solomon’s Seal

Solomon's Seal are stunning types of native Virginia flowers

Solomon’s seal is a woodland plant native to central and eastern North America. These herbaceous perennials belong to the asparagus family (Asparagaceae). The rhizomes apparently have scars resembling the seal of the Hebrew King Solomon.

These perennial wildflowers have arching stalks covered with alternate oblong leaves. In late spring, the stems produce clusters of tubular, nodding greenish-white flowers. These are followed by small bluish-purple fruits.

Scientific Name:Polygonatum biflorum
Growing Zones:3 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:4 to 5 ft

18) Springbeauty

Springbeauty flowers

Also known as Virginia springbeauty, these herbaceous perennials come from the Montiaceae family. Springbeauty is native to deciduous woodlands throughout central and eastern North America.

Springbeauty is a trailing plant with narrow, grass-like lanceolate leaves. During the spring, these low-growing plants produce clusters of small pink or white star-shaped flowers with pink veins. Springbeauty makes an excellent ground-cover plant in Zones 4 to 9.

Scientific Name:Claytonia virginica
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:6 to 10 inches

19) Sweetshrub

Sweetshrub flower in bloom showcasing rich purple and red petals

Also known as spicebush, sweetshrubs are deciduous shrubs from the Calycanthaceae family. These small shrubs have smooth stems and leathery dark green oval-shaped leaves. During the spring, sweetshrubs produce solitary reddish-brown or reddish-purple flowers.

Sweetshrubs are native to deciduous woodland habitats throughout the southeastern United States. When in flower, sweetshrubs emit a strong, fruity fragrance that’s more prevalent in hot weather.

Scientific Name:Calycanthus floridus
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to full shade
Mature Height:6 to 12 ft

20) Trout Lily

Trout Lily flowers

Also known as yellow trout lilies or yellow dogtooth violets, trout lilies are native to central and eastern North America. These flowers belong to the lily family (Liliaceae) and thrive in moist woodlands and wetland habitats.

These native Virginia flowers have basal rosettes of elliptical leaves with bronze markings. During the spring, each leafless stem bears a single large yellow flower. Each flower has swept-back petals with faint purple speckles.

Scientific Name:Erythronium americanum
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:4 to 6 inches

21) Turk’s Cap Lily

Turk's Cap Lily flowers

Commonly known as American tiger lilies, these lilies come from the lily family. Turk’s cap lilies produce large orange-red flowers with six recurved petals decorated with purple spots. Turk’s cap lilies also have whorls of lance-shaped leaves.

Turk’s cap lilies are native to wetland habitats throughout central and eastern parts of North America. These beautiful lilies thrive in Zones 5 to 8.

Scientific Name:Lilium superbum
Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:4 to 8 ft

22) Virginia Bluebell

Virginia Bluebell flowers

Virginia bluebells are herbaceous perennials from the borage family (Boraginaceae). These gorgeous woodland flowers are native to eastern North America and thrive in moist habitats.

Virginia bluebells grow in clumps of grayish-green oval-shaped leaves. During the spring, these wildflowers produce nodding, trumpet-shaped pink flowers that quickly turn pale blue or violet. The flowers are borne on smooth, leafless stems.

Scientific Name:Mertensia virginica
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

23) Virginia Rose

Virginia Rose flowers

Virginia roses are the most widespread wild roses in eastern North America. These deciduous shrubs come from the rose family and thrive in various habitats. Virginia roses can also be cultivated in Zones 3 to 8.

These elegant native Virginia roses have dark green leaves and hairy stems peppered with curved thorns. During the summer, Virginia roses produce open pink flowers with yellow stamens.

Scientific Name:Rosa virginiana
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:4 to 6 ft

24) Virginia Spiderwort

Virginia Spiderwort flowers in bloom

Virginia spiderworts are herbaceous perennials from the spiderwort family (Commelinaceae). These spiderworts are native to wooded slopes across the eastern United States.

Virginia spiderworts grow in clumps of arching lance-shaped leaves. In late spring, Virginia spiderworts produce clusters of blue flowers with three petals. Each flower only lasts one day but is replaced by successive blooms.

Scientific Name:Tradescantia virginiana
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 3 ft

25) Virginia Waterleaf

Virginia Waterleaf flowers

Virginia waterleaf is a herbaceous perennial from the borage family. These plants are native to wooded areas across eastern North America.

These native Virginia wildflowers produce clumps of palmate leaves divided into five to seven leaflets. Young leaves have faint white spots that resemble water droplets, hence the common name. Virginia waterleaf also has rounded clusters of tiny pale purple or white bell-shaped flowers.

Scientific Name:Hydrophyllum virginianum
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

26) Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot flowers with bright pink and spiky blooms

Also known as bee balm, wild bergamot is a herbaceous perennial from the mint family. It’s native to North America and thrives in Zones 3 to 9.

Wild bergamot grows in large clumps of grayish-green lance-shaped leaves that have toothed margins. From summer to fall, wild bergamot is covered in clusters of up to 50 tubular pink or purple flowers.

Scientific Name:Monarda fistulosa
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 4 ft

27) Wild Bleeding Heart

Wild Bleeding Heart flowers

Wild bleeding heart is a woodland wildflower from the poppy family (Papaveraceae). These herbaceous perennials are native to the Appalachian Mountains, including the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.

Wild bleeding heart has grayish-green fern-like leaves and nodding heart-shaped pink or reddish-purple flowers. Each flower has protruding inner petals that resemble drops of blood.

Scientific Name:Dicentra eximia
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 1.5 ft

28) Wild Geranium

Wild Geranium flowers in a field in Virginia

Also known as spotted cranesbill, wild geraniums are herbaceous perennials from the Geraniaceae family. These woodland wildflowers are native throughout eastern North America.

Wild geraniums have cup-shaped lilac or pink flowers with faint red veins on the petals. The flowers emerge from large clumps of palmate leaves that have three to five lobes.

Scientific Name:Geranium maculatum
Growing Zones:3 to 11
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

29) Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger plants

Wild ginger is native to deciduous woodlands across eastern North America. These herbaceous perennials belong to the birthwort family (Aristolochiaceae).

These native Virginia plants have clumps of velvety kidney-shaped leaves and spreads via rhizomes. Each leaf can be up to six inches wide. Small purplish-brown flowers bloom between the leaves, emitting a sweet fragrance during the spring.

Scientific Name:Asarum canadense
Growing Zones:4 to 6
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:6 to 12 inches

30) Yellow Trillium

Yellow Trillium in bloom in Virginia

Also known as wood lilies, yellow trilliums are herbaceous perennials from the bunchflower family (Melanthiaceae). Yellow trilliums grow in woodland habitats throughout the southeastern United States.

During the spring, yellow trilliums produce bright yellow flowers with three petals. The flowers produce a lemony scent and are accompanied by three leaf-like bracts decorated with grayish-green mottled markings.

Scientific Name:Trillium luteum
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:12 to 16 inches

Virginia Native Flowers FAQs

What is Virginia’s State Flower?

Virginia’s state flower is the American dogwood (Cornus florida). This deciduous flowering tree was officially recognized as the state flower in 1918.

What Flowers is Virginia Known for?

Virginia is known for several of its beautiful native flowers, including the American dogwood. Other famous native Virginia flowers include Virginia bluebells and Virginia roses.

Can You Pick Wildflowers in Virginia?

If you’re on public land, picking wildflowers in Virginia is illegal. This applies to areas like state parks and roadsides. You can only pick wildflowers on private land if you have the landowner’s permission.

Where Can I Find Native Flowers in Virginia?

Virginia’s native flowers can be found in various habitats throughout the state. Prairies, woodlands, and roadsides are good places to see Virginia’s wildflowers.

Wrapping Up

As we can see, Virginia is home to some fantastic native flowers, plants, and wildflowers. Most of Virginia’s native plants thrive in grassland and woodland habitats in Zones 5a to 8a. Remember that it’s illegal to pick native flowers unless you’re on private land and have the landowner’s permission.

Contributing Editor | edd@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

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