40 North Carolina Native Flowers and Wildflowers to Admire

North Carolina, also known as the Tarheel State, is home to some of America’s most beautiful native flowers. North Carolina provides habitats ranging from coastal plants and wetlands to mountain forests. In this article, I’ll share 40 stunning types of North Carolina native flowers and wildflowers.

North Carolina Native Flowers & Wildflowers

North Carolina Native Range & Growing Zones

North Carolina is situated on the East Coast of the Southern United States. The climate here corresponds to USDA Zones 5b to 8b. The Atlantic coastal plain covers North Carolina’s eastern portion, while its western region is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. North Carolina’s central region is part of the Piedmont plateau of the eastern United States.

How are North Carolina’s Native Flowers Defined?

North Carolina’s native flowers are defined as species that grew in the region before European settlers arrived in the 16th Century. When the Europeans began colonizing North Carolina, they introduced non-native species that have since become naturalized.

40 Types of Native North Carolina Flowers

1) Bee Balm

Bee Balm flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Also known as wild bergamot, bee balm is a herbaceous perennial from the mint family (Lamiaceae). Bee balm thrives in open woodlands and prairies across North Carolina’s Piedmont region and the western mountains.

These plants have grayish-green lance-shaped leaves with toothed edges. Bee balm produces pink or purple tubular flower clusters with pink bracts underneath.

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

2) Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Few wildflowers are as well-known as black-eyed Susan, which belongs to the aster or daisy family (Asteraceae). Black-eyed Susan grows throughout North Carolina as a biennial. It thrives in open woodlands, roadsides, and prairies.

These North Carolina native flowers have large, single flowers with dark brown central cones surrounded by up to 20 bright yellow ray petals. Black-eyed Susan flowers for months, from early summer until fall.

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) Blue Flag Iris

Blue Flag Iris flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Blue flag iris is a beautiful member of the iris family (Iridaceae) native to eastern North America. This herbaceous perennial thrives in wetland habitats such as marshes and sedge meadows.

Blue flag iris produces clumps of upright, lance-shaped leaves. During the blooming season, blue flag iris has vivid blue to purple flowers with white veins and yellow markings.

Scientific Name:Iris versicolor
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 3 ft

4) Blue-eyed Grass

Blue-eyed Grass flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Known as the narrow-leaf blue-eyed grass, this herbaceous perennial comes from the iris family. It’s the most common species of blue-eyed grass in the eastern United States. It thrives in open woodlands and wildflower meadows with moist soils.

These North Carolina native flowers have slender, grass-like leaves and branching stems. The flowers have six blue to violet tepals that surround bright yellow centers.

Scientific Name:Sisyrinchium angustifolium
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1.5 to 2 ft

5) Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Butterfly weed is a herbaceous perennial milkweed belonging to the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). During the summer, butterfly weed produces clusters of tiny orange or yellow flowers with five petals and five sepals.

Butterfly weed is native to dry prairies and open woodlands across eastern and southwestern regions of North America. Unlike other milkweed species, butterfly weed doesn’t produce a milky sap when the stems are cut.

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

6) Cardinal Flower

Red Cardinal Flowers in bloom

Cardinal flowers come from the bellflower family (Campanulaceae). These herbaceous perennials are native to moist woodlands and wetland habitats across North and South America.

These North Carolina native flowers produce tall, dense racemes of rich red flowers named after the scarlet robes of Catholic cardinals. Each flower has five deep lobes. Cardinal flowers also have dark green lance-shaped leaves with toothed edges.

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

7) Carolina Lily

Carolina Lily flowers in bloom

Since 2003, the Carolina lily has been North Carolina’s official state wildflower. These perennials come from the lily family (Liliaceae) and are native to dry forests and slopes across the southeastern United States.

Carolina lilies have large flowers with recurved orange or yellow petals with red spots. Clusters of long stamens protrude from each flower. Carolina lilies also have whorls of fleshy, wavy leaves.

Scientific Name:Lilium michauxii
Growing Zones:6 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 4 ft

8) Carolina Rose

Pink Carolina Rose in bloom

Also known as pasture rose, Carolina rose is a deciduous perennial shrub from the rose family (Rosaceae). Carolina rose is native to open woodlands, prairies, and roadsides across eastern North America.

These North Carolina native flowers have woody stems, straight thorns, and smooth, dark green leaves with toothed edges. The single light pink flowers have five petals and bright yellow centers. The flowers exude a sweet rose fragrance.

Scientific Name:Rosa carolina
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:3 to 6 ft

9) Common Milkweed

Common Milkweed flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Common milkweed is a herbaceous perennial from the dogbane family. These wildflowers are native to fields and open woodlands across North America. Common milkweed produces an irritating milky sap when cut.

These North Carolina native flowers have simple, oblong leaves and produce globe-like clusters of fragrant pink, purple, or white flowers. These strongly-scented flowers attract pollinators like butterflies, who also use common milkweed as a larval food plant.

Scientific Name:Asclepias syriaca
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 4 ft

10) Cutleaf Coneflower

Yellow Cutleaf Coneflowers in bloom

Cutleaf coneflowers are tall herbaceous perennials from the daisy family. These bright wildflowers thrive in moist woodlands, plains, and riverbanks across most of North America.

From summer until fall, cutleaf coneflowers produce daisy-like flowers with up to ten drooping bright yellow ray petals. These petals surround yellowish-green central cones. Cutleaf coneflowers also have elliptical or oval-shaped leaves with toothed lobes.

Scientific Name:Rudbeckia laciniata
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:3 to 10 ft

11) Dense Blazing Star

Dense Blazing Star flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Dense blazing star is a clump-forming perennial from the blazing star genus (Liatris) within the daisy family. Dense blazing star is native to wetland meadows and prairies throughout eastern North America.

Throughout the summer, these North Carolina native flowers produce tall, feathery spikes of purple flowers. These flower spikes rise above clumps of slender dark green grass-like leaves. These low-maintenance plants attract bees and other pollinators.

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

12) Eastern Red Columbine

Eastern Red Columbine flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Eastern red columbines are herbaceous perennials belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Also known as Canadian columbines, these plants thrive in woodlands across eastern North America.

These North Carolina native flowers have red, tubular flowers that are easily recognizable thanks to the distinctive spurs behind the petals. These nodding flowers have several yellow inner petals and clusters of yellow stamens.

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

13) Eastern Redbud

Pink Eastern Redbud flowers in bloom

Eastern redbuds are deciduous shrubs or trees from the legume or pea family (Fabaceae). These trees grow in forests across eastern North America and thrive in North Carolina’s Piedmont and mountain regions.

Eastern redbuds are fairly small trees with simple, heart-shaped leaves and dark, smooth bark. Eastern redbuds produce clusters of red or pink pea-like flowers in spring before the leaves appear.

Scientific Name:Cercis canadensis
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:20 to 30 ft

14) Fire Pink

Fire Pink flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Also known as scarlet catchfly, fire pink is a short-lived herbaceous perennial from the carnation or pink family (Caryophyllaceae). Fire pink is native to central and eastern North America and thrives in open woodlands.

Fire pink has bright red flowers that have five petals with notched tips. These plants also have lance-shaped leaves and sticky stems covered in short 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

15) Flowering Dogwood

Pink Flowering Dogwood in bloom

Flowering dogwood is North Carolina’s state flower, having been designated in 1941. Flowering dogwood is a woody, deciduous shrub or small tree from the Cornaceae family. It’s native to eastern North America and thrives in deciduous forests.

These North Carolina native flowers have four white bracts surrounding central clusters of tiny green flowers. The flowers are followed by glossy red berries in the fall.

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

16) Giant Ironweed

Giant Ironweed flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Giant ironweed is a herbaceous perennial from the aster family. Giant ironweed is native to grasslands, prairies, and woodlands across central and eastern North America.

These North Carolina native flowers produce tall stems topped with large flower heads that can be up to 16 inches wide. Each flower head contains several clusters of up to 30 purple, trumpet-shaped florets with five petals.

Scientific Name:Vernonia gigantea
Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:3 to 8 ft

17) Great White Trillium

Great White Trillium flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Great white trillium is a herbaceous perennial from the bunchflower family (Melanthiaceae). These elegant plants grow best in upland forests throughout eastern North America.

Great white trillium spreads via rhizomes and has short stems that bear a single white flower. These flowers have three veined, white petals and yellow centers. The flower stems emerge from whorls of three dark green oval-shaped bracts.

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

18) Indian Pink

Red Indian Pink in bloom

Also known as woodland pinkroot, Indian pink is a herbaceous perennial from the Loganiaceae family. These unusual plants are native to moist, shady woodlands. In North Carolina, Indian pink plants are classed as Threatened and only grow in the western mountains.

These North Carolina native flowers produce red, tubular flowers open into star-shaped petals at the tip. The flowers have yellow interiors that are visible through the opened tips.

Scientific Name:Spigelia marilandica
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

19) Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants in bloom

Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a tuberous perennial from the arum family (Araceae). This unusual flower grows in shady woodlands throughout central and eastern North America.

These North Carolina native flowers resemble an orchid or a pitcher plant thanks to its green or purple hooded spathe. Within this spathe is a spadix of tiny purple flowers pollinated by flies. Jack-in-the-pulpit also has one or two large leaves split into three leaflets.

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

20) Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye Weed flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Joe-Pye weed is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial from the aster family. It’s native to prairies, roadsides, and woodland edges across central and eastern North America and prefers moist conditions.

These North Carolina native flowers produce green lance-shaped leaves, and upright stems with dense clusters of tubular pink or purple flowers. These flowers emit a vanilla fragrance that attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

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

21) Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Bright yellow Lanceleaf Coreopsis flowers in bloom

Also known as golden tickseed, lanceleaf coreopsis is a herbaceous perennial from the daisy family. These wildflowers produce golden yellow flowers with approximately eight ray petals. There may be dark spots around the yellow central disc florets.

Lanceleaf coreopsis is native to the central and eastern United States and thrives in open woodlands, prairies, and roadsides. These wildflowers self-seed aggressively.

Scientific Name:Coreopsis lanceolata
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

22) Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Mountain laurel is an evergreen shrub from the heather family (Ericaceae). It’s native to the eastern United States and grows in mountain forests and rocky slopes.

These North Carolina native flowering plants produce clusters of hexagonal pink or white flowers with red rings in the center. Mountain laurel also has glossy, leathery evergreen leaves. Mountain laurels thrive in acidic soils and various light levels.

Scientific Name:Kalmia latifolia
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:6 to 10 ft

23) New England Aster

Purple New England Aster flowers in bloom

New England asters are iconic, colorful wildflowers from the daisy family (Asteraceae). These asters are native to central and eastern North America and inhabit prairies, meadows, and marshlands.

These North Carolina native flowers have green, lance-shaped leaves with a rough, hairy texture. The stems are also fuzzy. New England asters produce small, daisy-like flowers with purple ray petals and yellow central florets.

Scientific Name:Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 6 ft

24) Obedient Plant

Purple Obedient Plants flowering during the growing season

Obedient plants are herbaceous perennials from the mint or sage family (Lamiaceae). These attractive, easy-to-grow plants have stiff, upright stems bearing spikes of tubular pink or purple flowers similar to snapdragons.

Obedient plants are native to eastern North America and thrive in meadows, prairies, and woodlands. The flowers remain in position whenever they’re moved, hence the common name of the obedient plant.

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

25) Ohio Spiderwort

Purple Ohio Spiderwort in bloom

Ohio spiderwort is a herbaceous perennial from the dayflower or spiderwort family (Commelinaceae). Ohio spiderwort is native to central and eastern North America (including Ohio, as you might imagine) and grows best in meadows and woodland edges.

These North Carolina native flowers produce vivid blue flowers with three petals and yellow stamens. Each flower only lasts for one day. These perennials also have bluish-green stems and arching, grass-like leaves.

Scientific Name:Tradescantia ohiensis
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 3 ft

26) Passionflower

Purple Passionflowers in bloom

Passionflowers are beautiful, colorful perennial vines from the passionflower family (Passifloraceae). These fast-growing vines are native to the southeastern United States and thrive in disturbed areas or thickets along riverbanks.

These North Carolina native flowers have a base of ten white petals topped with purple and white filaments. The stamens sit above these filaments. Passionflowers also produce yellowish-green egg-shaped fruits during the summer.

Scientific Name:Passiflora incarnata
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:6 to 8 ft

27) Pink Lady’s Slipper

Pink Lady's Slipper flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Pink lady’s slipper is a beautiful perennial from the orchid family (Orchidaceae). These orchids are native to eastern North America and thrive in pine forests. In North Carolina, pink lady’s slipper orchids grow in the western mountains.

Pink lady’s slipper orchids have two basal leaves and a single flower stalk. Each pink flower is shaped like a hollow pouch and has veined markings.

Scientific Name:Cypripedium acaule
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

28) Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflowers in bloom

Purple coneflowers are one of the most popular types of coneflowers and come from the daisy family. These iconic wildflowers inhabit prairies and grasslands across the central and eastern United States.

These North Carolina native flowers produce single daisy-like flowers with purple ray petals surrounding orange-brown central cones. Purple coneflowers are easy to grow because they can tolerate full sun and nutrient-poor soils. Many Native American societies used purple coneflowers as medicinal plants.

Scientific Name:Echinacea purpurea
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 5 ft

29) Red Trillium

Red Trillium flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Red trilliums are herbaceous perennials from the bunchflower family native to shaded forests across eastern North America. In North Carolina, red trilliums can be found in the western mountains.

These North Carolina native flowers produce a whorl of three green, leafy bracts and dark red flowers with three petals. These flowers have a carrion-like scent to attract flies, the primary pollinators of red trilliums.

Scientific Name:Trillium erectum
Growing Zones:4 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

30) Rosebay Rhododendron

Pink Rosebay Rhododendron flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Also known as great rhododendrons, rosebay rhododendrons are evergreen shrubs from the heather family. Rosebay rhododendrons are native to mountainous woodlands in the Appalachian mountains in eastern North America.

These North Carolina native flowers have large, leathery, dark green leaves with hairy undersides. These rhododendrons produce umbel-like clusters of elegant white or pink flowers with five lobes. The central lobe of each flower has yellowish-green spots.

Scientific Name:Rhododendron maximum
Growing Zones:3 to 7
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to full shade
Mature Height:10 to 20 ft

31) Rough Goldenrod

Rough Goldenrod in bloom during the growing season

Rough goldenrod is a colorful, clump-forming herbaceous perennial from the aster family. Rough goldenrod thrives in moist habitats such as marshes and swamps across central and eastern North America.

Rough goldenrod produces up to 50 stems that erupt with arching spikes of tiny yellow flowers from summer to fall. These perennials also have dark green leaves with a rough, wrinkled texture.

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

32) Sundrops

Yellow Sundrops in bloom

Sundrops are bright, herbaceous perennials native to eastern North America. These wildflowers come from the evening primrose family (Onagraceae). Sundrops thrive in dry woodlands and moist grasslands.

These North Carolina native flowers have alternating lance-shaped leaves and upright, reddish-green stems. These stems produce several bright yellow cup-shaped flowers with four petals that have notched tips. The flowers also have faint red veins.

Scientific Name:Oenothera fruticosa
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 ft

33) Sweetshrub

Red Sweetshrub flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Also known as Carolina allspice, sweetshrubs are small deciduous shrubs from the sweetshrub family (Calycanthaceae). Sweetshrubs are native to deciduous woodlands in the southeastern United States.

These native North Carolina flowers have smooth stems bearing dark green ovate leaves with a leathery texture. Sweetshrubs also have solitary reddish-brown or reddish-purple flowers with several lance-shaped tepals. These flowers produce an aromatic, fruity scent, especially 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

34) Turk’s Cap Lily

Turk's Cap Lily flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Also known as American tiger lilies, Turk’s cap lilies are attractive, colorful lily family members. Turk’s cap lilies are native to swamps and wet meadows across central and eastern North America.

Turk’s cap lilies have large, showy flowers with six severely recurved orange-red tepals with purple spots. These lilies have long stamens protruding from the flower heads.

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

35) Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells in bloom

Virginia bluebells are herbaceous perennials native to moist woodlands across eastern North America. These bluebells come from the borage family (Boraginaceae). Many Native American societies used Virginia bluebells as medicinal plants.

These native North Carolina flowers have bluish-green oval-shaped leaves and smooth, fragile stems. Virginia bluebells produce clusters of nodding, trumpet-shaped flowers. Although pink when they initially open, the flowers quickly turn pale blue or violet.

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

36) Wild Geranium

Wild Geranium flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Wild geraniums are clump-forming herbaceous perennials from the Geraniaceae family. Wild geraniums are native to eastern North America and grow in open or shaded woodlands.

These North Carolina native flowers grow in large clumps of palmate leaves with three to five lobes. The lilac or pink cup-shaped flowers have faint red veins and white centers. These attractive flowers last from late spring until early summer.

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

37) Wild Ginger

Green Wild Ginger foliage growing during the season

Wild ginger is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial from the birthwort family (Aristolochiaceae). This species of ornamental ginger is native to eastern North America. It grows best in shaded deciduous woodlands.

Wild ginger spreads via rhizomes and produces clumps of velvety kidney-shaped leaves. Each leaf can grow up to 6 inches wide. Hidden among the leaves are small purple-brown bell-shaped flowers that emit a sweet fragrance.

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

38) Wild Indigo

Wild Indigo flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Wild indigo is a herbaceous perennial from the legume family (Fabaceae) native to central and eastern North America. It’s also known as blue false indigo because of its blue or purple pea-like flowers.

These North Carolina native flowers thrive in open meadows or woodland edges. The flowers only bloom for a few weeks on smooth, upright stems. Wild indigo also has medium-green trifoliate leaves.

Scientific Name:Baptisia australis
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:3 to 4 ft

39) Woodland Phlox

Blue Woodland Phlox flowers in bloom

Woodland phlox is a fragrant, herbaceous perennial from the phlox family (Polemoniaceae). It’s native to shady, deciduous woodlands across eastern North America. These clump-forming plants spread in mats across the forest floor.

Woodland phlox produces clusters of blue or lilac star-shaped flowers with five lobes that emit a pleasant fragrance. Both the stems and lance-shaped leaves of woodland phlox are hairy and sticky.

Scientific Name:Phlox divaricata
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:10 to 20 inches

40) Yellow Trillium

Yellow Trillium flowers growing natively in North Carolina

Yellow trillium is an attractive herbaceous perennial from the bunchflower family (Melanthiaceae). Yellow trillium has three green leaf-like bracts with distinctive grayish-green markings. Yellow trillium also produces upright yellow flowers with three petals. The flowers emit a pleasant lemony scent.

Yellow trillium is native to the southeastern United States and thrives in woodlands or along riverbanks. In North Carolina, yellow trillium mainly grows in the western mountains.

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

North Carolina Native Flowers FAQs

What is North Carolina’s State Flower?

North Carolina’s state flower is the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). This deciduous tree was declared the official state flower in 1941. North Carolina’s state wildflower is the Carolina lily (Lilium michauxii), which was officially recognized in 2003.

What Flowers is North Carolina Known for?

North Carolina is best known for the flowering dogwood, the official state flower. The state is also known for many common native wildflowers, including black-eyed Susan and purple coneflowers.

Can You Pick Wildflowers in North Carolina?

It’s illegal to pick wildflowers from public land in North Carolina. Restricted areas include state parks, highways, and roadsides. It’s also illegal to pick Threatened or Endangered wildflowers. You can pick wildflowers on private land with the landowner’s permission.

Where Can I Find Native Flowers in North Carolina?

North Carolina’s native flowers grow in different habitats throughout the state, usually on prairies or along roadsides. Some native wildflowers may be confined to specific habitats, such as the Atlantic coastal plain.

North Carolina Native Flowers – Wrapping Up

North Carolina boasts a wonderful array of native flowers, including flowering dogwood – the official state flower. The official state wildflower is the Carolina lily. North Carolina’s native flowers are adapted to climates and ecosystems in USDA Zones 6 to 8. 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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