10 Stunning Perennial Wildflowers To Admire

Perennial wildflowers can produce colorful garden displays for several years. Although they take longer to establish than annual wildflowers, perennials are still worth the wait. In this article, we’ll discuss ten popular types of perennial wildflowers.

Beautiful types of perennial wildflowers

About Perennial Wildflowers

Perennial wildflowers are one of the three main types of flowers, along with annuals and biennials. Perennials live for at least three years and as long as ten years. However, perennials develop slower than annuals and may require a bit more maintenance.

Perennial wildflowers don’t bloom during their first year. Instead, they focus on producing foliage and developing strong root systems. Perennials will die back to their roots each winter to conserve energy.

Perennial wildflowers begin to bloom in their second year but have shorter flowering periods than annuals or biennials.


1) Black-Eyed Susan

Yellow Black-Eyed Susan flowers in bloom

Black-eyed Susan is a striking type of perennial wildflower from the aster family (Asteraceae). These flowers are native to the central and eastern parts of North America. Black-eyed Susan is also the state flower of Maryland.

Black-eyed Susan produces cheery yellow flowers with black central disc florets. These perennials also have hairy green leaves. Black-eyed Susan does best in USDA Zones 3 to 9.

These attractive perennials are pretty easy to grow as long as they get full sun and moist, well-draining soils.

Scientific Name:Rudbeckia hirta
Height:Up to 3 feet
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Preferences:Moist, well-draining soils

2) Blanket Flowers

Orange and red Blanket Flowers

Blanket flowers are colorful, attractive perennial wildflowers native to the Americas. They were named after the vibrant blankets used by many Native American societies. Blanket flowers come from the Gaillardia genus in the aster family.

Blanket flowers have large, open flowers with frilled edges and brown central florets. Common colors include red, orange, and yellow. Many cultivars have bi-colored flowers.

Blanket flowers thrive in Zones 3 to 10. These perennials need full sun and nutrient-poor, well-draining soils.

Scientific Name:Gaillardia spp.
Height:Up to 2.5 feet
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Preferences:Nutrient-poor, well-draining soils

3) Columbines

Columbine flowers growing natively displaying cup-shaped flowers with five spurs protruding from the back.

Columbines are pretty types of perennial wildflowers from the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). These gorgeous flowers are native to wildflower meadows and woodlands across the Northern Hemisphere.

Columbines have small cup-shaped flowers with five spurs protruding from the back. The nickname “granny’s bonnet” comes from these unusual flowers. Columbine flowers are popular with butterflies and hummingbirds.

Columbines prefer cooler temperatures in Zones 3 to 8. Columbines need full sun or partial shade and moist, well-draining soils.

Scientific Name:Aquilegia spp.
Height:1 to 3 feet
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun or partial shade
Soil Preferences:Moist, well-draining soils

4) Coneflowers

Purple perennial coneflowers in bloom

Coneflowers are attractive types of perennial wildflowers from the Echinacea genus in the aster family. Coneflowers are native to central and eastern regions of North America and thrive in open prairies.

Coneflowers have gorgeous purple, pink, or yellow flowers with prominent orange-brown central cones. Coneflowers also have a long blooming season running from mid-July until October.

Coneflowers require full sun and loose, gritty soils that drain well. These brilliant perennial wildflowers grow best in Zones 3 to 9.

Scientific Name:Echinacea spp.
Height:2 to 5 feet
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Preferences:Loose, well-draining soils

5) Delphiniums

Blue perennial Delphiniums in bloom

Also known as larkspur, Delphiniums add tall spikes of color to any wildflower garden. These stunning perennials belong to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Delphiniums are native to the Northern Hemisphere.

Delphiniums produce masses of flowers on vertical spires. Colors include blue, pink, purple, red, yellow, and white. Delphiniums are prized as ornamental flowers and are rich in meaning and symbolism.

Delphiniums grow well in Zones 2 to 11 and can be annuals or perennials. They need full sun and moist, well-draining soils.

Scientific Name:Delphinium spp.
Height:2 to 6 feet
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Preferences:Moist, well-draining soils

6) Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Bright yellow Lanceleaf Coreopsis wildflowers in bloom

Also known as lanceleaf tickseed, lanceleaf coreopsis is one of the most popular types of perennial varieties of coreopsis. These cheery flowers belong to the aster family and are native to North America.

Lanceleaf coreopsis produces bright yellow flowers with eight lobed petals. These stunning flowers can be up to 3 inches wide. Lanceleaf coreopsis thrives in Zones 4 to 9.

Lanceleaf coreopsis prefers sandy, well-draining soils and full sun. These perennials are extremely popular with pollinators.

Scientific Name:Coreopsis lanceolata
Height:1 to 2 feet
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Preferences:Sandy, well-draining soils

7) Lupines

A field of colorful Lupines growing next to a body of water with mountains in the background.

Also known as bluebonnets, lupines are perennial wildflowers from the legume family (Fabaceae). Lupines are native to North and South America and grow best in Zones 4 to 8.

Lupines produce colorful flower spikes adorned with small pea-like flowers. These blooms can be blue, purple, pink, white, red, or yellow.

Lupines thrive in full sun or partial shade and need moist, well-draining soils. These prolific plants grow quickly and can reach up to 5 feet tall.

Scientific Name:Lupinus spp.
Height:3 to 5 feet
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Soil Preferences:Moist, well-draining soils

8) Milkweed

A cluster of pink perennial Milkweed flowers in bloom.

Milkweeds are types of perennial wildflowers from the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). These pollinator-friendly plants are native to North and South America and Africa.

Milkweeds produce large flower heads consisting of tiny pink or purple flowers. The flowers produce strong fragrances to attract butterflies and other insects. Milkweed self-seeds prolifically, so keep it in check.

Milkweeds thrive in Zones 3 to 9. These herbaceous perennials need full sun and well-draining soils. They can tolerate drier soils.

Scientific Name:Asclepias spp.
Height:2 to 4 feet
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Soil Preferences:Most well-draining soils

9) Phlox

Pink perennial Phlox flowers in bloom

Phlox are colorful types of perennial wildflowers native to North America. These flowers come from the Polemoniaceae family. The most popular species are creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) and garden phlox (Phlox paniculata).

Phlox has attractive pink, purple, or white flowers. Creeping phlox grows low to the ground, while garden phlox grows up to 4 feet tall. Both species produce rounded flower clusters.

Phlox flowers need full sun or partial shade and moist, well-draining soils. They grow best in Zones 3 to 9.

Scientific Name:Phlox spp.
Height:6 inches to 4 feet
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun or partial shade
Soil Preferences:Moist, well-draining soils

10) Yarrow

Bright white perennial Yarrow flowers growing in the wild surrounded by tall green grass.

Common yarrow is a popular type of perennial wildflower found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Common yarrow plants produce large umbrella-like flower heads with several small clusters of pink or white flowers. These perennials also have feathery green leaves.

Common yarrow comes from the Achillea genus within the aster family. These tall, upright plants thrive in Zones 3 to 9.

Common yarrow grows well in full sun or partial shade and moist, well-draining soils. These plants can spread aggressively, so keep them in check.

Scientific Name:Achillea millefolium
Height:Up to 3 feet
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun or partial shade
Soil Preferences:Well-draining soils

Wrapping Up

Popular types of perennial wildflowers are an excellent way of bringing color to your wildflower display every year. Perennials live for at least three years, although they don’t bloom in their first year. Some of the most popular perennial wildflowers include black-eyed Susan, coneflowers, lanceleaf coreopsis, and yarrow. 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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