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15 Wildflowers That Grow in Maryland (Identification Guide With Pictures)

a female ruby-throated hummingbird gathers nectar from red cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Maryland is home to a diverse array of wildflowers. They range from delicate spring blooms to robust summer wildflowers. As the weather warms up in the state, you’ll see various wildflowers, such as the showy Black-eyed Susan, the fragrant butterfly weed, the towering ironweed, and the colorful bee balm.

As the temperatures begin to cool, you can enjoy the Blue Wood Aster that brings a touch of autumn to your garden.

No matter what season you’re in, there’s a wildflower that’s sure to brighten up your garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just looking to add color, check out these 15 wildflowers in Maryland and see which ones you’d like to add to your patch of paradise.

garden flower divider

The 15 Common Wildflowers in Maryland

1. Alumroot

Heuchera villosa or Hairy Alumroot
Image Credit: Nancy J. Ondra, Shutterstock_1695305563
Scientific Name: Heuchera americana
Average Height: 1 to 2 feet
Soil Type: Dry to moist well-draining soil
Sunlight Exposure: Partial sun to full shade
Distribution in Maryland: Mountain regions and piedmont

Alumroot is a perennial wildflower native to the eastern United States, including Maryland. It’s low growing, reaching heights of about two feet. It has deeply lobed green or purple leaves that give the flower a somewhat ruffled appearance.

In the spring and summer, alumroot produces tall, slender spikes of small, pink, or white flowers. These flowers attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and bees, making them a popular choice for gardeners.

Alumroot is a low-maintenance plant that prefers well-drained soil. It’s also drought-tolerant once established. Fertilize the plant once or twice a year to encourage healthy growth. Besides, divide the clumps every few years.


2. Black-eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan
Image Credit: StillWorksImagery, Pixabay
Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta
Average Height: 1 to 3 feet
Soil Type: Dry to moist
Sunlight Exposure: Full sun to partial sun
Distribution in Maryland: All across Maryland

Black-eyed Susan is a flowering plant native to North America. It’s a member of the sunflower family. It’s known for its bright yellow or orange flowers with a black center. It blooms from early summer to fall.

It’s a popular choice for gardens and landscaping due to its attractive flowers and low maintenance. Besides, it’s a hardy plant that can tolerate many soil types.

Black-eyed Susan is also excellent for attracting pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, to the garden. You can plant it in borders, meadows, or naturalized areas. You can also grow it in containers or as a cut flower.


3. Blue Wood Aster

Aster x frikartii Monch
Aster x frikartii Monch (Image Credit: Dominicus Johannes Bergsma, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum cordifolium
Average Height: 2 to 3 feet
Soil Type: Moist to wet soil
Sunlight Exposure: Shady locations to partial sun
Distribution in Maryland: Clearings and open woods

Blue wood aster is a native perennial wildflower commonly found in wooded areas and along streams in the eastern United States. It has delicate blue or violet flowers that bloom in the late summer and fall. The plant has heart-shaped leaves.

Blue wood aster needs low maintenance and doesn’t need fertilization. But it may benefit from a light application of compost or an all-purpose granular fertilizer during spring. Also, water it often, but don’t allow it to sit in standing water as it can lead to root rot. Deadhead the flowers to promote continuous blooming. Then, cut back the plant in the late fall or early spring to remove any damaged or dead growth.

Blue wood aster is an excellent choice for naturalizing areas and attracting pollinators. It’s also deer resistant, making it an excellent option for gardeners in areas with heavy deer populations.


4. Butterfly Weed

butterfly weed flower (Asclepias tuberosa)
Image Credit: leoleobobeo, Pixabay
Scientific Name: Asclepias tuberosa
Average Height: Up to three feet
Soil Type: Rocky or sandy, well-draining, or dry soil
Sunlight Exposure: Full sun to partial sun
Distribution in Maryland: Steep slopes and rocky outcrops

Butterfly weed is a native perennial wildflower known for its bright orange flowers. It blooms from June to September, attracting various pollinators, including butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

The plant can tolerate drought conditions, making it well-suited for gardens in dry or sunny locations. It’s also resistant to deer and rabbits. Besides, you can use the butterfly weed in various garden settings, including meadows, gardens, and naturalized areas.


5. Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower
Image Credit: sebamilos, Pixabay
Scientific Name: Lobelia cardinalis
Average Height: 2 to 4 feet
Soil Type: Moist to wet soil
Sunlight Exposure: Full sun when wet and partial shade
Distribution in Maryland: Meadows and wet woods

The cardinal flower is a perennial flowering plant native to the United States. It’s known for its bright red tubular flowers that bloom in the late summer and early fall. The plant has lance-shaped leaves.

Usually, the cardinal flower is used as a border plant or part of a wildflower garden. It is easy to care for and is a striking addition to any garden. But be aware that the plant can be toxic if ingested. So, plant it out of reach of children and pets.


6. Eastern Columbine

Eastern columbine
Image Credit: JumpStory
Scientific Name: Aquilegia canadensis
Average Height: Up to 30 inches
Soil Type: Well-draining, slightly acidic to alkaline
Sunlight Exposure: Partial sun or partial shade
Distribution in Maryland: Adequately moist steep slopes

Eastern columbine is a flowering herbaceous plant native to North America, commonly found in wooded areas, meadows, and stream banks. The plant also has delicate, fern-like leaves. It bears showy, spurred flowers in shades of red, pink, yellow, and white.

Its blooming season runs from late spring to early summer. You can use it as a border plant or as a ground cover. It is also well-suited for naturalized areas and woodland gardens.

Usually, the plant is resistant to pests and diseases. It’s also drought-tolerant. You can propagate it using seeds or division, and it may self-seed in the garden.


7. False Blue Indigo

Blue False Indigo
Image Credit: Kirsten Hughes, Pixabay
Scientific Name: Baptisia australis
Average Height: 3 to 5 feet
Soil Type: It can tolerate clay and sandy-rocky soil
Sunlight Exposure: Partial shade to full sun
Distribution in Maryland: Piedmont and mountain regions

False blue indigo is an herbaceous perennial native to the United States. It’s known for its blue-purple flowers, which bloom in the late spring and early summer. The plant is bushy and drought-tolerant.

You can plant false blue indigo in various garden settings, including naturalized areas, meadows, and cottage gardens. It is also suitable for planting in containers. False blue indigo can also grow in a wide range of soils but prefers well-draining soil.

Once established, it is drought-tolerant and doesn’t need frequent watering. It can live for many years with proper care.


8. Foxglove Beardtongue

Penstemon digitalis or Foxglove Beardtongue, white beardtongue
Image Credit: ALong, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Penstemon digitalis
Average Height: 3 feet
Soil Type: All soil textures but does best in compact urban soil
Sunlight Exposure: Light shade to full sun
Distribution in Maryland: Woodland openings and moist meadows

Foxglove beardtongue is a flowering plant native to North America. It’s a popular choice for gardens due to its long blooming season lasting from late spring to early summer. The plant produces tall spikes of white, pink, or purple bell-shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds and bees.

Foxglove beardtongue is often used as a border plant or in mass plantings. It’s drought-tolerant, making it a low-maintenance plant for gardens. It’s also resistant to pests and diseases but can be prone to powdery mildew in humid conditions.


9. Great Blue Lobelia

Great Blue Lobelia flowers
Image Credit: RukiMedia, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Lobelia siphilitica
Average Height: 1 to 4 feet
Soil Type: Moist or wet soil of any texture
Sunlight Exposure: Partial to full sun
Distribution in Maryland: Damp meadows

Native to North America, Great blue lobelia is an herbaceous flowering plant, a member of the bellflower family. It’s known for its tall, slender spikes of bright blue flowers.

The plant has lance-shaped leaves that are dark green on the top and lighter green on the underside. It’s a hardy plant and can tolerate drought conditions but will produce more flowers if watered adequately.

The bright blue flowers of the great blue lobelia are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies, making it a popular choice for pollinator gardens. The plant blooms from mid-summer to early fall. It’s often used in garden beds, borders, and as a cut flower.


10. Golden Groundsel

Golden Groundsel
Image Credit: Kathy Clark, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Packera aurea
Average Height: Up to 2.5 feet
Soil Type: Rich wet or moist soil
Sunlight Exposure: Full shade to partial sun
Distribution in Maryland: Floodplains and wet woods

Golden groundsel is a flowering herb known for its attractive golden-yellow flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. It’s a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow and care for.

It’s tolerant of a wide range of soils and can be grown in containers or on the ground. It’s a popular choice for pollinator gardens because it attracts bees, butterflies, and other insects. It is also a good choice for naturalizing.

Golden groundsel can be grown in a variety of climates, and it’s a popular choice for gardeners in the Eastern and Central United States.


11. Joe Pye Weed

Sweet Joe Pye Weed
Image Credit: Pixabay
Scientific Name: Eutrochium fistulosum
Average Height: 6 to 9 feet
Soil Type: Moist or wet soil of any texture
Sunlight Exposure: Partial to full sun
Distribution in Maryland: Sunny meadows throughout the state

Joe Pye weed is a tall, herbaceous perennial plant named after a Native American healer who is said to have used the plant to treat various ailments. It has large purple-pink flowers that grow in clusters on tall, sturdy stems. The leaves are oval-shaped and dark green. The plant has a bushy, mounded habit.

It blooms from late summer to early fall, attracting butterflies and other pollinators to the garden. It tolerates many soil types, but it’s not drought-tolerant and will need regular watering during dry periods.


12. New York Ironweed

New York Ironweed
Image Credit: Walter Erhardt, Shuttestock
Scientific Name: Vernonia noveboracensis
Average Height: 3 to 8 feet
Sunlight Exposure: Full to partial sun
Distribution in Maryland: Wet and moist meadows and sunny floodplains

New York ironweed is a native perennial wildflower known for its tall purple flower spikes and deep green foliage. It’s found in moist areas, open woodlands, and alongside streams and rivers in the eastern United States.

Its purple flowers bloom from late summer through early fall, attracting butterflies and other pollinators. They are often used in wildflower gardens and naturalized areas.

It is a beautiful addition to any garden as it provides a burst of color.


13. Rosemallow

Rosemallow
Image Credit: zzz555zzz, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Hibiscus moscheutos
Average Height: 4 to 7 feet
Soil Type: Wet or moist loamy or coarse soil rich in organic matter
Sunlight Exposure: Full to partial sun
Distribution in Maryland: On the edges of ponds, wet meadows, and fresh and brackish marshes

Rosemallow is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It has large, showy flowers that bloom in various colors, including red, pink, orange, yellow, and white. The flowers can be as large as 6–10 inches in diameter with a distinctive funnel-shaped appearance.

The flower is sensitive to frost and should be protected during cold weather. It will bloom in the summer and fall, but some varieties may bloom year-round in warm climates.

You can use Rosemallow as a backdrop for smaller plants or as a standalone focal point. They can also be grown in pots or containers.


14. Turk’s Cap Lily

Turk's-cap Lily up close
Image Credit: Primi2, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Lilium superbum
Average Height: 3 to 5 feet
Soil Type: Moist to wet soil
Sunlight Exposure: Partial to full sun
Distribution in Maryland: River banks and wet meadows

Turk’s cap lily is tall with large, showy flowers that resemble the Turk’s caps or turban-shaped hats. The flowers are orange or red and have a distinctive curved shape. The flowering season for Turk’s cap lilies is in late summer or early fall.

The plant prefers cool temperatures, and it needs regular watering and fertilization to maintain healthy growth.

You can use it in borders, as a specimen plant, or in naturalized areas. It is a popular plant for hummingbirds and butterflies, making it an excellent choice for a wildlife garden.


15. Wild Bergamot

pink bee balm, also known as wild bergamot flowers (Monarda fistulosa)
Image Credit: JessicaJoh, Pixabay
Scientific Name: Monarda fistulosa
Average Height: Up to 4 feet
Soil Type: Well-draining soil with little organic matter. It also tolerates rocky and clay soils.
Sunlight Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Distribution in Maryland: Woodland edges and poor dry soils of meadows

Wild bergamot is also known as bee balm, wild oregano, and horsemint. It has fragrant pink, purple, or white tubular flowers. It also has hairy leaves and a square-shaped stem, characteristic of plants in the mint family.

Wild bergamot flowers summer, attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It is often used in gardens for its attractive flowers. Sometimes, it’s also used in herb gardens.

garden flower divider

Conclusion

Wildflowers are a crucial part of Maryland’s ecosystems. They provide food and habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, as well as add color and beauty to the state’s landscapes and gardens.

You can find them in various habitats, including meadows, forests, and alongside roads.

If you’re interested in incorporating wildflowers into your garden, this resource will help you get started. With little planning and care, you can have a stunning display of Maryland’s wildflowers in your backyard.


Featured Image Credit: Joshua J. Cotten, Unsplash

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