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63 Wildflowers That Grow in Nebraska (Identification Guide with Pictures)

a field of sunflowers

Nebraska is home to hundreds of native wildflowers, as well as a large selection of introduced and naturalized wildflowers. There are species in a gamut of colors, and whether you are looking for native plants that will attract pollinators like hummingbirds, or a plant that offers the best ground cover, there are wildflowers to meet your needs. Below are 63 wildflowers that grow in Nebraska, grouped by color.

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Blue Wildflowers

1. Bachelor’s Button

Centaurea cyanus or Bachelor’s Button or cornflower
Image By: matthiasboeckel, Pixabay
Latin Name: Centaurea cyanus

Bachelor’s button is also commonly known as cornflower and is an annual flowering plant. As well as being a common wildflower, it is also grown ornamentally and is popular for cutting and drying.

2. Blue Vervain

Verbena hastata or Blue Vervain flowers
Image Credit: Skyprayer2005, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Verbena hastata

The American vervain, or blue vervain, is a perennial that is very effective at attracting pollinators, including bees and butterflies. It is considered drought-resistant and very hardy and is found in foothills and wet soils.

3. Blue Violet

Viola sororia
Image Credit: Pixabay
Latin Name: Viola sororia

The blue-violet is a perennial plant that grows to approximately 10 inches and grows well in full sun or partial shade. Many gardeners treat it as a weed because it can spring up in the middle of a lawn. It is popular with pollinators and beneficial insects.

4. Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Latin Name: Mertensia virginica

The bluebell is a common type of wildflower that blooms early in Nebraska. They can grow to 2 feet tall but typically achieve closer to 1 foot in height. They attract hummingbirds and can be found in woods or damp fields.

5. Chicory

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Image Credit Manfred Richter, Pixabay
Latin Name: Cichorium intybus

Chicory is a sun-loving perennial that can grow to several feet tall, and along with having pretty blue daisy-like flowers, it is edible. Chicory has long been used as a substitute for coffee and is found wild in open spaces.

6. Periwinkle

Vinca minor or Periwinkle
Image Credit: MabelAmber, Pixabay
Latin Name: Vinca minor

The periwinkle is a small wildflower that reaches 6 inches tall and can grow in most sun or shade conditions. Although not a native plant, the periwinkle attracts pollinators, including bees, and is resistant to deer.

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Purple Wildflowers

7. Anise Hyssop

purple giant Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
Image Credit: JurateBuiviene, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Agastache foeniculum

Anise hyssop is a perennial plant with spikes of lavender flowers throughout summer. This is another wildflower that tends to be popular with pollinators.

8. Bee Balm

pink bee balm, also known as wild bergamot flowers (Monarda fistulosa)
Image Credit: JessicaJoh, Pixabay
Latin Name: Monarda fistulosa

Bee balm, or wild bergamot, grows to around four 4 tall and is commonly found in fields and prairies. When planted in gardens, it attracts bees and hummingbirds, and the leaves are used medicinally, especially for their antimicrobial properties.

9. Bull Thistle

Bull Thistle (Cirsium Vulgare)
Image Credit: Uschi_Du, Pixabay
Latin Name: Cirsium Vulgare

The common thistle can be found in full sun or areas with partial shade. It is a biennial that can grow to 6 feet tall. It has spines that can be sharp, and the thistle is popular with goldfinches as a food source and for nesting material.

10. Burdock

Burdock (Arctium minus)
Image By: thalienano, Pixabay
Latin Name: Arctium minus

The biennial burdock can be found in fields, by the side of roads, in barnyards, and on railways. It can irritate the skin when handled, and the flower attracts birds and bees.

11. Clasping Bellflower

Clasping Bellflower (Triodanis perfoliata)
Image Credit: The Jungle Explorer, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Triodanis perfoliata

The clasping bellflower, also known as the clasping Venus, is an annual wildflower. It can grow to 3 feet tall and is commonly found in disturbed ground. The self-pollinating clasping bellflower attracts bees and butterflies.

12. Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)
Image Credit: stux, Pixabay
Latin Name: Glechoma hederacea

Creeping Charlie is a perennial that is very popular with bees. It can achieve a height of 8 inches and grow in shade or full sun conditions. Because it is often found growing in lawns and has a challenging root system, it is usually considered a weed.

13. Dame’s Rocket

Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Image Credit: NomadicModnar, Pixabay
Latin Name: Hesperis matronalis

Dame’s rocket goes by many names, including the summer lilac and Damask violet. It can grow to 1 foot or more and enjoys sun or partial shade, commonly seen in meadows and fields. It is a fast-spreading flower that is common in wildflower packets.

14. Giant Ironweed

Giant Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea)
Image Credit: Chase D’animulls, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Vernonia gigantea

Found in woodlands and meadows across Nebraska, giant ironweed can attract Monarchs, which need as much help as gardeners and growers can give them. The plants can grow to as tall as 8 feet.

15. Heal All

Heal-All_Prunella vulgaris
Image Credit: Annette Meyer, Pixabay
Latin Name: Prunella vulgaris

The perennial heal all is not only attractive to pollinators, including butterflies and bees but is also useful for creating wild gardens. It is found in meadows and fields but can grow aggressively in lawns.

16. Lady’s Leek

Lady’s Leek (Allium cernuum)
Image Credit: Deedster, Pixabay
Latin Name: Allium cernuum

Lady’s leek enjoys full sun or partial shade, and each stem can produce as many as 30 small purple flowers at the head. It attracts butterflies but is deer resistant and often seen in glades and open woods.

17. Purple Coneflower

a patch of eastern purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) flowers
Image Credit: Khara Woods, Unsplash
Latin Name: Echinacea purpurea

The purple coneflower is a drought-resistant perennial that grows to 3 feet in height. It is a hardy flower but attracts rabbits that enjoy feasting on the leaves. Echinacea is a medicinal plant used to help stave off infections.

18. Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Image Credit: MabelAmber, Pixabay
Latin Name: Lythrum salicaria

The perennial purple loosestrife can grow to 5 feet in height and enjoys full sun. It blooms in summer, but it is an invasive species that can push native plants out of your garden.

19. Teasel

Teasel plant in the garden

Latin Name: Dipsacus fullonum

Teasel is a prickly plant and grows to 6 feet in height. Its seeds are a popular food source, and the plant has been used for its medicinal properties to help strengthen the liver and to treat broken bones and other injuries.

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Pink Wildflowers

20. Common Milkweed

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Latin Name: Asclepias syriaca

The common milkweed flower is a summer-blooming perennial that grows best when exposed to full sun. It is very effective at attracting pollinators and can be seen in a wide variety of habitats across Nebraska.

21. Crown Vetch

cluster of crown vetch (Securigera varia)
Image Credit: Evoken, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Securigera varia

Crown vetch grows well in partial shade or full sun and reaches 2 to 3 feet in height. It is invasive and will take over an area after being introduced to provide ground cover. If planted in the garden, it can crowd out your other plants.

22. Everlasting Pea

Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius)
Image Credit: Zorro4, Pixabay
Latin Name: Lathyrus latifolius

The everlasting pea can grow very tall, even reaching 10 feet tall. It grows in full or partial sun, and while it isn’t native, it was introduced in the 1700s and attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies.

23. Fireweed

Fireweed or willow herb (Chamerion angustifolium)
Image Credit: Anzhuzhu, Pixabay
Latin Name: Chamerion angustifolium

Growing to 10 feet in full sun or partial shade, fireweed is an annual or perennial. It gets its name from the fact that it is often seen to be the first to flower in areas that have been devastated by fire.

24. Joe Pye Weed

Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium)
Image Credit: GabrielDouglas, Pixabay
Latin Name: Eutrochium

Joe Pye weed can grow in any lighting conditions and is usually found in wet or damp soil. This is a native plant, which means that it should grow well in Nebraska gardens and will benefit the local ecosystem.

25. Spreading Dogbane

Macro shot of Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)
Image Credit: Amelia Martin, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium

Spreading dogbane is a perennial that will grow in any lighting condition, from full sun to total shade. The plant’s name is related to its toxicity to dogs. It smells similar to lilac and is a prolific grower.

26. Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Image Credit: NickyPe, Pixabay
Latin Name: Asclepias incarnata

Also known as pink milkweed, swamp milkweed grows in damp conditions and can be found by rivers and lakes. Swamp milkweed leaves are a popular food source for Monarch caterpillars.

27. Virginia Springbeauty

Virginia Springbeauty (Claytonia virginica)
Image Credit:CampSmoke, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Claytonia virginica

Springbeauty’s bright and vibrant colors make it a very popular perennial with bees. It blooms in spring and grows to 16 inches tall in full or partial sun.

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Yellow Wildflowers

28. Birds-Foot Trefoil

bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Image Credit: Sergio Cerrato, Pixabay
Latin Name: Lotus corniculatus

Birds-foot trefoil is also known as crow toes for the shape of the yellow flowers. Sometimes the flowers can be orange or red. As vibrant as the flowers are, the plant is invasive and can overtake the area.

29. Black-Eyed Susan

yellow Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) flowers
Image Credit: Olga Divnaya, Pexels
Latin Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed Susan comes in a variety of colors, from brown to yellow, and it has a black center, hence its name. It attracts a lot of birds and bees and can grow to 36 inches tall.

30. Buttercup

Buttercup (Ranunculus)
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay
Latin Name: Ranunculus

Growing to 18 inches tall, the buttercup is commonly found in moist soil and can be seen in fields, gardens, and on roadsides. It is a common wildflower, and although yellow is a common color, there are other varieties in many hues.

31. Dandelion

a field of dandelion flowers (Taraxacum officinale)
Image Credit: Alyona Milch, Unsplash
Latin Name: Taraxacum officinale

Dandelions are generally considered a weed and are recognizable for their bright yellow flowers but also for their clock heads. They grow in most soil conditions, and although dandelions are not native to the U.S., they are commonly found across Nebraska.

32. Goldenrod

stiff goldenrod wildflower (Solidago)

Latin Name: Solidago

Goldenrod is a perennial that grows to heights of 5 feet. The flowers are small but bright yellow, which makes them difficult to miss. It attracts plenty of pollinators but grows quickly and spreads far.

33. Green-Headed Coneflower

Green-Headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata)
Image Credit: Luka Hercigonja, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Rudbeckia laciniata

Green-headed coneflowers have yellow petals around a green cone-shaped center. They grow in moist conditions and are found by rivers and lakes where they attract bees and other pollinators.

34. Mullein

Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
Image Credit: Svetlana Zhukova, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Verbascum Thapsus

Mullein is not native to the U.S. but has become naturalized. The 7-foot-tall plant has lupin-like heads that have yellow flowers, and the plant can look a lot like fields of corn.

35. Sneezeweed

sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
Image Credit: Nennieinszweidrei, Pixabay
Latin Name: Helenium autumnale

Also known as the false sunflower because it looks similar to the sunflower, sneezeweed also looks similar to daisies. It is found in damp environments but is also grown in gardens for its bold yellow flowers. It was previously used to make snuff.

36. Spiny Sow-Thistle

Sonchus asper Spiny Sow Thistle
Image Credit: Mr. Meijer, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Sonchus asper

Native to Europe and North Africa, as well as Asia, spiny sow-thistle is an invasive plant that grows across the state. It has spiky leaves and can take over an area quickly if it isn’t dealt with quickly.

37. St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay
Latin Name: Hypericum perforatum

Although it is considered a beneficial medicinal plant that attracts pollinators, the bright yellow St. John’s Wort can be deadly for livestock and is generally considered a weed.

38. Sunflower

sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Image Credit: Ulleo, Pixabay
Latin Name: Helianthus annuus

The sunflower is a very popular garden flower because it grows tall and has a large yellow flower on top of its stalk. The heads can grow so heavy that the stem breaks under the weight. Sunflowers can grow to 10 feet tall and are found in prairies, fields, and a host of other locations.

39. Wild Parsnip

Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
Image Credit: stumpic, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Pastinaca sativa

The wild parsnip is a relative to the root vegetable that is eaten during the holiday season, but its wild cousin can cause serious skin irritation and should be avoided. This is another invasive species that can be seen in ditches and at the roadside.

40. Yellow Giant Hyssop

Yellow Giant Hyssop (Agastache nepetoides)
Image Credit: Wut_Moppie, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Agastache nepetoides

The yellow giant hyssop is a perennial plant that grows to 16 inches and has a lot of small yellow flowers. It grows in full sun or partial shade and is considered deer-resistant.

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White Wildflowers

41. Catnip

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Image Credit: Illuvis, Pixabay
Latin Name: Nepeta cataria

Known by cat lovers around the world for the excitable response it elicits in most cats, catnip is a member of the mint family that has culinary uses for humans, as well as medicinal properties. It is naturalized in Nebraska and grows by the road or in fields.

42. Dog Daisy

Oxeye or Dog Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Image Credit: GLady, Pixabay
Latin Name: Leucanthemum vulgare

The dog daisy is a recognizable wildflower with white petals and a bright yellow center, but the plant is not native and can spread quickly. It is seen in fields and meadows and can grow to 2 feet tall.

43. English Plantain

English Plantain (Plantago lanceolota)
Image Credit: WikimediaImages, Pixabay
Latin Name: Plantago lanceolota

English plantain is a hardy perennial plant. It is not native to the U.S. and will adapt its growth to avoid being eradicated. For example, it will grow shorter if the area it is growing in is regularly mowed.

44. Feverwort

Feverwort or boneset white flowers (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Image Credit: Orange.maskoki, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Eupatorium perfoliatum

Boneset is an important plant for butterfly species in Nebraska, but despite having a long history of being used medicinally, it is listed as a poisonous plant and should be avoided in holistic and natural medicines.

45. Fleabane

Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)

Latin Name: Erigeron annuus

The fleabane looks a lot like a daisy with thin white petals and a yellow center. It is drought resistant and will tolerate a lot of different soil conditions. The plant grows to 2 feet tall and is found near mountains and dry grass.

46. Fragrant Sand Verbena

Fragrant Sand Verbena (Abronia fragrans)
Image Credit: Martha Marks, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Abronia fragrans

Fragrant sand verbena is a perennial that grows to 3 feet tall and will tolerate most soil conditions. It blooms with a ball of tiny white flowers and can be found in meadows, rocky hillsides, and mountains.

47. Indian Hemp

Indian Hemp or Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum)
Image Credit: leoleobobeo, Pixabay
Latin Name: Apocynum cannabinum

Indian hemp is native to North America, but it can kill crops and other plants when left to its own devices, which means that it is usually considered an aggressive weed. It grows to around 5 feet tall and can be found near farms, meadows, and prairies.

48. Meadow Anemone

Meadow Anemone (Anemone canadensis)
Image Credit: Petr Ganaj, Pexels
Latin Name: Anemone canadensis

The meadow anemone is a perennial that produces several small flowers with five white petals and yellow stamens. It is used as ground cover for wetlands and will grow to 2 feet tall.

49. Queen Anne’s Lace

bee on Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
Image Credit: Crystal Jo, Unsplash
Latin Name: Daucus carota

Queen Anne’s Lace has a white heather look, and its name comes from the tiny white flower heads that look like lace. It grows to 4 feet and is also known as a wild carrot. It is edible when it is young but becomes woody as it matures.

50. White Baneberry

White Baneberry or doll's eyes (Actaea pachypoda)
Image Credit: Alex Polo, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Actaea pachypoda

Native to parts of North America, the white baneberry has small white flowers in spring, replaced by small white berries in summer. The berries are highly toxic, but this plant is native and is popular as an ornamental.

51. White Clover

White Clover (Trifolium repens)
Image Credit: dolvita108, Pixabay
Latin Name: Trifolium repens

White clover is also known as a shamrock, and the perennial wildflower will grow to 6 inches. It does well in partial shade or full sun, and although not native, it is considered a naturalized species of wildflower. It doesn’t usually kill or crowd out other plants.

52. White Snakeroot

white snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)
Image Credit: Perkons, Pixabay
Latin Name: Ageratina altissima

White snakeroot is native to North America, and it flowers late in the season, so it can bring a flash of white to otherwise dreary borders. It can grow to 5 feet and prefers moist soil over dry.

53. Whorled Milkweed

Latin Name: Asclepias verticillate

Growing to 3 feet, whorled milkweed has clusters of up to 20 small white flowers and can regularly be seen in prairies and woods. The plant is native to Nebraska and is popular with pollinators.

54. Wild Mint

Latin Name: Mentha arvensis

The perennial wild mint will grow to about 3 feet in height and can be found in wetlands, especially river banks and at the sides of streams. It prefers partial sunlight to full sun.

55. Yarrow

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay
Latin Name: Achillea millefolium

Yarrow plants are usually found on disturbed land, and although some species were introduced, there are also some native to the area. This combination means there are also hybridized variants.

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Red Wildflowers

56. Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
Image Credit: Marina Yalanska, Unsplash
Latin Name: Gaillardia pulchella

The blanket flower is a type of sunflower. It grows quite low compared to the sunflower, however, achieving a height of about 2 feet. The petals of the flowers are red towards the center with a yellow border around them, giving them a striking look. It is also used in beekeeping to produce mild honey.

57. Butterfly Weed

butterfly weed flower (Asclepias tuberosa)
Image Credit: leoleobobeo, Pixabay
Latin Name: Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly weed produces clusters of small orange flowers and has a history of medicinal use. It is common in gardens for its bright orange color and because it attracts butterflies.

58. Cardinal Flower

a female ruby-throated hummingbird gathers nectar from red cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Image Credit: Joshua J. Cotten, Unsplash
Latin Name: Lobelia cardinalis

The cardinal flower has red tubular flowers, and while the nectar inside can be difficult for some birds and pollinators to reach, it is easily reached by hummingbirds. The plants grow to 6 feet and are popular in gardens.

59. Columbine

columbine (Aqualegia canadensis)
Image Credit: ArtTower, Pixabay
Latin Name: Aqualegia canadensis

The columbine is a common, native wildflower that has red flowers that droop and are bell-shaped. The plant grows to around 4 feet and enjoys partial shade or full sun.

60. Red Baneberry

Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra)
Image Credit: MikeGoad, Pixabay
Latin Name: Actaea rubra

Red baneberry is a wildflower with fluffy white flowers in the spring, but these give way to small red berries in the summer. The berries are poisonous and should not be eaten, but the plant is popular in gardens.

61. Red Lily

Wood Lily close up
Image Credit: Brian Lasenby, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Lilium philadelphicum

The wood lily, which is also known as the wood lily, is a member of the lily family with red flowers. It grows to around 3 feet in full or partial sun. The red lily is a good flower for those that want to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and the lily flowers remain open for about 10 days.

62. Spotted Coralroot

Spotted Coralroot orchid (Corallorhiza maculata)
Image Credit: Jennifer Bosvert, Shutterstock
Latin Name: Corallorhiza maculata

The spotted coralroot is a perennial plant that grows to 2 feet. It doesn’t have any leaves, and clusters of flowers grow directly on the bare stalks. It gets nutrients from a natural fungus in its roots.

63. Spotted Touch-Me-Not

Spotted Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens capensis)
Image Credit: jimarojfm, Pixabay
Latin Name: Impatiens capensis

The spotted touch-me-not has orange flowers, and the seed heads will explode and disperse the seeds if you touch them, hence the name of the plant. Growing to a height of about 5 feet, the spotted touch-me-not is an annual that likes shade or partial sun.

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Nebraska is home to some beautiful wildflowers, including the 63 listed above. Not all wildflowers are considered suitable or beneficial for planting in your own garden since some may be aggressive and crowd out or kill other plants in your garden. However, native plants should cope well with the weather and soil conditions in the area they are native to, which can make these a good choice for garden plants.

Featured Image Credit: Yusuf Onuk, Unsplash


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