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13 Wildflowers in Arkansas (Pictures)

Arkansas reveals a gorgeous tapestry of colors, forms, and fragrances throughout the seasons as its wildflowers blossom in brilliant displays. From delicate blossoms dancing along roadsides to majestic clusters adorning rocky hillsides, wildflowers in Arkansas offer a glimpse into the state’s rich botanical heritage.

If you love nature, photography, or just want to relax surrounded by beautiful outdoor flowers, you’ll definitely enjoy these wildflowers you can find in the state.

13 Wildflowers in Arkansas

The state flower of Arkansas is the Apple Blossom, and it holds a significant place in the state’s history and cultural heritage. Arkansas chose the apple blossom as its official state flower in 1901 to represent its position as one of the top apple producers in the US at that time. The Apple Blossom blooms in April and May every year, creating a beautiful sight with its delicate clusters of pink and white flowers.

The state flower’s variety is mainly used for decoration and isn’t usually eaten, even though it eventually turns into mature apples by the end of summer. While the Apple Blossom holds a special place in Arkansas’s floral landscape, the state is home to many wildflowers that bloom throughout the year.

Here are some of the flowers you can always discover and enjoy in Arkansas:

1. Bird’s Foot Violet

Bird’s foot violet flowers
Bird’s foot violet flowers | image by Joshua Mayer via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Viola pedata
  • Zone: 4 – 8 
  • Where to see: Throughout the state but less in eastern regions
  • Season: April through May

During April and May, the birdsfoot violet is one of the wildflowers that beautify Arkansas’s landscapes. The delicate blooms of this violet, which are about an inch wide, have a variety of violet tones that range from light to dark.

Its unique name stems from the distinct shape of its leaves, which resemble the foot of a bird with slender lobes. Due to its sensitivity to rich soils and excessive moisture, it can be difficult to grow in standard garden settings, yet its natural beauty continues to captivate people in Arkansas.

2. Carolina Larkspur

Carolina larkspur
Carolina larkspur | image by Aaron Carlson via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Delphinium carolinianum
  • Zone: 7-8
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state but less in eastern regions
  • Season: May to July

One of the plants you’ll observe growing in Arkansas’ rocky limestone glades is Carolina larkspur. It favors open forests, hillsides, ledges, and roadside locations and has tall spikes of whitish, deep blue, or reddish-blue spurred blooms.

Its blue blossoms are particularly attractive to bumblebees, which are skilled at detecting blue, ultraviolet, and yellow wavelengths. Even though Carolina larkspur is thought to be a short-lived perennial, it can reseed itself, ensuring it stays in its native habitat.

3. Ohio Spiderwort

Ohio spiderwort
Ohio spiderwort
  • Scientific Name: Tradescantia ohiensis
  • Zone: 4-9
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: May to July

The Ohio spiderwort is a widespread herbaceous plant that blooms from May to July, and you may frequently find them beside fields, railways, and roadsides. The plant has unique features like blue-green leaves and stems that form a sharp angle with the stems. You can eat the plant’s flowers, shoots, and leaves, and they can also help relieve insect bites like aloe vera. 

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4. Rose Vervain

Rose vervain flowers
Rose vervain flowers | image by Carl Lewis via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Glandularia canadensis
  • Zone: 5-9
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: May to September

The Rose vervain is a flowering plant you can find from May to September in Arkansas. It forms a mound-like shape, producing showy pink to purple flowers with notched petals in rounded clusters while growing low to the ground. People highly value this wildflower as an ornamental plant because it attracts butterflies, rabbits, and deer. 

5. Pale Purple Coneflower

Pale purple coneflower
Pale purple coneflower | image by Joshua Mayer via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Echinacea pallida
  • Zone: 3-10
  • Where to see: Throughout the state
  • Season: May to July

From May to July, you can find pale purple coneflower blooming in pinelands, cutover areas, and prairies throughout Arkansas. The flower heads vary in form and have rays of different lengths and colors, including white, greenish-white, and pale reddish-purple. People often grow it in their gardens and use it for medicinal purposes, but scientists haven’t yet proven its health benefits. 

6. Spider Lily

Spider lilies
Spider lilies | image by Greg Gilbert via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Hymenocallis caroliniana 
  • Zone: 6-10
  • Season: May to August

You can find spider lilies in low or marshy areas of the Grand Prairie and a few central counties in Arkansas. It has spidery white blossoms from May to August, and these plants are rare in the wild and shouldn’t be dug up for transplanting. Spider lilies grow well in open woodland gardens, bog gardens, or near streams and ponds, as long as the soil is moist enough.

7. Plains Coreopsis

Plains coreopsis flowers
Plains coreopsis flowers | image by Melissa McMasters via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Coreopsis tinctoria
  • Zone: 1-10
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: June to September 

The Plains coreopsis is a wildflower that grows in fields, ditches, and roadways throughout Arkansas. It has yellow and reddish-brown flowers from June to September and is planted as an ornamental plant that’s suitable for gardens and wildlife habitats.

It does best in full sun but can also survive in partial light, adapting well to various soil conditions. The Zuni people also used to make dye and beverages from the blossoms of this plant.

8. Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed susan flower
Black-eyed susan flower | image by Seney Natural History Association via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta
  • Zone: 3-7
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: May to October

The black-eyed Susan is a wildflower that you can recognize by its big flower heads with yellow rays and dark brown disk flowers. From May to October, these wildflowers can be seen in fields and roadsides throughout Arkansas. People grow it in gardens for summer bedding, borders, containers, and wildflower gardens because it attracts butterflies and provides a home for several species. 

9. Indian Paintbrush

Indian paintbrush or prairie fire flowers
Indian paintbrush or prairie fire flowers
  • Scientific Name: Castilleja coccinea
  • Zone: 4-8
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: April to June

You may spot an Indian paintbrush if you’re in prairies, rocky glades, woodlands, or near streams in the state. This plant can be up to two feet tall and is known for its upturned bracts surrounding the beautiful orange-red or yellow flowers. It has color polymorphism, with some individuals being scarlet and others yellow, and is largely pollinated by ruby-throated hummingbirds. 

10. Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen anne’s lace
Queen Anne’s lace | image by Jordan Meeter via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Daucus carota
  • Zone: 3-9
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: May to frost
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Wild carrot, also called Queen Anne’s lace, grows as a wildflower in Arkansas and blooms from May until frost. The flowers are white with a pink tint, and you’ll see them grow in tight clusters.

Queen Anne’s lace grows along roadsides and in fields throughout the state and is edible, with the roots, blooms, and seeds all being consumed in various ways. However, caution should be taken due to the similarity to poison hemlock.

11. Downy Phlox

Downy phlox flowers
Downy phlox flowers | image by Joshua Mayer via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Phlox pilosa
  • Zone: 4-9
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: April to July

The term “downy phlox” refers to the plant’s slightly hairy stems, which also happen to have pink or pale pink flowers with purple centers. This plant grows well in places with shallow soil, and it produces flowers in round clusters at the top of its stems. Butterflies, moths, and long-tongued bees are attracted to Downy phlox because they can reach the nectar at the bottom of the corolla. 

12. Tickseed

Bearded beggarticks
Bearded beggarticks | image by Pam Morgan via Flickr
  • Scientific Name: Bidens aristosa
  • Zone: 5-9
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: August until November

From August to November, you can find large yellow Tickseed flowers in Arkansas. The plant gets its name from its two-pronged seed pods that stick easily to animal fur and clothing. You can see these flowers grow in clusters and thrive in both damp and dry conditions and are widely observed along roadsides, fields, and ditches throughout the state. 

13. Wild Bergamot

Wild bergamot 
Wild bergamot  | image by Joshua Mayer via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Monarda fistulosaa
  • Zone: 4-8
  • Where to see: Scattered throughout the state
  • Season: June to September

One of the flowers that you can find in open fields and along roadsides is the wild bergamot which is frequently visited by browsing deer. The plant is a member of the mint family and bears gorgeous flowers ranging from pink to lavender. Additionally, it’s well-known for its aromatic qualities and is being utilized as a honey plant, medicinal plant, and garden decor.