Purple wildflowers are plants that naturally grow in the wild and produce purple flowers. Wildflowers are plants that were not intentionally seeded or planted. They are neither a hybrid nor a selected cultivar.
In other words, these species appear in the wild as native plants. Let us start to discuss them and be amazed at how blessed we are to have these flowers in the wild that could be a great addition to our gardens.
- List of Purple Wildflowers
- 1. Spreading Phlox
- 2. Grass Widow
- 3. Howell’s Violet
- 4. Monkshood
- 5. Longspurred Violet
- 6. Thread-leaf Phacelia
- 7. Shooting Star
- 8. Mountain Aster
- 9. Jacob’s Ladder
- 10. Idaho Blue-eyed Grass
- 11. Foxglove
- 12. Cardwell’s Penstemon
- 13. Lupine
- 14. Harvest Brodiaea
- 15. Bachelor’s Button
- 16. Lunaria Annua
- 17. Fleabane
List of Purple Wildflowers
1. Spreading Phlox
Known by the common name Spreading phlox, Phlox diffusa is a species of phlox native to the western part of North America. This wildflower thrives in many kinds of habitats, such as rocky and high mountain slopes.
Spreading Phlox is a compact mat-forming perennial herb growing in tiny stems and producing five-lobe star-shaped flat little flowers in light purple color with golden yellow anthers.
Spreading Phlox can grow up to three to four inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. These plants thrive in dry to moist, yet a well-draining soil with full sun exposure to partial shade.
Note that they are also drought tolerant and have no serious pest or disease issues, which makes your life easier. Also, they make an excellent choice for cottage gardens, border edging, rock gardens, or ground cover.
2. Grass Widow
Olsynium douglasii is known for its many common names, including Grass widow, Douglas’ olsynium, Blue-eyed grass, satin flower, Purple-Eyed grass, Purple rush lily, Purple snowdrop, Spring bell, and Spring satin flower.
It is a species of flowering plant belonging to the Iridaceae family native to western North America. These herbaceous bulbiferous perennials can grow 15 inches tall and six inches wide.
They are famous for their upright stems holding light green leaves and reddish-purple flowers that bloom in early spring.
These plants make excellent complements to rock gardens or alpine houses. To perform best, plant your Grass widow in moist, humus-rich, moderately fertile, well-draining soil while providing a partial shade.
3. Howell’s Violet
Viola howellii or Howell’s Violet is a wildflower from the family Violaceae, typically found in meadows, east-side forests, and west-side forests.
This perennial herb can be seen blooming with five-petal flowers in light blue to lavender and even purple color atop of stems standing erect with wide triangular, rounded edges and green leaves. This plant usually blooms from the month of April to July.
Howell’s violet prefers moist and shady areas, such as coniferous forests, along streams, and prairies. They can grow from three inches to eight inches tall.
Aconitum, also known as Monkshood, Aconite, Wolf’s bane, Leopard’s bane, Blue rocket, Women’s bane, or Devil’s helmet, is a genus of flowering plants with over 250 species belonging to the family Ranunculaceae. They are indigenous to the mountain parts of the Northern Hemisphere in North America, Asia, and Europe.
Monkshood is extremely poisonous and must be handled with care. Some of the Aconitum hybrids are cultivated as ornamental plants and are loved to be kept.
Nonetheless, some of them are used in traditional medicine, due to their healing properties. This herbaceous wildflower has hood-shaped flowers that are usually purple or blue with attractive foliage.
Typically, they would have the ability to grow up to four feet tall in addition to extending two feet wide, the Monkshood is best grown as a background plant. It is moderately hard to grow and could take time to become established. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun, but can tolerate some partial shade.
5. Longspurred Violet
Longspurred violet, Hookedspur violet, Early blue violet, Sand violet, Western dog violet, and Western Longspur violet are the common names of Viola adunca, a species of violet commonly found in the meadows and forests of western North America, Canada, and the United States.
This perennial plant grows from a small rhizome with heart-shaped leaves and a five-petal purple flower.
To grow Longspurred violet plants, they are best planted during late fall to early spring in moist, well-drained soil. They love full sun however it can also tolerate some shade.
You must make sure to provide it with a moderate sun exposure because these plants are prone to sunburn, which may lead to death if it stays under heavy sun. The same is true for water requirements, as you must make sure that you water it moderately, because excessive watering may lead to the decay and death of the plant.
6. Thread-leaf Phacelia
Phacelia linearis is the scientific name of Thread-leaf Phacelia or Linear-leaved Phacelia, which is native to western North America. It commonly grows in woodland, forest, open scrub, and other habitats.
The thread-leaf phacelia is an annual herb that can grow up to 24 inches tall. It has unbranched erect stems that are coated in soft hairs holding narrow linear leaves, with bell-shaped flowers in light purple color.
The thread-leaf phacelia prefers plenty of sun exposure and can tolerate some drought. These plants are best grown in average, moist, well-draining soil.
Just make sure to look out for some serious diseases and pests that would come as it is over-watered, and you will have a plant perfect to use in beds and borders, cottage gardens, woodland gardens, rock gardens, or as a ground cover.
7. Shooting Star
Primula sect. Dodecatheon is a section of herbaceous flowering plants in the Primulaceae family. In addition, other common names include Shooting star, Mad violets, Mosquito bills, American cowslip, and Sailor caps.
They are indigenous to North America and parts of northeastern Siberia. These species are grown as ornamental plants for their showy and unique drooping flowers in a purple shade that blossom in late spring and are pollinated by bees.
These herbaceous perennials can grow up to 20 inches tall and 12 inches wide in maturity. They love to be planted in a well-draining or sandy loam without the need for supplemental fertilizer. In warmer regions, they prefer more shade, but in cooler regions, where they can tolerate full sun.
8. Mountain Aster
Symphyotrichum spathulatum, Western Mountain Aster, or Mountain aster is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. They are native to the western part of North America.
Mountain Aster typically blooms in July and August, featuring a colony of violet-colored ray florets and yellow disk florets that grow up to 31 inches in height. This aster requires full sun to prosper and is perfect for use as cut flowers.
9. Jacob’s Ladder
Jacob’s ladder or Polemonium is a genus of flowering plants from the Polemoniaceae family with over 40 species. The common name Jacob’s ladder was derived from a biblical story. These plants are native to cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and most of the species grow in mountainous areas.
Jacob’s ladder is an erect perennial plant producing stiff leafy stems and bluish-purple flowers during spring and summer.
Jacob’s ladder acts as food plants by the larvae and makes beautiful plants in borders, rock gardens, city gardens, coastal gardens, or in woodland settings. They like average, medium, well-draining soil in full sun or partial shade. They prefer moist and fertile soils, so avoid letting the soil dry out.
10. Idaho Blue-eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium idahoense or Idaho Blue-eyed Grass is not a true type of a grass, but a member of the Iris family Iridaceae. It is a perennial native to western North America and is commonly found in moist grassy areas, stream banks, meadows, and open woodlands.
It reaches up to 18 inches tall, displaying narrow grass-like leaves with star-shaped six-petal flowers that are usually in blue-violet to a deep bluish-purple color and a yellow throat. Idaho Blue-eyed Grass is best used in cottage gardens, rock gardens, and woodland gardens.
They thrive in full sun and are adaptable to well-draining sandy loam or clay soil, and would reach to their full potential. Most species tolerate poor soils and do best in dryer soils, but they all bloom best with good spring and early summer moisture.
Digitalis or Foxgloves is a herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe and some other temperate regions. Foxgloves are a poisonous species belonging to the Plantaginaceae family.
They feature eye-catching clusters of tubular purplish pink flowers that were produced on a tall spike, which is why it is cultivated and has become a popular garden subject. In addition, it can grow up to six feet in height when you take care of its full requirements.
Growing Foxgloves requires full sun to even moderated shade to full shade, depending on the summer heat. The hotter the summers, the more shade it prefers. A word of caution, though, this plant must be handled with care as it is extremely poisonous to humans as they can cause irregular heart function, which could lead to death, this is of course if it is ingested.
Note that all parts of the plant are poisonous if swallowed. Symptoms include small eye pupils, blurred vision, nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, dizziness, abnormal heartbeat, and possibly death.
12. Cardwell’s Penstemon
Cardwell’s Penstemon was named in honor of Dr. James Cardwell who actively studied wildflowers in the late 1800s.
Cardwell’s Penstemon is a shrubby penstemon found on open rocky slopes at high elevation areas. It produces clusters of tubular flowers in purple color and glossy green leaves attached to matted stems that act as its covering when sprawling across the grounds.
Cardwell’s Penstemon is one of the easiest native penstemons to grow. Note that it thrives in well-draining soil with minimal summer water, as long as it is provided with full sun to part shade.
It’s remarkable because the intense purple-colored flowers are perfect to use in partially shaded gardens or dry banks. Nevertheless, the plant still looks good even in the absence of flowers.
A member of the Lupine family, Lupinus, also known as Lupine or Lupin, is a genus of flowering plants in the Fabaceae family. Its center of diversity is in North and South America, while some occur in the Mediterranean and North Africa. This wildflower is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant or food source, although it is wild, but it isn’t poisonous.
Lupines can grow up to four feet tall in height and 1.5 feet wide. They prefer to be exposed to full sun with regular watering and rich, moist, well-draining soil with acidic to neutral pH. These spring-blooming wildflowers create colorful spikes in gardens. However, handle them with care as they are toxic to both humans and animals.
14. Harvest Brodiaea
Brodiaea elegans is commonly known as Harvest brodiaea, Elegant brodiaea, and Elegant cluster-lily. It is native to the meadows and woodlands in the mountain ranges of Oregon and California.
Harvest brodiaea is considered a perennial, that can produce showy flowers with six curving petals in a bright purple shade.
These flowers blossom in the months of May to July, early summer, as it can typically grow up to three feet tall.
To care for Harvest brodiaea, plant it in dry to moist heavy soils in part shade locations. You might want to consider planting them in a place surrounded by plants that can support their tall stems; otherwise, they will flop.
15. Bachelor’s Button
During the 1600s, Bachelor’s Button was introduced in the United States. The flower is often placed in the buttons of men’s suitcoats, hence the name. Its scientific name is Centaurea cyanus, and it is also known as Cornflower.
The Button flowers is an annual flowering plant from the Asteraceae family and is native to Europe. It is now naturalized in several parts of the world and used as an ornamental plant in gardens.
Bachelor’s Button can grow up to 35 inches tall and are easy to grow. These plants need well-draining soil, which can either be poor, rocky, or fertile. These wild flowers will also give you attractive beautiful purple blooms often used as indoor plants that are also perfect as cut or dried flowers and can be used outdoors as borders and rock gardens.
16. Lunaria Annua
Lunaria annua also known as Honesty or even as Annual Honesty is native to the Balkans and southwest Asia. These plants belong to the flowering plant of the cabbage and mustard family Brassicaceae.
They are cultivated in parts of the world with temperate climates. This annual or biennial grows up to 35 inches tall and 12 inches wide, and it is often used as dry flowers in floral arrangements or ornamental plants in cottage gardens.
Honesty features racemes of lovely violet flowers during summer. Honesty is remarkably a low-maintenance plant and does not require cutting back or feeding, however, look out for some diseases like fungal disease and club root that may cause stunted growth and distorted roots. This purple flower thrives in fertile, moist, and well-draining soil in partial shade locations.
Fleabane or Erigeron glaucus from the Asteraceae family is a species of flowering plant that also goes by the name Seaside fleabane, Beach aster, and Seaside Daisy. This wildflower is native to the West Coast reigon of the United States, where it is commonly found on beaches, dunes, and coastal bluffs.
Fleabane is a low-growing perennial daisy that can reach a height of about 15 inches, displaying stout, thick rhizomes that bear a cushion of semi-double lavender-pink flowers with yellow flower disks and leathery foliage.
They bloom from the mid-spring until late summer and are great to use in cottage gardens, city gardens, rock gardens, containers, and beds.
To perform best, plant your Fleabane in fertile well-draining soil with full sun to part shade, and water twice a month until it is established. However, you must be cautious because the Fleabane is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, so if they digest it, the consequences may be fatal.
Purple wildflowers are the flowers that spring in the wild without intentionally planting them. Purple wildflowers meaning was often associated with royalty, success, inspiring calmness, and serenity.
Purple wildflowers, are an amazing richness that nature adds, with different flowers to make our gardens colorful without putting too much of an effort in the first place.
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