19 PURPLE Wildflowers in Arizona! (ID Guide)

Did you find a purple wildflower in Arizona?

Arizona Purple Wildflowers species

If so, I’m sure you’re wondering what type of wildflower it is! Luckily, you can use this guide to help you identify it. 🙂

 

Today, we will look at 19 common wildflowers that are purple in Arizona.

 

You will notice a USDA Hardiness Zone for each wildflower listed in the article. This refers to areas of the US where plants can grow based on temperature. Here is a map showing the hardiness zones of Arizona:

Hardiness Zones in Arizona range from 1a to 13b.

 

19 types of purple wildflowers in Arizona:

 


#1. Bull Thistle

  • Cirsium vulgare

Common Purple Wildflowers species in Arizona

Also known as Boar Thistle, Common Thistle, Dodder, and Spear Thistle.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3a-8b
  • Life Cycle: Biennial
  • Approximate mature size: 2-6′ (.6-1.8 m)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade

 

Bull Thistle is a spiny and common purple wildflower in Arizona.

 

So be careful if handling! It’s also a great flower if you want to attract giant bees and butterflies.

 

The seeds of this thistle are the preferred menu item for the American Goldfinch. However, these birds also use the thistledown to line their nests; thus, they wait until the flowers bloom in late summer to raise their young.

 


#2. Alfalfa

  • Medicago sativa

Purple Wildflowers species that live in Arizona

Also known as Lucerne.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3a-11
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 1-3′ (30-90 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Farmers often plant alfalfa as a food crop for farm animals, and it fixes nitrogen from the air into the soil through its roots.

 

This purple wildflower is native to warmer climates and attracts many bees, butterflies, and birds.

 


#3. Smooth Blue Aster

  • Symphyotrichum laeve

Types of Purple Wildflowers found in Arizona

Also known as Glaucous Aster and Michealmas Daisy.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 1-3′ (30-90 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Partial Sun

 

You will find this striking purple wildflower in plains, meadows, and hillsides throughout Arizona.

 

Like the hairs on a dandelion, the Smooth Blue Aster pappi (ring of fine feathery hairs surrounding seeds) allows the seeds to be spread by the wind.

 


#4. Winter Vetch

  • Vicia villosa

Common Purple Wildflowers in Arizona

Also known as Vicia Species, Fodder Vetch, and Hairy Vetch.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-7
  • Life Cycle: Annual, Biennial, Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 1-3′ (30-91 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Sun

 

Often gardeners plant Winter Vetch as a companion plant to tomatoes. This is done because the Winter Vetch helps put nitrogen in the soil, which helps keep weeds from sprouting.

 

This purple wildflower grows in various places such as forests, grasslands, meadows, old fields, roadsides, and disturbed areas. It also is considered invasive in some areas.

 


#5. Common Burdock

  • Arctium minus

purple wildflowers

Also known as Lesser Burdock, Little Burdock, Louse-bur, Button-bur, Cuckoo-button, and Wild Rhubarb.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4a-10b
  • Life Cycle: Biennial
  • Approximate mature size: 4-6′ (120-180 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Mid Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Mid Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

 

You will find this purple wildflower in pastures, open prairies, hayfields, roadsides, old fields, barnyards, railways, and other disturbed areas in Arizona.

 

Common Burdock has large leaves and deep purple flowers resembling rhubarb, making this plant easy to identify. After the flower head dries, they are similar to velcro because they stick onto humans and animals to transport the entire seed head.

 

This purple wildflower attracts bees, butterflies, and birds. Powdery mildew and root rot often affect it. But be careful if you handle this plant; it may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.

 


#6. Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass

  • Triodanis perfoliata

purple wildflowers

Also known as Roundleaf Triodanis and Clasping Bellflower.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-11
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate mature size: 6-36″ (15-91 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

In Arizona, you can find this purple wildflower in habitats with dry sandy soils such as disturbed areas, gardens, and woods.

 

You can identify the Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass by looking for the flowers blooming in the rounded leaves. This plant can self-pollinate and attracts small butterflies, bees, and flies.

 


#7. Kudzu

  • Pueraria montana

purple wildflowers

Also known as Japenese Arrowroot, Kudzu Bean, and Kudzu Vine.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 5b-11
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 30-100′ (9.1-30 m)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade

 

This climbing purple wildflower climbs surfaces such as trees, cliffs, and walls and grows as ground cover if there are no vertical surfaces.

 

Kudzu is a widespread purple wildflower and is INCREDIBLY INVASIVE in Arizona. The seeds spread quickly from human actions, along with mammals and birds.

 


#8. Bee Balm

  • Monarda fistulosa

purple wildflowers

Buy/View Seeds HERE!

Also known as Wild Bergamot, Horsemint, and Wild Bee Balm.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3a-9b
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 2-4′ (60-120 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

 

Look for this fragrant clump-forming perennial with beautiful lilac-purple wildflowers in dry areas of fields, prairies, and along roads in Arizona.

 

Bee Balm leaves make a refreshing tea that provides many health benefits, as its antimicrobial properties help ward off colds and the flu. Steaming the plant can also help clear nasal passages, while creating a poultice from Bee Balm could prove helpful in treating headaches, sores, muscle cramps, or fungal infections. Lastly, Monarda can stimulate uterine contractions, so expecting women shouldn’t use it.

 

The main reason that I grow Bee Balm in my flower garden is to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and pollinator bees. When this NATIVE perennial is in full bloom, birds and insects won’t be able to resist visiting the nectar-rich flowers. Many people claim that Bee Balm is so effective at drawing in hummingbirds that they no longer have to worry about filling their feeders!

 


#9. Dame’s Rocket

  • Hesperis matronalis

purple wildflowers

Also known as the Damask-violet, Dame’s-violet, Dames-wort, Dame’s Gilliflower, Night-scented Gilliflower, Queen’s Gilliflower, Rogue’s Gilliflower, Summer Lilac, Sweet Rocket, Mother-of-the-evening, Good & Plenties, and Winter Gilliflower.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Biennials or Short-lived Perennials
  • Approximate mature size: 1-4′ (30-122 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Early to Mid Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

This purple wildflower is widespread throughout Arizona. Dame’s Rocket is fast-spreading and found in meadows and woodlands. Look for them included in prepackaged “wildflower seed” mixes.

 

In some areas, this plant is considered invasive. However, the young leaves of this spring-blooming flower are high in Vitamin C, can be eaten in salads, and have a slightly bitter taste.

 

Dame’s Rocket is often confused with native Phlox species with similar large flower clusters. However, you can tell the difference between them by Dame’s Rocket has alternately arranged leaves and four petals per flower, while phloxes have opposite leaves and five petals.

 


#10. Purple Coneflower

  • Echinacea purpurea

purple wildflowers

View/Buy Seeds HERE!

Also known as Eastern Coneflower and Eastern Purple Coneflower.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2a-10b
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 2-3′ (60-90 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade

 

Purple Coneflower is extremely hardy, which is why people love growing them in their gardens in Arizona. These flowers are also heat and drought-resistant, which means they will thrive in harsh conditions.

 

The cone-shaped disc comprises several smaller flowers, which contain loads of nectar. The colorful blooms draw the attention of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

 

Make sure to select an appropriate place in your landscaping beds, as Purple Coneflower grows anywhere from two to four feet high. In addition, coneflowers grow in clumps or clusters up to two feet wide. So be sure to give your plants plenty of room to thrive!

 


#11. Bittersweet Nightshade

  • Solanum dulcamara

purple wildflowers

Also known as Bittersweet, Bitter Nightshade, Blue Bindweed, Amara Dulcis, Climbing Nightshade, Fellenwort, Felonwood, Poisonberry, Poisonflower, Scarlet Berry, Snakeberry, Trailing Bittersweet, Trailing Nightshade, Violet Bloom, and Woody Nightshade.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4a-8b
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 2-8′ (60-240 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Sun and Light Shade

 

Look for this woody vine in woodlands, scrublands, hedges, and marshes. This purple wildflower has adorable little berries that some birds eat.

Please be aware that all the parts of the Bittersweet Nightshade are poisonous to humans if ingested. And its foliage is toxic to animals as well. So this is not a plant you want to add to your salad!

 


#12. Great Blue Lobelia

  • Lobelia siphilitica

purple wildflowers

Also known as Great Lobelia and Blue Cardinal Flower.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4a-9b
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 1-4′ (30-120 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade, Light Shade

 

This perennial flower does not self-pollinate and must be pollinated by insects, bumblebees, or hummingbirds.

 

This purple wildflower thrives in moist to wet soils and partially shaded environments, including swamp forests, roadside ditches, floodplains, lake margins, and wet prairies.

 


#13. American Hog Peanut

  • Amphicarpaea bracteata

american hog peanut

Also known as Ground Bean.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 5b
  • Life Cycle: Annual, Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 1-5′ (30-152 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade, Light Shade

 

American Hog Peanuts is unique compared to other purple wildflowers in Arizona.

 

The upper flowers are open and pollinated by insects, while lower flowers are low or underground vines that never open and self-pollinate. In addition, both flowers produce seeds, but the lower flowers grow a juicy closed fruit called a Hog Peanut, which is how it got its name.

 

The American Hog Peanut is typically found in the forest, and it attracts several species of butterfly caterpillars that eat its foliage.

 


#14. Purple False Foxglove

  • Agalinis purpurea

purple false foxglove

Also known as Purple Gerardia.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2a-10b
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate mature size: 12-36″ (30-91 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

The Purple False Foxglove is a pretty purple wildflower you can add to your garden in Arizona. It prefers moist sandy soils for it to thrive.

 

This semiparasitic plant derives some of its nutrients from other plants around them, such as native grasses, Loblolly Pines, Sycamore, or Sweetgum Trees.

 


#15. Rice Button Aster

  • Symphyotrichum dumosum

Rice Button Aster pic

Also known as Bushy Aster.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4a-8b
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 12-36″ (30-91 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer, Early Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Rice Button Aster is easy to grow and adaptable to various growing conditions, making it an excellent addition to your backyard or garden. Just keep in mind that it may require some thinning to keep it under control.

 

This very light purple perennial blooms in late summer or early fall, but it will bloom throughout the year in warmer climates. Many pollinators love it, particularly butterflies and native bees. This plant is also a larval host for the Pearl Crescent Butterfly.

 


#16. Texas Toadflax

  • Nuttallanthus texanus

texas toadflax

Also known as Blue Toadflax.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4a-8a
  • Life Cycle: Annual, Biennial
  • Approximate mature size: 4-24″ (10-61 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring through Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

The Texas Toadflax is easily identified by its long spurs. Many pollinating insects are attracted to the nectar inside.

 

This purple wildflower grows in many habitats such as grasslands, sand, brush, forests, and rocky slopes in Arizona.

 


#17. Hookedspur Violet

  • Viola adunca

hookedspur violet pic

Also known as Sand Violet, Early Blue Violet, Hookedspur Violet, and Western Dog Violet.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4b-9a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 4-8″ (10-20 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade, Light Shade

 

As their name suggests, this purple wildflower is often found in the mountains at varying elevations in Arizona. But it doesn’t necessarily HAVE to grow in the mountains and is found farther below.

 

This violet has seeds that contain oil that attracts ants, that carry the seeds to their nests. And this is how the Hookedspur Violet primarily spreads its seeds to new areas.

 


#18. South American Mock Vervain

  • Glandularia aristigera

south american mock vervain pic

Also known as Moss Verbena and Mock Vervain ‘Tatted Lace.’

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7b-8b
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 4-12″ (10-30 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Year-round
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

 

This low-growing, side crawling perennial forms large blankets that may exceed several feet in diameter.

 

This drought-tolerant wildflower can survive in various harsh environments such as old fields, disturbed sites, and along roadsides in Arizona.

 

The non-native South American Mock Vervains have massive beautiful purple blooms, which attract butterflies and hummingbird moths.

 


#19. Southern Swamp Aster

  • Eurybia paludosa

Southern Swamp Aster pic

Also known as Savannah Grass-leaved Aster and Grass-leaved Aster.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 8-36″ (20-91 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade, tolerates Full Sun

 

Southern Swamp Aster is typically found in moist to wet soils in Arizona.

 

If you want to get this non-native plant for your garden, you need to know it will tolerate full sun but do not allow the soil to dry out for long. Also, it is best to prune after flowering and cut it back.

 


Do you need more help identifying purple wildflowers in Arizona?

 

Check out this guide!

 


Which of these purple wildflowers have you seen before in Arizona?

 

Leave a comment below!

 

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