10 Kinds of RED Wildflowers in Kansas (w/Pics)

Did you find a RED wildflower in Kansas?

Types of red wildflowers in Kansas

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

 

Please be aware that I’m ONLY listing the most common red wildflowers today. There are so many species, varieties, and subspecies that it would be impossible to name them all. But if you want to dive even deeper into ALL the red wildflowers in Kansas, check out this field guide!

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Today, we will look at 10 RED wildflowers you can find in Kansas.


#1. Indian Paintbrush

  • Castilleja coccinea

Also known as: Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Scarlet Paintbrush, Scarlet Painted-cup

Red wildflowers in Kansas

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8
  • Life Cycle: Biennial or Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-36 in (10-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Indian Paintbrush is a hemiparasite, which means it feeds on the nutrients of other plants instead of creating nutrients through photosynthesis. Its most common hosts are grasses and sagebrush. To collect the nutrients, this red wildflower in Kansas must attach its roots to the roots of its host.

 

Because of its parasitic nature, Indian Paintbrush can be hard to grow in home gardens and doesn’t transplant well. As a result, it’s commonly found in open fields with other wildflowers and grasses.

 

Interestingly, if you look closely, the red coloring on Indian Paintbrush isn’t the flower, but a part of its leaves called bracts.

 


#2. Columbine

  • Aquilegia canadensis

Also known as: Red Columbine, Wild Columbine, Canadian Columbine, Jack-In-Trousers, Meeting Houses

Kansas red wildflowers

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3b-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial or Biennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 6-48 in (15-122 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

You might be more familiar with Columbine varieties from Europe that are purple and blue. However, Red Columbine is a native red wildflower in Kansas! You’re probably looking at Columbine if you spot drooping, bell-like red wildflowers near woodlands.

 

Columbine grows particularly well in gardens or even as a potted plant. Aside from painting your garden with a myriad of colors, the Columbine can attract hummingbirds, bumblebees, and butterflies, which help to pollinate these beauties. Finches and Buntings are also known to eat the seeds!

 

 


#3. Fire Pink

  • Silene virginica

Also known as: Scarlet Catchfly, Cliff Pink, Indian Pink

Types of red wildflowers in Kansas

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 8-36 in (20-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring to Mid Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade

 

Fire Pink is a native, carnivorous red wildflower in Kansas.

 

Carnivorous plants that trap and eat insects sound like something from a tropical jungle, but we have tons of them in North America! The sticky hairs on its leaves trap prey and discourage ants and other pests from eating the leaves.

 

Fire Pink has five bright red petals that flare out into long tubes. Although this plant is pollinated primarily by hummingbirds, many small songbirds eat its seeds. Juncos, Pine Siskins, Sparrows, Water Pipits, and Horned Larks are all common birds attracted to it.

 


#4. Cardinal Flower

  • Lobelia cardinalis

Also known as: Red Bay, Scarlet Lobelia, Indian Pink, Water Gladiole, Slinkweed, Bog Sage, Hog’s Physic

Red wildflowers in Kansas

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 3.6-72 in (9-183 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Mid Summer to Early Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

The blooms on this red wildflower in Kansas cluster on the end of a long stalk. The Cardinal Flower has dark green leaves with purple undersides.

 

If you’re especially fond of hummingbirds, you can use the Cardinal Flower to attract them to your neighborhood. While other insects might find it hard to reach the sweet nectar inside, the tubular flowers are perfect for the long beaks of hummingbirds.

 

Cardinal Flowers grow well in a garden setting. Plant it in an area with partial sun for a beautiful pop of red that will attract hummingbirds!

 


#5. Toadshade Trillium

  • Trillium sessile

Also known as: Red Trillium, Red Wake-robin, Yellow Trillium

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-12 in (10-30 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring to Late Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Shade

 

Toadshade Trillium has funnel-shaped flowers. It beautifully carpets landscapes with shades of red, purple, brown, yellow, and green. You might notice a spicy, pungent odor, which the plant uses to attract pollinating flies and beetles.

 

This red wildflower in Kansas is beloved among gardeners.

 

Its reddish-purple blooms are centered in the middle of the leaves, creating a double-flower effect that looks beautiful when mixed with other plants.

 


#6. Trumpet Honeysuckle

  • Lonicera sempervirens

Also known as: Scarlet Honeysuckle, Coral Honeysuckle, Honeysuckle, Woodbine

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4b-9a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 10-20 ft (3-6 m) tall
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring to Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Trumpet Honeysuckle attracts birds, butterflies, and bumblebees. Its red, trumpet-shaped flowers are especially attractive to hummingbirds.

 

In addition to pollinators, birds are attracted to this red wildflower in Kansas because they eat its bright red berries. Purple Finches, Goldfinches, Hermit Thrushes, American Robins, and quails are frequent visitors to Trumpet Honeysuckle vines.

 

It has similar features to the Trumpet Creeper, and many people get the two mixed up. However, a benefit of the Trumpet Honeysuckle is that it’s not as aggressive and does not get as big as the Trumpet Creeper. Because of this, Trumpet Honeysuckle may fit better in your garden.

 


#7. Painted-leaf

  • Euphorbia cyathophora

Also known as: Wild Poinsettia

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-11
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 28-35 in (71-89 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

You can easily identify the Painted-leaf by its fiddle-shaped leaves with blotches of reddish pink near the base. Their coloring gives them a painted look, which is where their common name came from. You might mistake these colorful leaves as petals, but if you take a closer look, you will see that the true flowers are small and yellow.

 

This red wildflower in Kansas grows in many different soil types, and it’s common across its range. So you’re likely to spot it in habitats ranging from forest edges to open fields.

 


#8. Trumpet Creeper

  • Campsis radicans

Also known as: Trumpet Vine, Trumpet Climber, Hellvine, Devil’s Shoestring

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-10a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 29-40 ft (9-12 m) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Trumpet Vine is a perfect hummingbird flower (it’s even commonly referred to as “hummingbird vine”), as it features long, tubular, bright flowers with lots of nectar.

 

This reddish-orange wildflower is easy to grow in most of the country. And I do mean GROW. It has a reputation for growing like crazy, and I can second that with my first-hand experience. It needs to be trimmed regularly, or it will take over an entire area. The vine gets so big that many birds will even nest in its dense foliage!

 


#9. Wine Cup

  • Callirhoe involucrata

Also known as: Purple Poppy Mallow

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-12 in (10-30 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

The Wine Cup is named for its vibrant chalice-shaped flowers. The blooms are magenta, with a white spot at the base of the five upturned petals.

 

You can plant the beautiful Wine Cup in hanging pots, garden walls, or open meadows to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The stems trail along the ground and spread to about three feet but won’t smother your other plants.

 

This drought-resistant red wildflower is found in open fields and clearings in Kansas.

 


#10. Blanket Flower

  • Gaillardia pulchella

Also known as: Indian Blanket, Indian Blanketflower, Beach Blanket-flower, Firewheel, Sundance

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-11
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-24 in (30-61cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Early Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Blanket Flower is a sunflower with an impressive display of red, orange, and yellow petals. Don’t be surprised if you spot many bees and birds where these flowers grow!

 

Many beekeepers use Blanket Flower in the production of honey. The honey made from this red wildflower is mild, buttery, and amber-colored.

 

Goldfinches enjoy the seeds of Blanket Flower, so don’t forget to leave some seedheads after the flowering season!

 


What are your FAVORITE red wildflowers in Kansas?

 

Let us know in the COMMENTS below!