7 Kinds of RED Wildflowers in South Dakota (w/Pics)

Did you find a RED wildflower in South Dakota?

Types of red wildflowers in South Dakota

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 South Dakota, check out this field guide!

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Today, we will look at 7 RED wildflowers you can find in South Dakota.


#1. Columbine

  • Aquilegia canadensis

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

Red wildflowers in South Dakota

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 South Dakota! 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!

 

 


#2. Spotted Coralroot

  • Corallorhiza maculata

Also known as: Summer Coralroot, Speckled Coral Root, Many-flowered Coral Root

South Dakota red wildflowers

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 3.9-31 in (10-79 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Early Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Shade

 

This red wildflower is commonly found in wooded areas in South Dakota.

 

The most interesting feature of Spotted Coralroot is that it doesn’t have any leaves! Instead, the bare stalks produce clusters of flowers. Since this plant isn’t capable of photosynthesis, it siphons nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi, which is a natural fungus that occurs in its roots.

 

Mining bees are especially attracted to Spotted Coralroot. Although they pollinate this native orchid, it can also self-pollinate by transferring its pollen as its flower opens.

 


#3. Prairie Smoke

  • Geum triflorum

Also known as: Red Avens, Three-flowered Avens, Old Man’s Whiskers

Types of red wildflowers in South Dakota

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 6-18 in (15-46 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Mid Spring to Early Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Prairie Smoke is one of the most striking red wildflowers in South Dakota.

 

Its green leaves turn red, purple, or orange in colder seasons. It produces bright red flower buds that droop from long stems during the spring.

 

However, the real show starts when the flowers start to seed. They open to reveal feathery, silvery-pink seed heads that unfurl into puffy clouds. It’s easy to mistake these wispy pink plumes for smoke, which is how they got their common name, Prairie Smoke.

 


#4. Painted-leaf

  • Euphorbia cyathophora

Also known as: Wild Poinsettia

Red wildflowers in South Dakota

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 South Dakota 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.

 


#5. 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!

 


#6. 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!

 


#7. Pinedrops

  • Pterospora andromedea

Also known as: Giant Pinedrops, Woodland Pinedrops, Giant Bird’s Nest

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-79 in (30-201 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Early Summer to Mid Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Pinedrops spend most of their life as a clump of fleshy roots underground. Without leaves, Pinedrops don’t need chlorophyll like other plants do. Instead, they are parasitic and steal nutrients from their host plants.

 

Sometimes, the roots of the Pinedrops will sprout tall, stiff, reddish-purple stems that will grow upright without branches. From these stems, you will see urn-shaped yellow, pink, or white flowers which face downward.

 


What are your FAVORITE red wildflowers in South Dakota?

 

Let us know in the COMMENTS below!