5 Kinds of RED Wildflowers in Washington (w/Pics)

Did you find a RED wildflower in Washington?

Types of red wildflowers in Washington

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 Washington, check out this field guide!

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Today, we will look at 5 RED wildflowers you can find in Washington.


#1. Spotted Coralroot

  • Corallorhiza maculata

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

Red wildflowers in Washington

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 Washington.

 

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.

 


#2. Prairie Smoke

  • Geum triflorum

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

Washington red wildflowers

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 Washington.

 

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.

 


#3. Scarlet Bee Balm

  • Monarda didyma

Also known as: Red Bergamot, Scarlet Monarda, Horsemint, Indian Plume

Types of red wildflowers in Washington

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-72 in (61-183 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

A native red wildflower in Washington, Scarlet Bee Balm attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Scarlet Bee Balm grows up to 4′ (1.2 m) tall and produces bright red tubular blooms that are a fantastic nectar source. Deadheading flowers will encourage a second round of blooms.

 

Although it’s most commonly grown in gardens as an ornamental plant, you may spot Scarlet Bee Balm on the edge of forests in full sun.

 


#4. Scarlet Gilia

  • Ipomopsis aggregata

Also known as: Scarlet Trumpet, Skyrocket

Red wildflowers in Washington

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-9
  • Life Cycle: Biennial or Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-60 in (30-152 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

The Scarlet Gilia is also called Skunk Flower for its potent putrid odor. However, that won’t stop long-tongued moths and hummingbirds from enjoying the sweet nectar inside the flowers.

 

The nickname “Skyrocket” is especially fitting for this red wildflower in Washington.

Its pointed, long petals extend from a central flower and look like a vibrant firework!

 


#5. 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 Washington?

 

Let us know in the COMMENTS below!