17 Types of WHITE Wildflowers in South Carolina! (2023)

Did you find a WHITE wildflower in South Carolina?

Types of white wildflowers in South Carolina

 

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. ūüôā

 

Please be aware that today I’m ONLY listing and focusing on the most COMMON plants. There are so many species, varieties, and subspecies that it would be impossible to name them all. But if you want to dive deeper into all the white wildflowers in South Carolina, check out this field guide!

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Here are 17 different WHITE wildflowers found in South Carolina!

 


#1. Common Chickweed

  • Stellaria media

Also known as: Chickenwort, Winterweed, Starwort

White wildflowers in South Carolina

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-11a
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-20 in (10-51 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer, Winter
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Common Chickweed is a white wildflower in South Carolina, but it’s considered an agricultural weed.

 

This plant is impressively resilient. For example, its seeds can survive in the ground for 50 years!

 

To spot Common Chickweed, look for small white capsule-shaped flowers in meadows, roadsides, wastelands, and open areas. Don’t allow it to spread in gardens because it will compete aggressively with your native plants for nutrients.

 

Luckily, this wildflower is not all bad news. Chickens love to eat Common Chickweed. In addition, its flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, moths, and songbirds. You can also eat the nutritious leaves and stems, which taste like spinach!

 


#2. Fleabane

  • Erigeron annuus

Also known as: Daisy Fleabane, Dependable Daisy, Vergerettes

South Carolina white wildflowers

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-8a
  • Life Cycle: Annual, Biennial, or Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-24 in (10-61 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Fleabane is a genus of at least 400 species, many of which are white wildflowers that can be found in South Carolina. They’re often a favorite of gardeners! It boasts thin, delicate petals attached to yellow disc centers.

 

Bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds love to visit Fleabane’s daisy-like flowers. They bloom enthusiastically from spring to fall in pastures, roadsides, dry mountains, and grasslands.

 

Fleabane is a breeze to care for in the garden because it’s drought-resistant, self-seeding, and not fussy with soil type. You can plant it as a groundcover or use it to soften the edges of hard landscapes. Fleabane flowers look good in mixed borders, rock, or coastal gardens.

 


#3. Cut-leaved Toothwort

  • Cardamine concatenata

Also known as: Crow’s Toes, Pepper Root, Purple-flowered Toothwort

Types of white wildflowers in South Carolina

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 6-15 in (15-38 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade

 

Cut-leaved Toothwort is a native white wildflower in South Carolina.

 

It occurs in moist forests, floodplains, and rocky banks. It’s an important food source for butterflies, honey bees, and bumble bees.

 

When spring comes, Cut-leaved Toothwort paints the landscape with shades of white, pink, and red flowers for about two weeks. The blooms are fragrant, four-petalled, and bell-shaped. You might also recognize its green coarsely-toothed leaves.

 

You can eat the roots, leaves, and rhizomes of the Cut-leaved Toothwort! As a member of the Mustard family, this plant has a delicious spicy taste reminiscent of radish. Try mixing the chopped-up roots with vinegar to garnish your salad.

 


#4. English Plantain

  • Plantago lanceolata

Also known as: Ribwort Plantain, Lanceleaf Indianwheat, Ribgrass

White wildflowers in South Carolina

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-20 in (10-51 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

The English Plantain is an introduced white wildflower in South Carolina, originally native to Europe and Asia.

 

It’s one of the most recognizable lawn weeds with its long, hairy, flowering spikes. These spikes contain small and inconspicuous white flowers.

 

You can spot English Plantain growing in disturbed habitats, dry meadows, grazing pastures, and roadsides. Its flowers are pollinated by flies and beetles, while songbirds eat their seeds.

 

Interestingly, English Plantain can adapt to different conditions depending on how humans try to eradicate it! For example, this plant naturally grows in tall stalks, but if the area where it grows is frequently mowed, it will grow low to the ground to avoid being cut.

 


#5. White Clover

  • Trifolium repens

Also known as: Dutch Clover, Shamrock, Honeysuckle Grass

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-10a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-6 in (10-15 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

White Clover is native to Europe and Asia, but this white wildflower is considered a naturalized species in South Carolina. It grows so well that it can take over lawns, roadsides, pastures, and waste areas. Fortunately, however, White Clover doesn’t usually compete with native vegetation!

 

From spring to fall, White Clover blooms with an abundance of creamy white, rounded flowers. You might be familiar with its green leaves, which typically have three leaflets. But if you find one with four, you can consider yourself lucky! ūüôā

 

Interestingly, all parts of the White Clover are edible. You can use the dried flowers to make tea or the young leaves in a salad. You can also grind the flowers and seed pods to be sprinkled as a seasoning on cooked food. It has a subtle vanilla-like flavor.

 


#6. Indian Hemp

  • Apocynum cannabinum

Also known as: Dogbane, Hemp Dogbane, Prairie Dogbane, Amy Root, Rheumatism Root, Wild Cotton

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3b-11
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-60 in (61-152 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Despite being native to North America, this white wildflower is considered an aggressive weed in South Carolina.

You’ll likely find it in dry, rocky woods, meadows, and prairies. Unfortunately, it also thrives on farms where it’s known to reduce the yield of corn, soybeans, and other crops.

 

In addition to its invasive nature, all parts of Indian Hemp are highly toxic to humans, dogs, and livestock. Avoid touching the milky sap, which can cause blisters on your skin. Its stiff, reddish stems and bushy lance-shaped leaves will help you identify this plant.

 

The small white flowers are rich with nectar, so don’t be surprised to see lots of butterflies and moths where Indian Hemp grows.

 


#7. Hedge Bindweed

  • Calystegia sepium

Also known as: Hedgebell, Bugle Vine, Rutland Beauty, Heavenly Trumpets

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 84-156 in (213-396 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Hedge Bindweed blooms in the summer with white, pink, or red trumpet-shaped flowers. It creates vines along hedges, reaching upwards of 10 feet tall. In the wild, you can spot this white wildflower in South Carolina near coastal beaches, marshes, open woods, and roadsides.

 

Hedge Bindweed can quickly become invasive to your garden by climbing fences, trellises, walls, and trees. It twines itself around neighboring plants or sprawls freely along the ground. Remember to prune it regularly before its growth gets out of hand.

 

Some subspecies of the Hedge Bindweed from Europe and Asia are invasive. If you want to grow this plant in your garden, look for North American natives such as the subspecies Americana, angulata, and appalachiana.

 


#8. Yarrow

  • Achillea millefolium

Also known as: Bloodwort, Carpenter’s Weed, Devil’s Nettle

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-36 in (61-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer

 

Planting Yarrow in your garden will reward you with abundant flowers that grow in clusters. They have small feathery leaves that look like ferns, and their scent might remind you of chrysanthemums (mums).

 

Some Yarrow plants were introduced from Europe in colonial times. However, there are many native subspecies of this white wildflower in South Carolina. Together, they form colorful hybrids that will attract bees, wasps, beetles, moths, and butterflies to your garden.

 

Yarrow plants naturally occur in disturbed areas, grasslands, open forests, and roadsides. They can tolerate drought and survive in less than perfect conditions.

 


#9. Catnip

  • Nepeta cataria

Also known as: Catswort, Catmint, Field Balm

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-36 in (61-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Catnip is a famous plant with a long history of medicinal and culinary uses. Of course, you might know of Catnip as a recreational stimulant for cats. As a member of the Mint family, it has aromatic leaves that can repel mosquitoes, cockroaches, and termites.

Catnip is native to Europe and Asia, but this white wildflower is naturalized in South Carolina.

You can find it growing on roadsides, streams, waste grounds, dry banks, and fields. The triangular, veiny leaves and the small white or purple spotted flowers will help you recognize this plant.

 

Bees, butterflies, wasps, flies, and many pollinators love the nectar-laden flowers of Catnip. In addition, you can expect goldfinches and other birds to eat the seeds in the fall. Catnip grows best in full sun and well-drained soils.

 


#10. Large-flowered Trillium

  • Trillium grandiflorum

Also known as: White Trillium, Wood Lily, Large-flowered Trillium

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-24 in (30-61 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Shade

 

Large-flowered Trillium is one of the most recognizable white wildflowers in South Carolina.

The fragrant white blooms are pretty to look at and attract moths, bees, and other pollinators to your area.

 

Gardeners know the Large-flowered Trillium for its solitary, three-petalled flower growing atop a single stalk. With ruffled edges and a pointed tip, the waxy white petals later fade to pink. You can find it naturally growing in rich, mixed upland forests.

 

True to its name, Large-flowered Trillium is the largest, showiest, and perhaps the most popular species in its genus. Unfortunately, it takes seven years for this wildflower to bloom from seed, so choose bulbs or fully grown plants to purchase from nurseries.

 


#11. Queen Anne’s Lace

  • Daucus carota

Also known as: Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-11a
  • Life Cycle: Annual or Biennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-48 in (30-122 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Queen Anne’s Lace was introduced to North America by early European settlers. This white wildflower is an aggressive weed in many areas, invading grasslands, meadows, roadsides, and degraded prairies.

 

Interestingly, this wildflower is the ancestor of domesticated carrots that we cultivate and eat. Also known as the Wild Carrot, it is edible when young, but the roots quickly become woody and fibrous as they age.

 

To identify this plant, look for two-foot-tall umbels with small white flowers and hairy stems. Queen Anne’s Lace adapts to most soils and can be difficult to pull up from the ground. It produces and spreads seeds prolifically, so it’s best to prevent it from taking root in your planned garden.

 


#12. Mayapple

  • Podophyllum peltatum

Also known as: Hog Apple, Wild Mandrake, Ground Lemon

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-24 in (30-61 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Shade

 

Look for this solitary white wildflower in South Carolina growing in mixed deciduous forest, shaded fields, and riverbanks. Various species of bees are attracted to the flowers, and squirrels and box turtles eat the seeds.

 

Despite its name, Mayapple produces a large, fleshy, lemon-shaped fruit. The fruit typically appears in May, which better describes the common name of this plant.

 

Use caution around the Mayapple, especially if you have pets or livestock. The unripe fruits, leaves, and roots are poisonous to humans, cats, dogs, and horses.

 


#13. Whorled Milkweed

  • Asclepias verticillata

Also known as: Eastern Whorled Milkweed, Horsetail Milkweed

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-36 in (30-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Whorled Milkweed is a single-stemmed perennial wildflower with flat-topped clusters of 7-20 small flowers. The fragrant white blooms are common in dry prairies, open woods, fields, and roadsides.

 

If you find this native white wildflower in South Carolina, you’re likely to also see hummingbirds, bees, wasps, butterflies, flies, skippers, and beetles. In addition, it’s an especially important food source for Monarch butterflies and their caterpillars.

 

Although Whorled Milkweed spreads quickly through underground rhizomes, it’s not considered invasive, so it’s a perfect choice for your garden! It stands well against drought, easily self-seeds, and tolerates most soil types.

 


#14. White Snakeroot

  • Ageratina altissima

Also known as: Richweed, White Sanicle

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 36-60 in (91-152 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Sun

 

This native white wildflower in South Carolina can be found in woods, brush thickets, and shaded areas with open ground. White Snakeroot blooms with fuzzy white flowers clustered on top of tall stems from midsummer to the first frost.

 

This wildflower is most notable for its toxicity to cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Unfortunately, the meat and milk of livestock that eat this plant also become poisoned. In addition, humans can die from this toxin, so it’s important to keep White Snakeroot away from grazing lands!

 

Bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, and flies are attracted to White Snakeroot. After the long blooming season, its flowers give way to fluffy white seed heads blown away by the wind.

 


#15. Oxeye Daisy

  • Leucanthemum vulgare

Also known as: Dog Daisy, Marguerite, White Weed

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-24 in (30-61 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Oxeye Daisy has beautiful white petals surrounding yellow disc-shaped centers. Unfortunately, this wildflower is from Europe and is an invasive species in South Carolina. Its seeds and underground rhizomes spread aggressively, colonizing native ecosystems. Today, you can find it growing in grassy fields, meadows, disturbed sites, and open woodlands.

 

Although the plant is self-fertilizing, bees, flies, beetles, moths, and butterflies help pollinate the Oxeye Daisy.

 


#16. Boneset

  • Eupatorium perfoliatum

Also known as: Feverwort, Thoroughwort, Sweating-plant

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 48-72 in (122-183 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Boneset has a cluster of small, fuzzy white flowers above its dense foliage. It has a long blooming season, with flowers appearing continuously from midsummer through fall.

 

It earned its common names “Feverwort” and “Sweating-plant” from its traditional use of inducing heavy sweating to break a fever. However, despite this plant’s popularity in traditional medicine, it is listed in the Poisonous Plants Database of the US Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, be cautious with holistic medicine products that use Boneset!

 

This white wildflower is an essential nectar source for many butterfly species in South Carolina. It’s mostly found in low, wet areas such as floodplain forests, marshes, bogs, seeps, and edges of rivers.

 


#17. Pokeweed

  • Phytolacca americana

Also known as: American Pokeweed, Great Pokeweed, Poke Sallet, Pokeberry, Pigeonberry, Dragonberry, Inkberry, Red Ink Plant, Garnet, Scoke

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 96-120 in (244-305 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Pokeweed is a tall, branching plant with long pinkish racemes (flower stalks) holding small white flowers. Despite its unique and attractive look, Pokeweed is a troublesome weed that self-seeds easily and spreads aggressively in the garden.

 

Think twice before touching this plant if you come across it in pastures, woodland openings, and wastelands. Its poisonous berries and roots can cause vomiting, a burning sensation in the mouth, respiratory failure, and even death in extreme cases.

 

Although Pokeweed is poisonous to humans, dogs, and livestock, birds are somehow unaffected by it. Many species, including the Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, and Cedar Waxwing, love to eat the berries and seeds.

 


Do you want to learn about ALL the wildflowers in South Carolina? Check out this field guide!

 


Which of these white wildflowers have you seen before in South Carolina?

 

Leave a comment below!

 

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