16 Types of WHITE Wildflowers in South Dakota! (2023)

Did you find a WHITE wildflower in South Dakota?

Types of white 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. 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 Dakota, check out this field guide!

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Here are 16 different WHITE wildflowers found in South Dakota!

 


#1. Fleabane

  • Erigeron annuus

Also known as: Daisy Fleabane, Dependable Daisy, Vergerettes

White wildflowers in South Dakota

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 Dakota. 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.

 


#2. Cut-leaved Toothwort

  • Cardamine concatenata

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

South Dakota white wildflowers

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 Dakota.

 

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.

 


#3. Snow Trillium

  • Trillium nivale

Also known as: Dwarf White Trillium, Dwarf White Wakerobin, Snow Wakerobin

Types of white wildflowers in South Dakota

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-6a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 6-12 in (15-30 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Late Winter or Early Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Shade

 

Snow Trillium gets its name by blooming in early spring when snow is still on the ground. As a result, this beautiful white wildflower in South Dakota is a rare sight, even in its native habitat. It is a threatened species with a sparse population across much of its range.

 

You can easily recognize the solitary, three-petalled, funnel-shaped flower of the Snow Trillium. The best place to find this wildflower is in hardwood forests adjacent to rivers or streams.

 

Snow Trillium has a fascinating life cycle. After germination, it takes between two and twelve years for the plant to bloom! However, individual plants can survive indefinitely, often living for decades in the right conditions!

 


#4. Wild Strawberry

  • Fragaria vesca

Also known as: Common Strawberry, Mountain Strawberry, Thick Leaved Wild Strawberry, Virginia Strawberry, Scarlet Strawberry

White wildflowers in South Dakota

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-7 in (10-18 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

The commercial strawberries we enjoy today were hybridized from Wild Strawberry, a white wildflower that grows natively in South Dakota. You can find this plant in disturbed habitats, meadows, river shores, woodlands, and even roadsides.

 

White, five-petalled flowers carpet the ground in spring where Wild Strawberries grow. The fruit of Wild Strawberries is much smaller than the ones we cultivate in gardens, but they are just as nutritious and tasty.

 

Birds and mammals also enjoy eating the tart fruits of the Wild Strawberry. In addition, the flower blooms attract bees, butterflies, and insect pollinators. In a garden setting, you can use this plant as a ground cover or for erosion control.

 


#5. English Plantain

  • Plantago lanceolata

Also known as: Ribwort Plantain, Lanceleaf Indianwheat, Ribgrass

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 Dakota, 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.

 


#6. Hoary Alyssum

  • Berteroa incana

Also known as: False Hoary Madwort, Hoary Berteroa, Hoary Alison

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3b-7
  • Life Cycle: Biennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-24 in (30-61 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Midsummer
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Hoary Alyssum is an invasive weed that you might find growing in pastures, riverbanks, roadsides, and lawns. Not only does it compete with native plants, but it can also be fatal to horses that eat it.

 

To identify this white wildflower in South Dakota, look for small white flowers on branching stems.

Each petal is deeply notched, so it might look like there are eight petals instead of four on every flower. The green leaves are covered with gray hairs.

 

Although bees, wasps, and other insects will eat Hoary Alyssum pollen, you’re better off killing this weed before it takes over your property. It can survive cold winters and hot summers. In addition, it thrives in poor soils and spreads prolifically, making it incredibly difficult to eradicate.

 


#7. 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 Dakota. 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.

 


#8. 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 Dakota.

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.

 


#9. White Trout Lily

  • Erythronium albidum

Also known as: White Fawnlily, White Dog’s-tooth Violet, Yellow Snowdrop, Adder’s Tongue

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 6-12 in (15-30 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Sun

 

The elusive beauty of a White Trout Lily flower lasts for only two weeks in mid-spring. This plant forms impressively large colonies on forest floors, serving as nutrient pools for the soil. However, only a few mature plants will bloom at a time.

 

Look for White Trout Lily in deciduous woodlands where it’s native. It blooms into a single white flower with bright yellow anthers or pollen fronds. Mature plants have two dark green leaves with mottled purple blotches.

 

If you want to attract bees, butterflies, and skippers to your garden, you can purchase White Trout Lily plants from your local nursery. Seeds, on the other hand, will take about four years to bloom. This plant prefers partial shade and deep, loamy soils.

 


#10. 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 Dakota 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.

 


#11. 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 Dakota. 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.

 


#12. 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 Dakota.

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.

 


#13. Cow Parsnip

  • Heracleum maximum

Also known as: American Cow-parsnip, American Hogweed, Satan Celery, Indian Celery, Indian Rhubarb

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4b-10a
  • Life Cycle: Biennial or Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 47-94 in (119-239 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

 

Cow Parsnip is a relative of the cultivated parsnip. However, this white wildflower in South Dakota is not something you should eat. Be exceeding careful when gardening near this plant! The sap released from its broken leaves can cause blisters on your skin that take months to heal.

Typical of members of the carrot family, Cow Parsnip’s flowers occur in small, white clusters called umbels. The stems are tall and hairy, while the leaves are very large and divided into three lobes. Look for this plant in meadows, streamsides, and moist areas.

 

Cow Parnsip’s blooms are irresistible for birds and butterflies. The roots are also an important food source for wild animals. Bears are especially fond of them, so be careful of growing this plant in your backyard.

 


#14. 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 Dakota, 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.

 


#15. 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 Dakota 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.

 


#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 Dakota. It’s mostly found in low, wet areas such as floodplain forests, marshes, bogs, seeps, and edges of rivers.

 


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

 


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

 

Leave a comment below!

 

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