32 Common WILDFLOWERS Found in Alberta! (2024)

There are hundreds of different wildflowers found in Alberta!

 

Because of the vast amount of species, it can be really hard to correctly identify one that you found. In addition, there are numerous cultivars and hybrids you may come across that probably originated at a local garden center.

Wildflowers in Alberta

These facts make it difficult to put together a list of wildflowers in Alberta. 🙂

 

Regardless, I did my best to find the most common and widespread species. To make the list easier to navigate, I have organized the wildflowers below by color. Click the links below to go directly to that section.

 

Please remember these two things as you read:

  • This list is not a recommendation of plants you should plant in your yard. It is an ID guide to wildflowers you may encounter. While many of the wildflowers below would make excellent additions to your gardens, there are also various species that are invasive and should be avoided and destroyed if it starts growing on your property.
  • Determining the color of some wildflowers is a matter of opinion. For example, certain species may appear purplish-blue to me, so I included it in the “Blue Wildflowers” section, but you think it’s more of a blue-purple, and it belongs under “Purple Wildflowers.”

 

Here are 32 common types of wildflowers in Alberta:

 


BLUE WILDFLOWERS:


#1. Chicory

  • Cichorium intybus

Types of common wildflowers in Alberta

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 1-4′ (30-120 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

This non-native wildflower is found throughout Alberta.

 

Typically you will find this plant where it’s sunny and dry, so look for it along roads and open fields.

 

The exciting thing about Chicory is that you can eat it! The leaves are high in vitamins and minerals. You can eat the leaves as a vegetable or in a salad, but beware, they are very bitter tasting. The roots can also be boiled and eaten with butter. Sometimes the root is roasted and ground as a substitute or additive to coffee.

 

Interestingly, Chicory flowers only bloom for ONE day. And in hot weather, the flower may only be open for a few hours!

 


#2. Blue Vervain

  • Verbena hastata

Alberta wildflowers

Also known as the American Vervain or Swamp Verbena.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 2-5′ (60-150cm)
  • Bloom Time: Early Summer-Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Look for this hardy and drought-resistant wildflower in Alberta in plains, foothills, wet soils, ditches, shores, and wet fields.

 

The Blue Vervain attracts various native bees, honeybees, beneficial wasps, small butterflies, skippers, and moths. It is also a great host plant because the Verbena Moth and the Common Buckeye Butterfly caterpillars feed on the leaves.

 


#3. Bachelor’s Button

  • Centaurea cyanus

Wildflower species in Alberta

Also known as Cornflower.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-4
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate mature size: 1-3′ (30-90cm)
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring-Late Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Light Shade

 

This common wildflower is a magnet for butterflies in Alberta. In addition, it’s excellent for cutting and drying.

 

The Bachelor’s Button flowers are daisy-like and virtually pest and disease-free. And can you believe they are also deer and drought tolerant?! I recommend this easy-to-grow plant for borders of flower beds or rock gardens.

 


PURPLE WILDFLOWERS:


#4. Bull Thistle

  • Cirsium vulgare

Wildflowers in Alberta

Also known as Boar Thistle, Common Thistle, Dodder, and Spear Thistle.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3a-8b
  • Life Cycle: Biennial
  • Approximate mature size: 2-6′ (.6-1.8 m)
  • Bloom Time: Summer, Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade

 

Bull Thistle is a common wildflower in Alberta.

 

But be careful when handling it because it’s spiny!

 

The seeds of this thistle are an excellent food source for goldfinches. However, these birds also use the thistledown to line their nests; thus, they wait until the flowers bloom in late summer to raise their young. In addition, it’s also a great flower if you want to attract giant bees and butterflies.

 


#5. Common Burdock

  • Arctium minus

Types of common wildflowers in Alberta

Also known as Lesser Burdock, Little Burdock, Louse-bur, Button-bur, Cuckoo-button, and Wild Rhubarb.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4a-10b
  • Life Cycle: Biennial
  • Approximate mature size: 4-6′ (120-180 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Mid Summer – Mid Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

 

Look for this wildflower in Alberta in pastures, open prairies, hayfields, roadsides, old fields, barnyards, railways, and other disturbed areas.

 

Common Burdock has large leaves and deep purple flowers resembling rhubarb, making it easy to identify. After the flower head dries, they are similar to velcro because they stick onto humans and animals to transport the entire seed head!

 

This wildflower attracts bees, butterflies, and birds. But be careful if you handle this plant; it may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.

 


#6. Bee Balm

  • Monarda fistulosa

purple wildflowers

Buy/View Seeds HERE!

Also known as Wild Bergamot, Horsemint, and Wild Bee Balm.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3a-9b
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 2-4′ (60-120 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

 

This perennial has beautiful lilac-purple blooms. Bee Balm can be found in dry areas of fields, prairies, and along roads in Alberta.

 

The main reason that I grow Bee Balm in my flower garden is to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and pollinator bees. When this NATIVE perennial is in full bloom, birds and insects can’t resist visiting the nectar-rich flowers. Many people claim that Bee Balm is so effective at drawing in hummingbirds that they no longer have to worry about filling their feeders!

 

Interestingly, Bee Balm leaves make a refreshing tea that provides many health benefits, as its antimicrobial properties help ward off colds and the flu.

 


#7. Creeping Charlie

  • Glechoma hederacea

purple wildflowers

Also known as Gill-over-ground, Ground Ivy, Hedgemaids, Field Balm, Tunhoof, Catsfoot, Run-away-robin, and Alehoof.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3a-10b
  • Life Cycle: Perennials
  • Approximate mature size: 5-8″ (12.5-20 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

 

This wildflower grows in large groups in moist semi-shaded areas and tolerates the sun very well. Bees especially love collecting pollen from Creeping Charlie.

 

Many people in Alberta consider this wildflower a weed. It’s commonly found growing in lawns, and because of the plant’s extensive root system, it is difficult to get rid of by hand-pulling or mowing. I have personally battled with Creeping Charlie in my yard!

 


#8. Purple Loosestrife

  • Lythrum salicaria

purple wildflowers

Also known as Spiked Loosetrife and Purple Lythrum.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3a-9b
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 2-5′ (60-150 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Typically you will see this wildflower in Alberta in wet areas.

For example, look for it in wet meadows, marshes, and along lakes. It’s hard to believe Purple Loosestrife is usually not welcome, but this invasive species can take over and push out native plants.

 

Purple Loosestrife reproduces VERY quickly, as each flower spike can produce up to 300,000 seeds. In addition, it also spreads by growing new shoots from its roots.

 


#9. Dame’s Rocket

  • Hesperis matronalis

purple wildflowers

Also known as the Damask-violet, Dame’s-violet, Dames-wort, Dame’s Gilliflower, Night-scented Gilliflower, Queen’s Gilliflower, Rogue’s Gilliflower, Summer Lilac, Sweet Rocket, Mother-of-the-evening, Good & Plenties, and Winter Gilliflower.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Biennials or Short-lived Perennials
  • Approximate mature size: 1-4′ (30-122 cm)
  • Bloom Time: Early to Mid Spring
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

This wildflower is widespread throughout Alberta.

 

Dame’s Rocket is fast-spreading and found in meadows and woodlands. Look for them included in prepackaged “wildflower seed” mixes.

 

In some areas, this plant is considered invasive. However, the young leaves of this spring-blooming flower are high in Vitamin C, can be eaten in salads, and have a slightly bitter taste.

 


#10. Heal-All

  • Prunella vulgaris

Types of Blue Wildflowers

Also known as Common Self-heal, Woundwort, Heart-of-the-earth, Carpenter’s Herb, Brownwort, or Blue Curls.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate mature size: 6-12″ (15-30cm)
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring-Late Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

 

This wildflower is one of the most common in Alberta.

 

You will find Heal-all in lawns, along roadsides, and on the edge of woodlands. It’s especially aggressive in large grassy areas.


This plant attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. As a result, it is often used as a ground cover on border fronts, meadows, and naturalized landscapes.

 


PINK WILDFLOWERS:

 


#11. Spreading Dogbane

  • Apocynum androsaemifolium

Also known as Fly-trap Dogbane, Bitterroot.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-60 in (61-152 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Full Shade

 

As you might have guessed from its name, Spreading Dogbane is a prolific grower, which is why you’ll find it widespread across both North America and Europe. It’s called “dogbane” because it is highly poisonous to dogs (and humans too).

 

Spreading Dogbane has small, pink bell-shaped flowers and a scent similar to lilac. Look for this wildflower in Alberta in the sandy soil of streambanks.

 


#12. Joe Pye Weed

  • Eutrochium

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-96 in (61-244 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Full Shade

 

Joe Pye Weed is the common name for plants that are in the genus Eutrochium. These wildflowers are NATIVE to Alberta and highly recommended to plant in your yard! It’s recognizable by the large pink flower clusters at the end of long stems, which attract many types of pollinators!

 

Naturally, Joe Pye Weed grows naturally at the edges of woodlands and wet meadows. If you plant it in your yard, it does best when in partial shade. And one of my favorite things about this wildflower is that it’s deer resistant. 🙂

 

There are 5 species of wild Eutrochium found in North America:

  • Eutrochium dubium: Also known as Coastal Plain Joe Pye Weed, it’s located in the eastern USA and Canada, and its range extends from Nova Scotia to Georgia.

  • Eutrochium fistulosum: This species is also referred to as Hollow Joe Pye Weed, Trumpetweed, or Purple Thoroughwort. It thrives from southern Canada to the eastern and southern USA, from Maine west to Ontario, Wisconsin, and Missouri, and south as far as Florida.

  • Eutrochium maculatum: Commonly called Spotted Joe Pye Weed, it’s found throughout much of the USA and Canada. It’s the only wild Joe Pye species that is located west of the Great Plains.

  • Eutrochium purpureum: This species is native to eastern and central North America. It’s commonly known as Purple Joe-Pye Weed, Kidney-root, Sweetscented Joe Pye Weed, and Sweet Joe Pye Weed.

  • Eutrochium steelei: Found only in parts of the Appalachian Mountains. This Joe Pye Weed species is commonly known as Steele’s eupatorium.

 

When you go shopping for Joe Pye Weed at your local garden center, you probably won’t find any of the wild species listed above. That’s OK, most of the options you will find at a store will be a cultivar of a wild variety.

 


#13. Fireweed

  • Chamerion angustifolium

Also known as Willow Herb.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-8
  • Life Cycle: Annual or Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 18-120 in (46-305 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring and Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

True to its name, Fireweed is a resilient plant that will be the first to grow in clearings recently devastated by forest fires. For example, Fireweed was seen growing throughout Washington State one year after Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980.

 

To find Fireweed, look for striking spikes of purplish-pink flowers covering a landscape. Hummingbirds, moths, and butterflies like to feed on this wildflower.

 


#14. Crown Vetch

  • Securigera varia

Also known as Purple Crownvetch, Crownvetch.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-72 in (30-183 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Even though the large, pink clover-like blooms of Crown Vetch are beautiful, this plant is invasive in North America. Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, Crown Vetch was introduced locally to be used as a groundcover in controlling soil erosion.

 

Look for this wildflower in Alberta on sunny, sandy banks where it can push out less hardy plants.

 


If you plant Crown Vetch on your property, choose an isolated location far away from flower gardens. Don’t forget to control its growth so it doesn’t spread to other areas and invade native species and ecosystems.

 


YELLOW WILDFLOWERS:


#15. Birds-foot Trefoil

  • Lotus corniculatus

Also known as Birdfoot Deervetch, Bloomfell, Cat’s Clover, and Crowtoes.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 2-8 in (5-20 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Birds-foot Trefoil has yellow, orange, and sometimes red-streaked flowers atop long stalks. As beautiful as the blooms are, this wildflower is considered invasive in many areas of Alberta. It tends to choke out native plants and overtake entire gardens and fields.

 

It’s especially aggressive in sandy soil, fields, parks, and roadsides. However, Birds-foot Trefoil is useful as long as you can control its growth. Its flowers serve as an important food source for many pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and moths.

 


#16. Sneezeweed

  • Helenium autumnale

Also known as False Sunflower, Bitterweed.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8a
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-60 in (90-150 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Sun

 

To identify this wildflower in Alberta, look for pretty daisy-like flowers blooming in the fall. You can find Sneezeweed along streams, ponds, swamps, and wetlands. Some cultivars are popularly grown in gardens and have showier flowers than ones in the wild.

 

Despite the name Sneezeweed, the pollen from this plant isn’t likely to cause allergic reactions. Its name comes from an old medicinal practice of drying and crushing its leaves to make snuff, a powder that causes sneezing. This practice was thought to remove evil spirits from the body!

 

Native bees, honey bees, wasps, butterflies, and beetles are attracted to the Sneezeweed. It will grow in most soil conditions and is resistant to common diseases.

 


#17. Black-eyed Susan

  • Rudbeckia hirta

Buy seeds HERE!

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Biennial or short-lived Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-36 in (30-90 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Look for this native wildflower in Alberta in open woods, prairies, fields, and roadsides.

 

Black-eyed Susans grow graceful flowers in shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown. It owes its common name to the fact that each flower has a striking dark “eye” in the center. You can expect to see many species of bees, birds, and butterflies visiting the beautiful blooms. Goldfinches also occasionally eat the seeds.

 

Black-eyed Susans are a crowd favorite in gardens and parks everywhere. It will look excellent in mixed borders, wildflower gardens, and container pots. Best of all, it blooms within a year after you sow the seeds.

 


#18. Wild Parsnip

  • Pastinaca sativa

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8
  • Life Cycle: Biennial or Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 48-59 in (122-150 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Early Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Sun

 

You might be familiar with parsnip as a delicious root vegetable, but its relative that grows in the wild is dangerous to your health! Wild Parsnips smell and taste like cultivated parsnips, except their leaves and stems cause severe blisters and burns. (see below!)

To identify this wildflower in Alberta, look for its grooved stems and flat-topped flower clusters of yellow blooms.

 

Wild Parsnip is an invasive species in North America. It spreads rapidly, threatening to choke native plants and poisoning livestock that eats it. You can spot its vivid yellow blooms in ditches, roadsides, and abandoned fields in early spring.

 


#19. Goldenrod

  • Solidago

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 36-60 in (90-150 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

There are over 120 species of Goldenrod native to North America!

 

The blooms of Goldenrod may be tiny, but they make up for their small size with their vibrant color in the summer and fall. They grow in clusters on top of branched stems with stiff leaves.

 

Although Goldenrod is often blamed for hay fever, pollen grains from similar-looking plants like ragweed are likely the culprit. Enjoying the uniquely-shaped blooms is perfectly safe, but this wildflower can spread aggressively in gardens. You can contain its growth by planting it in pots and pruning it regularly.

 

A wide variety of bees, butterflies, and beetles rely on this native wildflower in Alberta.

 


#20. Common Sunflower

  • Helianthus annuus

Buy sunflower seeds for planting HERE!

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-11
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 36-120 in (91-304 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

The Common Sunflower is one of the most popular flowers all over the world, and rightfully so. The impressively large yellow petals and attractive dark centers are a classic sight in the late summer and early fall.

 

In the wild, look for sunflowers in prairies, grasslands, old fields, roadsides, and forest edges. But, of course, you will also find sunflowers in gardens where they’re enjoyed by people and animals alike.

 

Aside from their aesthetic value, Common Sunflowers also feed populations of bees, butterflies, and insect pollinators. Birds and mammals enjoy the seeds, and the best part is that you can eat them too for a tasty snack!

 


#21. Common Mullein

  • Verbascum thapsus

Also known as Flannel Plant, Big Taper, Velvet Dock.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Annual or Biennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-84 in (60-213 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Common Mullein is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but this wildflower is now considered a naturalized species in Alberta. It grows so well that it can take over roadsides, meadows, and pasture lands.

 

You can recognize it by its small yellow blooms densely grouped on a tall stem and the velvety, dense leaves at the base of the plant. As the stems shoot upwards from a base of large leaves, the overall appearance of this plant might remind you of corn.

 

Common Mullein is a valuable medicinal plant. In ancient times, it was used to treat pulmonary diseases, inflammations, and various ailments. Today, you can find its dried leaves, flowers, and oil extracts in health stores.

 


#22. Buttercups

  • Ranunculus

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-10
  • Life Cycle: Annual or Biennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 8-18 in (20-45 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring to Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Sun

 

You may be familiar with the well-loved Buttercup, but you might not know that it is a genus of flowers with 600 unique species worldwide. Buttercups are most commonly known for their yellow flowers, but they also come in beautiful shades of orange, pink, red, purple, and cream. You can cut the flowers for arrangements and grow them in gardens to attract pollinators.

 

In Alberta, look for this wildflower growing in moist habitats, fields, meadows, and roadsides. They usually bloom in the spring and summer.

 


#23. Spiny Sow-thistle

  • Sonchus asper

Also known as Rough Milk Thistle.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 6b-9a
  • Life Cycle: Annual or Biennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 11-43 in (30-110 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

 

Spiny Sow-thistle is an invasive wildflower that grows throughout Alberta. It can be found in pastures, roadsides, vacant lots, construction sites, grasslands, and waste areas. It’s native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia.

 

Don’t let Spiny Sow-thistle spread if you see it growing near your yard. It can overwhelm native plants and host diseases and pests that affect garden plants and crops. To identify Spiny Sow-thistle, look for spiky leaves and dandelion-like yellow flowers on tall stems.

 


#24. Dandelion

  • Taraxacum officinale

Also known as Common Dandelion, Lion’s Tooth, Blowball.

Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 6-12 in (15-30 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

The bright yellow flowers that turn into balls of silver-tufted seed heads make Dandelions easy to recognize. Look for these common wildflowers in Alberta in meadows, fields, river shores, lakes, and disturbed habitats. Honeybees and other beneficial insects are attracted to Dandelions.

 

Dandelions tend to grow like weeds on lawns and roadsides. This species is native to Europe and Asia but has spread worldwide because of how resilient it is in most soil conditions.

 

You can eat the leaves, roots, and flowers of the Dandelion! They taste like honey when fresh but turn bitter as the plant ages. Use them to make jam, salad, wine, or tea.

 


WHITE WILDFLOWERS:


#25. Fleabane

  • Erigeron annuus

Also known as Daisy Fleabane, Dependable Daisy, Vergerettes.

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 native wildflowers that can be found in Alberta. 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.

 


#26. 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 wildflower is considered an aggressive weed in Alberta.

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.

 


#27. 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 wildflower in Alberta. 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.

 


#28. 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 wildflower is naturalized in Alberta. 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.

 


#29. 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 Alberta. 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 it can self-fertilize, the Oxeye Daisy gets help with pollination from bees, flies, beetles, moths, and butterflies.

 


#30. 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 wildflower is considered a naturalized species in Alberta. 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! 🙂

 

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.

 


RED & ORANGE WILDFLOWERS:

 


#31. Orange Hawkweed

  • Hieracium aurantiacum (synonymous with Pilosella aurantiaca)

types of orange wildflowers

Also known as Orange Hawkbit, Orange Aster, Devil’s Paintbrush, King Devil Hawkweed, Devil’s Weed, Tawny Hawkweed, Red Daisy Flameweed, Grim-the-collier, Fox, and Cubs.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 10-24 in (25-61 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Early Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade

 

Orange Hawkweed is a favorite of many gardeners for its coppery, orange-red to yellow flowers with black tips that attract many pollinators. Did you know the ancient Greeks believed that the milky sap of hawkweeds gave hawks their sharp eyesight?

 

This wildflower was introduced to Alberta in the 1800s. Interestingly, research in 2009 revealed that most Orange Hawkweed populations collected in North America are genetic clones of one another. This reveals that they all came from the same original plant!

 

Beware! Orange Hawkweed grows aggressively fast!

 


#32. Wood Lily

  • Lilium philadelphicum

orange wildflowers

Also known as Red Lily, Prairie Lily, Western Red Lily, Northern Red Lily, and Philadelphia Lily.

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-36 in (30-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Mid-Summer to Late Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade

 

Wood Lily has upward-facing petals to catch the attention of passing hummingbirds and butterflies. This helps aid in cross-pollination, which is essential for its reproduction. Its striking red-orange flowers with purplish freckles catch the attention of gardeners as well!

 

Each flower of the Wood Lily remains open for 8-11 days. Unlike many wildflowers in Alberta, the petals don’t immediately close or wither after they’re pollinated.

 

You can eat the bulbs of the Wood Lily! Their flavor is similar to turnips. Unfortunately, Wood Lilies are often picked from their natural habitat by visitors, so this species is not as common as it used to be.

 


Do you want to dive deeper into all the wildflowers in Alberta?

Then check out this field guide!

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Which of these wildflowers have you found in Alberta?

 

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