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Wildflowers by plant type (Annual, Perennial, etc.)
To create lists of wildflowers by type, simply click your choice below. Annuals are the flowers that have long blooming seasons, but live only one year. Perennials are the more permanent ones that return each year from the same roots, but usually must live through one winter before they bloom. And biennials are the ones with 2-year life cycles, blooming only the second year.
 
Annual | Perennial | Biennial
 
Annual Wildflowers
These are the species that grow and bloom quickly from seed, and this group includes some of the most popular wildflowers with gardeners. Annuals have long blooming seasons, usually about two months. First frost cuts down the annuals, ending their one-season life-cycle. If they “come back” the following year, it is due to seeds produced from fading flowers and dropped during the season before. Some gardeners replant the wild annuals in their meadows each year to refresh full bloom.
Common Name Botanical Name Notes
African Daisy Dimorphotheca sinuata* Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Annual 'Arroyo' Lupine Lupinus succulentus Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Annual Baby's Breath Gypsophila elegans Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Baby Blue Eyes Nemophilia menziesii Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Baby Snapdragon/Toadflax Linaria maroccana Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Bird's Eyes Gilia tricolor Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost. This speices sometimes performs as a Perennial in some area, as an Annual in others.
Blazing Star (yellow) Mentzelia lindleyi Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Blue Sage Salvia farinacea Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Calendula Calendula officianalis Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
California Bluebell Phacelia campanularia Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
California Poppy Eschscholzia californica Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Candytuft Iberis umbellata Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Chinese Forget-me-Not Cynoglossum amabile Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Chinese Houses Collinsia heterophylla Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Clasping Coneflower Rudbeckia amplexicaulis* Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Cornflower/Bachelor's Button (blue) Centaurea cyanus (blue) Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Cornflower/Bachelor's Button (multi) Centaurea cyanus (multicolored) Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Crimson Clover Trifolium incarnatum Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Desert Marigold Baileya multiradiata Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Drummond Phlox Phlox drummondii Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Evening Primrose Oenothera lamarckiana Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Farewell-to-Spring Clarkia unguiculata* Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Five Spot Nemophila maculata Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Globe Gilia Gilia capitata Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Godetia Clarkia amoena Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Golden Lupine Lupinus densiflorus Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Indian Blanket Gaillardia pulchella Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Lacy Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Lemon Mint Monarda citriodora Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Morning Glory Ipomoea purpurea Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Moss Verbena Verbena tenuisecta Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Mountain Phlox Linanthus grandiflorus Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Nasturtium Tropaeolum nanum Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
None-so-Pretty or Catchfly Silene armeria Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Orange Cosmos Cosmos sulphureus Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Plains Coreopsis Coreopsis tinctoria Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Prairie Aster Aster tanacetifolius* Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Queen Anne's Lace Ammi majus* seeds Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Red Poppy (all red single) Papaver rhoeas (red) Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Red Poppy (red, pink, doubles) Papaver rhoeas (mix) Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Rocket Larkspur Delphinium ajacis* Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant Cleome serrulata Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Rose Mallow Lavatera trimestris Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Scarlet Flax Linum grandiflorum rubrum Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Scarlet Sage Salvia coccinea Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Standing Cypress Ipomopsis rubra Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Sweet Alyssum Lobularia maritima Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Texas Bluebonnet Lupinus texensis Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Tidy Tips Layia platyglossa Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Wild Annual Sunflower Helianthus annuus Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
Zinnia Zinnia elegans Annual. Lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies with first frost. Can regrow following spring if seed falls on bare ground.
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Perennial Wildflowers
These are the highly-valued species that return each year from expanding clumps, and contribute to building a permanent wildflower garden or meadow. From seed, most perennials do not bloom until they have lived through at least one growing season and a winter. During their first year, they make small top growth while developing deep root systems. This allows the plant to survive its first winter, and then develop into a full size blooming plant its second season. Most perennials bloom for approximately two weeks each year. If they are winter hardy in their growing region, most are quite permanent, and can live and expand for decades. A few are “short-lived” in some areas, and may return only 3 to 5 years.
Common Name Botanical Name Notes
Bird's Foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost. This speices sometimes performs as a Perennial in some area, as an Annual in others.
Blanket Flower Gaillardia aristata Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Blazing Star Liatris spicata Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Blue Flax Linum perenne lewisii Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Blue Sage Salvia farinacea Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
California Poppy Eschscholzia californica Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Candytuft Iberis umbellata Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Dame's Rocket Hesperis matronalis Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Eastern Red Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Forget-me-Not Myosotis sylvatica Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Gloriosa Daisy Rudbeckia gloriosa Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Grey-Headed Coneflower Ratibida pinnata Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Iceland Poppy Papaver nudicaule Perennial (short-lived) in colder areas. Grown as an annual in southeast.
Johnny Jump-up Viola cornuta* Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Lance-leaf Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Maximilian's Sunflower Helianthus maximiliani Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Mexican Hat Ratibida columnaris (red) Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Missouri Primrose Oenothera missouriensis Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Moss Verbena Verbena tenuisecta Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
New England Aster Aster novae-angliae Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Oriental Poppy Papaver orientale Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
OxEye Daisy Chrysanthemum leucanthemum Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Pale Coneflower Echinacea pallida Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Purple Prairie Clover Petalostemon purpureum* NEW Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Rocky Mountain Pensternon Penstemon strictus Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Scarlet Sage Salvia coccinea Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Shasta Daisy Chrysanthemum maximum Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Showy Evening Primrose Oenothera speciosa Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Standing Cypress Ipomopsis rubra Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Sweet Alyssum Lobularia maritima Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
Texas Bluebonnet Lupinus texensis Perennial in warm areas. Grown as annual in colder regions.
White Yarrow Achillea millefolium seeds Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Wild Perennial Lupine Lupinus perennis Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Yellow Prairie Coneflower Ratibida columnaris (yellow) Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
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Biennial Wildflowers
These wildflowers live out two-year life-cycles from seed, blooming only during their second season. The also reseed heavily, and are usually quite permanent in meadows.
Common Name Botanical Name Notes
Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost. This speices sometimes performs as a Perennial in some area, as an Annual in others.
Chicory Cichorium intybus Biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost.
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea Biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost.
Hollyhock Alcea rosea Biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost.
Siberian Wallflower Cheiranthus allionii Biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost.
Sweet William Dianthus barbatus Biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost.

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