Full Iowa wildflower Wednesday archive

Bleeding Heartland’s weekly wildflower series has grown far beyond what I envisioned when I published the first Iowa wildflower Wednesday in March 2012. The search for material to publish in the spring, summer, and fall has taken me to many parks and nature preserves I’d never explored. I’ve also gotten to know some incredible guest authors and photographers, including Katie Byerly, Lora Conrad, Marla Mertz, Eileen Miller, Bruce Morrison, Diane Porter, and Leland Searles.

After the jump you’ll find the common and scientific names of more than 250 species featured here over the past twelve years. (I will update the post as needed.) The date next to each plant’s name links to a post with multiple photographs. Before my son’s interest in Jack-in-the-pulpits inspired me to start learning more about native plants in 2009, I could not have identified even a dozen of these wildflowers.

Not every Iowa wildflower Wednesday piece showcases one species. In October 2023, I created a separate page linking to every Bleeding Heartland post that surveys a range of native plants seen at one park, prairie, natural area, or trail.

Many readers have told me the wildflower posts are among their favorites at the site and provide a respite from negativity online. For those on Facebook, the Iowa wildflower enthusiasts group can be a nice timeline cleanse as well.

Alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii): June 2017 (by Eileen Miller)

American bellflower (Campanulastrum americanum): July 2022, July 2015, and August 2012

American black elderberry or Common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis): July 2013 (flowers) and October 2012 (one photo of ripe berries)

American lopseed (Phryma leptostachya): July 2021

Anise root (Osmorhiza longistylis): June 2016

Arrowhead or Common arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia): July 2017 (by Eileen Miller)

Aster (many varieties): November 2017 (photos by Phil Specht)

Aunt Lucy or Waterpod (Ellisia nyctelea): May 2017

Autumn coralroot (Corallorhiza odontorhiza): November 2016 (by Marla Mertz)

Baldwin’s ironweed (Vernonia baldwinii): November 2022 (by Diane Porter)

Bedstraw (Cleavers) (Galium aparine): June 2020

Bellwort or Large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora): May 2018 and April 2012

Biennial gaura or Biennial beeblossom (Oenothera gaura): September 2016

Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii): October 2012

Bishop’s cap or Two-leaved mitrewort (Mitella diphylla): May 2015

Bittersweet nightshade or Climbing nightshade (Solanum dulcamara): July 2015 (non-native)

Black cohosh or Black bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa or Actaea racemosa): July 2015

Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis): May 2024 and July 2014

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta): September 2015

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis): March 2016 and March 2012, the first Iowa wildflower Wednesday post

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides): June 2015 (by Eileen Miller)

Blue giant hyssop or Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum): October 2015

Blue star (Amsonia tabernaemontana): August 2021 (by Tommy Hexter and Jacy Highbarger)

Blue vervain (Verbena hastata): October 2015

Blue-eyed grass or Stout Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium): June 2024 (by Diane Porter)

Blueflag iris or Wild blueflag iris (Iris Virginica): July 2023 (by Katie Byerly)

Bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii): October 2017 (photos by Wendie Schneider)

Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba): November 2015

Buffalo bur nightshade (Solanum rostratumum): August 2015

Bur cucumber or Star cucumber (Sicyos angulatus): September 2015

Bur Marigold or Bearded Beggarticks or Tickseed Beggarticks (Bidens aristosa): November 2023 (by Lora Conrad)

Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa): July 2013

Calico aster (Symphiotrichum lateriflorum): November 2015 and November 2017 (photo by Phil Specht)

Canada anemone or Meadow anemone (Anemone canadensis): July 2017

Canada germander or American germander or wood sage (Teucrium canadense): July 2021 and July 2016

Canada milkvetch (Astragalus canadensis): June 2016

Catnip (Nepeta cataria): July 2020 (non-native)

Chicory (Cichorium intybus): August 2017 (non-native)

Clearweed (Pilea pumila): October 2019

Columbine or Wild red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis): June 2013

Common black snakeroot (Sanicula odorata): June 2015

Common blue wood aster or Heart-leaved aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium): November 2019 (photos and text by Katie Bylerly) and October 2016

Common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum): September 2015

Common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis): September 2021 and September 2012

Common horsetail (Equisetum arvense): May 2021 (by Leland Searles)

Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca): July 2016 and June 2012

Common scouring rush (Equisetum hyemale): May 2021 (by Leland Searles)

Common sneezeweed or Autumn sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale): September 2014

Common sunflower (Helianthus annuus): September 2012

Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum): August 2023 (by Diane Porter) and September 2013

Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus): October 2022 (by Lora Conrad)

Cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum): June 2017

Cream gentian or plain gentian (Gentiana alba): September 2021 (by Katie Byerly) and October 2014

Cream wild indigo or Cream false indigo (Baptisia bracteata): May 2016

Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum): August 2017

Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum): July 2013 (flowering) and October 2012 (leaves only)

Cutleaf coneflower or Green-headed coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata): September 2018 and October 2012

Cylindrical blazing star (Liatris Cylindracea): September 2019 (by Katie Byerly)

Daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus or Erigeron strigosus): June 2019, July 2015, and June 2012

Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis): June 2018 (non-native)

Dayflower (Commelina communis): June 2012 (non-native)

Deptford pink (Dianthus armeria): June 2017 (by Lora Conrad, non-native)

Dogtooth violet or White trout lily (Erythronium albidum): April 2017 and April 2012

Downy gentian (Gentiana puberlenta): October 2014 (by Eileen Miller)

Downy yellow violet or Common yellow violet (Viola pubescens): April 2017

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria): April 2015 and March 2012

Dwarf larkspur (Delphinium tricorne): May 2016

Early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum): May 2015

Edible Valerian (Valeriana edulis): May 2023 (by Katie Byerly)

Elm-leaved goldenrod (Solidago ulmifolia): October 2015

Enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea lutetiana): July 2020

False boneset (Brickellia eupatorioides): September 2017

False Gromwell (Onosmodium molle occidentale): June 2023 (by Bruce Morrison)

False rue anemone (Enemion biternatum): May 2015

False Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum): July 2023 (photos by Jo Hain)

Field thistle or Pasture thistle (Cirsium discolor): September 2019

Flat-topped aster or Parasol whitetop (Doellingeria umbellata): September 2014

Flower of an hour (Hibiscus trionum): October 2021 (non-native)

Flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata): September 2016

Foxglove beardtongue or Smooth white beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis): June 2020 and June 2014

Fragile fern (Cystopteris protrusa): July 2022 (by Lora Conrad)

Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica): May 2020

Fringed puccoon (Lithospermun incisum): August 2022 (by Bruce Morrison) and June 2014 (by Eileen Miller)

Frost aster or Hairy white oldfield aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum): November 2016 and November 2017 (photo by Phil Specht)

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata): May 2019 (non-native and invasive)

German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): July 2015 (non-native)

Giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida): September 2013

Golden Alexanders (Zizea aurea): May 2014 (by Leland Searles)

Golden corydalis (Corydalis aurea): June 2014 (by Eileen Miller)

Goldenrod (Solidago species): August 2012

Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia glauca): October 2018 (by Katie Byerly)

Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica): October 2014

Great waterleaf or appendaged waterleaf (Hydrophyllum appendiculatum): June 2022 (by Lora Conrad)

Green dragon (Arisaema dracontium): June 2021 (by Marla Mertz)

Ground cherry (Physalis species): August 2018

Ground ivy or creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea): May 2021 (non-native)

Heath aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides): November 2015

Hedge bindweed (Convolvulus sepium or Calystegia sepium): September 2018

“Henry Eilers” sweet coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa): August 2017

Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis): April 2014 (by Eileen Miller)

Hoary puccoon (Lithospermun canescens): June 2014 (by Eileen Miller) and August 2021 (by Kenny Slocum)

Hoary vervain (Verbena stricta): August 2014

Honewort or Canadian honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis): June 2021

Horse nettle or Carolina horsenettle (Solanum carolinense): August 2021 and August 2012

Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis): September 2023 (by Leland Searles) and July 2022

Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans): September 2019

Indian pipe or Ghost plant (Monotropa uniflora): November 2016 (by Marla Mertz) and June 2013 (by me)

Iowa golden saxifrage (Chrysosplenium iowense): August 2020 (by Beth Lynch)

Ironweed or Prairie/common ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata): August 2017 and September 2013

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum): May 2019 and April 2012 (if not for my son’s interest in this plant, the Iowa wildflower Wednesday series might never have happened)

Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans): July 2023 (by Lora Conrad)

Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus): September 2017 and October 2013

Jewelweed or Spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis): September 2017

Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata): June 2018

Large-flowered beardtongue (Penstemon grandiflorus): August 2023 (by Kara Grady)

Late boneset (Eupatorium serotinum): November 2015

Leadplant (Amorpha canescens): July 2020

Leatherleaf (Clematis pitcheri): August 2016 (by Leland Searles)

Lesser fringed gentian (Gentianopsis virgata): October 2019 (by Katie Byerly)

Lesser yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium caleolus): June 2023 (by Kara Grady)

Littleleaf buttercup or Littleleaf Crowfoot, Kidney-leaf buttercup, small-flowered buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus): May 2017 and May 2013

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris): April 2015 (by Eileen Miller)

Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani): October 2015 and October 2013

Mayapple or Umbrella plant (Podophyllum peltatum): June 2019 (flowers and fruit), April 2012 (flowers only), and July 2014 (one picture with fruit)

Missouri gooseberry or Wild gooseberry (Ribes missouriense): April 2016

Monkey flower (Mimulus ringens): September 2018 (some photos by Lael Darrow Neal, Eileen Miller, and Matthew John)

Moth mullein (Verbascum blattaria): July 2018 (non-native)

Naked broomrape (Orobanche uniflora): May 2024 (photos by Emily Bredthauer)

New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae): November 2014 and November 2016

Nodding Bur Marigold or Nodding Beggarticks (Bidens cernua): November 2023 (by Lora Conrad)

Northern Monkshood (Aconitum noveboracense): October 2023 (by Katie Byerly)

Northern Prickly-Ash or Toothache tree (Zanthoxylum americanum): September 2015 (by Leland Searles)

Obedient plant or False dragonhead (Physostegia virginiana): September 2018 (some photos by Eileen Miller, Kim El-Baroudi, Katie Byerly, and Jill Kirchner)

Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra): May 2017

Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis): May 2024 (by Diane Porter) and July 2013

Oswego tea or Scarlet bee balm or Red bergamot (Monarda didyma): July 2015

Oval ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes ovalis): November 2016 (by Marla Mertz)

Ox-eye or False sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides): August 2016 and August 2013

Pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida): July 2019

Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata): August 2014 (by Eileen Miller) and July 2012 (by me)

Pasque flower (Anemone patens): May 2019 (by Patrick Swanson) and April 2016 (by Eileen Miller)

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba): August 2020 (by Lora Conrad)

Plains coreopsis or Golden coreopsis or Golden tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria): June 2012

Pointed-leaf tick trefoil (Desmodium glutinosum): July 2016

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum): June 2024 and June 2015 (non-native and invasive)

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans): June 2013

Poke or pokeberry or American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana): August 2019 (by Lora Conrad)

Prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya): August 2013 and November 2016

Prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum): November 2017

Prairie larkspur (Delphinium virescens): June 2019 (one photo by Patrick Swanson)

Prairie phlox or Downy phlox (Phlox pilosa): July 2017

Prairie ragwort or Prairie groundsel (Packera plattensis): June 2016

Prairie redroot or Narrow-leaved New Jersey tea (Ceanothus herbaceus): July 2017

Prairie sage or White/silver sage (Artemisia ludoviciana): October 2013

Prairie smoke or Old man’s whiskers (Geum triflorum): June 2016 and May 2013

Prairie sunflower or Stiff sunflower (Helianthus pauciflorus): October 2017

Prairie trillium (Trillium recurvatum): August 2022 (by Diane Porter) and May 2019 (by Lora Conrad)

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea): July 2013

Purple giant hyssop (Agastache scrophulariifolia): October 2016

Purple meadow rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum): July 2014

Purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens): July 2018 (images by Andy Asell, Lora Conrad, Barry Mateer, and Lael Darrow Neal)

Purple poppy mallow/Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata): June 2018

Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea): August 2018 (includes pictures by Wendie Schneider and Patrick Swanson)

Purplestem Angelica (Angelica atropurpurea): June 2019 (by Katie Byerly)

Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia): April 2015

Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra): July 2016 (by Marla Mertz)

Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium): August 2022 and August 2013

Red baneberry (Actaea rubra): August 2023 (by Beth Lynch)

Riddell’s goldenrod (Oligoneuron riddellii): November 2017 (photos by Katie Byerly)

Rose mallow or halberd-leaved rose mallow (Hibiscus laevis): October 2018 (photos by Marla Mertz)

Rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium): August 2016

Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera): September 2020 (by Katie Byerly) and September 2012

Rough cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica): September 2020

Round-headed bush clover (Lespedeza capitata): September 2017 (most pictures by Wendie Schneider)

Royal catchfly (Silene regia): October 2018 and August 2016 (native to North America but not to Iowa)

Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides): May 2013 and April 2016

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum): August 2014

Sawtooth sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus): November 2019

Sedges (native plants in the Carex genus, which look like grasses): June 2022 (by Leland Searles)

Shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia): May 2017

Showy orchis (Galearis spectabilis): May 2016 (by Marla Mertz)

Showy tick trefoil (Desmodium canadense): August 2021

Siberian Cranesbill (Geranium sibiricum): September 2021 (non-native)

Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus): May 2018 (by Beth Lynch)

Sky blue aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense): October 2014

Slenderleaf false foxglove (Agalinis tenuifolia): September 2019 (by Patrick Swanson)

Small white lady’s slipper (Cypripedium candidum): July 2018 (by Katie Byerly)

Smartweed (Polygonum species): September 2012 (non-native)

Smooth hedge nettle (Stachys tenuifolia): August 2016

Snow trillium (Trillium nivale): May 2014 (by Eileen Miller)

Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum commutatum): May 2012

Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica): May 2020 and May 2013 and April 2016

Spring cress (Cardamine bulbosa): June 2024 (by Katie Byerly)

Spotted bee balm or Spotted horsemint (Monarda punctata): August 2015

Starry campion (Silene stellata): September 2021

Stiff gentian (Gentianella quinquefolia): November 2018 (by Katie Byerly) and August 2021 (by Kenny Slocum)

Stiff goldenrod (Oligoneuron rigidum): September 2014

Striped white violet or Striped cream violet (Viola striata): June 2022 and April 2016

Sulfur cinquefoil or Rough-fruited cinquefoil (Potentilla recta): July 2019

Swamp buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus or Ranunculus septentrionalis): May 2020 and May 2014

Swamp milkweed or Pink milkweed (Asclepias incarnata): August 2015

Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata): June 2013

Sweet Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum): August 2019

Sweet William or Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata): May 2018 and May 2012

Tall blue lettuce or Blue wood lettuce (Lactuca biennis): October 2016

Tall boneset (Eupatorium altissimum): October 2016

Tall cinquefoil or Prairie cinquefoil (Potentilla arguta): July 2014

Tall coreopsis or Tall tickseed (Coreopsis tripteris): September 2015

Tall green milkweed (Asclepias hirtella): August 2019 (includes photographs by Jessica Bolser, David Wehde, and Andy Kellner)

Tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum): September 2016

Thimbleweed or Windflower or Candle anemone (Anemone cylindrica): July 2019 and July 2022

Toadshade or Toad trillium or Sessile trillium (Trillium sessile): May 2015

Toothwort or Cutleaf toothwort (Dentaria laciniata): May 2021 and May 2013

Trumpet vine or Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans): September 2020 and August 2012

Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti): September 2020 (non-native)

Venus’ looking glass or Clasping bellwort (Triodanis perfoliata): July 2019 (includes photographs by Kim El-Baroudi, Lorene Shepherd, Don Weiss, and Wendie Schneider) and July 2022 (Katie Byerly)

Violets (Viola species): May 2014

Violet wood sorrel (Oxalis violacea): May 2018 (photos by Marla Mertz and Lora Conrad)

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica): April 2014

Virginia mountain mint or Common mountain mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum): August 2016

Virginia stickseed (Hackelia virginiana): August 2020

Virginia waterleaf or Eastern waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum): June 2015 and May 2012

Wahoo or Eastern wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus): November 2018 (by Lora Conrad)

White avens (Geum canadense): July 2014

White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda): August 2023 (by Beth Lynch)

White snakeroot (Ageratina altissima): October 2019 and September 2013

White turtlehead (Chelone glabra): October 2014

White vervain (Verbena urticifolia): August 2018

White wild indigo or Largeleaf wild indigo (Baptisia alba var. macrophylla or Baptisia lactea): October 2022 (by Katie Byerly) and July 2016

Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata): August 2013

Wild bergamot or Horsemint or Bee balm (Monarda fistulosa): September 2020 and July 2012

Wild blue sage or Pitcher sage (Salvia azure grandiflora): November 2015

Wild chervil (Chaerophyllum procumbens): May 2017

Wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata): November 2018 (by Beth Lynch)

Wild four-o’clock (Mirabilis nyctaginea): July 2023 (by Bruce Morrison)

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum): June 2018 and May 2012

Wild ginger (Asarum canadense reflexum): May 2021 (by Lora Conrad) and May 2012

Wild grape (Vitis riparia): June 2021 and June 2013

Wild lupine (Lupinus perennis): June 2023 (by Kenny Slocum)

Wild onion or Wild garlic (Allium canadense): September 2022 (by Lora Conrad)

Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa): July 2016 and June 2015 (non-native and invasive)

Wild petunia or Hairy wild petunnia (Ruellia humilis): July 2020 and July 2014

Wild plum (Prunus americana): May 2022

Wild poinsettia (Euphorbia cyathophora): October 2017 (by Lora Conrad)

Wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium): August 2018 (photos by Wendie Schneider and Katie Byerly)

Wild rose (Rosa blanda): June 2014

Winged loosestrife (Lythrum alatum): August 2017

Wingstem or Yellow ironweed (Verbesina alternifolia): November 2017 and August 2012

Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): October 2017 (by Beth Lynch)

Wood betony or Canadian lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis): May 2016 and August 2021 (by Kenny Slocum)

Woodland lettuce (Lactuca floridana): October 2019

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): July 2019

Yellow or Gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata): July 2013

Yellow giant hyssop (Agastache nepetoides): August 2018 (with photos by Leland Searles)

Yellow jewelweed or Pale touch-me-not (Impatiens pallida): July 2014

Yellow star grass or Common goldstar (Hypoxis hirsuta): June 2017

Yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta): August 2014

Yucca or Soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca): June 2016 (by Eileen Miller) and June 2019 (by Patrick Swanson)

Zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis): November 2019

Two other posts by Eileen Miller focused on unusual fungi (September 2014) and close-up shots of insects on native plants (September 2016).

Laura Belin featured a number of plants with annoying burs in October 2019.

Tags: Wildflowers

About the Author(s)

Laura Belin

  • Even the post about annoying burs lowered my blood pressure...

    …and the other posts have been brief visits to a lovely peaceful island in an online ocean of politics. I’m grateful for the (essential) ocean and will keep boating through it, but the island is a welcome respite.