Wildflowers can be found in a range of wild habitats including meadows, forests, marshes, and swamps.
They are valuable for insects and other wildlife, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, and wasps.
As the cold winter months turn to spring and the weather starts to warm, you will start seeing more wildflowers starting to bloom.
Many of these are red, which stands out against the green foliage.
Continue reading below to identify the most common red wildflowers in the United States.
Table of Contents
1. Butterfly Milkweed
Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is native to southwestern and eastern North America. It is known for attracting butterflies through its color and nectar production. This perennial plant grows to one meter in height with spirally arranged leaves.
From April to September, the wildflowers bloom in red, orange, and yellow. Each flower has five petals and five sepals. It is believed the red wildflowers are due to the soil’s mineral content.
2. American Trumpet Vine
The American Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans), also known as the trumpet creeper. In North America, it is better known as the hummingbird vine or itch vine. It is native to the eastern United States and grows to ten meters in height. It is a deciduous woody vine with trumpet-shaped flowers.
You will find this wildflower in woodlands and along riverbanks. It climbs on plants, trees, and other structures with woody arching vines. It forms dense ground cover and is an aggressive covering plant on other plants and buildings. It has opposite leaves in emerald green, turning to shiny dark green as they mature.
The trumpet-shaped flowers can be up to nine centimeters long in red to orange with a yellow throat and shallow lobes. The lobes bend backward. These flowers have no scent.
3. Indian Blanket
The Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) is also known as the sun dance. It is a North American short-lived perennial or annual wildflower that belongs to the sunflower family. It has branching stems that are upright and hairy, growing to sixty centimeters in height.
The leaves alternate on the stem with smooth edges and toothed or lobed margins. The daisy-like flowers are approximately six centimeters and can be bright red, orange, or yellow. They are surrounded by up to twenty ray florets. The central disc florets are red-violet with the outer ray florets being yellow.
4. Cardinal Flower
Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) belong to the bellflower family and are native to America. It is a perennial herbaceous plant that can grow to four feet in height. It is commonly seen in moist areas, including swamps and along stream banks.
The large twenty-centimeter leaves have toothed margins. The wildflowers are vibrant five-lobed flowers that are deep red. The flowers are pollinated by bees and hummingbirds.
5. Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel (Lysimachia arvensis) is also referred to as the poor man’s barometer or the shepherd’s weather glass. They are low-growing annual plants with bright flowers in scarlet or bright blue. They are native to Europe, Western Asia, and North America.
This plant has been widely distributed by humans, both deliberately and by accident. It is a low-growing creeping plant with weak sprawling stems with bright green leaves that are arranged in opposites. The symmetrical wildflowers are red, orange, or blue. The flowers are produced singly in the leaf axis. The flowers bloom from spring to fall.
The flowers open when the sun is shining, closing in overcast conditions. It is often seen as red bands along roadsides.
6. Red Columbine
The Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a flowering plant that belongs to the buttercup family. This herbaceous perennial is native to rocky slopes and woodlands in eastern North America. It is known for its red and yellow wildflowers.
This plant can grow to ninety centimeters in height with fern-like leaves that are grouped in threes. The leaves grow from the base of the plant with flowering stems. The flowers have yellow petals with red sepals and spurs. They are common in the late spring attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.
Caterpillars of the Columbine Duskywing feed on the leaves of the red columbine. Various parts of this wildflower were used by Native American tribes as herbal remedies for sore throats, poisonous rashes, headaches, and fever.
7. Red Trillium
The Red Trillium (Trillium erectum) is also known as the striking Benjamin. It is a flowering plant native to the eastern United States and eastern Canada. This perennial herbaceous wildflower grows to forty centimeters in height and can spread up to thirty centimeters. It can tolerate cold in winter.
The three-petaled flowers are found above a whorl of pointed leaves. The petals are dark red-brown, maroon, pale yellow, or white. The ovary is dark purple to maroon. You will encounter this red wildflower from northern Georgia to Michigan, New Hampshire to Michigan, and New Jersey to New York.
8. Western Columbine
The Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) is an open-branched perennial that grows to three feet in height. It is delicate with blue-green foliage and red wildflowers. The flowers hang at the end of the branches.
The stems have divided leaves. It attracts hummingbirds. The Gibisan and Wet’suwet’en people ate the nectar as candy.
9. Texas Paintbrush
This (Castilleja indivisa) is an annual wildflower that is native to Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. There are also naturalized populations in Alabama and Florida. It has bright red flowers that appear as a ragged brush that has been dipped in red paint.
Sometimes they produce yellow or white flowers that are mixed in with the reds. The plants grow to forty-five centimeters in height with long leaves. The roots grow to reach the roots of other plants, they penetrate the roots of the host plant to obtain the nutrients that they need.
You will find this wildflower from early to mid-spring when it thrives in full sun. You often see it in fields and along highways.
10. California Fuchsia
This wildflower (Epilobium canum) belongs to the evening primrose family and is native to western North America, particularly California where it is found on dry slopes and chaparral. It is a perennial plant with bright red wildflowers that appear in late summer and fall.
This plant can grow to sixty centimeters in height and exhibit considerable variations in habit and appearance. Small leaves can be opposite or alternate, they can be ovate or lance-shaped, and they can have short to non-existent stalks. They all form a matting on the ground.
The funnel-shaped flowers are red, ranging from red-orange to pink.
11. Red Buckeye
The Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a deciduous wildflower. It is a shrub or small tree that is native to the eastern and southern United States. You will find it from Virginia to Illinois and Florida to Texas.
It can grow to eight meters in eight with a multi-stem. The leaves are opposites and it produces clusters of attractive deep red tubular flowers during the spring. The flowers attract bees and hummingbirds.
12. Turk’s Cap
The Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) is a flowering plant in the hibiscus family. They are native to Central America, South America, and Mexico. The mature plant has a tree-like appearance with flowers that do not open fully, attracting numerous pollinators.
They are also found in the coastal areas of Louisiana and Texas. The red flowers only last two days, producing more nectar on their first day, which is valuable for young hummingbirds.
13. Warrior’s Plume
The Warrior’s Plume (Pedicularis densiflora) is native to Oregon and California in North America. You will encounter it in forests, California oak woodlands, and chaparrals. It is a perennial herb with green or red stems and fern-shaped leaves. It produces deep red flowers with toothed petals.
It attaches its roots to other plants to obtain water and nutrients.
14. Scarlet Gilia
This (Ipomopsis aggregata) is a biennial wildflower, also known as the scarlet trumpet. It produces scarlet red flowers with lobes that curl back. A single erect stem will have a red trumpet-shaped flower and basal leaves. They can grow to twelve inches in the Rocky Mountains and more than five feet in Texas.
The trumpet-shaped flowers range from red or orange-red to white, or pink. Pink flowers are common in Colorado. Yellow flowers are exceptionally rare. They have fern-like leaves that are low to the ground.
In the first year, this plant looks like a cluster of leaves, as it collects energy into the taproot. It grows rapidly in the second year. It is native to North America and grows in mountainous areas in the west-central and western regions.
15. Fire Pink
Fire Pink (Silene virginica) is a wildflower that is identified by its brilliant red flowers. It starts to bloom in late spring and continues to blossom throughout summer. This small wildflower only grows to eighty centimeters and is a short-lived perennial, surviving up to three years.
The plant has lance-shaped leaves. The flowers and stems are covered in short hairs. Each flower can be up to five centimeters in diameter with bright red petals.
You are likely to see this wildflower in rocky deciduous slopes and open woodlands in central and eastern North America. It is an endangered species in Florida, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
16. Coral Honeysuckle
The Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) or Trumpet Honeysuckle is a wildflower native to the eastern United States. It is known for its red flowers. The trumpet-shaped flowers range from red to coral with waxy leaves and stem.
This twining vine can grow to twenty feet through young trees and shrubs. The leaves are opposite each other, growing to five centimeters and oval. The flowers are whorled when they first bloom. They provide red berries which are not edible.
The flowers are produced in clusters, tubular with five small lobes opening at the tip, exposing the stigma and stamen. This wildflower has been listed as endangered in Maine.
17. Giant Red Indian Paintbrush
The Giant Red Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata) is native to western North America where it grows in moist conditions in a variety of habitats. This is a perennial herb that grows to eighty centimeters in height.
It has slender and green foliage with lance-shaped leaves that are long and hairy. The flowers are yellow-green with red edges. The tubular-shaped flowers can be enjoyed from May to September.
It is parasitic to other plants and creates sophisticated networks. You will often find them in mountain meadows and along stream banks.
18. Cardinal Catchfly
The Cardinal Catchfly (Silene laciniata) is a perennial herb also known as the fringed Indian pink or Mexican pink. It is native to the southeastern United States. This plant grows from a taproot with three-foot stems. The slender branching stems are sticky.
The leaves are lance-shaped with smaller leaves at the upper parts of the plant. The stem often has one flower with five bright red petals and pointed lobes.
19. Coral Bean
The Coral Bean (Erythrina herbacea) or Cherokee bean is a flowering shrub found throughout the southeastern United States. This wildflower is a low shrub that grows to approximately five meters in height. The stems have curved spines with yellow-green leaves.
The leaves are shaped like arrows and divided into threes. The smooth bark is light gray. The flowers are tubular-shaped in bright red that grow in long spikes. Each flower can grow to over six centimeters in length. There are three blooms from April to July.
This wildflower grows in sandy soils and is often found in forest clearings, disturbed areas, open woods, and hammocks. You will find them in southwestern North Carolina, southwestern Oklahoma, southern Florida, and eastern Texas.
20. Crimson Clover
Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum), also known as Italian clover, is a wildflower that is native to Europe and has been introduced to the United States. It is an annual herb that can grow to fifty centimeters in height. It is unbranched at the base. The leaves are hairy with flowers produced during the summer and spring.
The flowers are rich red to crimson and found on elongated spike inflorescence. The five-petaled flowers fold forward. It is grown as a protein-rich forage crop for livestock and is often used to make hay.
21. Tropical Sage
Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea) is also known as scarlet sage. It is a herbaceous perennial wildflower that is widely spread throughout the southeastern United States. This plant can grow to four feet in height with numerous branches. It spreads to around 2.5 feet.
It has hairy leaves that are scalloped at the ages in pea green. The flowers are bright red and tubular. They are pollinated by butterflies and hummingbirds.
22. Coast Paintbrush
The Coast Paintbrush (Castilleja affinis) is native to western North America and can be found from Washington to Baja California. It grows on hills and mountain slopes, as well as inland areas and the coast.
This perennial herb has an erect stem and can grow to sixty centimeters in height. It can be hairy or hairless in green to purple. The leaves vary in shape, growing to eight centimeters. The inflorescence is bracts of bright red to yellow.
The flowers appear between the bracts and are covered in hairs. The flowers are purple and lined with red or yellow.
23. Scarlet Beebalm
The Scarlet Beebalm (Monarda didyma) or Crimson Beebalm is an aromatic herb that is native to eastern North America. You can find it from Maine to Ontario and Minnesota to northern Georgia. The scent is similar to Bergamot orange.
This perennial wildflower can grow to 0.5 meters in height with long leaves with serrated margins in deep green. The leaves are placed in opposites on hollow, square stems. The leaves smell of mint when they are crushed.
It has bright red tubular-shaped flowers with showy heads and red bracts. They grow in dense clusters along moist thickets, ditches, and stream banks in early summer.
24. Scarlet Globemallow
Scarlet Globemallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea) is a perennial wildflower that grows to thirty centimeters in height and spreads in a low habitat. They have gray stems with sense hairs and alternately arranged leaves. The leaves are palmate-shaped and deeply cut. The underside of the leaves has gray hairs.
The red-orange saucer-shaped flowers grow to two centimeters in width with five broadly notched petals in terminal clusters. The plant blooms from May to October and can be seen in grasslands and prairies of the Great Plains and the western regions of northern North America.
Firebush (Hamelia patens) is a large perennial shrub that is native to the tropics and subtropics of the United States from Florida to Argentina. It is also known as the hummingbird bush or the redhead.
It produces red-orange tubular-shaped flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The corollas vary in length which makes them attractive to pollinators. It produces a small dark red berry.
Hummingbirds are attracted to the flower, other birds are attracted to the berries. The flowers also feed butterflies and other small insects. The flowers are edible and are used in Mexico to make a fermented drink with a refreshing, yet acidic taste.
Chuparosa (Justicia californica) is a deciduous wildflower native to southern California, southern Arizona, and northern Mexico. It grows to five feet in height and five feet in width. It bears succulent leaves for a short period. It loses the leaves when producing tubular-shaped flowers from February to June.
The flowers are a bright to deep red with a two-lobed upper lip and a three-lobed lower lip, falling open to reveal the inside. The nectar attracts hummingbirds and other birds feed on the center of the sugar-rich flower.
27. Red Yucca
The Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) is native to the Chihuahuan desert in Texas. It has narrow evergreen leaves with white hairs on the edges. It can grow to six feet in height and width. It produces red or yellow tubular-shaped flowers that appear on the branching flower stalks from late spring to the middle of summer.
It is popular in landscaped gardens in California and is heat resistant, drought tolerant, and low maintenance. It attracts hummingbirds.
28. Red Bush Monkeyflower
Red Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus puniceus) is a perennial shrub native to coastal southern California and northern Baja. It is broad and small with dark red or orange flowers that attract hummingbirds.
This hairless evergreen shrub can grow to sixty centimeters in height and thirty centimeters in width. The leaves are lightly rolled under and are uniform green. Each node produces two to four flowers in red or orange that can be seen from March to June.
It was first described in 1836 in San Diego. It occurs throughout southern California in chaparral openings, granite outcrops, and disturbed areas. It is abundant in the coastal regions of San Diego County and Orange County.
29. Crimson Bottlebrush
The Crimson Bottlebrush (Melaleuca citrina) is endemic to eastern Australia and has been introduced to the United States. It is adaptable and hardy, commonly seen in natural habitats. It has showy red flower spikes that can be seen throughout the year in ideal climates, making it very popular.
This shrub can grow to five meters in height with a hard bark and soft, silky hairs. The leaves alternate on the stem and are hard, flat, and wide. The leaves are egg-shaped with visible veins on both sides of the leaf.
The red flowers are arranged on spikes at the end of the branches. Each spike can hold up to eighty flowers. The petals fall off as the flower ages. Each flower has up to forty-five stamens. They can flower throughout the year but are more common in the summer months.
30. Scarlet Monkeyflower
The Scarlet Monkeyflower (Erythranthe cardinalis) is a flowering perennial plant that can grow to three feet in height. It is a large and spreading wildflower that is attractive with nectar-rich red or red-orange flowers. It is native to the West Coast and southwestern areas of the United States, including Baja California.
31. Peacock Flower
The Peacock Flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) is a flowering plant that belongs to the pea family. It is native to the subtropical and tropical areas of the Americas. This shrub can grow to three meters in height. In Hawaii, it can grow to five meters in height.
The leaves bear three to ten pairs of pinnae. The twenty-centimeter flowers are red, yellow, or orange. It is the national flower of Barbados. While the seeds are considered poisonous, they are edible before they reach maturity.
32. Red Spider Lily
The Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata) is also known as the corpse flower. It originally comes from China and Japan and has been introduced to the United States. It flowers in late summer and the fall, often responding to heavy rainfall.
It is a bulbous perennial plant with showy red flowers. When it is in full bloom, it has spindly stamens that are similar to spider legs. It grows to seventy centimeters in height with up to six flowers, which are arranged in umbels sitting on the top of each stalk.
Individual flowers are not common. The gray-green leaves have a pale central stripe.
33. Wavyleaf Paintbrush
The Wavyleaf Paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei) is native to the western United States. This is a short perennial wildflower with sticky leaves. The leaves have wavy edges and are divided close to the top of the plant.
This plant produces showy paintbrush-shaped inflorescences of small red to red-yellow tubular-shaped flowers. It is a root parasite and feeds off other plants, including sagebrush.
34. Autumn Sage
Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) is a herbaceous perennial native to southwest Texas. It grows in rocky soils and was first described in 1870. This variable plant can grow to four feet in height with mid-green leaves and a spicy fragrance.
The flowers’ colors and sizes vary considerably. Most flowers are just over two centimeters in length and range from scarlet and red to rose, pink, lavender, violet, and apricot.
35. Red Larkspur
Red Larkspur (Delphinium nudicaule) is a common herbaceous perennial wildflower in the buttercup family. It is native to slopes, foothills, mountain ranges, and canyons in California in the United States and can be found from the Sierra Nevada to the coastal ranges of Californian and Oregon.
This plant produces thin two feet tall stems with dissected leaves and attractive flowers that range from red to orange. The flowers attract hummingbirds that assist with pollination.
The Mendocino Native Americans of the Yuki tribe use the root as a medicinal narcotic.
36. ‘Ohi’a Lehua
This (Metrosideros polymorpha) is an evergreen flowering tree that belongs to the myrtle family. It is endemic to the six largest islands of Hawaii and is widespread throughout the southwestern Pacific. It is a variable tree that can grow to twenty-five meters in height in favorable conditions.
It produces a magnificent display of flowers with a mass of stamens, ranging from fiery red to yellow. Native Hawaiian traditions refer to the tree as the volcano goddess, as they grow easily on larvae and are often the first plant to grow on new lava flows.
They tolerate a range of soil conditions, temperatures, and rainfall. They are common in dry and moist forests and high shrublands. It is slow-growing. The flowers are bright to medium red, red-orange, pink, orange, or salmon. The flowers occur in clusters, giving flowers a pom-pom shape.
37. Standing Cypress
This flowering plant (Ipomopsis rubra) is native to North America, particularly the state of Texas. It is often referred to as the standing cypress or Texas plume. It is known for its bright and upturned red flowers.
It has short leaves that are attached to long stems. They can grow to more than five feet. The inch-long flowers have numerous small stamens. The flowers are tubular-shaped and grow in spears. The red five lobed petals have small yellow dots on the inside.
It is commonly found in gardens to attract hummingbirds.
38. Wyoming Paintbrush
The Wyoming Paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia) is a perennial plant that is native to the United States. It is the state flower of Wyoming. This perennial herb can grow to one meter in height with sparse three-lobed leaves. The pink-red or yellow flowers have a yellow-green floral tube and can be seen from June to September.
You are likely to see the Wyoming paintbrush on rocky slopes and plains with sagebrush scrub in Arizona, California, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, and Montana.
39. Scarlet Bugler
The Scarlet Bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius) is a native perennial herb growing in southern, central, and northern California. It has straight, hairless branches that can grow to more than one meter. The thick leaves are un-toothed and can grow to ten centimeters, arranged opposite each other on the stem.
The top of the step has a long inflorescent with narrow tubular-shaped flowers with projecting lobes. The flowers range from bright red or orange-red. The flowers attract hummingbirds when in bloom. They bloom in the spring and summer months.
40. Wood Lily
The Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is also known as the prairie lily or western red lily. It is a perennial wildflower native to North America. It is distributed throughout parts of the United States including the Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, and Appalachian Mountains.
This plant grows to ninety centimeters with beautiful red or orange flowers that bloom from June to August. There are several varieties including the western wood lily that is native to the Midwestern United States, western United States, and the Great Plains. It is also the floral emblem of Saskatchewan in Canada and is on their flag.
It is listed as endangered in New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Maryland. It is also listed as threatened in Ohio and Kentucky.