Summer in Colorado is when the wildflowers start to show after a cold winter. They offer a colorful display at different times throughout summer, depending on their location and elevation.
Wildflowers can be found throughout Colorado. The elevation you are at will determine when you see them. The best time to see wildflowers at higher elevations is in July and August and in lower elevations enjoy wildflowers during late spring and early summer.
1. Great Mullein
The Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a biennial herb that is native to Asia and Europe. In the first year, the plant produces a rosette that can grow to thirty inches in diameter. It has light green leaves, covered in soft hairs.
In the second year, the plant grows an erect stem of up to six feet in height with flowers on terminal spikes. The flowers are yellow with five petals. Flowering can be seen from June to August.
2. Showy Milkweed
Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is a stout perennial plant that grows to three feet in height. It has large blue-green leaves and rose-colored flowers. The flowers are at the top of the stem on stalks from the leaf axis.
The flowers attract insects. The stems and leaves defend themselves and are covered in fine hairs, making them undesirable to feeders. They produce a milky sap that has a toxin, making them unpalatable.
3. Common Yarrow
Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is an erect herbaceous plant that produces numerous stems of up to one meter in height. The leaves are evenly distributed on the stem. It produces white to pink colored flowers from March to October.
The tiny disk flowers are clustered together and visited by several insects. The flowers have a sweet scent.
4. Blue Columbine
The Blue Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea) can grow to ninety centimeters with green foliage. The flowers are white, blue, pink-white, or cream. It has blue, white, or pink spurs that are forty-five millimeters long. The blue columbine you find in Colorado does not have spurs.
It is popular in cultivation and has numerous color phases and double flowers. In the wild, they have pale or white sepals. You will find it high in the Colorado mountains.
Fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) has pink spines of flowers located on leafy stems with willow-like leaves. It grows in dense patches, growing underground stems. While it is a very attractive flower, it can be aggressive in a moist garden environment. These wildflowers are frequently visited by bees that feed on the nectar.
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) is a large shrub growing to thirty feet in height. It often forms thickets with clusters of white flowers and red fruit. The fruit turns dark purple from August to September.
The berries can be made into preservatives and jelly. Tent caterpillars construct webs on the branches of this wildflower.
7. Field Bindweed
The Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is an invasive perennial herb originating in the Mediterranean. It was first documented in the United States in the 1700s. This is a climbing perennial vine with stems that can grow to three meters in length.
It has white or pink flowers that are funnel-shaped. The roots can extend over six meters in diameter with a taproot that penetrates the soil up to three meters below the surface. It can be seen on roadsides, non-cultivated areas, and fallow fields.
8. Rubber Rabbitbrush
Rubber Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa) can be found in the foothills, disturbed areas, and semi-desert areas of Colorado in summer and fall. It prefers sandy soils and grows quickly. They grow to approximately five feet in height.
White-crowned sparrows eat the seeds. It is a highly variable species with leaves growing to more than seven centimeters in length with rubbery stems. The yellow flowers are small with up to five on each stem creating an umbrella-shaped cluster.
9. Gunnison’s Mariposa Lily
These wildflowers (Calochortus gunnisonii) can be white or purple, commonly seen in the Rocky Mountains. It can be found in woodlands and dry meadows at high elevations. It prefers a sunny location with rocky soil.
It is a large wildflower with bell-shaped flowers with three round petals and pointed sepals. There are green-yellow hairs in the middle. The stalks are thin with grass-like leaves.
10. Creeping Mahonia
The Creeping Mahonia (Berberis repens) is a sprawling evergreen with small fragrant flowers. The flowers are yellow and the fruits are purple. It has leathery leaves which vary from green to mauve and turn rust-colored in the winter.
This plant can grow to three feet in height and offers excellent shade. It grows well in garden soils. The yellow spring flowers attract insects, while the berries attract birds.
11. Common Harebell
The Common Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) is a perennial plant producing two different leaves. It has rounded foliage and narrow leaves on erect stems. The flowers can be white or dark purple. Flowers are bell-shaped and hang from the branched stalks in the summer months.
It is found throughout Colorado in the wild, spreading using underground runners. It has attractive flowers and attracts bees and other pollinating insects.
12. Lanceleaf Stonecrop
The Lanceleaf Stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum) can be found on foothills and gravel openings during the summer months. It can be easily identified with its yellow and dark maroon coloration. They grow on open rock and gravel enjoying full sunlight.
The leaves are tiny and bulb-looking. The fleshy leaves are red-purple and scattered. The plant elongates to four inches and has bright yellow flowers. It was first identified in 1753. The lance-like leaves are broad at the bottom and taper to a point.
13. Prairie Pasqueflower
This wildflower (Pulsatilla nuttalliana) can be found on dry slopes and in pine forests. It is one of the first wildflowers you will see once the snow melts. They are often seen in masses with pale bell-shaped purple flowers. The plant has long hair.
You should not touch the plant as it is toxic and can cause irritation. Native Americans use small amounts of the plant to kill lice, alleviate headaches and reduce lung disorders. There is no scientific evidence to support using it, even though homeopaths do use it for skin conditions and reproductive problems.
14. Common Starlily
Common Starlily (Leucocrinum montanum) is native to the Rocky Mountains. This perennial plant has a deep root system and is stemless. It can grow to ten centimeters in height producing long, narrow leaves.
The flowers are fragrant and have six white petals on a narrow tube. It is a beautiful flower found in dry areas. It is also known as the mountain lily, Star of Bethlehem, and wild tuberose.
15. Musk Thistle
The Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans) can be found in foothills, meadows, disturbed areas, and semi-desert areas during the summer months. It is prickly and beautiful, invading farm fields, roadsides, mountain fields, and lawns.
It produces a basal rosette in the first year, which can be several feet in diameter. In the second year, it produces a tall flower stalk with sharply pointed leaves. It is an invasive species and can be removed during the summer and fall.
16. Thistle Poppy
The Thistle Poppy (Argemone polyanthemos) can be found in disturbed areas, roadsides, and foothills during the summer. It was introduced through highway construction and is found in all Colorado counties. It is rare with large, white, and delicate flowers. The plant is prickly and the flowers are a contrast as they flutter in the breeze. It was first named in 1753.
It is often planted in gardens as an ornamental plant. It grows in sandy or gravel soil with little to no need for watering.
17. Sulfur Buckwheat
Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) is abundant in Colorado. It is variable and not easy to identify, as there are numerous varieties. It can be a perennial herb that blooms in the summer with ten-centimeter stems, or it can be a sprawling shrub growing up to two meters high.
It has woolly leaves and the flowers range from purple to yellow, or white. The plant is often used for medicinal uses. Goats and sheep feed on the plant, while some insects use it as a larval host.
18. Scarlet Gilia
The Scarlet Gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata) can be found in woodlands, meadows, foothills, and openings in the spring, summer, and fall. It is widely spread and one of the most common wildflowers found at low elevations.
It has green leaves with silver specks of fine hairs. The flowers can be orange-red, yellow, or bright red. The flowers are trumpet-shaped that come from a single stem. They can grow up to five feet in the Rocky Mountain alpine areas.
Pink flowers are common in the high areas of Colorado, including the Flat Tops, Uncompahgre Plateau, and Grand Mesa. The leaves are fern-like and low to the ground. The plant appears as cluster in the first year and then grows quickly in the second year.
19. Silvery Lupine
The Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus) can be found in meadows, openings, and foothills in Colorado during the summer months. This wildflower prefers dry sunny areas and is variable. It can grow to three feet in height with broad leaves and flower clusters just above the leaves.
This perennial herb has a hairy texture with each leaf made up of up to nine leaflets. The leaves are linear in shape. The flowers are sometimes arranged in whorls. The flowers are up to fourteen millimeters in length and can range from white to blue, or purple. This plant is a food source for butterflies, also attracting hummingbirds.
20. Redstem Stork’s-Bill
The Redstem Stork’s-Bill (Erodium cicutarium) can be found in mountains, shrublands, lawns, foothills, and semi-desert areas throughout spring, summer, and fall. It carpets large areas with tiny pink flowers.
The flowers open in the mornings and close in the late afternoon. It has fern-like leaves and deep roots with a pungent smell. The plants stay close to the ground producing interlocking plants that crowd out any other vegetation.
21. Dotted Gayfeather
The Dotted Gayfeather (Liatris punctata) has unbranched stems found in clusters. This upright perennial can grow to three feet in height. The stems have narrow, crowded heads with rose-lavender flowers, which are arranged in slender wands.
You find narrow leaves on the stem, which are intermingled with the tufted flowers. The flowers crowd together forming a lavender spike on the top half of the stem. You will find these wildflowers in hills and prairies.
They are often used as ornamental plants, retaining their purple color. They are often used in flower arrangements. The flowers attract butterflies and birds.
22. Yellow Salsify
The Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius) can be found in openings, fields, woodlands, and foothills throughout spring, summer, and fall. It is a symmetrical flower with large and puffy silver-white seed heads. The seed heads are better known than the flower itself.
It has long and narrow leaves. The plant can grow to three feet and flowers from spring to fall. The roots are edible and were introduced to the United States from Europe. It was named in 1753.
The yellow salisfy grows in sheltered and warm areas with moist soil. The six-centimeter flower head buds are blue-green and tapered. The inflorescence opens in the morning and closed in the late afternoon.
23. Aspen Fleabane
The Aspen Fleabane (Erigeron speciosus) can be found in meadows and montane in the summer months throughout Colorado. It is a showy daily and abundant in mid-mountain elevations. It has fuzzy lavender buds, which become beautiful lavender flowers, shown in large bouquets.
This wildflower has narrow leaves with hairs on the margin and maroon stems. During the fall the colors become yellow, green, purple, and red.
24. Scarlet Globemallow
This common wildflower (Sphaeralcea coccinea) can be found in disturbed areas, openings, woodlands, foothills, and semi-desert areas throughout summer and spring. You will often see them in low foothills where the plant prefers sandy, dirty, and open ground.
They are scattered, multi-stemmed plants that form colonies of single-stemmed plants. It can grow to sixteen inches. The leaves are rounded and cut into five main divisions. The leaves are silver-green with white, fine hairs.
The flowers are red-orange and shaped like a saucer with five broad petals growing to two centimeters in width.
25. Woods’ Rose
The Woods’ Rose (Rosa woodsii) is native to North America, growing in a wide variety of habitats, including plains, stony slopes, disturbed areas, stream banks, and open woods. This perennial bushy shrub grows to three meters in height. They form dense and large thickets produced by seed and sprouting from the root.
It has straight red or gray-brown stems with prickles. The leaves comprise of several spaced sharp-toothed leaflets, which are up to five centimeters in length. The five-petal flowers are pink and bloom between May and June. It has a red fruit which can be seen in August and September.
26. Common Dandelion
The Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a European species that grows in meadows, disturbed areas, woodlands, and foothills in spring, summer, and fall. It has a crowned head of flowers, which produce numerous seeds. The plant is known to compete against native plants and is found in large colonies.
It grows with unbranched taproots, producing numerous leafless flower stems that can grow to forty centimeters in height. The stems usually have a purple tint and are upright. They produce a flower head that is as high as foliage.
The leaves are oblong with bases that narrow at the petiole. The fruit can range from olive brown to olive green, growing to three millimeters.
27. Hairy False Goldenaster
The Hairy False Goldenaster (Heterotheca villosa) can grow to fifty centimeters in height with two-centimeter leaves. They bloom from May to October. The flower head is approximately two centimeters in width and is yellow with disk florets.
The bristled seeds are white at the tip. This is not the easiest wildflower to identify as there are numerous varieties in Colorado alone. It grows on rocky slopes, cliffs, coniferous forests, and plains.
28. Mountain Bluebells
Mountain Bluebells (Mertensia ciliata) can be found along streams and montane during the summer months in Colorado. They have blue-green leaves with a waxy coating. This is a perennial herb that produces a cluster of thick, branching stems.
The leafy stems reach over a meter in length with veined leaves that are oval or lance-shaped. The inflorescence is clustered blue bell-shaped flowers that grow to two centimeters in length. The flower is hanging and fragrant, changing color from blue to pink-red as they age.
The plant is edible raw, though those with hairs should be cooked. It contains alkaloids, which should not be eaten in large quantities.
29. Shrubby Cinquefoil
Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) can be found in meadows, foothills, subalpine, and montane in the summer and fall months in Colorado. It is the longest flowering mountain shrub with flowers on display for three months.
It grows to three feet in width and height and is commonly used as an ornamental plant. With abundant water it can reach up to five feet, flowering for more than four months.
This is a very common wildflower in higher mountain meadows. It has slender and long stems in red-brown that arch as they grow.
30. Western Wallflower
The Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) can be found in meadows, semi-desert areas, and woodlands during spring and summer. This beautiful plant can be found in early spring. It is very common and highly variable.
It is a mustard-like plant that has thin stems that grow from a basal florette. It has dense bunches of flowers in various colors. The flowers are usually bright yellow, tangerine, or golden. In some cases, the flowers can be red, white, or purple.
The flowers have four petals with the seed pod being parallel to the stem. It is a biennial herb, native to high-elevation coniferous forests, plains, and foothills.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is another common wildflower you will find during spring, summer, and fall in Colorado. It is often seen in fields, openings, and foothills. It has a soft flower and is so common, you may not even notice it.
They are grown as crops but are also used in yards and gardens. It is drought resistant and can grow to several feet in height. The flower colors vary from light and deep purple, though some do have white or yellow flowers.
32. Monument Plant
The Monument Plant (Frasera speciosa) is common in mountain meadows and is a showy plant that covers large areas. It has tall flower stalks that form a large rosette of leaves. Studies have found this plant only flowers once in its lifetime and can survive for up to eighty years. It is a monocarpic plant, growing for years and flowering once before it dies.
These wildflowers often flower in unison. Hundreds or thousands of plants in a small area will flower at the same time. The area around the Rocky Mountains had mass flowering in 2010 with thousands of plants flowering on five feet tall stalks.
It has a large basal rosette with long pale-green stems. The leaves on the flowering plant are narrow and long, shortening at the top of the plant. The flowers look like stars and are wide open in white with green streaks and purple dots.
33. Mountain Ball Cactus
The Mountain Ball Cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii) can be found during the summer months in openings, foothills, and semi-desert areas. The plant is symmetrical and beautiful with spines. They are very common in sagebrush areas with pink, white, and yellow flowers.
It has smooth spines in white and central brown to-black spines. They can grow to approximately six inches in height and seven inches in width. They are often closely packed against one another growing in slab rocks. In Colorado, they are usually found in open areas that are not obscured by other vegetation.
34. Creeping Thistle
Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense) is common in disturbed areas, foothills, and meadows during the summer months. It is a troublesome weed and once introduced is very difficult to get rid of. It spreads easily through seed and root, making it exceptionally difficult to get rid of.
It has prickly leaves and attractive flower heads that are sweet-smelling. It has an enormous seed production. The flowers are unisexual with only female or male flowers found on each plant.
It thrives in moderate temperatures and where there is plenty of water. It loses more than ninety percent of its water intake through their roots. It is a herbaceous perennial that can grow to more than one hundred and fifty centimeters with extensive colonies. The colonies form from thickened roots, sending up shoots during the growing season.
35. Pinewoods Geranium
The Pinewoods Geranium (Geranium caespitosum) is a purple cluster perennial herb, native to the western United States. It is common throughout Colorado and easily recognized for its red to purple flower with five petals. It has lobbed leaves.
Flowers bloom from May to September when it grows in damp soil in coniferous forests and canyons. The plant is often used to treat diarrhea and the roots can be crushed to treat sores. The plant is also used as turkey food.
36. Richardson’s Geranium
This wildflower (Geranium richardsonii) is white with purple streaks on single, erect stems. It is common in moist areas and the flower can often be seen on the mountains, protected by tree canopies.
You are likely to identify this plant in subalpine, montane, and foothills. The height can be up to eighty centimeters. They grow from woody taproots with fifteen-centimeter-wide leaves, divided into five segments.
The five-petaled flowers have a two-centimeter-long petal, which can be purple or white with dark purple veins. The small fruit can reach up to two centimeters in length.
37. Whipple’s Penstemon
Whipple’s Penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus) has large pale yellow, white, or white-green flowers on a tall stem. The flowers are tubular with two lopes on the top and three lobes on the bottom that point horizontally to the ground.
The plant prefers partial shade where it can grow up to twenty-four inches. The flowers are tubular and the leaves are smooth. They are known to attract hummingbirds in meadows and wooded areas.
38. Lewis Flax
You will find this wildflower (Linum lewisii) during the summer, spring, and fall in Colorado. Look for it in foothills, woodlands, meadows, openings, and mountain areas. It can grow to three feet in height with slender stems. The buds weigh down the top of the stems. There can be dozens of buds on a single stem.
The flower buds open after sunrise for part of the day. On warm days the flowers drop their petals in the early afternoon but they will stay open later on cloudy days. You are likely to find this wildflower in large numbers. They are very robust.
It is a herbaceous plant that is tall with spirally-arranged leaves. The flowers can range from light blue to lavender, or white. They are veined in dark blue and have five petals, growing to just over one centimeter.
39. Upland Larkspur
The Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum) can be found in meadows, foothills, and montane during spring and early summer. In early spring, you will see the violet-blue flower appear in solitary patches. They are common in meadows and open woods.
It produces numerous basal leaves in early spring, producing a twelve-inch flower stalk with dissected leaves. When the flowers open, the leaves are already withered.
It has very thick roots with a white to pink stem that can branch out several times. The lobed leaves are at the base of the plant. The inflorescent occupies the top of the stem with widely spaced flowers.
The upper portion of this wild plant is hairy and is very poisonous to cattle.
40. Elephant’s-Head Lousewort
The Elephant’s-Head Lousewort (Pedicularis groenlandica) can be found in wetlands and along streams during the summer months. They are very common and can sometimes be seen in the thousands. They have red fern-like leaves with dark stems.
It blooms for weeks, making it one of the most widely known wildflowers with dried seed heads that show on the trunk. It can grow to more than eighty centimeters in height with leaves on the lower portion of the stem.
The stem has a large inflorescence of pink, purple, or white flowers at the top. The flowers are curved upward, resembling an elephant’s trunk.
41. Curled Dock
The Curled Dock (Rumex crispus) can be seen in spring, summer, and fall in Colorado. They are common in meadows, disturbed areas, foothills, and roadsides. The basal leaves are larger than the stem leaves.
It produces long flower stalks of more than 1.5 meters in height. The smooth leaves are waved or curled at the edges. It produces shiny brown seeds located in the calyx of the flower. The seeds can float on water, helping the plant spread easily to new locations.
42. Balkan Toadflax
The Balkan Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica) prefers areas where it is in lower competition to other plants and there is ample moisture. Each plant can produce more than five hundred thousand small seeds, purple-brown seeds that rely on wind, seed ingestion, and wildlife to disperse.
The seeds germinate in the spring and fall. This plant has an extensive root system, producing long and deep taproots to secure the moisture and nutrient it needs to grow. The taproots can grow more than ten feet away from the parent plant.
It has heart-shaped leaves and five-petaled flowers that occur from May to September.
43. Curlycup Gumweed
The Curlycup Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa) can be seen in summer and fall in openings and foothills. This wildflower can grow several feet in height and width. It is a bushy plant with bright yellow flowers. The flowers have a strong medicinal smell.
It is an erect and branched perennial herb growing to more than one hundred centimeters in height. Its large gray-green leaves can be more than seven centimeters in length. Each flower head has up to forty yellow ray flowers with small disc flowers surrounding them.
44. Yellow Sweetclover
The Yellow Sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis) can be found in disturbed areas, fields, foothills, and semi-desert areas in Colorado during the spring, summer, and fall. It appears over wide areas in large patches.
This wildflower can be biennial or annual, growing up to six feet in height at maturity. The leaves are alternating on the stem with three leaflets. It produces yellow flowers that bloom in spring and summer.
Seeds can remain viable for up to thirty years. The plant has extensive taproots, growing in groups. The plant has a unique sweet odor.
45. Twinberry Honeysuckle
The Twinberry Honeysuckle (Lonicera involucrata) can be found in spring and summer in woodlands, mountain, and subalpine areas. It is colorful and very distinctive with yellow drooping tube-like flowers on maroon bracts. The bracts are deep red when the flower starts to fade.
The bush can grow to six feet in width and up to nine feet in height. The leaves are around three inches in length. The berries are juicy and black but are bitter and potentially poisonous, so do not be tempted to eat them.
The oval leaves are hairy on the margins and undersides. The yellow flowers are produced in pairs. The fruit is twelve millimeters in diameter and contains small seeds. It ripens in the summer months.
Bearberries (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) can be found during the summer months in Colorado in woodlands, montane, and alpine areas. The plant spreads from its woody branches, creating mats. The stems are twelve centimeters high with dark green leaves and pink-to-white flowers. The flowers give way to bright red berries. It is very common throughout the Rockies.
The leaves are small and shiny, growing to around four centimeters in length and one centimeter in width. The leaves have rounded tips that taper at the base. The flowers bloom in May and June. The fruit remains on the plant until early winter. They are bitter when raw and sweet when dried and bottled.
47. Prairie Bluebells
This wildflower (Mertensia lanceolata) can be found in numerous habitats in Colorado with dark blue to purple-blue flowers. They have hairless leaves.
The bell-shaped flowers are small and form in five fused petals, kept in compact clusters on the upper half of the stem. The flowers point downwards. This plant forms large colonies spanning several feet across.
48. Great Blanketflower
This wildflower (Gaillardia aristata) can be seen in summer on foothills and montane. The flowers are three inches in diameter and the leaves are light green and hairy. The plant can grow from old root stock, flowering from June to September.
This is a popular garden flower. This is a perennial herb with lance-shaped leaves near the base. The flowers have a center of twelve red-brown disc florets. It produces a hairy fruit that can be ten millimeters in length.
Some Indian tribes use this wildflower to reduce fevers and treat wounds.
49. Front Range Beardtongue
This (Penstemon virens) is a very common wildflower on foothills. It grows on graveled slopes and between rocks producing green leaves and blue flowers. The flowers grow from all sides of the stem.
This plant can grow to one foot in height and is common from March to August.
50. Rhexia-leaf Indian-Paintbrush
You will find this wildflower (Castilleja rhexiifolia) during the summer months, though it is not the easiest to distinguish. It is a short alpine tundra plant that often only grows to five inches in height.
This perennial plant has erect stems and leaves that can be up to six centimeters in length. The bracts are red-purple and the corolla is green to red. The green upper stem has non-lobed leaves, the inflorescence has hairs and they are common in subalpine and alpine areas.
51. American Plum
You can encounter the American Plumb (Prunus americana) just about anywhere in Colorado from canyons and slope bottoms to plains. It is usually around twenty feet in height forming large thickets.
This plant produces beautiful white and fragrant flowers that bloom in the spring. The plum is red, orange, purple, or red with sour skin. When ripe, the plum is fleshy and sweet.
52. Common Cowparsnip
Common Cowparsnip (Heracleum maximum) can be found in the summer months in woodland, meadows, stream sides, montane, and subalpine areas. It is a perennial mountain wildflower with enormous annual growth.
It has broad leaves and the flower stalks can be up to seven feet in height. The flower clusters are approximately a foot wide with a pungent sweet smell. It is a very common plant with hollow and hairy stems.
The large leaves are divided into three lobes. The flowers bloom from February to September with small white flowers. Indigenous North Americans have been using this wildflower for a variety of uses. The stems have been eaten raw but the outer skin is removed to reduce blistering and itching mouth.
Natives have used the plant, using it on sores and bruises. It has been poulticed and used to swelling of the feet. The stems are used for drinking stores. The flowers can be rubbed on the body to repel mosquitoes.
53. Rocky Mountain Beeplant
The Rocky Mountain Beeplant (Cleomella serrulata) can be found in disturbed areas, roadsides, and foothills during summer and fall. It grows to six feet in height with attractive pink flowers.
The leaves are narrow on this annual plant and arranged spirally. The red-purple, pink, or white flowers have four petals and six long stamens. It produces a six-centimeter fruit capsule that contains numerous seeds.
The plant flowers for an extended period. The seeds rely on time, temperature, and moisture for germination, which usually occurs in summer. Plants grow up to two meters very quickly with the flowers attracting insects, especially bees.
54. Western Spiderwort
Western Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) is commonly seen in summer and fall in grassland openings, foothills, forests, and semi-desert areas. It can grow to fourteen inches in height with narrow and long leaves. The cluster of flowers can be an inch across.
This wildflower has long, leafy foliage with beautiful blue-green leaves, which makes it a very attractive wildflower in Colorado. It is drought and heat tolerant, growing in fertile soil. It self-seeds and can become aggressive when competing for moisture and nutrients.
55. Wholeleaf Paintbrush
The Wholeleaf Paintbrush (Castilleja integra) occurs throughout Colorado during spring, summer, and fall. You are likely to see this wildflower in shrublands, woodlands, foothills, and badlands.
It prefers dry environments and medium elevations. It has green-red leaves that are long and thin. The leaves are rolled at the axis. The stems are purplish with fine white hairs.
The thin green-tubed flowers protrude from the stamen. Over time the stems become woody at the base. It uses its roots to attack nearby species for nutrients and moisture.