Wildflowers can grow even in the arid lands of Texas. Some of the oldest species of plants in North America can be traced back to the period of native Americans and may be found in Texas in high numbers.
Southern, Central, and Western parts of the state are habitats for various wildflowers.
Most species here can also be grown in gardens. On the other hand, there are a few toxic plants in Texas that can even kill animals and trigger infections, rashes, or allergies when touched.
The following wildflowers tend to grow in Texas where most aren’t invasive. They may become invasive when introduced in new habitats, particularly outside of the state.
Table of Contents
Also known as Mexican Primose, Pinkladies (Oenothera speciosa) are naturalized flowers brought in from New Mexico and other states.
This wildflower is invasive and its use in gardens and parks needs to be monitored as it quickly spreads through seeds.
It can be found in areas of full sun exposure, and dry and drained soils. Disturbed soils are also a common habitat for the species.
Vast prairies and open woodland are ideal for these pink flowers.
According to some cookbooks, pinkladies can be eaten in salads together with cherry tomatoes.
2. Indian Blanket
These types of wildflowers (Gaillardia pulchella) are spotted along roadsides in Texas.
Plants of this family prefer dry soils and full sun. These plants may reach a moderate height of up to 2 feet.
Indian Blanket flowers are of a diverse coloration but yellow flowers are the most common for the species.
Reduced watering requirements recommend this type of flower for gardens and parks, particularly in combination with taller flowers as they stop growing after just a few years.
Indian Blanket is native to Southern Texas and mostly to the Northern parts of Mexico.
3. Honey Mesquite
Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) is a type of plant and shrub native to Texas and the Southwestern parts of the US.
This is a species known for its thorny structure and long history. Native used it for its medicinal properties.
Even today, Honey Mesquite is used as a healthy flour substitute to make a type of flour that’s also high in protein.
A shrub for years, Honey Mesquite can easily grow into a small tree. It can reach heights of up to 50 feet and it may be one of the taller species to provide shade and a nesting site for various bugs and insects in the state.
4. Silverleaf Nightshade
Silverleaf Nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) is one of the most common toxic plants in the state. This plant is known for its toxicity to animals such as horses.
Large purple flowers are specific to this species. Each flower has yellow stamens.
Green stems and leaves are further specific to this flower. A dying Silverleaf Nightshade typically turns brown as well.
This plant is present across multiple Southern states for a long time. Its presence here and its toxicity towards horses have led it to its nickname of Horsenettle.
Silverleaf Nightshade is an invasive species outside of its native range.
5. Dakota Mock Vervain
This small wildflower (Glandularia bipinnatifida) is found in Southern Texas and in a Central American habitat that borders the Northern parts of South America.
A short size is specific to these plants. Multiple small violet color flowers are specific to this species.
Spring marks the time when these wildflowers bloom. At first, the flowers are pink but they can darken to a more violet nuance if flowering is later in the season.
Prairies, open woodlands, disturbed land, and another type of wide open areas are the most common areas this plant grows.
6. Straggler Daisy
One of the most common wildflowers in Texas that like both full sun and a shaded habitat is the Straggler Daisy (Calyptocarpus vialis).
A short height is specific to this species. Long and wide green leaves and very small yellow flowers are characteristic of Straggler Daisies.
Only growing in Central Texas, Straggler Daisies are found next to woodlands, prairies, or along roadsides.
This is a species that may become invasive outside this range as it can overcrowd local plants elsewhere.
7. Texas Bluebonnet
These blue violet lupines (Lupinus texensis) are among the multiple lupines known as Texas’ official flowers.
A blue-to-violet color makes this species stand out in front of other lupines. It serves as food for moths and butterflies, among other species.
The spread of the species is influenced by the weather. There are years when the seed of this wildflower cannot germinate.
Rainwater activates its seeds and since water may not reach these seeds in a given year, this lupine is not fast to spread.
Lupines of this genus may grow to a size of over 30 inches.
8. Antelopehorn Milkweed
This species (Asclepias asperula) is named after the name of antelopes. They represent a perennial plant and one that serves as food for many national species of butterflies.
Monarch butterflies are known to lay eggs on this type of perennial milkweed. Its emerging caterpillars feed on milkweed and rely on milkweed as food until pupation.
The large size of the species means multiple caterpillars can feed on it.
Anteloperhorn Milkweeds grow up to a height of 3 feet but most measure anywhere between 1 and 2 feet.
9. Upright Prairie Coneflower
One of the most common wildflowers in North America with yellow and red coloring is the Upright Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida columnifera).
As its name implies, this species lives on prairies and open areas.
A central cone-like shape allows this flower to be known simply as The Coneflower.
This central cone or column-like shape measures anywhere between 1 and 3 inches. The base of the column is where red or red-brown and yellow petals are seen.
At best, this wildflower measures around 3 feet, being similar in height to different types of milkweed which it shares its habitat with.
10. Green Antelopehorns
Full san areas around the state are ideal habitats for the Green Antelopehorns (Asclepias viridis). Texas marks the Southern limit of its North American habitat which spreads to Canada.
This is a species of plant that is mid-sized compared to other wildflowers in the state.
It grows up to 2 feet, with many measuring around 1 foot.
The height Green Antelophehorns can reach is established through humidity levels and habitat. This plant may also grow in partial shade, unlike other types of wildflowers in the state.
11. Texas Paintbrush
Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) is one of the shorter types of red wildflowers in the state.
It grows to a size of up to 18 inches with most flowers measuring up to 10 inches. The growth rate and the flowering of the species are known to be difficult to predict.
Red and white flowers are characteristic of the species and may be seen at least once per year or every other year.
This species grows in dry areas in full sun. It has the risk of spreading to monocultures which impacts local biodiversity as it inhibits other plant growth.
12. Southern Dewberry
Southern Dewberry (Rubus trivialis) is a berry-making perennial wildflower with white to violet flowers.
Part of the rosacea family, it may be grown for its aesthetic appeal. Its large flowers are attractive in parks and gardens and are also known to act as a magnet for bees and other insects.
Unlike other species, Southern Dewberry requires moist soil, mainly for the production of berries.
Most soil with at least partial sun is preferred by the species. Full sun exposure and moist soil that’s also properly drained so water doesn’t stagnate are ideal if you prefer to grow it at home.
13. Lemon Beebalm
This wildflower (Monarda citriodora) is known to grow densely over short areas.
Lemon Beeblam is a lavender-color wildflower with an important role in the ecosystem.
It serves as food for bees. Migrating butterflies also see this species as one of their possible host plants.
Host plants are used as a type of plant that caterpillars feed on.
The size of the plant differs by it rarely growing taller than 2 feet. Lemon Beebalm is a species that grows to an average height of just around 1 foot.
Unlike many wildflowers, Lemon Beebalm is highly aromatic and attractive to bees.
This type of wildflower (Ipomoea cordatotriloba) has bell-like pink to violet flowers.
It grows fast and tall. Tievine spread through seeds or sprouts. Its roots serve as a means of spreading and it may form a natural fence.
As a result, Tievine is among the wildflowers to be considered a property barrier in Texas.
Sandy soils are among the most common types of grounds the plant grows. Proper drainage and up o moderate moisture is preferred when growing the plant.
15. Turk’s Cap
This species of wildflowers (Malvaviscus arboreus) are named after the person who first collected it from Southwestern US habitats.
It may be among the tallest species of wildflowers with flowers that never completely open in the state.
Red rose-like flowers with closed petals are characteristic of Turk’s Cap.
This species grows to a size of 2 to 3 feet. While rare, it may also grow to a taller size of almost 10 feet in certain areas.
An ideal flower in gardens, especially to replace roses, Turk’s Cap is an ideal tall wildflower to consider if you want to add shade in a given area of the garden.
16. Whitemouth Dayflower
This type of flower (Commelina erecta) is present across the entire area of the state and it may come in variable colors and heights.
Blue flower color is specific to this species.
Unlike many other types of wildflowers, Whitemouth Dayflowers have a base petal from which the rest of the blue petals grow.
This white petal resembles an open mouth and it inspires the name of the species. It also makes the flower look, unlike any other Texas wildflower.
17. Texas Vervain
This type of verbena flowering plant is common in the state. The Texas Vervain (Verbena halei) is a species that may resemble lavender, but it’s a subspecies of The Common Verbena.
It likes to live in moderate moisture soils and it can be found along prairies.
Small blue to violet flowers are seen on each stem of the species.
You can grow this flower in your garden and watch its spread through roots and sprouts.
The aesthetic value of the species has also seen established outside of Texas. It can be one of the plants that decorate gardens and also come with a mild fragrant profile.
18. Eastern Redbud
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a species of wildflowers or small trees. There are various hybrids of the species for cultivation to choose from as well.
It grows to a height of up to a few feet and it has multiple pink flowers that make it an attractive sight for the ecosystem.
Bees, moths, caterpillars, and butterflies all feed on the plant.
The flowers of Eastern Redbud are edible. They are considered mildly spicy and are generally used to season meats.
Crowpoison (Nothoscordum bivalve) is a non-toxic wildflower found across the state. Texas marks its Southeastern habitat border as the species is present in a wide area up to Florida.
White and yellow flowers are specific to the species.
High adaptability to moderately moist soils in gardens and on lawns is characteristic of this species. It can be cultivated as a natural lawn border.
In its natural habitat, the wildflower is rich in nectar, one of the most common foods for adult butterflies.
Growing up to a height of 12 inches, Crowpoison is a tall wildflower rich in nectar.
Agarita (Berberis trifoliolata) is one of the most resilient wildflowers in Texas. It only grows in some of the most unhospitable habitats of the state as it prefers dry soils in direct sunlight.
This is one of the oldest species of the state, often being used as medicine by natives.
Agarita has green, olive, or green-to-blue leave and stems. It makes small yellow fruits that are used in different industries as they can be eaten.
Agarita wine is made from these small fruits when collected in high amounts. Natural juice is also made using cold pressing techniques.
While not everybody uses its fruit for food, Agarita wildflowers are sometimes planted in gardens for their high aesthetic appeal.
21. Engelmann Daisy
This type of daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) grows into small flowering shrubs. Small yellow flowers are specific to the species.
Bright yellow petals form the small flowers of this daisy.
The general height of the species sits at the 2-feet mark with only the tallest wildflowers of the species growing to 3 feet.
Full sun exposure is needed for this plant to thrive.
Those deciding to cultivate it at home might need to water it. While it prefers dry soils, occasional watering might be needed from October to late February.
22. Common Sunflower
This type of wildflower (Helianthus annuus) has some of the largest flowers in the state. One of the most cultivated species in Texas, the sunflower was first domesticated for its seeds.
This is a species known for its edible seeds and their oily profile. Natural sunflower oil is made from these seeds, by various techniques.
Often growing taller than a human, this wildflower can be grown for decoration in gardens.
This species may also be seen as a type of weed on different crops. Texas is one of the few areas where corn crops may sometimes be invaded by the Common Sunflower and its subspecies.
Full sun exposure is ideal for Frostweed (Verbesina virginica). This is a species with a constant presence across North America.
This species is adapted to areas with freezing winter temperatures but it also thrives on Texas pastures.
It grows to mid or tall size. Some of the tallest Frostweed wildflowers in the state measure around 8 feet.
Multiple florets or small flowers grow in groups on each stem. This is a wildflower that also tends to spread out into colonies.
Most people may plant it in gardens as a herbaceous plant that attracts butterflies. Its rich nectar also attracts various species of eusocial and solitary bees.
24. Tenpetal Anemone
Tenpetal Anemone (Anemone berlandieri) is a Texas species with leaves close to the ground. The leaves of this plant don’t grow up the stems, close to the flower.
A pink-violet flower grows at the top of its stems. Tenpetal Anemone have a long cone structure that has a green to white color. The base of the cone is white while its tip is green.
The surrounding pistils are yellow.
The species has reduced sizing and it may be potted. It grows to a maximum size of 14 inches with most herbs on prairies measuring up to 10 inches.
25. Turkey Tangle Frogfruit
This type of host plant of various butterflies and caterpillars is a common sight in Texas.
It (Phyla nodiflora) has pink to white flowers and it’s generally known as a weed. It may be present on lawns where it needs to be removed with its roots for complete elimination.
Turkey Tangle Frogfruit is a wildflower also naturalized in parks and gardens.
Its multiple small flowers are used to add value to natural décor. In some areas, the species has been introduced as ground cover.
Its quick spread provides ideal cover for various types of land.
Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) is one of the most common types of wild trees in the state. It grows to a very tall size over the years.
Some of the tallest Chinaberry trees in the state can reach heights of up to 40 feet.
Small yellow to orange fruits are often eaten by different animals. The flesh of these fruits can be eaten but animals that also swallow the seeds may suffer as these seeds are toxic.
A rich canopy allows the species to create shade spots for animals to rest, which may attract them to the fruit.
Chinaberry is used as a type of raw wood source. This woody shrub has medium-density wood used to make furniture.
27. Texas Thistle
Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum) is one of the species adapted to dry soils and medium moisture soils.
These are a type of thistle with narrow green leaves that are also spiny or pointy. A single large flower blooms once per season.
The round-shaped flower grows individually. It serves as a nectar source for local pollinators.
Texas Thistle is one of the types of thistle that may grow past a medium height. A size of up to 32 inches may be noted on some of the tallest wildflowers of the species.
High densities of Texas Thistle are seen in the Western and Southwestern parts of the state.
28. Field Madder
Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis) is a type of herb with tiny pink flowers. These small flowers are known natural sources of dye.
Pollinated by flies, these types of wildflowers are found across a wide range of state habitats, including disturbed land.
Grassland is one of the ideal habitats for Filed Madder.
Its long roots outcompete grasses for moisture.
Long roots also make the species an introduced type of decorative cultivated plant in different areas of the world outside the United States.
29. Smallflower Desert-Chicory
This type of flowering herb (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus) is one of the few species that also grow in clay soils.
Part of the asters family, these types of flowering herbs serve as a nectar source for butterflies and moths.
Smallflower Desert-Chicory is a native species in Texas and other regions up to Western California.
These herbs also grow on abandoned farmland and may show good vigor when planted in gardens.
30. Creosote Bush
This type of herb (Larrea tridentata) is a common sight across the Southern parts of the state.
Creosote bushes are adapted to living in deserts and are some of the oldest surviving species in the state.
Natives used to rely on extracts of the herb for medicinal purposes.
Creosote Bush is a type of tall bush that may even reach a height of 10 feet. Breaking the stems of this tall bush releases a smell that has been compared to a fresh scent.
An important source of pollen and nectar, Creosote Bush provides food for tens of bees in Texas.
Creseote Bushes provide food for the local ecosystem for a long time as the species lives for decades.
31. Roughleaf Dogwood
This high-spread type of plant (Cornus drummondii) is widely seen across the state. It has been one of the first plants to be implemented as a species to help emphasize property limits.
Roughleaf Dogwood is seen on the sides of roads, in parks, gardens, and other public spaces where it creates privacy walls.
This is a tall species as the plant can even reach a height of up to 15 feet.
It also spreads sideways to at least 10 feet once mature which makes it an ideal natural privacy fence.
32. Texas Persimmon
This small tree (Diospyros texana) is present in the Central and Southern parts of Texas as well as in Mexico.
It has a tree-like structure and a height that may reach up to a few feet.
Texas Persimmons are fruit-bearing trees that like to live in some of the aridest conditions of the state.
A rare and local species, the Texas Persimmon is one of the host species of various butterflies and their caterpillars. Gray Hairstreak Caterpillars feed on their leaves.
This species is known for flowering in March.
While it lives in some of the most inhospitable conditions, Texas Persimmon can survive up to 50 years.
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is one of the tallest shrubs growing close to water or in swamps.
Sometimes taller and wider than many native trees, Buttonbush is a species that has been used in many areas of the state to control soil erosion.
Buttonbush is also used outside of the state to control soil erosion in coastal areas.
Known for its globular flowers, this specie shows toxic characteristics when eaten by animals.
Growing to a maximum height of just over 9 feet, Buttonbush lives in the Eastern and Southern parts of Texas. The plant is mostly characteristic of Eastern parts of Texas and small areas in California.
34. Stiff Greenthread
Stiff Greenthread plants (Thelesperma filifolium) are some of the most adaptive species in Texas and Southern parts of the US.
This plant shows good growth both in very dry conditions and in humid conditions.
Long drought periods are not a problem for this species which has one central root and secondary sprouting roots.
These secondary roots help it gather maximum moisture in periods of drought and also grow vigorously in the period when it rains.
Roadsides are the most common areas where the plant grows in Texas. Stiff Greenthread is a species adapted to high elevation living in Northern states.
35. Zizotes Milkweed
This species (Asclepias oenotheroides) is one of the various types of milkweed across the state. Unlike other plants of the same family, Zizotes Milkweed lives in small groups that are also highly scattered.
The species is adapted to the harsh conditions in the South and it may only flower soon after it rains.
Shallow roots are specific to the species but it tends to survive if their roots are still in the ground after cutting.
A common sight on disturbed land, Zizotes Milkweed is also a host species to some types of caterpillars, but to a lesser extent compared to other types of milkweed.
36. Mealy Blue Sage
This type of green and blue plant (Salvia farinacea) is native to Central and Southern Texas.
Part of the mint family, it has a slight aromatic nuance that resembles peppermint.
In Texas, the plant is seen across various altitudes and it tends to stand out when flowering at the beginning of the summer.
Simply referred to as the Blue Sage, this is a plant with blue or blue to violet flowers.
It grows to a maximum height of 8 inches and it tends to grow scattered, in low, numbers, without the risk of monocultures.
Rich in nectar, Mealy Blue Sage is an ideal food source for different types of butterflies.
37. Black-eyed Susan
This type of flower (Rudbeckia hirta) is one of the most popular choices as decoration in gardens across the state.
A long history is tied to Black-eyed Susans which are a species natives used to rely on to boost immunity.
Its roots were eaten raw as they were believed to give a boost in immunity.
The species is widespread in the state and across North America.
It has yellow or golden yellow flowers which only grow to a few inches. The color and nectar of the flower attract many butterflies and insects.
Northern Crescent is among the butterflies that eat the nectar of the species.
38. Violet Ruellia
Violet Ruellia (Ruellia nudiflora) may be found in the Western and Southwestern parts of Texas.
A species native to The Sonoran Desert, Violet Ruellia is a false petunia that is spreading across Southwestern states.
The blossom period shows the time the species is most attractive for insects and butterflies. A violet or a violet-to-blue color is specific to the short bell-shaped blossoms of the plant.
This type of plant (Helenium amarum) is named after its bitter taste. Bitterweed should not be consumed as it shows high toxicity, especially to animals.
This is one of the mid-sized plants native to the Southcentral parts of the US. It grows to a maximum size of 28 inches and it stands out with its colorful flowers.
Multiple stems and small branches contrast the golden yellow flowers of the species.
Believed to be named after Hellen of Troy, the plant also makes small fruits.
40. Texas Mountain Laurel
Native to Southwestern parts of Texas, this plan (Dermatophyllum secundiflorum) is one of the oldest in the state.
Used as a hallucinogen by natives in the past due to its poisonous chemicals, this is a species adapted to living in very harsh conditions.
The high levels of chemicals in this plant are dangerous to pets and humans.
Even in arid conditions, Texas Mountain Laurel grows vigorously, flowering at the end of the spring.
Its flowers are known to be fragrant and it makes the species one of the adaptable plants in gardens of the state.
41. American Trumpet Vine
American Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) is a type of crawling plant that’s used for added privacy around the state.
The plant climbs trees, fences, homes, and other small or large plants. Its name is derived from its red trumpet-like flowers.
This is a species with a large invasive profile and it needs to be trimmed regularly so that it doesn’t spread to nearby plants.
Most cultivated uses of the species recommend it for property limits as this climbing plant is not ideal next to the house.
It causes skin inflammation known as dermatitis when people touch its seeds.
42. Texas Bull Nettle
This type of native perennial plant (Cnidoscolus texanus) expands up to 40 inches.
Texas Bull Nettle has a long history, of being used as an edible plant by Native Americans. Only the seeds of the plant are edible as Texas Bull Nettle is acidic.
Its highly acidic profile means the plant causes skin irritation. In many cases, the short spines of the plant also cause skin-level infections.
Texas Bull Nettle spreads quickly over dry soil, essentially killing all other plants in its path.
Handling this type of plant with bare hands isn’t recommended as it has been shown to also cause allergic reactions in some cases.
43. Poverty Weed
Southern parts of Texas are home to Poverty Weed (Baccharis neglecta). This is a type of shrub that may grow as tall as a tree.
A height of just over 14 feet is specific to the shrub.
Long green leaves characterize the species which also shows small white flowers.
The species is adapted to arid conditions but it’s not suitable to use in gardens as decoration.
44. American Basketflower
This type of wildflower (Plectocephalus americanus) is native to Texas but it has been introduced to many regions based on its attractive bloom.
Flowers of the species are white in the center and have contrasting pink petals on the sides.
Its contrasting pink petals wrap the central flower section like a basket, which inspires the name of the species.
The pink petals of the flower as well as the shape of the buds before blooming can sometimes confuse American Basketflower with a thistle.
45. Winecup Mallow
A common sight on moist soils across the state, Winecupe Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata) is a species of Southern Mallow adaptable to gardens and parks.
This species is quick to sprawl as it never grows taller than a few inches.
Its flowers are colorful and have a distinct magenta nuance which makes it suitable for gardens and along alleyways.
It grows in full sun and it may never truly sprawl unless growing in areas with mild moisture.
46. Late Boneset
Unlike Winecupe Mallow which only grows to 5 inches, Late Boneset (Eupatorium serotinum) easily grows up to a few feet tall.
This species is found in arid areas of the state. It can be identified by its inflorescences with multiple white heads that flower.
Late Boneset may also be confused with other species as it may become a hybrid with other plants of its genus.
Multiple types of Eupatorium plants in the state may become hybrids as their seeds are spread by bees and wasps.
47. Western Horsenettle
This type of plant (Solanum dimidiatum) is native to Texas and invasive in other nearby states.
It has a bell-shaped blue to purple flower and leaves covered in short white hairs.
The Western Horsenettle grows in multiple dry areas and it thrives in disturbed areas. While it doesn’t kill nearby plants, it may be difficult to remove as it needs to be dug out with its roots.
The plant is known to have some of the longest lives among local species. Typical Western Horsenettle leaves measure around 5 inches.
48. Texas Bindweed
This type of wildflower (Convolvulus equitans) is a native species of morning glory.
It grows in arid and semi-arid areas in Central and Southern Texas, as well as in Northern Mexico.
The plant is identified by its green-gray color and small square-shaped white flowers.
The plant is in bloom from April to October and it may change the white nuance of its flower to white-purple over the summer months.
49. Partridge Pea
Partridge Peas (Chamaecrista fasciculata) are a type of plant that grows in clusters. It may reach a height of up to 3 feet.
Vivid yellow flowers make the specie easy to identify. Its seeds are high in protein and one of the favorite foods of local wildlife.
Various species of birds feed on Partridge Pea seeds. Quail species are particularly fond of these seeds.
A type of legume, Partridge Pea shows excellent growing capacity in disturbed land.
Wildfire in an area in previous years is believed to allow the species to grow vigorously.
This plant is also used as a species to cover areas affected by wildfire and as a plant or a legume that fights soil erosion.
Short parallel leaves and atypical green bark mark Retama (Parkinsonia aculeata) as one of the most distinct species of shrubs or trees in Texas.
It grows in Central and Southern areas of the state as shrub and it may turn into a large tree measuring up to 30 feet in time.
The species has small yellow flowers similar to Partridge Pea flowers.
Retama is a species well-adapted to dry soils and long droughts. It never reaches its full height potential in dry lands where it remains short, measuring up to 15-20 feet.
Multiple spines covering small leaves make these species one of the least attractive to livestock.