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Recommended Native Wildflowers for North Carolina

About 25 percent of the plant species native to North America are at risk of extinction. You can help reverse this trend by planting great native plants in your garden.

Native Plants, Native Perennials, Native Annuals, North Carolina Native Plant, North Carolina Native Perennials, North Carolina Native Annuals, North Carolina Wildflowers

From the Atlantic Coastal Plain to the Piedmont region and to the Appalachian Mountains, North Carolina’s landscape is carpeted with a rich array of wildflowers and native plants. It is home to many species of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. Noted for its short, mild winters and sultry summers, North Carolina can also support many non-native species that are beginning to make their way across the landscape. Regrettably, some of these exotic immigrants are invasive and are threatening the native flora and ecology of the state.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered and threatened species and 18% of U.S. endangered or threatened species. Invasive species compete directly with native species for moisture, sunlight, nutrients, and space. They displace and alter native plant communities, degrade wildlife habitat and water quality, and potentially lead to increased soil erosion.

The federal government has estimated that nearly 25 percent of the 20,000 plant species native to North America are at risk of extinction, many of these through habitat loss. You can help reverse this trend by planting great native plants in your garden.

A plant is considered native if it occurs naturally in a particular region or ecosystem without human introduction. There are many benefits to growing native plants.

  • First, these plants are better adapted to soils, moisture, and weather than exotic plants that evolved in other parts of the world. They need fewer fertilizers and pesticides or use less water.
  • Second, they are unlikely to escape and become invasive, destroying natural habitats.
  • Third, they support wildlife, providing shelter and food for native birds and insects, while exotic plants do not.

Here is a list of North Carolina native wildflowers that are well-suited for plantings in gardens.

  • Never collect native plants from the wild, as it will deplete natural ecosystems. 
  • When possible, plant species grown straight from local seed sources. These native originals are the best choice, as they co-evolved with specific wildlife, which supports migration, breeding, and other seasonal interdependencies.

Guide Information

Native Plants United States, Southeast, North Carolina

Recommended Native Wildflowers for North Carolina

Actaea pachypoda (White Baneberry)
Actaea racemosa (Black Cohosh)
Amsonia tabernaemontana (Blue Star)
Anemone virginiana (Thimbleweed)
Aquilegia canadensis (Canadian Columbine)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the Pulpit)
Aruncus dioicus (Goat’s Beard)
Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
Caulophyllum thalictroides (Blue Cohosh)
Chelone lyonii (Pink Turtlehead)
Dicentra eximia (Fringed Bleeding Heart)
Eurybia divaricata (White Wood Aster)
Eutrochium fistulosum (Joe-Pye Weed)
Geranium maculatum (Spotted Cranesbill)
Hepatica acutiloba (Sharp-Lobed Liverleaf)
Impatiens capensis (Orange Jewelweed)
Liatris spicata (Blazing Star)
Lilium superbum (Lily)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)
Mitella diphylla (Bishop’s Cap)
Phlox carolina (Carolina Phlox)
Polygonatum biflorum (Great Solomon’s Seal)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)
Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)
Silene virginica (Fire Pink)
Solidago rugosa (Rough Goldenrod)
Thermopsis villosa (Carolina Lupine)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed)

Discover more beautiful North Carolina native plants

North Carolina native plants

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Native Plants United States, Southeast, North Carolina
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Middle South Lower South

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