12 Types of Annual Wildflowers

Learn about the various types of annual wildflowers and how to successfully grow them with this gardening guide.

Pretty in Pink DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Corn Cockle (Agrostemma githago)

A beautiful summer-flowering annual, corn cockle bears large, five-petaled, magenta-colored flowers and is often associated with farming fields. Once a common wildflower, it is scarcer now due to the practices of intensive agriculture. This fully hardy plant prefers full to partial sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 28 inches; S: 16 inches

Corn Chamomile DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Corn Chamomile (Anthemis arvensis)

Corn chamomile is a classic meadow plant bearing large, white, daisy-like flowerheads with yellow disc florets in the center. It is ideal for naturalizing in wildflower meadows or as part of a corn mix with corn cockle, cornflowers, and corn marigolds. This fully hardy plant prefers full to partial sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 20 inches; S: 16 inches

Purple Orache DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Purple Orache (Atriplex hortensis)

An annual, edible crop, purple orache makes an interesting addition to any wildflower mix. It is a tall, upright plant, and its deep purple or reddish foliage and purple flower spikes create a striking contrast with neighboring flowers. This fully hardy plant prefers full to partial sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 6 feet; S: 3 feet

Cornflower is Annual Meadow Wildflower DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

Often found growing around the edges of agricultural fields, the beautiful annual cornflower has blue outer petals with reddish purple inner florets. It used to be a common wildflower on farmland, but its numbers are now in decline. This fully hardy plant prefers full to partial sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 24 inches; S: 16 inches

Coreopsis Tinctori is Annual Meadow Wildflower DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Golden Tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria)

This stunning annual flower creates a bright, spectacular splash of color in any annual wildflower meadow mix. It has intense yellow, daisy-shaped flowers with bronze or mahogany-red centers, which bloom from mid- to late summer. This fully hardy plant prefers full sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 24 inches; S: 16 inches

Sunny California Poppy DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

The fast-growing California poppy has single flowerheads in a range of colors including orange, yellow, and red, followed by attractive curved seed pods. The poppies have feathery leaves and will self-seed year after year in annual flower mixes. This fully hardy plant prefers full sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 16 inches; S: 8 inches

Corn Marigold is Annual Meadow Wildflower DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Corn Marigold (Glebionis segetum)

Producing bright golden-yellow daisy-shaped flowers, the corn marigold is a popular choice. It is a useful plant because of its ferny, gray-green foliage and the instant impact of its brightly colored flowers, which have a long flowering period. This fully hardy plant prefers full sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 28 inches; S: 18 inches

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Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

The sunflower is a striking annual bearing large bright yellow flowers. There are many varieties to choose from, some growing over 6 feet (2 m) tall, but the smaller types are better suited to meadows. It is an \"instant impact\" plant that is easy to germinate. This fully hardy plant prefers full sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 6 feet; S: 20 inches

The Scarlet Poppy an Annual Wildflower DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Red Poppies (Papaver rhoeas)

A field full of bright scarlet red poppies with jet black centers held high on slender stems is a magnificent sight. The leaves are jagged and lobed, and the seeds are often used in baking. Preferring disturbed soil, seeds can lie dormant for years. This fully hardy plant prefers full sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 3 feet; S: 12 inches

Red Poppy Flowers DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum)

The large, blowsy flowerheads of the opium poppy make it a common choice for annual flower mixes. It has attractive blue-green leaves and the single or double flowers are borne in a range of colors including purple, red, and white. This fully hardy plant prefers full sun and well-drained to moist soil. H: 4 feet; S: 16 inches

Yellow Rattle DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)

Semi-parasitic yellow rattle is commonly used to reduce the hold of competing coarse grasses in meadows, allowing other plants to grow. Yellow hooded flowers are followed by papery seedheads that rattle in the wind. This fully hardy plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil. H: 12 inches; S: 6 inches

Agrimony Woodland Wildflower DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

Verbena is actually a short-lived perennial, but in places with cold winters is treated as an annual. It is a tall, slender plant producing attractive flat-headed, lavender-purple flowers held high on multiple square stems. It is attractive to bees and butterflies. This fully hardy plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil. H: 4-1/2 feet; S: 16 inches

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