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9 Red Flowers Native to Kentucky

Cardinal Flower close up

Known for its picturesque landscapes and rich biodiversity, Kentucky boasts a stunning array of native flowers that paint its meadows and woodlands in vibrant shades of red.

In this blog post, we'll explore nine stunning red flowers that call the Bluegrass State home.

From delicate blooms that grace the banks of tranquil streams to bold blossoms that thrive in the heart of its bustling cities, Kentucky's red floral treasures will captivate your senses and ignite a newfound appreciation for nature's artistry.

So, grab your virtual gardening gloves, and let's delve into the world of Kentucky's indigenous red flowers.

Red Flowers Native to Kentucky

There are many red-flowering plants native to Kentucky. This post will focus on herbaceous flowering plants (forbs). We will cover woody plants in a future article. These flowers are also typically available from native plant suppliers. Consider planting some on your property as you scroll through.

1. Columbine


One of the stunning red flowers native to Kentucky is Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). With its delicate, bell-shaped petals and vibrant crimson hue, Columbine adds a touch of elegance to any garden or woodland area. In addition, this perennial wildflower attracts pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies, making it a favorite among nature enthusiasts and gardeners alike.

Columbine plant info

2. Royal Catchfly

Royal Catchfly

Another captivating red flower native to Kentucky is Royal Catchfly (Silene regia). With its tall, sturdy stems and clusters of fiery red blossoms, this wildflower demands attention in any landscape. Royal Catchfly's brilliant red petals make a striking visual impact and serve as a beacon for hummingbirds and butterflies, who are irresistibly drawn to its nectar-rich blooms.

Royal Catchfly plant info

3. Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is a true gem among Kentucky's native red flowers. Its vibrant scarlet blossoms, resembling the color of Roman Catholic cardinal robes, are a sight to behold. Thriving in moist environments like stream banks and wetlands, Cardinal Flower attracts hummingbirds and butterflies with its abundant nectar, making it a delightful addition as a landscaping plant.

Cardinal Flower plant info

4. Scarlet Beebalm

Scarlet Beebalm

One of the striking red flowers native to Kentucky is Scarlet Beebalm (Monarda didyma). With its vibrant crimson petals and a cluster of showy blooms atop tall stems, Scarlet Beebalm adds a pop of color while attracting pollinators. This perennial wildflower is visually stunning and releases a delightful fragrance, making it a favorite among bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Scarlet Beebalm plant info

5. Indian Pink

Indian Pink

Kentucky is home to the captivating Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica). This wildflower stands out with its unique tubular-shaped red flowers and contrasting yellow centers. This native beauty thrives in shaded woodlands and rocky slopes, brightening the understory with eye-catching blooms. Indian Pink is visually appealing and attracts hummingbirds, making it a delightful addition to any natural garden or woodland area.

Indian Pink plant info

6. Toadshade


Among the native red flowers in Kentucky, Toadshade (Trillium sessile) is a fascinating woodland beauty. Its distinct three-petaled crimson flowers, often with mottled patterns, emerge in early spring, adding color to the forest floor. As a member of the Trillium family, Toadshade prefers shady, moist environments, making it a prized find for hikers and nature enthusiasts exploring Kentucky's woodlands.

Toadshade plant info

7. Prairie Trillium

Prairie Trillium

Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum) is a captivating red wildflower native to the savannas and woodlands of western Kentucky. Its unique three-petaled red blossoms, often adorned with subtle streaks or spots, stand out amidst the greenery, creating a striking display. Blooming in the spring, Prairie Trillium adds a touch of elegance and natural beauty to Kentucky's landscapes, attracting pollinators and captivating the hearts of nature lovers.

Prairie Trillium plant info

8. Red Trillium

Red Trillium

Red Trillium (Trillium erectum) is a stunning native wildflower found in the woodlands of eastern Kentucky. This elegant plant features a single red flower with three distinctive petals and three sepals, creating a visually striking appearance. As a spring ephemeral, Red Trillium adds a splash of color to the forest floor. In addition, it attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies, making it a cherished sight for nature enthusiasts exploring Kentucky's natural wonders.

Red Trillium plant info

9. Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) is a fascinating native plant found in the woodlands of Kentucky. This low-growing perennial features heart-shaped leaves and inconspicuous maroon flowers nestled close to the ground, emitting a delightful scent reminiscent of spicy ginger when crushed. Wild Ginger is not only a beautiful addition to shaded gardens but also serves as a valuable ground cover, making it an essential part of Kentucky's natural ecosystem.

Wild Ginger plant info


Kentucky's native red flowers offer a breathtaking display of nature's beauty and resilience.

Each species brings unique charm to the state's landscapes, from the delicate Columbine to the vibrant Cardinal Flower.

Whether adorning gardens, meadows, or woodlands, these native flowers captivate our senses and provide essential nourishment for pollinators.

Exploring the rich tapestry of Kentucky's red floral treasures allows us to appreciate the intricate relationship between flora and fauna, reminding us of preserving and celebrating the natural wonders surrounding us.

So, let's embrace the splendor of these indigenous red flowers and continue to cherish and protect Kentucky's natural beauty.


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