Wildflower Identification: 10 Common Seedlings to Know!

Have you sowed some wildflower seeds and want to be able to identify what is starting to sprout? Here is your wildflower identification field guide! I hope these photos will help you identify common Texas wildflowers while they are still seedlings, also known as basal rosettes.

Here in Texas, these seedlings start appearing long before spring! I’ve listed them by their common name and scientific names, along with a photo of the seedling and the wild flower in bloom.

Wildflower id guide

Check out my Top 10 Texas Wildflowers post for more details on each of these wildflowers including their flower size, bloom period, and how to grow them.

10 Common Texas Wildflowers to Identify by Seedling

These are some of the most common species of wildflowers you’ll see in Texas gardens. All are Texas native plants, but several are native to many other states as well! 

1. Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis)

Starting with the Texas state flower, Texas Bluebonnets! These are one of the first wildflowers to start growing their rosettes. You can start spotting them in December.

The Bluebonnet seedlings are easy to identify with their unique palmate leaf shape. They often have little drops of dew settle in their leaves as well.

Clusters of small flowers on Bluebonnet plants

2. Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)

Mexican Hat, which also goes by the common name Upright Prairie Coneflower, is another easy seedling to identify thanks to its feathery leaves.

Mexican hat seedlings

3. Coreopsis (Coreopsis species)

I have several of these Coreopsis seedlings coming up in my wildflower bed but they never get much larger than this, because the deer tend to eat them! Once in awhile, I’ll be lucky enough to enjoy a few sunny yellow blooms that the deer didn’t find. 😉

How to identify wildflowers

4. Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

These Pink Evening Primrose seedlings will soon be dotted with delicate pink flowers. This is one of the first wildflowers to bloom in the spring here in Texas.

How to identify wildflower seelings of Pink Evening Primrose

5. Cutleaf Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)

The basal rosettes of Cut Leaf Daisy (also called Englemann’s Daisy) are easy to identify thanks to the thick white vein that runs through their leaves. However, they can sometimes be mistaken for a weed! Check out my list of Texas weeds to see some look-alikes.

Basal rosette and daisy-like flowers of Englemann Daisy

6. Firewheel (Gaillardia pulchella)

Look for lobed leaf margins and slightly hairy leaves to identify Firewheel (also called Indian Blanket).

Firewheel seedling wildflower id

7. Black Eyed Daisy (Rudbeckia hirta)

Similar to Firewheel (above), the leaves of the Black Eyed Daisy seedling are hairy. However their elliptic shaped leaves are not lobed like Firewheel seedlings.

Black Eyed Susan wildflower seedling identification

8. Goldenrod (Solidago altissima)

If you have Goldenrod, there is a good chance you have a lot of these seedlings coming up, as this is a wildflower that likes to spread!

The seedling pictured here is Tall Goldenrod (Solidago altissima), but there are a number of different Goldenrod species native to the United States.

Goldenrod seedlings

9. White Prickly Poppy (Argemone albiflora)

Weed or wildflower? That is in the eye of the beholder! I love these White Prickly Poppies growing in my wildflower bed, thanks to their huge blooms that are always visited by pollinators. They are easy to identify thanks to their very prickly basal rosette.

The White Prickly Poppy is a different species from the well-know red California Poppy, but no less beautiful!

White Prickly Poppy basal rosette

10. Soft-Hair Marbleseed (Onosmodium bejariense)

I added this lesser-known wildflower onto the list for fun! I have several of these that planted themselves in my widlflower bed and I couldn’t be more excited.

Also known as False Gromwell, this unique wildflower attracts lots Monarchs during their spring migration north!

False Gromwell

Want to identify more wildflowers? My favorite Texas wildflower identification guide is Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (affiliate link) by Marshall Enquist. It has wonderful photographs and botanical descriptions of hundreds of wildflower species, including many rare flowers.

You can also use an app! My favorite identification app is iNaturalist. If you’re a native plant enthusiast like me, you can use this app to identify plants when you are on a hike in natural areas.

Save This Wildflower Identification Post to Pinterest!

How to identify common wildflowers while they are still seedlings!

Sometimes it’s hard to tell a wildflower from a weed. Check out my guide to 10 common weeds to remove these invasive species from your garden.

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