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20 Mountain Flowers: Flowers That Grow on Mountains

Flowers growing with lake and mountains in background

Heading to the mountains is a surefire way to take a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether you head to the moist and shaded mountains of Appalachia or the sunny and exposed cliffs of the Rockies, you’ll find flowers wherever you go. Some of these flowers take advantage of the rich soil created by centuries of decomposing leaves and others have adapted to survive the sunny and windy conditions present on bare summits. In this article, we’ll introduce you to 20 beautiful flowers that grow on mountains.

Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea)

Close-up of purple and white rocky mountain columbine

This columbine species can be found throughout the Rocky Mountains as well as in high elevation areas of the Southwest. It’s the Colorado state flower and features upright facing blooms.

Plant size: 1-3 feet

Color: Blue and white

Hardiness zone: 3-8

Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum)

Close-up of flame azalea flowers

Each summer, the flowers of the flame azalea sets Appalachian mountain balds aflame. This plant is primarily found on naturally cleared balds, but you can also find patches on open slopes.

Plant size: 4-10 feet

Color: Orange, gold, pink, or red

Hardiness zone: 5-7

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

White mountain laurels growing outside

The mountain laurel is one of the most iconic mountain flowers in the Appalachian Mountains. As spring turns to summer, the evergreen shrubs send out clusters of white and pink flowers that look like origami bells.

Plant size: 6-15 feet

Color: White and pink

Hardiness zone: 4-9

Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva)

White bitterroot flower growing outside

Well-suited to the harsh conditions found on rocky mountainsides, bitterroot can regrow even after its roots appear dry and shriveled. When you see its flowers on mountains, you wonder how such a beautiful flower can survive in this environment!

Plant size: 3-6 inches

Color: Pink

Hardiness zone: 5-8

Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium)

Purple fireweed flowers growing outside

After wildfires sweep through mountainous forests and meadows, fireweed is one of the first species to colonize the newly bare ground. You can sometimes find acres of land covered in the plant’s bright pink flowers.

Plant size: 4-7 feet

Color: Pink

Hardiness zone: 2-7

Piper’s Bellflower (Campanula piperi)

Cmapanula piperi flowers growing on a mountain

Credit Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Campanula_piperi.jpg

Only found in the Olympic Mountains and parts of Vancouver Island, this star-shaped flower pops up in rocky areas at high elevations. The leaves and flowers remain low to the ground, but the beautiful periwinkle blooms brighten up gray and brown mountainsides.

Plant size: 2-5 inches

Color: Purple

Hardiness zone: 3-8

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

White bloodroot flower growing outside

Found in rich, moist woods in the Appalachian Mountains, bloodroot is a stunning spring ephemeral. These plants produce a simple white flower on an upright stalk, with a curled leaf wrapping around the flower stalk. The plants have bright red-orange roots, leading to their common name.

Plant size: 6-12 inches

Color: White and yellow

Hardiness zone: 3-8

Shasta Lily (Lilium washingtonianum)

Three white-pink shasta lilies growing outside

Credit Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lilium_washingtonianum_ssp._purpurascens.jpg

Also known as the Washington lily or Mount Hood lily, this mountain flower calls the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges home. It’s often found in recently cleared areas or open mountain clearings.

Plant size: 4-6 feet

Color: White or pink

Hardiness zone: 3-8

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)

Giant red indian paintbrush flower growing in a field

These mountain flowers thrive in moist meadows and streambanks in mountainous areas in the western United States. Like most types of Indian paintbrush, this species parasitizes other plant roots and sucks nutrients from its host plant.

Plant size: 1-3 feet

Color: Red

Hardiness zone: 4-9

Yellow Avalanche Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum)

Yellow avalanche lily growing outside

Credit Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Erythronium_grandiflorum_ssp._grandiflorum_11.jpg

One of the first mountain flowers to appear in western mountains after the snow melts, the nodding yellow blooms brighten up previous white hillsides. Bears love feeding on the carbohydrate rich bulbs when other food is scarce.

Plant size: 5-10 inches

Color: Yellow

Hardiness zone: 3-8

Moss Campion (Silene acaulis)

Field of light purple moss campion

A true alpine plant, these low-growing, bushy plants blanket exposed rocky outcroppings with moss-like leaves. During the summer, the plants send out hoards of small pink flowers, leading to the name cushion pink.

Plant size: 1-2 feet

Color: Pink

Hardiness zone: 3-7

Pink Mountain Heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis)

Field of pink mountain heather flowers

A small and low-growing shrubby plant native to the Rocky and Cascade Mountains, pink mountain heather has evergreen leaves that often form thick mats. The plants produce clusters of tiny, bell-shaped flowers during the summer.

Plant size: 1-2 feet

Color: Pink

Hardiness zone: 3-7

Chuquiragua (Chuquiraga jussieui)

Chuquiragua plant growing outside

Known as the flowers of the Andes, this plant thrives in high-elevations in Peru and Ecuador. It grows as a small shrub and produces bright flowers that resemble burning flames.

Plant size: 2-3 feet

Color:  Yellow or orange

Hardiness zone: 6-8

Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis)

Close-up of yellow bluebead lily flower

Credit Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bluebead_Lily_(Clintonia_borealis)_-_Flickr_-_wackybadger_(4).jpg

Found in evergreen mountains, the bluebead lily carpets parts of New England and the Midwest. The plants often grow in large colonies where they produce small, yellow flowers followed by their namesake blue, round fruits.

Plant size: 1-2 feet

Color: Yellow

Hardiness zone: 2-8

Pincushion Plant (Diapensia lapponica)

Close-up of white-purple pincushion plant

This low-growing, evergreen shrub is found on alpine summits in New England and parts of Europe. During the summer, it produces small white flowers.

Plant size: 4-6 inches

Color: White and yellow

Hardiness zone: 3-7

Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule)

Pink lady's slipper flower in nature

Credit Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cypripedium_acaule_plant.jpg

A type of orchid native to rich woods in mountainous areas of the eastern United States, this flower is a sight to behold. Each plant produces a single flower stalk topped with a large pink flower.

Plant size: 6-18 inches

Color: Pink

Hardiness zone: 3-8

Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea)

Yellow gentian flowers growing on mountain

During the summer, the blooms of the yellow gentian brighten up mountainous areas throughout Europe. The yellow star-shaped flowers appear on stalks that grow straight up.

Plant size: 2-3 feet

Color:  Yellow

Hardiness zone: 4-8

Edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale)

Close-up of two edelweiss flowers

One of the most popular flowers in the Alps, edelweiss grows on rocky slopes between 6,000 and 12,000 feet above sea level. The white, star-shaped flowers have long been used as a symbol of the rugged beauty present in the Alps.

Plant size: 6-18 inches

Color: White

Hardiness zone: 3-7

Alpine Snowbell (Soldanella alpina)

Close-up of purple alpine snowbell flower

Credit Wikimedia Commmons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alpine_Snowbell_-_Soldanella_alpina_-_panoramio.jpg

Once the snow melts in the European mountains, the alpine snowbell is one of the first flowers to bloom in the Alps and the Pyrenees. The flowers have a bell-shape with petals that appear windswept.

Plant size: 3-6 inches

Color: Purple

Hardiness zone: 4-7

Pyrenean Trumpet Gentian (Gentiana occidentalis)

Pyrenean Trumpet Gentian flowers blooming outside

Found in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, this low-growing plant sends up large, trumpet-shaped flowers in the summer. The scraggly vegetation is well-suited to survive the harsh conditions found on rocky outcroppings.

Plant size: 3-6 inches

Color: Blue

Hardiness zone: 3-7

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If the mountains aren’t your thing, don’t worry! Our new Destinations Collection of flowers contains blooms from various habitats and landscapes. So the next time you’re looking for flower delivery, check out this fresh collection!

If you want to know what flowers you can find in other landscapes, we’ve got you covered. You can check out which coastal flowers brighten up beaches and baysides, cottage flowers that are at home in serene gardens, and some of the best tropical flowers found in lush jungles and fields.

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