List of Nebraska Native Plants


Nebraska has a variety of native plants, including wildflowers, many grasses, ferns, cacti and many perennials. The weather in Nebraska can change drastically with the seasons, so its native plants are generally somewhat adaptable to different temperatures. Nebraska has lots of prairie environments that grow a variety of grasses and wildflowers.

Prickly Pear

  • Prickly pear grows natively in Nebraska and the U.S. Department of Transportation lists it among recommended plants for landscape and roadside use in the state. Prickly pear is a type of low-growing cacti and it has spines but not leaves. The plant produces bright yellow flowers.


  • A variety of grasses grow natively in Nebraska, including blue grama, hairy grama, buffalograss, bluestem grasses, cattail, switchgrass, multiple types of wheatgrass and multiple types of bulrush, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum explains that Nebraska has different types of prairies with taller and shorter grasses and areas with grasses mixed in with other plants.


  • According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas and the U.S. Department of Transportation, sunflowers grow natively in Nebraska. The flowers bloom with large yellow heads and stand 1.5 to 8 feet tall. The flowers get their name because the heads of the flowers face the direction of the sun throughout the day, turning as the day progresses.


  • Several types of goldenrod flowers make Nebraska their home, including gray goldenrod, stiff goldenrod and showy goldenrod. Different species of goldenrod have slightly different sizes and appearances. However, all of the aptly named plants grow bright golden flowers. According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, they flowers grow in prairies and attract butterflies.

Wild Bergamot

  • Wild bergamot is a perennial and is part of the mint family, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Some people make tea from the fragrant plant's leaves. Bergamot flowers come in lavender, white or pink and grow into clusters on top of 2 to 5 foot stems.

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  • Photo Credit Wasser im Trockenen image by weinhundert from flowering prickly pear cactus image by Kathy Burns from Nebraska image by Luke Haverkamp from sunflower image by Stanisa Martinovic from Locust Borer image by Jon Yuschock from
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