Wildflowers add to the inherent beauty of the Niobrara National Scenic River valley. Because the valley is known as a major biological crossroads in the midwest, wildflowers are abundant along the lowland and upland slopes. Springbranch canyons with cool north-facing slopes provide excellent habitat for several species of plants including verbena, aster, prairie coneflower, beggar-ticks, sneezeweed, and Nuttall's sunflower. In addition to these common species, the Scenic River is home to several threatened and endangered species.
The following is a list of wildflower species that are considered sensitive, threatened, or endangered within the Niobrara River valley. Some species receive protection at both the state and federal levels. For additional information please contact Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Natural Heritage Database at (402) 471-5419.
Sensitive, Threatened, or Endangered Species
Western prairie-fringed orchid ( Platanthera praeclara ): Threatened
Blowout penstemon ( Penstemon haydenii ): Endangered