Orange is a color that exudes energy, warmth, and excitement. And while we might readily associate it with traffic cones and eye-catching logos, orange also appears very frequently in nature. Whether it’s an animal living happily in the wild or a bright flower you spot in your neighbor’s garden, orange things are all around us.
Here’s our extensive list of things that are orange in nature:
1. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come in all sorts of bright colors, and the orange ones are some of the most pleasant to look at. In terms of flavor, orange bell peppers are sweet and mild, the green ones have the earthiest taste, and the red ones are the ripest. Orange sits nicely in the middle.
You might be surprised to hear that the color orange is actually named after the orange fruit and not the other way around. Before the color got its name, Old English speakers described it using a word that translates to “yellow-red.”
3. Monarch Butterflies
These regal-looking butterflies are unmistakable, and they’re legendary for their annual migration. Monarch butterflies sometimes travel over 3,000 miles to spend their winters in Mexico. If you’re ever lucky enough to see them in motion, you won’t forget it!
We all know these festive squashes are harbingers of fall, and they make excellent Halloween decorations, too. And whether made into soup or baked into a pie, pumpkins are a nutritionally-rich addition to your diet.
5. Tiger Lilies
Though they are native to East Asia, these stunning blooms make a stately addition to just about any garden. The bright orange flowers are dotted with black speckles, and they’re set against a backdrop of glossy green leaves. Humans can eat the bulbs and flowers, although tiger lilies are very poisonous to cats.
Sunstone is a mineral with a unique, pale orange appearance. This is because it’s a type of feldspar that gets its warm color from traces of copper. Usually, the core of each crystal is darker and becomes lighter toward the outer edges, almost like a small sun shining.
7. Bearded Dragons
Although they are kept as pets across the world, bearded dragons are native to Australia. Many of these wild lizards are a brownish color, but some are bright orange. Captive bearded dragons come in a wide range of colors, from pure white to bright tangerine orange.
8. Leaves in Autumn
Plenty of people find that the changing seasons add a certain rhythm to their lives. And if you’re looking for orange in nature, you’ll certainly see it when the autumn leaves start to change. At peak season, a deciduous forest is home to fiery reds, deep oranges, and bright yellows.
These humble root vegetables are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, biotin, and fiber. They’re also surprisingly easy to integrate into almost any diet. You can eat them plain, slice them up in a salad, or even shred them into carrot cake!
10. Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock
This otherworldly-looking bird is native to South America, where it lives in tropical rainforests. Males are a deep, rich orange in color, and both males and females have a striking feathery crest. They’re very territorial and will clear out leaves and sticks to mark their respective “courts.”
A bonfire is certainly a dramatic display of orange, from the tips of tall flames to the embers flying through the air. It’s also likely the oldest thing on the list, as fire was around even before humans existed.
12. Butternut Squash
This tasty vegetable is a staple of fall soups, but it’s also delicious when baked or roasted by itself. It’s rich in fiber, antioxidants, and several minerals. And thanks to its flavor profile, it works well in both sweet and savory dishes.
13. Orange Tabby Cats
The friendly domestic house cat comes in countless colors, but the orange tabby is one of the most recognizable. These cats have lighter orange fur with darker orange stripes, and many have a white belly or chest, too.
Cantaloupe is often spotted in summer fruit salads, where its sweet orange color stands out. Notably, this melon is just about 90% water, making it a smart snack choice if you’re trying to stay hydrated in hot weather.
Red foxes are graceful, delicate animals who usually live and travel in packs. Although they’re fairly small, foxes are incredibly fast. They can run up to 45 mph. The colors can vary from red, orange and brown depending on how the light reflect on their fur. Although they are closely related to dogs, they have excellent vision that’s similar to a cat’s.
16. California Poppies
These strikingly beautiful orange flowers are native to California, and each year when they bloom you’ll see them posted across social media pages, too. Though they grow wild in California, people throughout the U.S. have adopted them as garden flowers thanks to their distinctive color.
17. Sweet Potatoes
These nutrition-packed root vegetables might look nondescript on the outside, but their bright orange insides help add color and flavor to a range of recipes. They’re especially high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, both of which provide crucial support for your immune system.
This classic, fuzzy summer fruit might seem quintessentially American, but peach trees were first grown in China. Even today, China is still the world’s largest producer of peaches. And while most people have heard of white and yellow peaches, there are actually hundreds of varieties!
These cheerful, hardy flowers are known for their ability to stay in bloom all the way through early fall. And even though their blooms are beautiful, they’re surprisingly easy to care for, which makes them a great choice if you don’t have much of a green thumb.
You probably know about clownfish from the movie Finding Nemo, which gave them a significant boost in popularity. They’re among the most easily recognized fish thanks to their bright orange bodies marked with white bands.
The Uromastyx is a prehistoric-looking lizard native to Africa and Asia. But much like the bearded dragon, the Uromastyx has found popularity as a pet thanks to its gentle demeanor. These lizards come in plenty of colors, and many varieties have patches of strikingly bright orange.
22. Orange Toadfish
This bizarre-looking fish is one of the stranger orange things on the list. The Orange Toadfish is a skilled hunter, and it can even survive out of water for a considerable amount of time. Don’t touch one if you see it, though. These fish have poisonous spines that can cause a lot of pain!
23. Sun Conures
The sun conure is a uniquely beautiful small parrot. And while these conures can be loud, they’re generally very friendly and sociable. They are also intelligent birds who can easily learn to talk or do tricks.
Few animals inspire both fear and respect in the way that the tiger does. Tigers are the largest of the big cats, and they’re also solitary. They are fierce hunters who can eat up to 80 pounds of meat at a time.
Chrysanthemums, which are commonly called “mums” for short, are some of the most popular flowers in the fall garden season. They come in a range of colors, but the deep, almost russet orange variety is especially striking.
These little fruits are related to peaches, and in many ways, they’re similar. Apricots have a slightly tangier taste, and you can often find them dried. While fresh apricots are especially delicious, the dried version makes a convenient addition to trail mix.
27. Intermediate Horseshoe Bats
These unusual-looking bats are native to northern India, southern China, and Southeast Asia, where they live in caves. They’re much brighter-looking than most bats in America, as they have bright reddish-orange fur and unusual noses.
Some people confuse persimmons with pomegranates. But a persimmon is a fruit that looks a bit like a small apricot. A ripe persimmon has a light, honey-like flavor. Though the trees are native to Asia, there is an American persimmon tree that can be found across the United States.
29. Calendula Flowers
Calendula flowers are considered sacred in India, and it’s easy to see why. Their bright orange blooms look a lot like the sun. Since the plant is a flowering herb, the petals of the flowers, which taste a lot like saffron, can be used to flavor foods.
30. Stalked Orange Peel Fungus
As the name suggests, this strangely beautiful fungus looks a lot like an orange peel on a stalk. The orange “cup” often has the deeper color of an orange peel, but it sometimes has more of a pastel color.
31. Fighting Conch Shells
Often, when you find a beached conch shell, it’s pale enough to be almost white. However, when the conch is alive, the shell has a deep orange color. When alive, fighting conchs are marine snails that use the spiked shells for protection.
The octopus is the most intelligent invertebrate. And while there are plenty of varieties that come in many colors, some orange octopuses have strikingly vibrant colors. However, if need be, they can change color to match their surroundings.
33. Red Hair or Ginger Hair
Red hair also known as ginger hair is especially eye-catching, which is likely because it’s so rare. It only occurs in about one to two percent of the human population. Some research has found that people with red hair need higher doses of anesthetic than non-redheaded people to achieve the same effect.
The papaya fruit is often described as being “golden,” but the flesh is a pinkish-orange color. A serving of papaya has more than the recommended daily value for vitamin C, and it’s also a great source of folate and vitamin A.
35. Orange Baboon Tarantulas
These odd-looking tarantulas are sometimes kept as pets, but they’re not a good choice for a first-time tarantula keeper. In keeper circles, they’re sometimes called “Orange Bitey Things” because of their defensive dispositions. They have a venomous bite that, while not lethal, can be incredibly painful.
36. Red Efts
The red eft is the juvenile state of the eastern newt. These amphibians start out as larvae with gills. They then turn into the bright orange red eft, which is essentially a land-dwelling small lizard. As adults, they return to the water, grow a tail designed for swimming, and turn to a greenish gray color.
37. Blackburnian Warblers
These beautiful little birds are common in the northeastern part of North America. While their backs are black, they have yellowish heads and fiery orange bellies. They usually migrate to South America to spend the winter.
These classic pet fish originated in China, where they were regarded as a symbol of fortune. Now, many live in fishbowls across the world. When released into the wild, though, they can cause environmental issues and can even grow to be five pounds.
Turmeric, the spice with a golden-orange hue, is a key ingredient in curries and many other types of Indian foods. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and some research even suggests it can reduce memory issues and lessen your risk of brain disease over time.
This delightful tropical fruit tastes great and has some amazing health benefits, too. It’s high in vitamin C and folate, making it a great immune system support. Its smooth texture also makes it ideal for blending into smoothies. Depending of the ripeness of the mango, the color can vary from yellow to orangish-yellow.
41. Nasturtium Flowers
Nasturtiums are great, low-maintenance flowering plants. They come in a range of colors, most of which are rich jewel tones. Orange nasturtiums have a classic sunny look that’s sure to brighten up any garden space. And as an added bonus, the flowers are edible, too.
42. Orange Fruit-Doves
The orange fruit dove is one of the most exotic-looking birds on the list. It’s native to Fiji, where it primarily feeds on fruit. The males have an olive green head and a bright orange body. The orange feathering has a silky, almost hair-like appearance.
At first glance, you might think that a kumquat is just an oval-shaped small orange. These fruits do have a similar taste, although a kumquat is closer in size to an olive than to an orange. With some varieties, you can eat the peel and the fruit together.
44. Bird of Paradise Flowers
These stunning flowers are native to South Africa. Many have orange petals that look almost like origami birds, and they get their name from their resemblance to the bird of paradise. Interestingly enough, they are ideal flowers for gardeners with allergies, as their pollen cannot be carried through the air.
45. Soldier Beetles
Most of us probably think of beetles as nondescript pests. The common red soldier beetle has an eye-catching, orange body. These small, slender beetles are less than half an inch in length.
Starfish are some of the most popular marine creatures. And even though they typically have five arms, they can actually grow up to 40. Starfish are usually illustrated staying stationary on the floor of the ocean, but they travel using multiple rows of tube feet.
Pansies are some of the most popular flowers to grace our gardens. And while many have black “faces,” some varieties of orange pansies are just that – pure orange. Their color balance is perfect. They’re bright enough to be vibrant, but soft enough to still be easy on the eyes.
Tulips are another garden classic. And much like roses, tulips come in almost every conceivable color. So of course, if you prefer having a shock of bright color in your garden, some orange tulips are a great choice.
49. Mexican Sunflowers
Mexican sunflowers, while they aren’t true sunflowers, make an excellent and distinctive addition to any garden. They can grow up to a staggering six feet tall, and their bright orange blossoms look a lot like big Gerbera daisies. They’re perfect for gardeners who like a dramatic touch.
50. Orange Topaz
Our list of orange things in nature wouldn’t be complete without a few gemstones. This stone looks great set in a ring or worn as a pendant. Some people even think that orange topaz has the ability to inspire confidence and faith in yourself.
51. Lion’s Paw Scallop Shells
If you like to collect shells on the beach, you’ve likely come across the lion’s paw scallop. This dramatic shell is usually a deep orange or red, and the bumps along the ridges resemble knuckles. Lion’s paw scallops are very large, so if you find one intact, consider yourself lucky!
52. Orange Fluorite
Fluorite is a glassy-looking crystal that comes in plenty of different colors. The orange variety is believed to promote health and bring you prosperity and wellness. It is sometimes used in jewelry, although it is usually too soft to be used in rings.
53. Northern Red Bishop
This beautiful bird originated in Africa, but its dramatic black and orange coloring has made it a popular pet. In warmer areas like California, Florida, and some parts of Texas, escaped pets have formed flocks and live in the wild.
54. Spot-breasted Orioles
This stunning bird is a colorful relative of the Baltimore oriole. Its mostly-orange body contrasts with black wings, making it especially visually striking. It primarily lives in Central America and parts of Mexico, but it can also be found in southern Florida.
These big apes are more solitary than gorillas and chimpanzees, and their long, dark orange hair gives them a different appearance. They are native to Malaysia and Sumatra. Orangutans primarily eat fruit.
56. Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore oriole is one of the brightest birds in the eastern United States. The males have bright orange breasts, and the females have slightly more muted colors. Female orioles also weave nests that are distinctive because they hang from trees.
While tangerines can sometimes be confused with oranges, these smaller, sweet fruits are actually a type of mandarin orange. Tangerines are rich in vitamin C and have plenty of antioxidants, making them great for fighting skin damage and negative effects of aging.
If you like the look of tropical plants, you’ll probably like begonias. These striking ornamental flowers happily grow outside in warmer climates, but if you live somewhere colder, they do well as indoor houseplants, too. Begonias come in a wide range of colors, and one variety called Nonstop Orange is known for its ability to produce a staggering number of bright orange flowers.
59. Orange Roughy’s
Before being regularly used for seafood, this deep-water fish was known as a “slimehead.’ The orange roughy is a mild-tasting fish that’s sometimes called a deep-sea perch. When alive, it’s a dark, reddish orange, but it becomes a brighter orange after death.
60. Banded Net-Winged Beetles
If you spend a lot of time in the woods in the eastern United States, you may have come across the brightly-colored banded net-winged beetle. These colorful bugs have a pattern of thick, alternating stripes of deep black and bright orange.
61. Orange Calcite
Those who believe in the healing powers of crystals say that orange calcite is a “cleansing” stone that helps promote feelings of both belonging and creativity. This opaque stone is often a soft, pastel orange, and it is sometimes used in jewelry.
Nectarines are very closely related to peaches, and from a distance, you might think the two fruits are identical. However, nectarines do not have fuzzy skin. They have a somewhat tangier, less-sweet taste than peaches, and they tend to be slightly smaller, too.
Clinohumite is a rare crystal that looks a lot like orange topaz when cut into gems. However, in most areas, crystals of clinohumite are too small to be used for jewelry. Clinohumite stones used for jewelry come from either Tajikistan or northern Siberia. They are rare enough to be highly sought after by collectors.
64. Orange Bonnet Mushrooms
These mushrooms have a distinctive look. Their caps are bright orange with distinct wavy ridges. They are part of the Mycenaceae family of mushrooms and are found in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and North America.
65. Japanese Spider Crabs
The Japanese spider crab is unusual and fearsome looking. It’s the largest known crab species and its leg span can reach 13 feet. And unlike most crab species, Japanese spider crabs can live for a very long time – they can be up to 100 years old!
The intricate blooms of dahlias have made them a favorite of many gardeners and plant enthusiasts. They come in nearly endless colors, and their blooms cover a wide range of sizes. The largest ones can reach a diameter of 12 inches.
67. Sulphur Shelf Mushrooms
These distinctive-looking mushrooms are often called “chicken of the woods” because many people have found that they taste like chicken. They are easily recognizable thanks to their yellowish-orange color and the fact that they form large “shelves” on the sides of trees.
68. Gila Monsters
Gila monsters, despite their name, pose almost no threat to humans. They are venomous lizards native to the southwestern United States. They also have an unusual appearance compared to most lizards. Their bead-like scales are patterned in black and orange.
69. Orange Garnet
Most people know garnets as deep red stones, but orange garnets offer a fiery alternative. These bright orange gems look a bit like orange topaz. They are sturdy and durable enough to be reliably used in jewelry, although this use is somewhat rare.
70. Cinnabar Red Chanterelles
Mushroom hunters tend to be drawn to these mushrooms thanks to their bright orange color. Some cinnabar red chanterelles do have a deeper red color, but they run the spectrum between deep red and deep orange. Like other chanterelles, these mushrooms are edible and highly nutritious.
71. Red Squirrels
These orangish squirrels are native to Europe and Asia, although they are related to the American red squirrel, a species that lives in Canada and in snowy parts of the United States. As they collect food for winter, they have been observed drying mushrooms before storage to make sure they keep better.
72. Pleasing Fungus Beetles
These oddly-named beetles have an eye-catching, almost plastic-like appearance. Their shiny shells are colored with a patchwork of black and orange, and some play the important role of assisting with pollination. However, many of them are also regarded as pests.
73. Orange Amber
This beautiful gemstone is one of the most unique. Since it’s made of fossilized resin from trees, orange amber often comes with “inclusions,” or animals and/or debris that became trapped in the resin before hardening. It has a pine-like scent that many people find appealing.
74. Aloe Blooms
You might wonder what aloe is doing on a list of orange things. After all, this plant is known for its distinctive green leaves. But aloe blooms, which show up above the leaves, are a deep and eye-catching orange. If you hope to see your own aloe plants bloom, you may need to be patient. Only plants over four years old have the maturity to bloom.
75. Varied Carpet Beetles
The varied carpet beetle has an interesting pattern. It almost looks as if it’s been painted with black, orange, and white. But despite its unique look, it’s generally regarded as a pest in its native Europe. Since these bugs like to feed on chitin, which is present in insect bodies, they sometimes raid natural history museums and attack the insect collections.
Most of us know onyx as a jet-black stone. But Sardonyx is an orange variety. As a semi-precious stone, it’s a popular choice on jewelry, and plenty of people are drawn to its uneven bands of orange and white.
77. Garibaldi Fish
This beautiful, bright-orange fish is the state fish of California. Garibaldis live in underwater kelp forests, where males guard their nests until the eggs hatch. To protect the nest from approaching threats like divers, these fish are capable of making a loud thumping noise.
78. Gerbera Daisies
These bright, cheerful flowers sometimes look more like something out of a painting than real blooms. Like many decorative plants, their blooms come in many different colors, including a bright and cheery orange.
79. Golden Lion Tamarins
This small Brazilian monkey is an endangered species, and it’s estimated that only a few thousand remain in the wild. It’s also one of the flashier-looking primates. It has silky, golden-orange hair.
These strange, beautiful creatures come in countless bright colors and patterns. Although they are molluscs, they have evolved to be without shells. There are thousands of different species, and scientists regularly discover more.
Even though aventurine is a well-known stone, most people are familiar with the green variety. Orange aventurine is less common, although its uneven orange coloring makes it a beautiful stone to incorporate into jewelry or make into small carvings.
If you’re a fan of uncommon fruits, you might like starfruit. This fruit is typically yellow, but it sometimes appears in bright orange. It has a sweet taste with a hint of sour, and it’s very high in vitamin C.
83. Oriental Garden Lizards
These slender, spiny-backed lizards come in a range of colors from green to yellow to orange. In the breeding season, the males attract females with their bright orange throats. They are related to iguanas and look somewhat similar, if smaller.
These little rodents look a bit like small kangaroos. And while their fur looks rusty brown, when they’re placed under UV light, springhares fluoresce. Then, their fur glows a bright pinkish orange.
A common misconception is that yams and sweet potatoes are the same, they are actually different plants. The orange flesh of yams looks and tastes a bit like a sweet potato, but yams are a little less sweet.
86. Welsummer Chickens
These beautiful partridge-colored chickens are kept by Prince Charles, and they’re known for laying stunning terracotta-colored eggs. Their feathers range from a reddish orange color to a deeper seal brown.
87. Emperor Shrimp
These little orange shrimp are popular as aquarium pets, and they’re much more colorful than most shrimp types. Most have a bright orange body with snowy white patches.
These colorful little birds are native to the Canary Islands. Most people are familiar with the yellow variety, but you can also find canaries in a lovely peachy-orange color. These birds have a sweet-sounding song and make great pets, too.
Roses are a classic way to express affection, but there’s also a different-colored rose for every occasion. Orange roses are a great balance between the deep color of red roses and the cheerful glow of yellow ones.
90. Red Slugs
You might picture slugs as little gray animals leaving trails of slime. But red slugs are different. They range from bright orange to brick red, and they’re some of the largest slugs in the world.
91. Red Clay
Red clay is commonly found in the soil of the southeastern U.S. Though it’s interesting from a color standpoint, red clay is poor in nutrients and can cause problems for gardeners and farmers.
Zinnias are prized for their incredibly bright colors. They come in orange, lilac, yellow, red, and other colors. They also have a kind of minimalist beauty as they only have one bloom per stalk.
93. Orange Opal
You’ve probably seen glittering white opal used in jewelry, but if you prefer fiery colors, you might like orange opal. This is a somewhat rare color variation, so it’s a good choice if you’re someone who likes to stand out.
94. Tiger Leeches
This fairly large (up to 33 mm), almost snakelike bright orange leech would probably scare most people. It’s native to Borneo, and it feeds on medium and large sized mammals. Yes, that includes humans too!
95. Orange Sapphire
You might know that the bright blue sapphire is the birthstone of September. But like several other gemstone types, sapphire has a beautiful orange variant. When unheated, these stones have a pale, washed-out appearance, but heating turns them a deep and fiery orange.
96. Mille Fleur d’Uccle Chickens
These little bantam chickens are one of the most popular pet breeds. They’re known for being highly affectionate. Their bodies are a deep orange with white speckles, which gives them the appearance of being coated in tiny petals.
97. Ranunculus Asiaticus Flowers
These flowers are also known as Persian buttercups, as they’re related to the bright yellow buttercups seen in the wild. Their dense blooms look a lot like orange roses.
Most people are familiar with green iguanas, but these lizards also come in a red variety. On the pet market, you can find stunning bright orange morphs for sale. In the wild, normally green iguanas can also temporarily change their color to an orangish one during the breeding season.
99. Maned Wolves
These beautiful and unusual animals, despite the name, are not wolves. And though they look a bit like tall foxes, they aren’t foxes either. They belong to their own unique genus, and they originated in South America.
100. Ember Tetras
These little fish, like most tetras, are popular pets. And as the name suggests, they’re a bright orange color similar to that of embers.
101. Jack O’ Lantern Mushrooms
These mushrooms are a bright orange species that are very interesting to mushroom hunters. But be careful. They look a lot like some of the edible chanterelle mushrooms we mentioned earlier, but jack o’ lantern mushrooms are poisonous!
102. Canna Flowers
Cannas are colorful flowers that look like lilies at first glance. They naturally grow in subtropical and tropical environments, and many have large, bright orange petals with a cheerful yellow outline.
103. Flower Longhorn Beetles
These skinny, streamlined beetles with long legs play an important role in pollinating plants. As larvae, they bore into trees, but they typically only do this to dead or dying trees.
Carnelian is a beautiful, opaque orange gemstone that is said to be connected to creativity. It does especially well when set into rings or worn as a pendant.
Things That Are Orange in Nature
Nature is full of bright and glorious color. And whether it’s an autumn leaf at the top of a maple tree, a glowing nudibranch at the ocean floor, or a springhare that inexplicably fluoresces under UV light, you can find orange things in the most surprising of places. Next time you’re outside, take a closer look – you just might find an unexpected shock of orange.