This color is all around us on Valentine’s Day or during the whole month of Christmas, but red things can also be found in nature.
From the bright and beautiful colors found in flowers and fruits to the vibrant red markings on animals that may be there as a warning, the world truly is a magnificent place full of color and wonder.
Here’s our extensive list of things that are red in nature:
Poppies are large flowers that grow wild and are cultivated around the world. The red poppy is also used to remind Americans of the sacrifices made by veterans in all wars.
Rubies are gemstones that come in a wide range of hues ranging from pink to purple-red. The rich red color comes from chromium oxide.
Strawberries are juicy red berries that are grown all around the world. Their bright red color comes from a chemical called anthocyanin. Ripe strawberries are juicy and sweet. While their flavor and scent are certainly engaging, many believe it is their rich red color that draws us in.
4. Chili Peppers
Ripe chili peppers come in a wide range of colors, though none are more notable than the bright red variety. These fiery nightshades are used to spice up all sorts of dishes and salves. Their bright hue may be nature’s way of sending a warning. Chilis with high levels of capsaicin are spicy!
Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable with edible red stalks (the leaves a poisonous). Its tart flavor and spring arrival make it a popular pairing for strawberries.
Beetroots are vegetables with a deep ruby to purplish-red color. These nutrient-dense veggies are often added to salads, juices, and other dishes.
7. Northern Red Snapper
The Red Snapper is a medium-sized saltwater fish that’s found off the eastern coasts of the Americas. These fish are often sought for game and food. They typically have a mix of orangey-pink and silver scales.
Lobsters are crustaceans found off the northeast coast of the United States. They dwell on the ocean floor and are largely sought after as saltwater delicacies. There is no mistaking their dark red shells that really brighten up when cooked, though rare blue and yellow lobsters have also been reported.
9. Northern Cardinals
Male cardinals are endowed with bright red feathers and beaks. They usually boast strong black markings around their bills and eyes. Their intense color makes them easy to spot in a woodland habitat.
Cranberries are deep red berries that are grown throughout North America. They are found in the wild and cultivated in manmade bogs. Health enthusiasts often rave about their antioxidant qualities.
11. Red Admiral Butterfly
Red Admiral butterflies have black wings with distinctive red-orange and white splotches. These common insects are some of the most prominent pollinators in North America.
Perhaps you’ve heard the Grateful Dead song “Scarlett Begonias” or had the pleasure of viewing these large, red flowers in the wild. The soft petals are packed with pigment.
Currants are small berries that grow in clusters. They come in a variety of colors, but most would argue that the red ones are the most popular. They have a slightly sweet but mostly tart flavor. As such, they are a popular ingredient in jams, baked goods, and other culinary feats.
14. Red Elderberry
Red elderberry is a small shrub-like bush that produces clusters of berries. Many people believe that red elderberries are poisonous. In reality, they have many natural benefits. However, the berries should only be eaten when they are ripe.
15. Maple Leaves
In fall, the sharp-edged leaves of the Maple tree turn a vibrant shade of orange-red before falling off. Each autumn, people flock to rural areas of Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts just to get a glimpse of this spectacular color show. While maple leaves are only red during part of the year, they are a popular symbol for maple syrup products.
16. Summer Tanagers
Adult male tanagers have distinctly solid-red bodies. Meanwhile, the females are chiefly yellow. This isn’t the only type of bird species in which the males are seemingly more noticeable than the females. Similar species include the Hepatic, Summer, and Scarlet Tanagers.
Crawfish, or crayfish, are freshwater crustaceans that are found through the United States. They’re a popular food in the Louisiana Bayou. Some crawfish have red shells that stick out against the gray and brown murk of river bottoms.
18. Red King Crab
Red king crabs are hugely popular marine crustaceans. They have dark red and white bodies, legs, and claws. They dwell on the ocean bottom around the world.
19. Amanita Muscaria
The Amanita Muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric mushroom, is an incredibly popularized fungi. You may recognize its red and white spotted cap from popular movies or literature. Some scientists believe that their fire engine-red pigmentation is nature’s way of warning curious onlookers.
20. Corn Snake
Corn snakes are curious reptiles that are native to North America. They have reddish-orange, brown, and creme-colored markings that resemble that of maize or corn kernels. They are found in the wild and pet stores throughout the country.
21. Red Imported Fire Ants
Red Imported Fire Ants have rusty red and brown bodies. These pervasive insects have earned a bad reputation because of their painful bites. Due to their small nature and rapid reproduction rates, red fire ants are often inadvertently moved around the world. This has earned them a place on the country’s invasive species list.
Nasturtiums are viny plants with distinct leaves and edible flowers. The plant’s ability to bloom repeatedly makes it a popular planter and ground cover pick. The flowers come in many different shades and patterns. You may see a mix of red, yellow, pink, and orange blooms coming from a single patch.
Ladybugs are small beetles that are native to Asia but increasingly found throughout the world. Many people do not realize that ladybugs are not native to North America. The most common types have red or orange bodies with small black spots. They are generally well-received, and some cultivators even release these red bugs into their gardens. Their ability to feed on pests has earned them a reputation as beneficial predators.
24. Blanket Flowers
Blanket flowers are daisy-like perennials that are native to North America. They come in various shades of red, orange, and yellow. The reddish hues usually shoot out from the flower’s center, or pistil. This gives the flowers a sort of sunburst quality.
25. Red Ruffed Lemurs
Red ruffed lemurs are critically endangered animals that are native to Madagascar. They have reddish, rust-colored bodies, black tails, and black facial fur. These tree-dwellers help pollinate the trees and plants in their native habitats.
26. Red Panda
Not to be confused with their black and white counterparts, red pandas are much smaller, tree-dwelling mammals that are native to the Eastern Himalayas. Their reddish fur makes it easy for them to blend in with the canopies that they call home. While the main portion of their coat is a light rust color, they boast dark brown legs and Cheshire Cat-like striped tails.
27. Red Squirrels
Red squirrels are rust-colored mammals that are native to Europe. Their coats look more colorful next to that of a typical North American gray squirrel.
28. Red Algae
Red algae are found throughout the world’s oceans and lakes. Some varieties, including dulse, Irish moss, and laver, are even seen as superfoods. Some kinds have an orange or pink tint. Meanwhile, others have deep red and purple overtones.
Sargassum is a sort of reddish brown seaweed that is found throughout the ocean. It is an important habitat and food source for all sorts of marine animals.
Octopuses are eight-legged marine animals that are capable of changing their colors. Some octopuses feature rusty red bodies. However, they can change their color to hide from a predator or blend into their surroundings.
31. Humboldt Squid
The Humboldt squid is a mysterious red sea creature that is native to the Pacific Ocean. This animal’s color isn’t the only thing that makes it distinct. It’s also incredibly large and a fierce predator.
Tomatoes are popularly cultivated plants. While tomatoes are technically fruits, most people consider them to be vegetables. That might be because they are not particularly sweet. Either way, people have been growing and eating tomatoes for thousands of years.
33. Tomato Frog
This slimy red amphibian is named for the fruit with a comparable color. It’s native to the island of Madagascar and is far from the only red species to dwell on this tropical African land.
34. Crimson Star
Crimson stars are lovely red and white perennial flowers. They are known to attract similarly colorful creatures, including red butterflies and birds.
35. Red Zinnias
These vibrant red flowers consist of hundreds of overlapped petals. Their long flowering times make them popular with gardeners around the country.
36. Blood Orange
Blood oranges are citrus fruits with blood-red centers. The colorful deviation is caused by an increase in anthocyanin. This treat is jam-packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Figs are luscious pear-shaped tree fruits with soft purple skins and fleshy red centers. We wouldn’t have them without the help of fig wasps, which burrow into the plants in search of pollen.
38. Lily Leaf Beetle
Lily leaf beetles are small, red beetles that are now found throughout North America. They can often be found on the stems and leaves of lily plants (hence the name).
Many people enjoy the juicy flesh of the watermelon. This fruit is green on the outside and pinkish-red on the inside. Most watermelon flesh is speckled with a mix of black and white seeds. The flesh is packed with antioxidants.
40. Red Pears
This fleshy, oblong fruit comes in many varieties. The Williams pear has a mix of red and green skin. However, if you’re looking for an intensely red fruit, you’ll probably favor the Anjou.
Mars has been coined “the red planet“. Since it’s part of our solar system, we think it’s safe to consider it a part of the natural world. If you were to look for this planet through a telescope, you’d immediately notice its rusty hue. The red comes from the planet’s iron oxide content.
Raspberries are perennial fruits that ripen in mid to late summer. There are several different color varieties, but certainly none as remarkable as the red raspberry. Some might describe these delectable fruits as having a reddish pink color. The hex code of the color raspberry is #E30B5C.
43. Red Salamander
This woodland amphibian has a shiny red body that’s covered in minuscule black spots. They can be found along the banks of rivers and streams throughout the eastern United States. Their reddish bodies help them steer clear of predatory birds and other animals. They serve as a bold contrast to the mostly green and brown forests.
Sumac is a flowering shrub that grows around the world. Its fuzzy red fruits are used as flavor, dye, and medicinal agents.
Pomegranate is a deciduous shrub that produces famously red fruits. If you break a pomegranate apart, you will find hundreds of little ruby-like seeds.
46. Red Potatoes
We’re all familiar with the white and gold varieties of these root vegetables, but red potatoes are still a popular alternative. The skin of red potatoes usually has a deep reddish purple hue to it.
47. Navajo Sandstone
Navajo Sandstone is the material that makes the Glen Canyon. This distinct geological feature’s most notable quality has to be its variated red layers.
If you were to travel to New England in autumn, you’d likely come across plenty of these red fruits. Red Delicious, McIntosh, and Braeburn are just a few of the more popular red apple varieties.
Tulips come in all sorts of colors, but people are always drawn to the red ones. These cup-shaped blooms are often used to signify love.
Red roses are arguably the most popular red flowers in nature. Like tulips, the deep red color of rose petals is often associated with love.
51. Strawberry Quartz
Strawberry quartz is a red and rose-colored stone that is cherished by mineral enthusiasts. It ranges in color from soft pink to a more iron oxide-rich rusty blush.
While garnets are hard to spot in the wild, they tend to look like blood-red diamonds once they’ve been polished and cut. They are a member of the silicate mineral group.
53. Precious Coral
Did you know that the vast majority of the world’s coral reefs are red? They are formed by calcium carbonate secreted by corals. These rare and distinguished living organisms range from orangey-pink to watermelon red.
Red, or mahogany, obsidian is a crystal with a deep reddish-brown hue. It is a type of naturally occurring glass that is derived from volcanic lava.
55. Cardinal Beetle
These beetles have red bodies and either red or black heads. They are about 20 millimeters long and are native to Britain.
56. Red Deer
Red deer are large woodland-dwelling mammals with rusty brown fur. While they may look plain brown to the untrained eye, their coat color changes from a faded gray or brown in winter to a more reddish color in summer.
57. Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
If you were to take a quick glimpse of one of these pervasive amphibians, you might mistake it for a juicy red strawberry. After all, these frogs tend to have bright red bodies with asymmetrical black spots.
58. Red-Veined Darter
The red-veined darter is a dragonfly. The males have deep red bodies with red-veined wings. The females are yellow.
59. Christmas Island Red Crabs
Christmas Island is the home of one red crab’s migration. Each year, millions of crabs flock to the landmass to mate.
Bottlebrush is a bush-like plant with feathery red blooms. Most bottlebrush have red spikes, but they can also be purple, pink, green, yellow, or white.
61. Scarlet Monarda
Scarlet Monarda is a flowering perennial plant with bright red blooms. Its lovely fragrance is just as vibrant as its red hue.
Higanbana is a plant that’s known as the “flower of the dead.” It has spindly, upturned petals. Japanese natives often leave this plant on the graves of their ancestors.
63. Goji Berries
Goji berries are antioxidant-rich fruits that are native to Asia. Their red color and unique flavor notes make them popular with chefs around the world.
64. Circassian Seeds
In India, Circassian seeds are often seen as magical charms. These bright red pods come from Manjadi trees.
Saffron has earned its place as the world’s most expensive spice. The red tendrils are the stamens of the autumn crocus plant. Cultivators must plant thousands of flowers just to acquire a single pound of saffron.
66. Paprika Peppers
These bright red peppers are typically ground and dried for culinary purposes. There’s no denying the beauty of these spindly red fruits.
67. Red Burgundy Okra
This variety of okra isn’t very popular in the United States. However, the plant’s deep red pods look fantastic next to its milky yellow flowers.
68. Terracotta Clay
Clay is sediment that can be found in the wild. The terracotta variety has a rusty red hue that comes from its rich iron-oxide content.
69. Red Diamond
While most people are familiar with colorless diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest and most sought-after varieties of these gemstones. Red diamonds develop in environments with chemical impurities.
70. Japanese Blood Grass
Japanese blood grass is native to Japan. It has distinctly red details that are apparent during all seasons. The red-tipped whips are not welcome in U.S. gardens. This is because they are known to override native plants.
Bittersweet vines are perennials that are native to Asia and North America. The berries have yellow shells that break open to reveal their red centers.
Chokeberries are blueberry-like berries that grow on vines. They have distinctly red vines and stems. Black chokeberries are blueish-purple on the outside and red on the inside. Red chokeberries are bright red.
73. Scotch Bonnet Peppers
These wrinkly little peppers pack a big punch. They can be traced back to Jamaica, where their bright orange or red color has been celebrated for centuries.
74. Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is a pulpy tropical fruit with pinkish-red skin and white and black speckled flesh. It is the fruit of a cactus that is native to South America.
75. Red Bananas
Red bananas have dark, purplish-red skin that varies dramatically from your run-of-the-mill supermarket bananas. These bananas are said to have a hint of berry or apple flavor.
76. Ruby Ball Cactus
Ruby ball (moon) cacti are named for their blood red buds. The red caps sit on top of green bases.
Polysiphonia is a type of rust-colored algae that’s native to the British Isles. It has a unique tree-like shape and feathery tips.
78. Ocean Perch
Ocean perch is a scaly reddish-orange fish found in the Atlantic Ocean. These pumpkin-colored fish travel in large schools.
Seahorses are unique marine animals that range in color from rust to crimson. Popular species include Sun Fires, Pintos, and Fire Reds.
80. Spider Mite
Spider mites are small, red arachnids. You might spot these pinheads in your garden or on the pages of a dusty, old book.
81. Red Drum
This fish has red fins that stand out against its silvery-white belly. It is found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
82. Red Eel
Red eels are marine animals that closely resemble snakes. Their distinctly red bodies may help them avoid hungry fish, birds, and sea mammals.
83. Cinnabar Moth
These lovely black and red moths can be found throughout England and Scotland. A similar moth species is the Five-Spot Burnet.
84. Scarlet Macaw
The Scarlet Macaw is a large type of parrot. Their feathers come in a rainbow of bright colors. However, we like to think that it’s their red plumages that make them so breathtaking.
85. Red Aphids
If you see these tiny red bugs in your garden, act fast. They can eat an exorbitant amount of leaf matter in a short time.
86. Coral Snake
These vibrant snakes are quite dangerous. Most have colorful patterns that consist of red, black, yellow, and/or orange bands.
87. Cavendish Beach
Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island, is known for its reddish-brown sands and cliffs. The color comes from the iron oxide in the rocks found there.
88. Redwood Trees
Sequoia is a partially large and long-living redwood species. These have been made famous through the popularity of California’s Redwood Forest.
89. Brazilian Cherry
Brazilian cherry, or Jatoba trees, aren’t practically red on the outside. It’s their wood and fruits that boast remarkably deep and rusty red hues.
90. Acer Palmatum (Japanese Maple)
Acer palmatum, or the Japanese maple tree, is a popular garden species. The leaves of many of these cold-hardy trees are red all year long. However, their color qualities often accelerate depending on the season.
91. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are large beans with either deep or light red shells. They are often served alongside rice, meat, and vegetables. Many a chef will tell you that their reddish hue is a welcome addition to the plate.
92. Coffee Berries
When we think of coffee and the beans that are used to make it, we imagine the color brown. However, the whole process of roasting coffee starts with these deep red berries called coffee cherries.
Grapes are sweet, juicy berries that are grown on vines. They come in many colors and varieties. However, red table grapes are some of the most popular. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are just a few types of wine made with red grape varieties.
94. Black Widow Spider
While black widow spiders are undoubtedly black, it’s the females’ red hourglass markings that make them stand out from other arachnoids. This spider’s unique red markings may be nature’s way of sending a warning to others. After all, black widow spiders are incredibly poisonous. A bite from this venomous spider is likely to result in death.
Cherries are deep red stone fruits that grow on trees. They come in many varieties, though most people are familiar with the bright red species found in most supermarkets.
In the United States, poinsettias are popular Christmas plants. They feature distinct clusters of green and red leaves and they have small yellow flowers. Poinsettias are native to Mexico.
97. Red Lily
Red Lilies are relatively common perennial flowers. These beauties are found in the wild and manmade gardens throughout the continental United States. They have a distinctly orange-red color.
98. Scarlet Ibis
The Scarlet Ibis is a gorgeous red and black wading bird. These remarkable birds are found throughout South America and the Caribbean. They have long, narrow black beaks, spindly legs, and black wingtips. However, the bulk of their feathers are an orangey-crimson color.
99. Red Hair
Red hair grows on the heads of people from all corners of the globe. Throughout history, red hair has been revered, mocked, and scrutinized. Natural red hair is typically caused by a gene mutation.
Flamingos are majestic water-dwelling birds that dwell in various parts of the world. They are famous for their pink, red, and orange colors. This coloring is actually a byproduct of the birds’ diet, which consists of beta carotene-rich shrimp and algae.
Things That Are Red in Nature
As you can see, there are more red things in nature than we realize. Whenever you need to remind yourself what a red flower, fruit, animal, or other natural miracle is called and what it looks like, use this list to refresh your memory.