Do you love flowers? Want to learn about the different types you can get? Maybe you’ve recently acquired a green space to call your own, and you don’t know where to start. Or you’ve been gardening for years, and you’re looking for the next beautiful bloom. In any case, we’ve got you covered with an alphabetical list of flower names to help you find what you’re looking for.
Also known as the Flowering Maple, Chinese Lantern, or Indian Mallow, depending on the hybrid, the Abutilon is a perennial shrub that will offer any space a tropical feel. Older types of this shrub have white or blue flowers which bloom into a saucer shape, and you can otherwise recognize this plant by the stem, with its gray, hairy leaves. It can grow up to 15 feet tall, so make sure you have plenty of room. It usually blooms through summer until the frosts. Depending on the cultivar and where you live, an Abutilon may need some frost protection.
Recently reclassified, the Acacia used to refer to a group of flowering plants native to Africa and Australasia, but now only refers to those indigenous to the latter. Also known as wattle, the acacias have been widely used for many purposes, from tanning, dyes to building early houses with. Acacias are yellow or white flowers which are globular and cluster quite tightly. It’s worth noting that some species are poisonous, and can affect the nervous system if ingested. They prefer a sheltered environment, the warmest place you can give them, and they don’t tend to tolerate frost. They can reach 7 feet high.
Aconite, also known as wolf’s bane or monkshood, is an instantly eye-catching plant admired for its unusually shaped blue or yellow flowers. It’s a highly poisonous plant, so you need to be careful when handling it – if you handle it – and always wear gloves. They add all sorts of interest to containers, borders and flower beds.
* See Osteospermum
Referred to as the flower of love, these are typically tall perennials with huge globular clusters of flowers that sit on the top of the long stems. More often than not, these flowers are different shades of blue, and flower from spring to autumn. They prefer full sun if you can provide it, and the seed heads make one of the best dried arrangements.
Hailing from the Aster family, ageratums are commonly known as the floss flower. They normally come in shades of blue, though you can get burgundy, pink, and other colors. They have very fine petals which splay outward, and are a good plant to attract pollinators to your garden. They come in both dwarf and tall varieties, so there’s one to suit your garden.
Commonly known as Lady’s Mantle, this herb provides interest in both its structural fan-shaped leaves and tiny yellow-green flowers. In the past, it was used to treat gynaecological disorders, and healing wounds, depending on the type of plant, as the name refers to three hundred species! It’s native to Europe, America and Asia, so there will be a type that will suit your garden.
The allium refers to a multitude of plants from the garlic family, including onions, shallots, leeks, and chives, though when we typically refer to alliums, we mean the flowers grown for ornamental value, which are clustered in a globular shape, sitting atop a very long stem. They’re very popular for cut flower gardens, as the flower tends to be longer lived than most, and dried alliums make a great statement. To get the best out of them, they need to be planted in autumn, and they’ll bloom throughout spring and summer.
Also known as the Peruvian lily, this is a gorgeous flower often used in bouquets because the cut flowers last longer than some other species. Peruvian lilies come in a range of colors, and the flowers usually feature spots on the petals like other lilies. They’re happy in containers as well as in the ground, and flower spikes can reach 24 inches high. In cooler climates, alstroemeria need winter protection.
If you want a more unusual member of the mustard family, sweet alyssum is a nice, hardy choice for hotter climates. It has become naturalized throughout the United States, so you may have come across it before. They add a lovely scent to any garden, and often feature as part of an alpine rock garden. The leaves are often a food source for some caterpillars.
Also known by the curious name of Love Lies Bleeding, or tassel flower, this plant is perfect for a garden where you need a good injection of color, or some tropical vibes. You’ll find ‘tassels’ composed of lots of tiny flowers which drape down amongst the foliage. Many parts of the plant (unlike most on this list) are edible, and are staples in some parts of India and South America. In its native habitat, it can grow to 8 feet high, and prefers full sun. Some prefer to treat love lies bleeding as an annual plant, starting it off inside and only taking it outside when the risk of frost is over. In the Victorian language of flowers, these flowers signified a hopeless love.
The naked lady lily, amaryllis, or the belladonna lily (named for its toxicity, so don’t eat this one!) is known for reaching great heights. Sometimes, cut flowers need to be in umbrella stands, because you don’t have a vase big enough. The flowers of an amaryllis can be pink, white, red, or a combination thereof. They bloom in autumn, but can be earlier or later if you grow them indoors.
Anemones are beautiful flowers that will bloom year after year, and can self-seed or spread from the bulb. Anemones are relatives to buttercups. There are a variety of species, coming in many colors, so there’s bound to be one to fit your planting scheme. They last all the way through summer into early autumn, giving your garden a great display of color. The name translates from Greek to mean “daughter of the wind”.
You’d be forgiven to be confused that this plant is part of the mint family, when it smells like anise. They attract a lot of pollinators, including moths, and provide spikes of purple color amongst the foliage. It’s native to parts of American including the Great Plains, as well as some parts of Canada. They also self-seed pretty regularly.
If you’re looking for a pop of color in your garden, the armeria maritima is a nice choice, also known as the sea thrift or sea pink. It’s a plant known for tolerating copper traces in soil, where other plants will die. The foliage is long and wispy, producing globular flowers on the top of a long stem. They thrive in salt marshes, coastal cliffs, dry and otherwise sandy conditions.
Asters are one of the latest flowering perennials, which blooms at the close of summer and the start of autumn. There are many types of aster, with different colors to choose from, and comes in a range of heights to suit every garden.
Closely related to rhododendrons, azaleas often get renamed or reclassified due to their similar appearance. They come in a variety of vivid colors, and many flowers can spring from one bud, they cluster together in an elegant bloom. They’re long-lived plants which can reach up to 8 feet tall, and while it can take years for newly-created hybrids to bloom for the first time, there are many hybrids to choose from.
A gorgeous annual, gypsophila is used more often than not in bouquets and in cut flower gardens. White is usually the most popular color, though they come in soft pinks too. While baby’s breath can be a dwarf plant, you also get standard plants that can reach up to 2 feet tall.
* See Cornflower
Platycodon, or the Chinese bellflower, features blue, white, or pale pink flowers in the shape of a bell. The flowers don’t last for very long, and while it’s a both a herb and a perennial, it’s easy to mistake this plant for a weed once it has finished flowering, so best to label it or put a stake next to it, so you don’t discard it the next time you weed.
A dwarf shrub, this plant provides you with structural interest all year round. It grows to a maximum height of 2 feet, and spreads to the same. You can recognize the ballota by the silvery hairs that cover the leaves, and the small white flowers that appear through spring and summer.
Native to North America, bee balm plants feature unusual spiky blooms in vivid colors, and attract a plethora of wildlife to your garden. They’re also herbs, used to make bergamot for tea, and belong to the mint family, where like many of their relatives, are used in food. They prefer full sun and moist soil, though they also do well in other conditions. The name refers to the usefulness of the plant as a balm to treat bee stings.
If you want a classic, showy flower, that’s primarily good for hanging baskets, begonias tick all the boxes. They have been widely hybridized to produce many colors and plants that favor different conditions, so there’s a plant for every place in your garden.
The campanula, or bellflower, encompasses several hundred perennials and annuals. They’re easy to care for in full sun or dappled shade, and come in various sizes, flowering from May until September.
Like Bee Balm, Bergamot is another member of the mint family and can be used as a tea. The flavor and scent of this plant is unmistakable, and comes in both perennial and annual forms. It comes in several colors, and goes into a sort of dormancy in the winter months. It prefers a sunny space.
Also known as an elephant’s ear, these special plants are admired for both their huge leaves and their lovely fleshy flowers which sit much taller than the foliage. They’re often employed as ground cover, as they grow low to the ground, but still offer some structure to your borders. While they survive through winter, they benefit from some frost protection.
You may have seen this plant sold as a houseplant. It’s a spiny-leaved bromeliad which is very easy to grow. The flower spikes often don’t sit upright, and can feature green or pink flowers. One of the more well-known varieties of bellbergia is Queen’s Tears.
If you haven’t heard of a Black-eyed Susan, you may have heard of Rudbeckia. While similar to daisies, they have much more vivid colors and come in a variety of color combinations. Some are dwarf, and some grow tall, but nearly all self-seed.
Part of the Gaillardia family, blanket flowers are popular as they flower from summer until autumn, and attract lots of pollinators. They come in both solid colors and combinations, the most common of which is red and yellow.
Native to the American prairies, the blazing star provides impressive flower spikes with wispy, spiky petals that attract all kinds of pollinators. It’s also a popular cut flower.
Although poisonous, the bleeding heart plant or dicentra spectabilis features one of the most unusual displays of blooms, bi-colored heart shaped flowers that drape away from the foliage. It prefers indirect light, and a sheltered position away from any hot winds.
Prized for its beautiful blooms, the bletilla is also known as the Chinese ground orchid. Hailing from Taiwan and China, it’s part of a small orchid family, and is fairly undemanding, unlike some orchids. The flowers are bell-shaped, and are usually purple, or white and blue, or just white.
Another plant native to the US, the bluestar flower is a lovely perennial that provides blooms during the spring, densely-grouped pale blue flowers (surprisingly). In autumn, the leaves turn a lovely gold.
When we think of Lupins, we tend to think of upright, long flower spikes that tower over unusual foliage. Bluebonnets are another type of lupin, which produce a much smaller flower, which is no less beautiful. It’s worth noting that all parts of this plant, including the seeds, are toxic, so best to avoid this plant if you have children or pets. They often thrive where some plants can’t stand, as they’re resistant to droughts and being moved.
Another beautiful blue flower, the blue-eyed grasses aren’t grasses at all. The leaves are sword-shaped, and the plants produce blooms during the summer. They also come as yellow flowers, if you prefer. They need full sun to thrive.
Borage features gorgeous flowers, some species of which can be used to infuse cocktails with a cucumber flavor. They come in annual and biennial varieties, and grow several feet tall. They’re also grown next to other plants as companion plants, to ward off pests and protect its neighbors from caterpillars. While they grow tall, the stems are easily broken as they’re hollow. The flowers are star-shaped, and grow protruding black panthers.
Also referred to as a Callisetemon, this flower bears a strong resemblance to a bottle cleaning brush, although in more exciting colors. Some are yellow and lemon scented, and some are a deep red. They can grow to 7 feet tall.
Native to Mexico and Central America, the Bouvardia genus features around 50 species, belonging to the Rubiaceae family, which also include the coffee plant. The name is a nod to the physician to Louis XIII, Charles Bouvard, who created medicines from ordinary flowers.
Both an annual and perennial plant, Brachycome is also known as the Swan River Daisy. They’re small plants, but the amount of flowers they produce more than makes up for their small stature. If you can give them a lot of sun and some soil that drains freely, they’ll happily grow in containers, beds, and hanging baskets. The leaves are feathery, and the flowers can be one color or different colors. While this plant produces lots of flowers, they’re not suitable for cut flower gardens as the flowers don’t last.
What is this madness, I hear you say? Cabbages and kales are not flowers! No, but I bet you probably didn’t know you can get ornamental varieties, which are pretty much flowers in all but the botanical sense. They’re valued for their wildly colored leaves, including pink, rose, and white. They don’t mind cooler temperatures, but be careful not to leave them out in a bitter frost.
Broom is a lovely yellow-blooming plant with whip-like stems. The yellow flowers are vaguely pea-shaped, and feature a pineapple-like fragrance. It can be trained, so you may be able to make some unusual features.
Do you like butter? A buttercup will always say that you do. They belong to the Ranunculus family, and some species can be quite invasive. They’re also poisonous to livestock. The genus encompasses a wide range of plants, including annuals and perennials, and come in whites, reds, yellows, and oranges. They’re also fairly hardy, depending on the species.
Known for attracting a wide number of butterflies, if you need more butterflies in your life, this is the flower for you. While we may have a single image in our heads when we think of a butterfly bush, there’s three separate types. The most common is buddleja daviddii, which has cone-shaped spikes of flowers, and is usually white or purplish-red. You can identify the other species by the waterfall of flowers, which are usually purple. All butterfly bushes need full sun in order to produce the fragrance and nectar that’s so coveted by the butterflies.
The slipper flower, or calceolaria, need to be grown indoors or in containers in order to get the best out of them. They make unusual cut flowers, so long as you cut them from the plant carefully. The flowers make a showstopper from summer until the first frosts.
Ah, the calendula. Also known as the marigold, this plant is fantastic as a companion plant, as an ingredient in cosmetics, as a note in perfume. They love full sun, and if you plant them next to crops – either near them or in the same soil – they’ll confuse pests, and quite often repel aphids, which can do a lot of damage otherwise. They come in a whole spectrum of yellows, oranges, and sometimes greens, and varying heights. They’re annuals, but also very easy to grow from seed.
The California Poppy is a very hardy plant, and you may even find them growing through the cracks of pavements. Also known as eschscholzia, they self-seed, and come in yellows, pinks, creams and reds, growing to 12 inches tall with ease.
Calla Lilies, Zantedeschia, or arum lilies, are often sold as houseplants. They have unusually shaped flowers which come in a range of colors, white and black being the most common. To grow them, they usually need to be in a greenhouse or somewhere boggy where they can enjoy a lot of shelter.
Known for their very glossy leaves and gorgeous flowers, these evergreens are hardy and will treat you to blooms of white, pink, or red between autumn and spring, and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
These dainty plants are also known as iberis, and are tough little annuals, despite their appearance. They’re less than a foot tall, and the flowers come in white, pink, and purple. If the soil in your garden doesn’t have a lot of nutrients, the candytuft is a good plant to go for. It also self-seeds.
Canna Lilies are very impressive plants, with huge banana-like leaves and loud flowers, some stems reaching 4 feet tall. The flowers are usually red, yellow or orange, though some are streaked and some are spotty.
Also known as plumbago, this evergreen climber provides interest year-round. Between the middle of summer and autumn, you’ll be treated to sky-blue flowers in the shape of stars. It can grow up to 15 feet tall, and needs to be pruned regularly. It prefers full sun.
The streptocarpus (translated from Greek as ‘twisted fruit’), or Cape Primrose, demands a little more. They prefer heated greenhouses or warmer climates, and reward you with lovely orchid-like blooms which come in many colors. The source of its name, and perhaps the most intriguing part of this plant is the seed pod, which looks like it’s been twisted to form its unusual shape, hence the name.
Lobelia cardinalis, or the cardinal flower, is not dissimilar to a salvia. Usually bright red, this name encompasses about 400 species, and likes full sun or partial shade. When given the right conditions, they’ll flower throughout summer into the autumn.
Ah, carnations. They’re beautiful and flowers that come in a range of colors, often bringing a lovely scent with them. They belong to the genus Dianthus, which incorporates lots of different colors and hybrids. They usually require decent support that can expand as they get taller, as some varieties are quite delicate.
The Madagascar periwinkle spreads quickly, and needs full sunlight for as long as you can give it. It is also a plant that needs good drainage. The flowers appear in summer, and may be pink, white or purple.
Loved by bees and cats everywhere, catnip is a perennial herb native to Asia and Europe. They mostly tend to be low-growing plants. You can identify catnip by a cat’s adoration, the tiny tubular flowers which appear pink, white, or purple, shaped in spirals. The non-flowering parts of the plant are covered in tiny hairs.
Often sold as houseplants, the celosia is also known as the Prince of Wales’ Feathers. The flowers are shaped like the plumes of a feather, and can be vivid oranges, pinks, or purples. They come in both tall and dwarf varieties. In Africa and El Salvador, celosia is a valuable food staple, as the leaves and seeds have a lot of nutritional value.
Snow in summer, or cerastium tomentosum, is true to its name – it produces silvery gray leaves, and beautiful white flowers during spring and summer. This is a creeping plant and is invasive, so be careful where you put it. It’s also a good way of suppressing weeds.
One of the nicest blue flowers you can get, the chicory is a perennial which can reach 5 feet tall. The flowers open in the morning, but close against the midday sun to protect the plant from the heat. If you crave coffee or a caffeine kick, the roots can be a nice substitute. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible.
Chionodoxa or glory of the snow, grows from a bulb like a daffodil does. These plants flower where the altitudes are high, and you can recognize them from the star-shaped blue flowers, which usually have a white center. They also come in white, or a purplish-pink.
Chrysanthemums, or chrysanths, or ‘mums’ originated in China, before being introduced to Japan in the 5th Century. Both countries celebrate the Chrysanthemum in annual ceremonies, and use the plant in medicines and food. There are countless varieties and hybrids, which come in wildly different shapes, sizes, and colors. They’re regularly sold as cut flowers for their ornamental value as well as for their longevity. They can also be planted in borders to give a gorgeous display of color.
Named after the explorer William Clark, the Clarkia flower is also referred to as farewell to spring. It attracts many pollinators to the garden, and is a member of the willowherb or evening primrose family. They’re usually annual herbs, and this wildflower can grow up to 3 feet tall, depending on the species. Flowers are usually either pink or red.
Clematis is one of the nicest, climbing plants you can find with the most unusual flowers. With over 200 species, you’ll find the right one for your garden. They come in a range of colors and shapes, and you get ones that flower in different seasons, which makes it easy to have color in your garden nearly all year round. As a general rule, clematis like full sun, with their roots being in the shade.
Clover is another name for Trifolium, which is a genus of roughly 300 plants that flower. They can be found in most parts of the world, except Australia and Southeast Asia. Clover is used in ‘fodder’, which is the agricultural feed given to livestock to bolster their diets. Clover often grows naturally in grasses and meadows, and the bees love the flowers the plants produce. Using clover in your garden is a good way to attract pollinators, and to use as ground cover. Clover also helps place nutrients into the soil, enriching the growth of all your nearby plants.
Commonly known as aquilegia or granny’s bonnets, the columbine is prized for its flowers, which can be two-toned or a single color. They’re not very long-lived, but like most plants that have a short life, they’re easy to grow from seed. To get the best out of your aquilegia, plant them in a shady position.
Also known as Echinacea, these lovely plants hail from the daisy family, and produce large blooms with cone-shaped centers. They grow naturally in eastern and central North America, and are grown elsewhere from seed to bring color into any garden. They can grow up to 4 feet tall, and like containers as well as borders, but wherever you plant them, they need full sun to bloom at their best.
Heuchera, or Coral Bells, produce tiny bell-shaped flowers that are commonly pink, red, or white, which sit high above the foliage. While it will grow in partial shade, a position in full sun is required to get the best out of the plant.
Berberidopsis corallina – which is a real mouthful – or coral vine, is a lovely evergreen climber that’s native to Chile. The local name for it is voqui fuco, and the stems are used to make baskets. The coral vine features lovely red flowers, and the plant itself can grow up to 15 feet tall. Once the flowers are done, the plant also produces red fruits. It’s considered endangered in Chile.
Coreopsis, or tick seed, is a long-flowering plant that comes in both annual and perennial varieties. They come from North and Central America, and are very easy to grow. Unlike some plants, they’re not picky about the PH of your soil. As long as the soil drains freely, they’ll do fairly well. This plant tends to bloom bright yellow flowers which are similar to daisies, some featuring a yellow middle, some plants having bi-color blooms.
Also referred to as the Bachelor’s Button, this is a beautiful blue annual that also comes in white and purple. They’re very easy to grow from seed and require minimum care in order to flourish. Like most flowers, deadheading the dying blooms can prolong the flowering season and provide your plant with the energy it needs in order to create new flowers. The name Bachelor’s Button refers to the superstition of young men wearing the flower to gauge a woman’s interest in them, if it faded fast, it meant that their affections weren’t returned.
The name translates from the Greek korydalis as ‘crested lark’, and most varieties can be found in China and the Himalayas. They also grow in the high mountains of Eastern Africa. You can recognize a corydalis plant by its fern-like leaves, and stacked tubular flowers, which can come in yellows, pinks, blues, and whites. They’re a good choice for areas where the soil is moist but still drains freely.
Cosmos are lovely perennial plants which grow tall, wispy foliage, and gorgeous flowers at the top. They come in all kinds of colors, so there’s one to suit every planting scheme. They do well in containers, but better in borders, and bloom from the middle of summer to when the frost hits.
Part of the rose family, the cotoneaster shrubs can wildly range from 1 foot tall to 16 feet, depending on the variety. White flowers appear in late spring through early summer, and they may be lone flowers, or in rows of up to one hundred! In winter, this plant won’t leave your garden bare, as it produces red and yellow fruits.
The Montbretia, or crocosmia, is a lovely plant which produces sprays of red-orange or yellow flowers among tall, sword-shaped leaves. They’re good for adding interest and shape to the ends of borders, but keep in mind that these plants spread, and can grow to 3 feet tall.
Crocuses are like daffodils in many respects. They form from bulbs, they naturalize once they’re in the soil, and you can get both spring-flowering and autumn-flowering types. The flowers are short, and come in blues, purple, yellows, and creams, with yellow stamen.
Not to be confused with the snake’s head fritillary (fritillaria meleagris), which is a pointed short speckled purple flower, the Crown Imperial fritillaria imperialis, grows to 3 feet high, and has a downward-facing ‘crown’ of reddish-orange or yellow flowers at the top. It’s also pollinated by the Eurasian blue tit, and its smell repels mice and moles. It requires full sun in order to bloom well, and sandy, well-drained soil.
Part of the mustard family, the cuckoo flower, milk maid, or cardamine pratensis, is a lovely perennial which produces pale violet flowers, at the same time the first cuckoos reach the British Isles in spring, hence the name. Sometimes the flowers come in white, but this is rare.
Cyclamen are a lovely and unusual flowering plant, their blooms having twisted, swept-back petals in a range of colors. There’s around 23 different varieties, all perennials. They can provide color in a garden when little else is flowering in autumn or winter, or depending on the variety, they can bloom in spring.
One of the most popular bulbs planted around the world, many hybrids of daffodil have been cultivated. The birth flower of March, daffodils start to come out as soon as the weather heads for spring, and are also a symbol of Easter. You can also get autumn flowering daffodils, if you prefer. There are many types, with some flowers that cluster several flower heads on one stem, or one flower per stem. They can also come in double or triple daffodils, where they don’t have a single trumpet to each flower head like the older types. They can be cream, yellow, white, or a mixture of those.
Native to Mexico and South America, the dahlia is popular throughout the world. Like the daffodil and chrysanthemum, there are different types that hugely vary in appearance. Dahlias form from tubers, and while a single plant can last a year or two, the blooms tend to be less strong, so it’s advisable to take tuber cuttings and propagate them into new plants to continue a fabulous display. Some of the most popular types of dahlia are cactus, dinner plate, and pom pom blooms. Dahlias may be single colors, or they may be bicolored. They’re quite prone to slugs, very thirsty when it comes to watering, and depending on the cultivar, some need digging up and storing for over winter.
No, really. Not just the common daisies, those you used to make crowns from when you were younger – those daisies are known as Bellis perennis, which translates to ‘pretty through the years’. You can also get daisies in the Gerbera, Echinacea, Gloriosa (or Rudbeckia) types. They’re much fancier than the common daisy, and prefer warm, sunny places in your garden.
Another childhood favorite. Also, the dandelion gets everywhere, much to the annoyance of gardeners who want immaculate green lawns and beds. Yes, it’s considered a weed, but it’s really useful for pollinators, and the edible leaves carry more nutrients than spinach. You can also make wine from dandelions. If you want to grow them but don’t want a million in your garden, cut off the flower before it can grow the seed head, and this will help reduce the numbers.
Daphnes are prized for their fragrance produced by the star-shaped purplish-red flowers. They don’t require a lot of maintenance, and depending on the type, they produce flowers between February and June.
While this flower can fool you into thinking it’s a lily as it has the typical features with its big flowers, spotted petals and long stamen, it belongs to the genus Hemerocallis. Some varieties only bloom at night, and their fragrance often outstrips those which flower during the day. Whichever color you choose, daylilies will bloom repeatedly.
A climbing plant, the Decumaria is perfect for places you’d like white flowers which have a lot of fragrance, and the foliage drops during the winter months. It can grow up to 30 feet tall, so make sure you place it against a strong support!
Delphiniums are noted for their gorgeous blue flowers, although other cultivars have produced pink, white, and red flowers. The flowers grow in clusters on long spikes, and can reach a height of 78 inches. You also get smaller varieties, which grow up to 39 inches. All delphiniums are poisonous, and need staking to survive strong winds.
The impala lily, or adenium obesum is a lovely succulent which produces white, pink or red flowers. Like many succulents, the desert rose is easy to grow, and requires little fuss. They’re also a popular plant for growing as bonsai trees, thanks to their thick, trunk-like stems.
Another easy-to-grow plant, the Deutzia is known for producing many flowers, and the foliage is deciduous, which means it loses its leaves during the winter. The petals are often serrated, and come in white or pink. Some types of deutzia can reach 7 feet tall.
A gorgeous, tiny flower that can resemble a chandelier or lampshade, these unusual bloomers are also referred to as the flax lily. While it can flower as early as February, the best shows of blooms tend to be in April. They like some shade, and can reach heights of 2 feet, so be mindful of where you want to grow it. They need soil that drains freely in order to thrive.
Sweet William, or pinks, come in many varieties. They’re valued for their flowers which can cluster up to 30 at a time, and range wildly in color, some being bi-color. You can eat the flowers, and the plant is used to attract birds, bees and butterflies. Give them a sheltered, sunny position, and some varieties can flower all summer.
Twinspur, or diascia flowers bloom from spring and last well until the frosts descend in autumn. These blooms come in various shades of pink, and don’t grow very tall, so they’re good to have at the front of borders for a pop of color.
Hailing from southern and eastern Africa, it’s popular with gardeners across the globe. They belong to the Iridacaeae family, which include irises. They’re also referred to as the fortnight lily, the African iris, the Japanese iris, and the butterfly iris. The flowers are typically white with yellow and blue. They prefer full sun or partial shade, and if you live in a colder climate, to help them survive winter you’ll need to dig them up and store them.
We typically think of dill as a herb – which it is – but not as a flower in itself. The plant can grow up to 3 feet tall, and the flowers resemble the ones fennel produce, with lots of tiny yellow clusters of flowers.
If you’ve ever seen a disa, it should be no surprise that they’re part of the orchid family, Orchidaceae. Disa uniflora is a particularly beautiful red flower, known as ‘The Pride of Table Mountain. Disas are quite difficult to grow, as they need soil which doesn’t really dry out, but waterlogged soil will rot the plant. The name of the genus Disa comes from a Swedish legendary heroine, who was known for being very wise, and halted the sacrifice of the elderly, sick, and handicapped to Odin during a famine in Sweden.
A lovely type of Iris, the Dutch iris produces blooms of blue, yellow or white. While some irises do well in partial or even full shade, Dutch irises need full sun and soil that can drain freely. You’ll be treated to a show of color between May and June, and they’re a plant that doesn’t spread too much, so you can pop them into borders that are fairly full already.
Also referred to as the globe thistle, the Echinops plant is a lovely addition to any bed. They feature silvery stems and foliage covered in fine hairs, and can grow anywhere between a foot and over 6 feet tall, depending on the variety. The flowers they produce are densely clustered into blue or white globes, and can be dried to make a nice all-year-round display inside.
The pride of Madeira, or Echium, is a nice choice for gardens which are prone to drought, and sandy soil. Some types of Echium produce flower stalks that tower over your head at 13 feet like echium pininana, while others grow to a more modest size of 20 inches. This plant can spread between 6 and 10 feet, so it’s a good idea to have a place ready and not buy an echium as an impulse buy, as you might run out of room! The flowers can be blue or white, and prefer full sun to get as many as it can produce. It’s also a good pollinator magnet.
Elder comes from the Sambucus species, also known as elderberry. This is where the elder flower comes from, and the plant can be grown as a shrub or a tree to suit the size of your garden. It’s important to note that all parts of this plant are toxic. While you can produce elderflower wine or jam, you have to be careful to prepare it correctly. Cooking the berries in boiling water for 15-20 minutes should render them safe, but it is much safer and easier to buy products made from elder as it’s a plant easy to misidentify.
Not to be confused with the Spanish bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica, the English bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta. The English bluebell has a deeper shade of blue to its flowers, and they drape over the foliage in an arc, whereas the Spanish bluebell flowers on both sides of the stem. Both types are happy to grow under trees that lose their leaves, or as a woodland ground cover in general. While there are pink and white versions, they’re not as popular as the blue blossoms.
Barrenwort, or epimedium, is a lovely perennial that stays close to the ground. It features heart-shaped leaves and star-shaped flowers, and the blooms can be pink, yellow, or cream. You can get epimediums in both evergreen and deciduous varieties.
Eremurus, or the foxtail lily will make a statement in any garden. The star-shaped flowers grow in clusters, and come in pink, orange, and yellow. As with any tall plants, make sure you plant eremurus in an area where the wind can’t break the stems, so the flowering period won’t be cut short by a felled flower spike.
Alpine heath, or Erica, is a good choice for lots of color. An evergreen shrub, this plant also keeps your garden from becoming bare in winter, and spreads to a maximum of 20 inches. The flowers come in white, pink, or red, and you can plant different types of Erica to give the garden a more tropical look.
Not hugely dissimilar to a daisy, Robin’s plantain or Erigeron is a lovely plant which will attract pollinators galore. It’s native to southern and eastern America.
You may have heard of Euphorbia from our previous articles, if nowhere else. They’re poisonous, so don’t plant them where children or pets might be interested. This group features a variety of plants which are shrubs, annuals, perennials, and dwarf, woody plants that are known as subshrubs.
Some produce neon green flowers which spread quite quickly, giving you an impressive display within a short season.
Also known as lisianthus, this herbaceous (herb-like, a plant that usually has no woody stems) perennial can grow to a maximum height of 3 feet. Flowers produced by this plant are a faint purple, and bloom from early spring right up until the frost of autumn descends. There is a trade-off – these flowers can be high maintenance.
The Evening Primrose, also known as oenothera, encompasses roughly 145 species of plants. They’re native to the Americas, and get their common name from blooms which only open at night. Some of these flowers can go from bud to bloom in under a minute! They come in a range of colors, including white, yellow, and pink
Fall Crocus, meadow saffron, or colchicum autumnale is an unusual plant where the flowers emerge before the leaves, directly from the corm. While they look like crocuses, they’re not classed as such. They’re easy to care for, as they spring up from a bulb, and bloom in different colors including white, pink, and lilac.
Tanacetum parthenium, or feverfew, is part of the daisy family, Asteraceae. The name feverfew comes from its early use as a plant to reduce fevers, but it’s no longer considered a good treatment, as better ones have been developed. Feverfew is a lovely perennial which has thicker and shorter petals than a normal daisy. Some varieties have golden foliage. It’s worth noting that while feverfew has been used as traditional herbal medicine, using it long-term can cause a bigger host of problems, such as withdrawal, stomach upsets, and can render blood thinner medication useless.
Do you have a space in your garden that feels overlooked? Is a neighbor constantly comparing their gardens to yours? Do you want more privacy? Firethorn, or pyracantha, is a good option to screen your garden off from prying eyes, with the added benefit of lots of white flowers. It also attracts birds during autumn and winter, where it produces brightly colored berries.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, or Flaming Katy, is commonly sold as a potted plant or even an indoor plant. The leaves are fleshy and scalloped, and the plant won’t thank you if you attempt to mist it – the leaves will rot. Hybrid flowers have introduced different colors than the usual red the Flaming Katy has produced, including pink and white.
Native to Australia, actinotus helianthi belongs to the Apiaceae family, which the carrot is also part of. The common name comes from the velvety texture of the plant, and boasts lovely white flowers with pointed petals.
Not to be confused with the flax lily which is mentioned above, linum lewisii, or the flax flower is native to California, and produces small blue flowers which bloom from the bottom of the plant up. The plant has a tendency to lean naturally. The plant is named after Meriwether Lewis, who was a North American explorer.
Often used to add interest to the back of a border, this tree, also known as cornus, produces white to sulfur yellow flowers which brighten up any dark corners of foliage. It also produces fruit during the autumn which can be used in jam.
Forget Me Not
Myosotis, or the Forget Me Not, is a lovely blue wildflower, known for its habit to self-seed everywhere, and grow between other flowers. The flowers are predominantly blue, but can also appear in white or pink. They enjoy the sun, whether that’s in a full sun position or a more dappled light, and will appear where you least expect. They’re also easy to pull up, if they are growing just where you wanted to plant something.
A deciduous shrub, the Forsythia comes in many types, but most grow to a height of 2 feet tall, and spread to 4 feet wide. Yellow blooms appear in April and May, and apart from needing full sun at best, or partial shade at worst, they don’t require much care.
The Marvel-of-Peru, the beauty-of-the-night, or the Four O’clock, this plant likes collecting interesting names. It’s native to tropical America, and has found its way into Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. Hence the name, these flowers open in the afternoon and fill the air with a lovely fragrance. They come in reds, pinks, yellows, and whites, and can be mottled or streaked.
Digitalis are lovely plants that form tall flower spikes, and attract many pollinators to your garden. They’re also poisonous, so don’t allow pets or children near them. The good news is that foxgloves self-seed rather well, so you may find several baby foxgloves surrounded by the parent plant. They don’t require much attention, and will grow pretty much anywhere.
The templetree, plumeria, or Frangipani flower produces red, pink, or white flowers seasonally, as long as it’s in full sun. It’s native to an area between Mexico and Panama.
Grown for both their strong scent and lovely flowers, this is a plant that will add a wealth of color and fragrance to your garden. Wild varieties have white or yellow blooms, while modern cultivars appear blue, purple or pink. When grown outdoors, they need to be somewhere sheltered, away from any wind or cold.
Part of the daisy family, the French Marigold can be both dwarf plants and over 3 feet tall, boasting double flowers in a range of yellows, reds, and oranges, or a mixture. To get the maximum amount of flowers from this plant, it needs to be in full sun, and deadhead any dying flowers.
These plants are valued for their gorgeous flowers, and considering they come in all forms – trailing, climbing, standard, and bush types – there’s a space in your garden ready for a captivating display. The more traditional fuchsias have flowers that point to the ground, with bright pink outer petals and purple lower petals. They can also come in ‘giant’ blooms which are much frillier than the traditional shape. Some fuchsias are hardier than others, and some may need winter protection in a colder climate. They grow happily in full sun or an area that’s partly shaded, and the small purple fruits are edible.
Also known as the Indian Blanket, this lovely wildflower is native to several parts of America, and is grown as an annual in other places. It’s a flower valued for its vibrant bi-colors, usually yellow on the outer edges, red in the middle, or entirely red. To get the most out of a Gaillardia, it needs to be planted somewhere that gets full sun, and the flowers will open from June until the first frosts in autumn.
Originally from Japan and China, Gardenias enjoy popularity across the world. Flowers are white or ivory, and the plant’s foliage is evergreen. While they do provide gorgeous, fragrant flowers, they don’t need or want full sun in order to do it. Gardenias also make good cut flowers.
Gazanias feature striking blooms in a variety of colors, some striped, all with pointed petals. These gorgeous blooms need full sun in order to be at their best, and if they don’t get enough, the flowers will close.
Geraniums, or cranesbill plants, feature striking flowers and leaves. Some Geraniums trail, some climb, and some grow upright. You can get both annual and perennial varieties, so there is a type suited to every garden. You can also overwinter them inside as houseplants, where they will also flourish. It’s also an easy plant to take cuttings from.
Transvaal daisies, or Gerbera flowers, are eye-catching flowers which bloom seasonally. They have multiple rows of petals, in reds, yellows, or oranges, with a yellow ‘eye’ at the center. Since they’re native to South Africa, they prefer full sun, and can tolerate medium shade.
Gladioli, which are planted in gardens across the world, come from South Africa, the Mediterranean, and Western Asia. They’re known for their huge flowers which form on tall flower spikes, and come pretty much in every color you can imagine.
Goldenrod, also known as solidago, forms bright yellow clusters of flowers, and come in varying heights. It’s worth noting that some species are considered invasive, so it may be worth growing this plant in pots to stop it taking over your garden. In order to produce those vibrant flowers, a goldenrod needs full sun.
The Grape Hyacinth, or muscari, is very easy to grow, and produces grape-shaped blue flowers. They grow from bulbs, which can be divided every few years to form new plants. Some varieties form pale blue flowers at the top of the flower spike and dark blue flowers at the bottom.
This is a genus named after the Spanish naturalist and pharmacist, Anastasio Guzman. It features over 120 species of plant, some of which are referred to as bromeliads. They require warm temperatures and a lot of humidity, which means they’re often sold as houseplants. Some species will die after they flower, so it’s a good idea to take cuttings. Offshoots also form on the plant.
Crataegus, or Hawthorn, feature toothed leaves, producing red or white blossoms. It can be grown as a shrub or a tree to fit the size of your garden, and it’s worth noting that it sheds its leaves in winter. It also produces berries which attracts more birds to your garden.
Scottish Heather comes in a variety of pinks, from rose to a purplish pink, and is native to parts of northern Eurasia and North America. While it can grow in full sun and partial shade, it doesn’t do well in places with high temperatures and humidity.
The New Zealand lilac, the hebe is a lovely evergreen shrub that’s prone to sprawling. It needs a sunny and sheltered position, as it’s not a hardy plant. It requires little maintenance to keep this plant happy, and it produces lavender-blue blooms during spring and summer.
Heleniums also have the curious name of sneezeweed, which probably refers to some varieties that are traditionally used to treat colds. They’re tough perennials which are hardy and easy to grow, but require a sheltered position away from the wind, otherwise they can collapse. They need full sun to flower, which feature fiery blooms of reds, yellows, oranges and coppers. They hate heavy, wet soil, and benefit from being staked in spring.
If you’re after a heat-loving, drought-tolerant plant, the helichrysum bracteatum (or xerochrysum bracteatum) is a nice plant to have. Also known as the strawflower, they look a bit like a daisy with petals that are straw-like to the touch, and while they’re an annual, they’ll bloom from summer until the first frosts.
Also known as the cherry pie plant, it produces small blue flowers which smell of cherries and vanilla. It’s native to Peru, and while it is a perennial shrub, it is best grown as an annual in colder conditions, and can be stored to overwinter in a greenhouse.
Otherwise known as the Christmas rose, the hellebore is naturally found underneath trees, so likes partial shade and the tricky conditions this can create that other plants won’t stand. There have been many hybrids created from the hellebore, so it comes in all manner of color and can feature double flowers. They don’t like to be moved once they’ve established themselves, and are usually evergreen. If you fancy it, you could hybridize the hellebores in your garden, and see the results a year later.
Unlike some shrubs, hibiscus flowers tend to form early on within the plant’s life. They bloom in late summer, and can feature single or double flowers. They come in purples, pinks, and blues. Considering they’re plants native to tropical climates, they tend to be long-lived.
This evergreen plant belongs to the genus Ilex, and comes in many forms. You can recognize this plant by the spiny, glossy, dark green leaves, and that they produce orange or scarlet berries. If not pruned, this plant will grow into a tree. They’re often planted on the underside of garden walls and below windows to deter thieves.
Alcearosea, or Hollyhock, produces big flowers which can be pink, white or red. While this is a herbaceous perennial, it requires a lot of maintenance in order to flourish. It attracts pollinators like hummingbirds (if you’re lucky enough to have those!) and butterflies.
Ionicera, or Honeysuckle, is valued for its sweet fragrance and unusually-shaped flowers. It can be trained to climb, and many people train fragrant climbers around seating areas in the garden for a relaxing atmosphere. They come in whites, yellows, and lilacs. You can also get winter-flowering types of Honeysuckle.
Hostas are also referred to as the Plantain lily, and grow a lot of attractive foliage, which produces tall, flowering stems in summer. They last for years, and require little maintenance, though you will have to protect them from slugs. This can be done by growing them next to alliums, which give off a faint garlic-like smell, which slugs hate! You can also make a garlic concentrate from boiling whole garlic and then diluting that water to water the hosta with as a deterrent.
While Hyacinth can be sold as indoor plants, once they’ve finished flowering, plant the bulb in your garden, and it will bloom again next year. They make lovely additions to containers and borders, and they’re also valued for their heavy fragrance. Colors range from blues, pinks, whites, to yellows, and you can recognize them by their crowded clusters of flowers.
Hydrangeas are known for producing some of the biggest, loveliest clusters of flower heads, which are usually mushroom-shaped or conical. Depending on the PH of your soil, some Hydrangeas will change their color from pink to blue or the other way around. They also come in reds, and greenish whites. Lacecaps and mopheads are the most popular types. You can even get climbing types of Hydrangea, like the Hydrangea Petiolaris.
Hyssop, not to be mistaken for anise hyssop, is a semi-evergreen shrub. Flowers are produced in spikes at the top of each stem, and come in whites, pinks, and violet-blues. The leaves have a bitter taste, but tea can be made from the stems, leaves, and flowers.
The delosperma, or Ice Plant, is a succulent plant which is commonly used as ground cover, as it only grows to about 3 inches high, but can spread to a maximum of 2 feet. The ice plant is from South Africa, and features flowers in a glossy, purplish-red. Unlike some succulents, it does well in moist conditions.
A herbaceous perennial, the Arctic or Iceland Poppy is a good choice for where you want height and color, but you don’t have a lot of room either side. Iceland poppies come in many colors, including rose, orange, pink, white, and yellow. It does need full sun in order to thrive, though it will do best with places that have cooler summer conditions.
Busy Lizzie, or Impatiens, come in a variety of colors and types which prefer full sun or shade, so most likely than not, there will be space for them somewhere in your garden. While most annuals are easy to grow from seed, it’s better to buy this plant as plugs, as they’re the exception. They do well in containers, hanging baskets, and borders.
You’d be forgiven if you didn’t believe me when I tell you that this plant is part of the Morning Glory family. The flowers certainly don’t have a resemblance to the immediate picture of Morning Glory. Its name has been changed from Mina Lobata, and is often referred to as the firecracker vine or Spanish flag plant. It’s admired for its tubular flowers which change color from white, yellow, orange to red, and attracts many pollinators.
Irises come in many colors and shapes, and all are beautiful. They’re also associated with English and French royalty, as the Fleur-de-Lis resembles an Iris. There are three main types of iris, and all have different optimal conditions. Border irises need full sun and soil that drains freely, as the thick roots store water. Bulb irises also need the same, but dwarf varieties prefer pots, greenhouses, or cool rooms inside. Larger bulb irises can also be grown indoors. Moisture-loving irises need to be at the edges of ponds, in them, or in bog gardens where other plants won’t tolerate the soggy soil.
The corn lily, or Ixia, features eye-catching starry flowers, which come in many colors. They’re often produced by hybrid varieties. The foliage can reach to 2 feet in height, though it is narrow and not dissimilar to grass, and the flower spikes can get even taller, growing above the foliage.
The flame of the woods, or Ixora, this broadleaf evergreen features huge clusters of red blooms on the top of the foliage, which flowers throughout the year, depending on weather conditions. It needs a sunny position to do well, and prefers moist, acidic soil. Despite its unusual appearance, it’s also pretty fuss free.
Polemonium, or Jacob’s Ladder, is a herbaceous perennial which hails from eastern North America, and treats your garden to a display of blue blooms between April and June. It prefers full sun or partial shade, and likes moist and freely-draining soil.
You can get Jasmine in both climbing varieties and bush varieties. The climbing varieties are often planted near seating areas, to better enjoy the famous fragrance that Jasmine flowers produce. The blooms can come in yellows, pinks, and whites.
Johnny Jump Up
* See Viola
Clivia miniata or the Kaffir lily produces foliage that’s showy on its own – long green leaves which are stacked at the base of the plant. The stem produces around 20 bell-shaped, orange flowers which are streaked with yellow, and some cultivars feature yellow flowers with cream stripes.
Also known as the mountain laurel plant, it grows up to 15 feet tall and spreads about the same, so this probably isn’t an impulse buy plant! It’s native to the eastern United States, features evergreen foliage, and blooms light pink to white flowers, which has an unusual method of pollination. The flowers hold a lot of tension, and as soon as an insect lands, the tension catapults pollen onto the unsuspecting pollinator. This plant is also known as spoon wood, as the Native Americans carved spoons from it.
Unsurprisingly, the kangaroo paw or anigozanthos is native to Australia. It’s a perennial which forms seasonal flowers in yellow or red. To produce the best blooms, these plants need six hours of direct sunlight. It also prefers sandy soil, and will die at the first hint of frost.
Knautia flowers make excellent burgundy cut flowers, which often appear as part of bouquets. The plant itself is a perennial which is native to Central Europe. Like the Kangaroo’s Paw, it prefers full sun. It flowers between July and September, and while a relatively short flowering period, it’s worth the wait.
Ah, the red hot poker. This flower is similar to the one that aloe vera produces, featuring tall flower spikes in reds, yellows, oranges, and creams of tubular flowers that are clustered together. They’re evergreen perennials, and the flower spikes can reach 6 feet, so they’re perfect for adding interest and color to the back of borders. It’s worth mentioning that the foliage can be quite spiky, so plant them where you won’t have to tend to other plants in the vicinity, as it can be a pain to reach around them.
One of the more unusual looking orchids – which is saying a lot – the Lady’s Slipper comes from the United States, and blooms between April and June. The plant can reach nearly 3 feet in height, and the blooms are creamy yellow with purple-brown stripes. It’s a plant that likes a lot of shade.
The Laelia is another relative of the orchid family. Laelia purpurata is the national flower of Brazil, also referred to as the queen of laelias. Many species come from Central and northern South America. Unlike some orchids, the laelia are relatively undemanding despite their showy appearance, making them popular with beginners.
Also referred to as the shrub verbena, these clustered blooms come in yellow, purple, red, white and orange, and can feature a mixture of these. These plants are very attractive to butterflies, so they’re often used in butterfly gardens. The leaves are poisonous to most animals, so bear this in mind if you have pets. The flowers appear from July until the first frosts, but it’s worth noting that although this is a striking plant, in some places it is considered as invasive, so be careful where you plant it.
The Larkspur or Consolida, is an annual flowering plant that’s actually a part of the Delphinium family, and you can tell the difference between a typical Delphinium and a Consolida by the flower structure, where a Consolida has a looser, more open flower structure. They produce similar flower spikes to the Delphinium, which bloom in reds, blues, and whites. The plant can grow up to 3 feet in height, and are often used for cut flowers. It’s worth mentioning that the seeds of the Larkspur are poisonous, so handle them with care.
Also known as the annual mallow, these lovely white, pink, or rose flowers have a silky sheen to them. Depending on the variety, the Lavatera can grow between 2 and 4 feet in height, and make good cut flowers which are very easy to grow.
Lavender is a plant that’s been valued for thousands of years both for its fragrance, calming properties, and its ability to attract bees and other pollinators in abundance. Lavender can be grown easily from seed, as well as being readily available as an adult plant. You can also train them into trees, depending on the variety. They’re often used to produce essential oil, which has a wide range of uses from perfume to cosmetics, and lavender has antimicrobial properties. The flowers are usually blue or purple, but they also come in white if you prefer.
It’s worth noting that Lemon Verbena can be toxic to pets, so keep this in mind when thinking about planting it. It’s a lovely shrub which produces leaves which produce a fragrance of lemon, and can grow up to 10 feet tall. Flowers are usually white to purple, and appear in tiny clusters. The leaves are often used in herbal tea, and essential oils.
With bright, eye-catching flowers, this plant is native to America, and prefers rocky soil or well-drained slopes. As it is a low-growing plant, you can often use it in rock gardens or rockeries, where they will thrive. They’re easy to hybridize and produce interesting new types of flowers.
Lilacs are native to Europe and Asia, and produce clusters of long flowers which spring into life between May and June. The plant itself can grow to 10 feet tall, and prefers full sun, but it will tolerate light shade if there’s nowhere else. The flowers come in pink, purple and cream.
Lily of the Valley
Convallaria majalis or Lily of the Valley, produce bell-shaped flowers on long stalks which poke above the foliage. The flowers come in white and pink. They’re good plants to grow under trees, as they like cool, damp conditions, and don’t like getting any sun. They will also spread quite easily.
Lilies are very popular plants, which can come in dwarf varieties to some that grow over 6 feet high, and are valued for their fragrance just as much as for their flowers. They can differ wildly in appearance, and come in all kinds of colors. It’s worth mentioning that they do attract the bright red lily-beetle, which, once it’s in the soil, you’ll never get rid of it, and the foliage will resemble Swiss cheese. It’s for this reason that many people grow lilies in containers, where the beetle is much less likely to appear and snack on your gorgeous plants.
Linaria, or toadflax, resemble snapdragon flowers, but smaller. You can get them in a range of colors, including white, blue, yellow, and pink. Linarias are annuals which are fairly hardy, which means you can sow them directly where you want them to grow, and like many annuals, they will self-seed. They need to be in a sheltered position that gets full sun.
The sacred lotus, water lily, or nelumbo nucifera, is often considered to be a noxious weed, despite its beauty and reverence it gets in parts of its native Asia. Seeds can sit at the bottom of a lake bed and remain viable for many years, as proven by the oldest recorded germination in China, which were 1,300 years old. Like humans, the lotus flower has the ability to keep its temperature of 86-95F even when the surrounding temperature is much cooler, like 50F. In Asian countries, the rhizomes are often eaten as a vegetable.
* Also see Water lilies
Love in the Mist
The Nigella, or love-in-the-mist, has very fine, feathery foliage, and produces huge, delicate blooms which come in blues, pinks, purples and whites. They also develop spiky seed pods, which adds interest in the border long after the flowers have finished.
Honesty, Lunaria, or the money plant, produces seed heads that resemble coins. It’s a biennial plant, which means it has a two-year lifecycle. It self-seeds throughout its lifetime, and it’s a fairly maintenance free plant, growing up to 3 feet in height, and blooming purple or white flowers.
While toxic, these plants are beautiful, producing pillars of flowers as annuals and perennials. While they’re hardy, they need full sun to be at their best. Deadhead the finished flowers to promote new flower spikes, or leave the old heads on to collect the seed.
Magnolias come in many forms, and the flowers appear before the foliage in spring. The flowers come in deep pinks, light pinks, and whites, and can bloom more than once a year if conditions permit. They can grow as dwarf shrubs, or to trees which reach over 15 feet.
The Jerusalem Cross or Maltese Cross is a plant that’s easy to grow, and produces clusters of red flowers. While it’s native to Serbia and Russia, it is drought tolerant, and was introduced to Europe during the Crusades.
A vine native to Central and Southern America, this plant blooms yellow or pink flowers which have white throats, and prefers full sun or partial shade. It can grow up to 10 feet tall, which you need to keep in mind if you live somewhere that goes cold, as they need to be overwintered.
Argyranthemum, or the Marguerite daisy, is a perennial which comes from the Canary Islands, and needs full sun. The flowers are white, pink, or yellow. They’re quite difficult to raise from seed, so it’s a good idea to take cuttings, especially as they need overwintering in colder climates.
Marigolds are one of the best companion plants you can have. They’re annuals which grow easily from seed, and feature vibrant blooms of flowers in yellows, reds, and oranges. They can also be used for cut flower gardens, container planting, and for a pop of color in borders.
Matthiola, or the Brompton stock, features pastel-colored flowers which have a sweet fragrance. The blooms often grow above the foliage, and are biennial plants, which need full sun in order to bloom.
This wildflower blooms in spring, and several plant species fall under this name, from those native to eastern North America to Europe. A type of hawthorn, the crataegus monogyna is often called the Mayflower.
The Himalayan blue poppy is known for producing the sky-blue poppy, which is admired across the world. It grows over 6 feet in its native China, and can be made a perennial if you cut off the first buds it produces.
Mimosas can be annuals, perennials, shrubs, or trees. The silk tree, or albizia julibrissin is known as the Mimosa tree, which can reach 40 feet tall, and spreads to 50 feet. It produces blooms between June and July which are pink. It likes full sun, and thrives in hot climates.
If you’re after something smaller, mimosa pudica is a good choice. It also has the unusual trait of curling its leaves when they’re touched, often known as the humble plant or the shame plant.
Part of the Ipomoea family, this vine can grow to an impressive 15 feet tall, and flowers between July and October. It requires full sun, but otherwise requires little care.
* See Aconite.
The butterfly or peacock iris hails from Africa, and it can be quite hard to source the bulbs. It’s worth it for the three showy outside petals, and tiny inner ones.
While a vine that produces short-lived, beautiful flowers in a range of colors, this plant can be invasive, and can strangle its neighbors, so be careful where you plant it. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
Portulaca grandiflora is an annual that hails from Brazil and other parts of South America. Blooms appear on the small plant between June and the first frosts, and come in a range of colors.
* See Daffodil.
Tropaeolums, or Nasturtiums are easy to grow, and are valued for their edible flowers and leaves, which have a peppery taste. They’re also grown alongside crops as they attract pollinators and draw pests to the flowers and away from the vegetables they would otherwise decimate. Nasturtiums come in oranges, reds, and yellows.
All varieties are low growing, so they’re perfect for containers. These annuals form flowers in a range of colors, and can be bicolor. They’re easy to grow and produce lovely displays.
Baby blue eyes, or nemophila, is a lovely annual which needs to be sown in autumn or spring. It can grow up to 8 inches tall, and the flowers are sky blue, white, or black and white. It’s a carpeting plant often used for ground cover, and prefers full sun and freely draining soil.
Known as the heart of flame or the blushing bromeliad, some grow only to 2 inches wide, while others spread to more than 3 feet. They’re a popular plant to hybridize, so there are many cultivars to choose from.
The Guernsey lily, or the Nerine flower in mid to late autumn, and produce blooms which are orange, pink, red or white. Like the Magnolia, these flowers can appear before the foliage. Nerines grow from bulbs, and do better if the bulbs aren’t disturbed.
New Zealand Tea Tree
The evergreen plant leptospermum scoparium is known for producing disc-shaped flowers without a stalk. It has narrow leaves, and it’s unfortunately a short-lived plant with a high list of needs, but the flowers which range from red, pink, and white, are worth it.
The cupflower, this herbaceous perennial comes from Central South America. It’s a small plant that blooms from May until the first frost in different shades of blue.
The Chilean bellflower, is not part of the Morning Glory family like it may appear, but is a member of the nightshade family. It’s a desert plant that needs plenty of heat and sunlight, and produces blue trumpet-shaped flowers.
Oleanders are evergreen, but are damaged by frost, so you need to overwinter them carefully. They grow from 4 to 6 feet in height, and flowers may be yellow, orange, white, pink, or scarlet, and can feature single or double blooms, which develop between June and November. It’s worth mentioning that Oleanders are poisonous.
Native to New Zealand, the Olearia is a flowering shrub which produces starry white flowers in the summer. The fragrance is similar to what a hawthorn produces, and this plant reaches at least 4 feet tall.
While delicate plants, orchids are found across the world. They vary wildly in appearance and colors, but the conditions they need are often misunderstood. They require regular orchid feed in order to survive, don’t like direct sunlight as a rule, and the number one killer of the orchid is over-watering it.
Oriental lilies are part of the Liliaceae genus of lilies, and bloom in the short period between July and August. The flowers are usually white with pink spots, and are prized for their fragrance, which makes them a good cut flower.
Part of the Papavaraceae family, there are various varieties of the Oriental Poppy, all of which need full sun and cooler weather where they can go dormant in winter. Flowers bloom between June and July.
Part of the Prunus family, ornamental cherry trees can be evergreen or deciduous, and can grow as shrubs or giants that reach 14 feet tall. Ornamental cherries are grown for their blossom, which may be pink or white, and feature single or double flowers.
Known as the Star of Bethlehem, this plant is part of roughly 100 species which hail from Asia, Europe, and Africa. Most popular is the ornithogalum thyrsoides, which features spikes of white flowers, which is the most common color found in these plants.
Also referred to as the African Daisy, they look a lot like a common daisy, apart from the color! They come in a huge range of colors and shapes, while the center of the petals are usually a darker shade than the rest. African daisies are perennials, so they’ll come up year after year. If you want a real showstopper in your garden, try ‘Astra Purple Spoon’ which looks like it should be from another planet with it’s spoon-shaped petals!
Wood sorrel, or oxalis, can be very invasive, so some varieties are often grown indoors or in containers. The leaves are clover-shaped, with satiny flowers which feature five petals. There are some unusual varieties, such as triangularis oxalis, which is entirely purple except for the white flowers. The foliage opens at the start of the day, and closes at the end. Oxalis versicolor, or the candy cane oxalis, is renowned for its candy cane-like flowers.
Part of the Heliopsis genus, these daisy-like perennials blossom from July until the first frosts of autumn, and need full sun. They’re another good option for cut flowers, and attract plenty of pollinators.
Part of the tradescantia family, the Oyster Plant, Moses-in-a-basket, or the boat lily, is from Central America and southern parts of North America. It produces seasonal flowers which are white with a bluish tinge.
Tanacetum coccineum, or the painted daisy, produces blooms of white, pink, or red blossoms between June and July. While the flowering period is short, this plant is a perennial, and as long as you position it in full sun or partial shade, it’s relatively fuss-free.
Pansies are best suited to cooler climates, and bloom in spring and autumn. They’re popular bedding plants as well as container fillers, and look good in hanging baskets. These flowers often have ‘faces’ which are different colors, from yellows, purples, blues, reds, and some even appearing black. They attract pollinators, and prefer full sun or partial shade in a loamy soil.
The ball cactus, or Parodia, is a type of flowering cactus which hails from South America, and encompasses about 50 species. Some of these cacti are round and small, and others grow in column shapes up to 3 feet high. Some types of Parodia have lots of spines, while some have hardly any. All types need to be grown indoors if the temperature is less than 50F.
These striking flowers form on vines which hail from the eastern United States. The flowers appear between June and September and come in a range of colors. The flowers attract different pollinators and are edible. They’re often planted near clematis, jasmine, or other climbers to provide a nice contrast in blooms.
While poisonous, peace lilies are admired for their unusual white flowers that look similar to the leaves, and prefer shade to sun. They’re perennials which need to be kept moist, although it can be tricky as leaving the soil too wet will result in the plant rotting.
Also known as the bedding geranium, these half-hardy annuals are sown from seed, and feature both single color flowers and mixtures, including a ‘rippled’ variety which is particularly captivating. The foliage of a scented geranium is often used in potpourris. The difference between a geranium (separate group of plants, but share the same name as some pelargoniums) and a pelargonium is that geraniums are hardy and will come back after a hard winter. So Pelargoniums are annual plants, and geraniums are perennial.
The unusual nickname of beardtongue which is the common name for the Penstemon, comes from the stamen which has no pollen, and is similar to a bearded iris. These perennials grow tubular or funnel-shaped flowers, which can be multicolored or single colors. They bloom between summer and mid-autumn.
The Peony, or Paeonia, is admired throughout the world, and while there are less than 40 wild species, hundreds of hybrids have been created. They come in a range of colors and shapes, and it’s a common myth that they cannot be moved once planted. They do well in containers. If you see ants on buds that are forming – don’t panic. They’re not harming the plant, but the nectar it produces while the flower bud is nearly open is a source of food for them.
Vinca minor, or the Periwinkle, hails from many parts of Europe and Southern Russia. Flowers bloom between May and June, and are usually blue or purple. They’re happy in full sun or partial shade, and are more forgiving than other plants in droughty, wet, or dark conditions.
Part of the Ranunculus family, the Persian Buttercup grows from bulbs, and bloom in May and June, and require full sun to produce red, purple, white, or yellow flowers. It’s a perennial which is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Petunias are valued for their classic flower shape, and have been hybridized for years. You can buy them as bedding plants or as seeds, and as in most cases, it’s more cost-effective to buy the seeds. They also come in trailing varieties, and are a popular choice for hanging baskets. They come in a kaleidoscope of color, which can include stripes or even ‘galaxy’ types.
Phlox plants are suitable for most gardens, as there’s several types to choose from; perennials, annuals, alpine, and creeping types. Some varieties flower at night, and attract nocturnal pollinators like moths, and produce a lovely fragrance. Nearly all phlox make good cut flowers, and come in many colors.
Photinia is a popular hedging choice, as the foliage is dense, with dark, leathery leaves, which appear red on new growth. It also flowers during spring or summer with clusters of white blossoms.
The False Dragon, physostegia virginiana, or the obedient plant is a perennial which spreads easily, and you’ll soon have hoards of the stuff. The name ‘obedient plant’ comes from the way you can bend the flowers in any direction, and these are usually pink, or red, or white.
A relative of the Scabiosa genus, the pincushion flower, or scabious, is a lovely perennial which blooms from April until the first frost in autumn. There are many colors, and are relatively fuss-free when it comes to the conditions they like, but they do need full sun.
Part of the Dianthus family, pinks are not to be confused with carnations, as pinks are smaller plants with daintier flowers. Pinks get their name from the resemblance to the cuts pinking shears make, as the flowers have serrated edges. They’ve been used as a fragrance for cosmetics for hundreds of years, and the petals are edible.
Poinsettia often decorates homes around Christmastime, and while they are often sold as houseplants in containers, they reach about 10 feet tall outside. Seasonally, they produce red, yellow, or white flowers, and prefer shady areas. They’re also poisonous.
Also referred to as cinquefoil, Potentilla are annuals, perennials, and shrubs. As you may guess from the name, the leaves have five lobes, and flowers come in red, yellow, or pink. They’re related to the rose, and flower between spring and summer.
Often bought at the end of summer, primula do well as winter bedding plants, provided the frosts are mild enough. They’re often used to fill containers when summer bulbs have died down. Flowers come in red, yellow, cream, or a combination. Some also bloom during spring.
Poppies like cooler climates as a rule, and come in a wide range of colors. Some varieties are exceptions, such as the Peony Poppy, which is native to the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Spanish Poppy, which comes from Spain and Morocco. In the language of flowers, poppies can symbolize death and rebirth.
While the Powder Puff plant needs a lot of humidity and some maintenance to mimic their native Bolivia, you’ll be treated to gorgeous, feathery blooms. A relatively small tree, they grow from 3 to 6 feet tall, and the foliage is evergreen. If you can provide the right conditions, this plant is perfect for making your garden into a tropical paradise.
Houstonia caerulea, or the Quaker Ladies flower, is a perennial wildflower which grows up to 6 inches tall, and features pale blue flowers with yellow centers. To produce many flowers, this plant needs full or partial sun and acidic soil. They are a good choice for rockeries.
Queen Anne’s Lace
This plant can be easily confused with hemlock, but Queen Anne’s Lace is a wildflower herb, part of the carrot family. Flowers are tiny and white, and sit on the tops of stems in huge, flat-looking clusters. They also make good dried flowers.
Queen of the Meadow
Meadowsweet, or filipendula ulmaria, is a herb you’ll often find in damp meadows, and is a relative of the rose. It’s often referred to as bridewort, where it has been used in weddings. The name queen of the meadow comes from the way it can be quite invasive to damp meadows where it isn’t native. It’s also used as a spice in mead in Scandinavia.
Native to the US, this wildflower produces white blooms on a slim stem, and another name it goes by is Bride’s bonnet, or clintonia uniflora. While this plant produces blue berries in the summer, they’re poisonous to humans.
Quince is known for producing fruit that’s used in making preserves, and hails from Western Asia, Armenia, Northern Iran to Afghanistan, and other rocky places. The flowers blossom between April and May in pale pinks and whites. Quince likes full sun to partial shade, and the fruits are best harvested after a long summer.
Part of the Zephyranthes genus, the Rain Lily grows from bulbs in South America, and blooms from August until September. These flowers are usually white, or some are pink.
Cistus, or the rock rose, is native to Europe and Turkey. It’s a herbaceous perennial which makes for good ground cover, growing to a maximum height of a foot, and spreading to 3 feet. Blossoms spring up from May until June, which are either pink or yellow, and the plant doesn’t mind too much if your garden is prone to drought.
The Panama rose is a small tree or large shrub, and the flowers produce nectar which attract crowds of butterflies. These flowers are pink, and you’ll get the most out of their fragrance during the morning and evening.
One of the most popular flowers, roses come in many shapes and sizes. All produce showy blooms in a rainbow of colors, although naturally black or blue roses have not been produced, despite the best efforts. To get the best out of any rose, they need to be in a position that gets full sun.
Rose of Sharon
The Rose of Sharon attracts a myriad of birds and butterflies to any garden, and is also known as hibiscus syriacus, which flowers anywhere from June until October, with pink petals with red eyes. They hail from Japan and China, and in optimal conditions can reach heights of 12 feet. To get the most out of this plant, they need to be in full sun or partial shade.
Sage is a perennial herb, and has been valued for its medicinal and culinary uses throughout history. The Romans called it the “holy herb”, and used it in religious ceremonies. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was known as S. Salvatrix, or Sage The Savior. The types found in the Mediterranean can be identified by the gray-green leaves which are fragrant, and these are the ones often used in cooking. Sage is also referred to as Salvia, and often refers to the ornamental varieties prized for their flowers.
Saint John’s Wort
Saint John’s Wort is a perennial herb that features yellow flowers. Found natively in Europe and Asia, this plant is also known as God’s Wonder Plant, and attracts a range of pollinators. While it has been used to treat mental health issues, it’s also used as a balm to treat wounds as an antiseptic, and can be sold as a hand moisturizer for gardeners.
Also known as the Fairy Fan Flower, this plant adds dainty blossoms to any garden, in pink, white, blue, or purple, and the foliage can vary from blue to green. Because it’s native to Australia, this plant will tolerate heat and drought. It’s also used in butterfly gardens.
* See Pelargonium
Also known as the Siberian Squill, this plant is part of the Asparagaceae family, which hails from several places such as Africa, the Middle-East, Europe, and Asia. This perennial plant blooms blue flowers atom a long stem in early April, and can be found in different environments, from forests, to fields, and shores.
Like most succulents, sedums need full sun and don’t require a lot of watering. It’s a good ground-cover plant, featuring fleshy leaves and thick stems, and clusters of tiny petals that bloom throughout summer.
Also known as Leucanthemum, these flowers bloom from July until September, with white petals surrounding a yellow eye. They can grow to 4 feet tall, so they’re good plants to add height to a border. They also make good cut flowers.
A perennial flower also known as catchfly or campion, this plant has sticky stems that, well, catch flies. It’s also part of the Caryophyllaceae family, and grows from 12 to 16 inches. Both the foliage and flowers range in color, the leaves from green to gray, the flowers from pink to red, and the plant blooms in late summer.
All snapdragons require full sun, and antirrhinum can be divided into three different groups which are categorized by their size. Some snapdragons have solid color flowers, and some are bicolors. The name comes from the appearance of the flower, which resembles a ‘dragon’ that opens and closes its mouth when you squeeze the plant.
Galanthus or snowdrops are often one of the first flowers to herald spring’s arrival, even flowering through frost. Snowdrops are part of the Amaryllis family, and are perennial bulbs. They often grow under trees, and can be split at the base once they’ve finished flowering, in order to make new plants. You can identify a snowdrop from the single bell-shaped flower which droops over the foliage.
Snowflakes are similar to snowdrops, as they are perennials produced from bulbs, and flower bell-shaped, white blooms. Snowflakes are part of the Leucojun family, which are a subgroup of the Amaryllis family. The flowers appear in clusters of four to eight.
Known as Wild Sweet William, crow soap, soap weed or soapwort, this plant is a perennial. It’s part of the carnation family – hence the name Sweet William, which carries through that family of plants – and grows along roadsides in Europe during summer. It features clusters of flowers that come in whites and pinks. The name soapwort comes from the way the plant produces a lather when mixed with water.
Bird’s Eye, or gypsy weed, this plant is a hardy perennial that’s also native to Europe. It can grow from 4 to 18 inches tall, spreads quickly, and carries a mild scent. Flowers come in pink, purple, white, and blue. They’re often found in lawns, and can easily take over, so be careful where you plant these!
Starflowers are lovely perennials which are native to North America as low-grounding wildflowers. They’re also known as trientalis borealis, or lysimachia borealis, which come under the Primrose family. The plants grow from skinny rhizomes (this means an underground plant stem, which sends out both roots and shoots), and grow in woodland areas and fields, when spring and early summer temperatures are cooler. These flowers are pure white, and can grow on top of short stems, or no stems at all.
Sea lavender, Caspia, march-rosemary, or Statice, is known to be deer-resistant. Be careful to choose the right variety though, as some produce foul odors which you probably don’t want in your garden! Statice is part of the Limonium family, and features lacy flowers in light pinks, purples, and whites. They thrive in full sun and sandy soil.
While sunflowers are native to North and Central America, they’re grown and admired all over the world. Sunflowers can vary widely in size and color, from single, tall sunflowers, to small brown and pink varieties which produce many blooms. They’re grown for their edible seeds – which feed both humans and animals, and left on the head, birds will make short work of them! This is not the only use for sunflowers, however. They’re also used to produce paints, sunflower oil, yellow dye, and lubricants.
Part of the legume family, sweet peas are also known as Lathyrus, which come in both dwarf species and climbing species. Some types don’t produce any scent, so keep this in mind when you come to choose the variety – as the fragrance is a big part of their appeal. Sweet peas come in all kinds of colors, and require the flowers to be cut regularly in order to produce more, which makes them a popular flower for bouquets.
Tea roses are perennial shrubs which are one of the modern rose hybrids, and grow well both in greenhouses and in gardens. They come in a range of colors, and are usually fragrant blooms which flower repeatedly. Stems are strong and tend to be straight, and buds have a raised, uniform center. They’re not very hardy roses, so if you live in a cooler climate, it might be better growing a different type of rose which is tolerant to cold temperatures.
Part of the Tigridia genus, the Tiger flower emerges from a bulb native to Chile and Mexico. It’s also related to Irises, and the Aztecs valued it for the chestnut flavor it produced. It can also be referred to as tiger iris, peacock flower, and Mexican shellflower. They come in many color combinations, and can feature a variegated center.
Valued for its ornamental flowers which come in shades of red and orange, it bears a resemblance to the dahlia. It hails from Mexico, Central America, and parts of the American Southwest. While it’s grown as an annual, it’s hardy and drought-resistant, and stands out in a flower bed.
Nicotiana, or the tobacco plant, features a lovely fragrance and produces pink, white or green flowers. It comes in both dwarf and tall varieties, and in their native climates they’re a perennial, and in colder places, they are an annual. Some blooms only flower during the evening or the night, and attract eye-catching moths to pollinate them.
Also known as blue throatwort, this plant is challenging to grow from seed, as it has a very long growing season. It needs full sun, and well-draining soil, and lots of water. They do best in greenhouses, and are popular with florists for their numerous, tiny flowers which look feathery, and come in a range of colors from blue, green, purple, and pink.
Often used as ground cover, Trillium likes a lot of shade, and are perennial plants that spring from rhizomes, which are easy to divide to make more plants. The flowers are produced in spring and summer, and come in green, red, reddish-purple, white, pink, and yellow.
Native to Western North America and Mexico, this bulb is a perennial, and belongs to the cormous perennial family. A cormous refers to a plant that grows from corms, or a bulbotuber, which is similar to both a bulb and a tuber. Star-shaped blooms open in the middle of summer, and come in whites, blues, and purples. It’s also known as grassnut, or the triplet lily.
Native to South Africa, Tritonia crocata is a bulb that belongs to the Iris (Iridaceae) family. It does well both in containers and in the ground, and attracts honey bees. Like many irises, the leaves are sword-shaped. Classic varieties of this plant feature red to orange flowers.
A perfect plant to have near ponds, lakes, and soil which is boggy, this is a herbaceous perennial and comes from the buttercup family, or Ranunculaceae. Trollius feature bowl-shaped flowers which are usually yellow or orange, and stems tend to be solitary, with few leaves.
The trumpet creeper, cow-itch, or the trumpet vine, can reach 30 to 40 feet high. It’s a fast growing plant, and features bright orange or red trumpet-shaped flowers, and comes from the Eastern United States. In autumn, it grows thick seed pods which resemble bean pods, and the seeds are then scattered by the wind.
The Polyanthus lily, or tuberose, is a perennial that comes from Mexico. It’s valued for its strong fragrance which is used in perfume and cosmetics, and clusters of white flowers. It’s also a good choice for a cut flower garden. The Tuberose is part of the Asparagaceae family, of the subfamily Agavoideae, which are used as different notes in perfume.
Tulips need to be planted in autumn in order to come up during the spring and summer months. They’re hardy perennials, and come in ranges of shapes, sizes, and color. They can even mimic other flowers, such as the peony tulip, the waterlily tulip, and the lily tulip. They’re relatively fuss-free and come up year after year, and do well both in container gardens and in the ground. More often than not, they need full sun to thrive, but this depends on the variety. There are also tulip festivals which are held around the world, boasting spectacular displays which you can mimic in your own garden.
Hailing from the rainforests of South America, this member of the bromeliad family is often sold as a houseplant, as it can’t stand colder temperatures and requires a fair amount of humidity. Also known as the Silver Case, this plant features pink and purple flowers which are surrounded by a rosette of green-gray leaves, which forms a reservoir. They are prone to root rot, but can be grown in moss and rough bark. It’s also known to cause contact dermatitis, so handle it with gloves.
Native to Southern Africa, the Ursinia is part of the chamomile subtype within the daisy family. Ursinia is named after the German scholar Johannes Heinrich Ursinus. As with many annuals, these plants are easy to grow from seeds, and are good bedding plants to add color to your garden, and fill in any gaps during July and September, when Ursinia produces orange and yellow flowers, with dark eyes.
Springing to life during April and May, Uva Ursi produces tiny concave flowers in clusters, and the rest of the plant is a creeper which is used as ground cover. It produces berries in summer, which turn red once autumn arrives, and are edible. The plant is commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, constipation, and bronchitis. The name translates from Latin as “grape of the bear”, as bears often eat the fruit. It’s also referred to as “kinnikinnick”, which is an Algonquin, Native American word which means “smoking mixture”, as the leaves and bark can be smoked in pipes.
Check with your local authority before you consider buying this plant, as in some places it is classed as invasive, and you cannot plant it there. This herb reaches up to 5 feet tall in summer, and produces white or pink flowers. Valerian root has a number of uses, from treating insomnia to relieving anxiety, but you should always consult your doctor before taking something that they haven’t prescribed.
Verbena establish quickly once planted, and can bloom from spring until the first frosts in autumn. It’s a tuberous perennial, happy in pot, borders, and flower gardens. Colors include purple, blue, pink, and red.
Many species of Viburnum exist, roughly around 180 flowering species, which are part of the Adoxaceae family. One species native to North America is the arrowhead viburnum, which blooms in May and June, and provided it gets full sun or partial shade, can grow to 10 feet tall. Some viburnums produce fruit – and while some are edible – many are poisonous.
Commonly known as Johnny Jump Up, or heart’s delight, these delicate flowers are related to the pansy. They come in several color combinations, most often purple and yellow. While they’re a similar shape to the pansy, they tend to produce more flowers, and survive heat much better. They’re a good border plant which self-seeds regularly, and you can also plant them underneath trees in the shade, and they’ll do just fine. The flowers have also been used to produce green, yellow, and blue-green dyes.
This vine grows both up surfaces and across the ground, and features toothed leaves. From June into August, it produces tiny green flowers, and then dark berries. Several parts of this plant have been used in medicine. It’s also known as the five-leaved ivy, five-finger, or parthenocissus quinquefolia. The Virginia creeper grows aggressively, and can kill neighboring plants by blocking out the light, and weighing them down, so be mindful of where you plant it.
Erysimum, or wallflowers, are part of the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family. The name comes from the way they spring up on rocky cliffs and cracks in walls. You can get wallflowers as annuals, biennials, or perennials. The flowers range in color from a golden yellow, golden brown, red, or brown. I’m sure you’ve heard of the wallflower referring to shy people, which references the wallflower’s appearance of standing against a wall.
Gaura, or the Wandflower, is a perennial that comes from the Southern US. Blooming in late spring, they have an extended flowering period. You can recognize a wandflower by the leaves which look like fine hair, and flowers that start off white and turn pink.
Found in freshwater habitats across the world, water lilies are perennials, and while they look like they float, stems buried in the bottom of the mud anchor them. Flowers are solitary to each plant, and produce berries. They’re often used in ponds for their ornamental value.
This plant requires little care. It’s part of the iris family, and comes up from a bulb as a perennial. It features the sword-shaped leaves and trumpet flowers similar to other irises, and the most common colors are coral, light pink, and orange.
The porcelain flower, wax plant, or Hoya Carnosa is a popular houseplant, which produces long vines with stocky leaves. It’s valued for its tiny star-shaped flowers, which cluster in globes, and produce a lovely fragrance at night. It prefers bright light, although it will grow in some shady areas, and the roots need access to air in order to flourish.
Part of the sunflower family, you can recognize this plant by its golden flower with pointed petals, and fuzzy green leaves. It’s considered invasive, as it develops a ground cover similar to a mat, so it might be better growing this plant in a pot. It’s also known as the creeping daisy or rabbit’s paw.
The Weigela is a deciduous shrub which comes from Japan, Korea, and Northern China. It produces pink trumpet-shaped flowers in abundance during spring, doesn’t mind soil that has traces of salt, and attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators.
Gaura Lindheimeri, or Whirling Butterflies, produce showy white flowers that resemble butterfly wings, on top of red stems that reach 5 feet tall. Planting them close together reduces the need to stake these plants, as they’ll support each other.
Jasminum nudiflorum, or Winter Jasmine, is native to China. The flowers come into their own just after winter, which is why it has the Chinese name of Yingchun, which translates as “the flower that welcomes spring”, and brings hues of yellow blooms. This plant can grow to 15 feet tall.
Winterberry is a plant which is dioecious, which means the male and female parts needed for pollination exist on separate plants. This means you need both plants for pollination to occur. The winterberry is a member of the Ilex, or holly family, and comes from North America. Small white flowers bloom during summer, which are followed by red berries in winter.
Bluewings, torenia fournieri, or the wishbone flower, are annuals with flowers that are blue, pink, or white, with yellow markings. They need full shade or partial-shade to grow well, and can grow up to 15 inches tall.
Part of the viola family, Wooly Violets, or viola sororia, bloom early in spring. They’re short, perennial wildflowers, and are native to North America. They come in a variety of colors, some of which are striped, and thrive near woodland areas and fields. They’re also used as bedding plants.
The yellow horn, Chinese flowering chestnut, or xanthoceras sorbifolium is a deciduous shrub or tree which is part of the soapberry family. It can grow up to 25 feet tall, and is native to Northern China. In May, it features white star-shaped blooms. The flowers, seeds, and leaves are edible.
Bear-grass, Indian-basket-grass, or Xerophyllum, has been used to make baskets and clothing by the Native Americans for generations. It can be grown from seed, or the rhizomes of existing plants, and is a perennial wildflower which produces white flowers from spring until summer.
Xyl for short, this plant belongs to the Orchidaceae family with around 35 other species which are native to tropical America. This type of orchid has a woody-looking stem, with three leaves, and flowers come in various forms depending on the type.
The brushholly, or xylosma is part of the Salicaceae family, which are willows that flower. The name is Greek, which loosely translates as “wood smell”, as some plants are fragrant. These plants hail from the tropics, and are used in gardens as hedging and topiary. New leaves are bronze, while established foliage is yellow, and the plants bloom with yellow, scented flowers.
Yarrow, or achillea, is a perennial plant known for clusters of white flowers which appear on long stems. Yarrow can overtake a garden if care isn’t taken! The flowers last a long time, and other colors have been produced such as pink, red, and apricot. The name achillea comes from the Greek character Achilles, who was said to carry yarrow with his army, using the plant to treat wounds sustained from battle. In a more superstitious tone, it has been believed to help find one’s true love if you sleep with it under your pillow, and this belief was held throughout the British Isles. It’s also poisonous to dogs. Yarrow can be used as a companion plant, as it attracts beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps, which uses other pests as food for its larvae (ick). It also attracts hoverflies and ladybugs, which both eat aphids and other crop-destroying pests.
The dummy nettle, silver frost, or yellow archangel is a perennial that grows low to the ground, and features variegated leaves. It produces small yellow blooms which are stacked. It’s part of the mint family, and like many relatives of mints, it’s considered invasive, so it’s a good practice to only plant it where it’s native. You can also grow it in pots that don’t touch any soil, to limit its spread.
Yellow Elder, ginger-thomas, or Yellow Bell are perennial shrubs known for being low maintenance. It’s a good idea to plant them somewhere where you have plenty of room, as they can grow to 20 feet tall, and spread to 10 feet wide. The plant produces yellow flowers that cluster and hang from the branches’ edges.
A member of the Iris family, also known as golden-blue-eyed grass or sisyrinchium californicum, this perennial herb hails from the west coast of Northern America. It grows about 8 inches tall, and forms in clumps where the soil is moist, so it’s a good plant for ground cover. It flowers from May until June, and attracts plenty of pollinators to its yellow flowers.
The honey-cup, Dusty Zenobia, or the Zenobia, is a shrub which is semi-evergreen, which means the plant loses its foliage for only a short amount of time. It’s native to the Southeastern US, and depending on the conditions it’s grown in, it can reach heights of 3 to 10 feet. Leaves are waxy, and bell-shaped, white flowers blossom during May and June, similar in appearance to lily-of-the-valley.
Part of the sunflower family, Zinnias are native to Mexico and grasslands in the Southwestern US. They’re annuals which are easy to grow from seed, and provide fantastic displays in a rainbow of colors, which can be single, double, or crested flowers, depending on the variety. They also attract a plethora of pollinators, and are happy both in containers and in the ground.
We hope you’ve found this list of flowers useful, and might consider growing some of these gorgeous blooms in your own garden.