Calendula is a genus of flowering perennials and annuals, coming from the Asteraceae or daisy plant family.
Calendula comes from the Latin word calendae, translating to ‘little clock’ or ‘little calendar’. These plants hail from the Mediterranean, parts of Western Europe, and Southwestern Asia.
These beautiful, cheery plants are also known as marigolds, which can get confusing, as this is also the common name for plants under the Tagetes plant genus (see also Calendula Genus Guide).
Their uplifting appearance in shades of bright orange, yellow, and white are not the only reason why people grow them.
They have many topical uses, some medical applications, as well as the flowers being edible.
California Flannel Bush
The California flannel bush (Fremontodendron californicum) is a shrub hailing from the southwestern parts of North America, typically in sandy, chalky, or otherwise poor soils.
It is an evergreen shrub or tree that can reach up to 18 feet high once mature, and it can be kept small by pruning or growing it in a smaller space.
The foliage is covered in a silvery down. Unfortunately, these tiny hairs can come off when touched, which is capable of causing skin or even eye complaints.
The real star of the show on the California flannel bush is the flowers, which are usually yellow or orange, sometimes streaked with red or bronze.
These blooms can reach up to 6cm wide, and often bloom one at a time.
When grown as an ornamental plant, the California flannel bush will not need you to water it in the summer, once it is established in the soil.
This makes it a good choice for gardens which don’t see a lot of rainfall during the summer.
The California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, sometimes referred to as a cali for short, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Mexico and Northern America.
It has small, feathery foliage, and produces a single cup-shaped bloom per stem, in yellow, red, and orange. They can even be pink, but this is rarer.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the plant will flower in spring, summer, and fall.
It will survive winters if they prove to be mild, so many gardeners who do get fierce winters often grow them as annual plants, sowing fresh seeds the following year.
The calla lily, belonging to the Zantedeschia plant genus, is a member of the Araceae, or the Arum plant family. It is a bulbous perennial plant native to Southern Africa.
The name can fool you, as no type of calla lily is classed as a true lily.
These gorgeous plants feature very vivid flowers in an instantly-recognizable funnel-like shape.
The petals come in many colors, such as bright white, yellow, red, pink, orange, burgundy, light purple, or brown.
These flowers are technically false flowers, with the real flower hidden in the spadix in the center of the colored funnel.
The unusual appearance of the calla lily, as well as the many colors available, has cemented its popularity as decorations for weddings and other celebrations.
Camellia plants are a large group of flowering trees and shrubs. While native to Asia, such as Japan and Indonesia, they are grown all over the world.
They are known for their beautiful flowers, which range in color from white to deep red, and they are also known for their ability to thrive in different climates.
There are hundreds of varieties of camellias, each with unique characteristics. Some arboreal types have long stems, while others are more compact. Some have leaves which are lobed, some have smooth leaves, and some have compound leaves.
There are two main groups of camellia: Camellia sinensis, which is used for tea making; and ornamental Camellias, made up of Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua, and crosses of the two.
Camellias are popular because of their ease of care. Most require little maintenance, partial shade, and acidic soil.
There are about 300 different species, all of which belong to the tea plant family.
Red campion, or Silene dioica, comes from many parts of Europe, but it is grown across the world for its ornamental value.
It’s a relative of dianthus, belonging to the carnation plant family.
You’ll either find campion in a perennial or biennial form, producing petite deep pink or red blooms.
It’s worth noting that campion is dioecious, which means that the male and female flowers grow on separate plants.
If you want campion to produce fruit and seeds, you’ll need both male and female plants to do so.
It does best in constantly damp soil.
Like all goldenrods (see also Goldenrod Genus Guide), Canadian goldenrod, or Solidago canadensis, is a vigorous plant which produces lots of tiny yellow flowers, high above the foliage.
It belongs to the Aster plant family, and it’s classed as invasive in many places because it spreads so prolifically.
Goldenrods are easy to grow in most conditions, thriving in full sun and moist soil.
They’re especially good at growing in poor soils, where they will often outcompete weeds.
Canary Bird Flower
This bird-like flower comes from the Tropaeolum genus, part of the nasturtium plant family.
Its name comes from the flower’s appearance, which is the same shade as a yellow canary.
It also helps that the flowers are ruffled, like feathers. Each flower is capable of reaching 4cm wide.
This is a lovely perennial plant, native to western parts of South America, and it’s grown as an annual plant in colder places.
The Canada violet, or Viola canadensis, is another member of the violet family.
It’s a hardy perennial, and in some places it’s classed as endangered, so if you do choose to grow it, get your plants from a reputable source.
These lovely little plants feature white flowers with yellow throats, and if you look at the underside of the petals, you’ll notice a purple tint.
Canary Island Daisy
Best as ground cover on rockeries, the Canary Island daisy, or Asteriscus sericeus produces beautiful rosettes of succulent leaves, and bright yellow flowers.
It’s not a cold tolerant plant, so don’t expect it to survive winter temperatures or frosts.
It loves a sunny position, and very good drainage. It will weather dry spells fairly easily, so take care you don’t overwater it.
The candytuft, or Iberis sempervirens, is a pretty perennial shrub, often used to suppress weeds, or to cascade over rocks for rockeries as a border plant.
It has small white flowers in spring, which are fantastically fragrant, and have a sweet scent. They come in clusters of up to 20 flowers.
The plant will get to a maximum of 30cm high, spreading just a bit wider.
The Cape primrose, or Streptocarpus, is a perennial herbaceous plant, often grown as a houseplant.
There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, including dwarf and trailing varieties.
The trumpet-shaped flowers are orchid-like in the color combinations available, and they will thrive if you keep the soil slightly damp, and let them have bright but indirect light.
Hailing from North America, the Cardinal flower, or Lobelia cardinalis, is a showy perennial herbaceous plant.
It produces large flower spikes of dramatic, fire engine red blooms at the height of summer, when other perennials will suffer in the heat.
It’s usually found in woodland areas, and it thrives in well drained soil.
Hummingbirds pollinate the scarlet flowers, as other pollinators tend to struggle to reach the pollen, as the flowers are elongated.
Carnations come under the Dianthus plant genus, made up of about 300 different species (see also Carnation Flower Types).
Some are annual plants, while others are perennials. The flowers are intensely pigmented, and need well-draining soil and at least partial sunlight to thrive.
They are a very popular cut flower, able to last a long time, and provide plenty of interest, and some are even scented, carrying a clove-like fragrance.
They also vary in height. Some are more suitable as ground cover and in pots, while others hold their own in a mixed planting scheme very easily.
A very easy plant to grow, catmint is a herb which produces lavender flowers in clusters above pale green leaves.
The genus name, Nepeta, is said to originate from the belief that catmint was first grown in Nepeti, a Roman town.
While it is related to catnip, it is not the same plant, and catmint doesn’t attract cats in the same, almost obsessive way that catnip does.
Sedum spurium, or Caucasian Stonecrop, is a mat-forming plant which is very useful as a ground cover plant, helping to suppress weeds.
It grows well in acidic, dry and well-draining soil. While it will survive in very light shade, it does best in a fully sunny position.
It’s perfect for rockeries or gardens which go without rainfall for longer periods. You can also easily propagate it by dividing the plant or taking cuttings.
In warmer winters, it will survive as an evergreen.
This is one of the most commonly grown garden plants, with over 1,000 cultivars available.
It comes in many colors, shapes and sizes, and there are several types of chrysanthemums, each suited to specific conditions.
Dwarf types – these are ideal for small spaces, and are generally shorter than 30cm high. They’re great for growing in containers, hanging baskets and window boxes.
Semi-dwarf types – these are taller than 30cm, and often have a larger bloom size. These are good for full sun or part shade, and can be used in borders or planted singly.
Giant types – these are the largest flowering varieties of chrysanthemum, and they can grow to heights of 60cm or more. They require lots of space, but are excellent for attracting butterflies and bees.
There are also miniature types, which are smaller than 15cm tall. These are ideal for growing in pots.
Clarkia is a perennial native to California, and has been cultivated since the 19th century.
It blooms just as spring comes to a close, and its large showy flowers are white, purple, or pink
It prefers moist soils and bright light.
Clematis is one of the most loved climbing plants in the world. It is hardy, fast growing, and extremely versatile.
It climbs on walls, fences, trellises, arbors, and trees, and provides a wonderful backdrop to any landscape.
The flowers come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. There are single, double, and triple forms.
Some of the more common colors include red, yellow, orange, and white.
Coneflowers are popular because of their beautiful flower heads, which have brightly colored petals, surrounding a cone-shaped eye.
They come in many colors, and are native to North America.
Coneflowers (see also Purple Coneflower Facts) are very easy plants to grow if you are just starting out in gardening, providing a lot of color with very little effort.
Give them well-draining soil and full sunlight, and they’ll thrive.
Coral bells are another favorite among gardeners, especially those who love springtime.
They are valued not only for their vivid blooms, but also for their fan-shaped leaves, which come in many colors, such as bright green, purple, and dark red.
They prefer rich, fertile soil, so make sure that your planting area is well drained.
Coreopsis is a hardy annual wildflower from North America.
It produces daisy-like flowers in shades of yellow, orange, and red.
It thrives in full sun, and needs average moisture.
Cosmos is a plant that’s known for its striking flowers, which come in various colors including red, pink, and white.
It’s easy to care for, and grows quickly.
You can grow cosmos in your garden as long as you give it well-draining soil, and plenty of sunlight.
Crocosmia is an evergreen perennial native to eastern and southern Africa, coming from the iris plant family.
Its flowers are usually red or yellow, appearing to cascade away from the large, sword-shaped foliage.
It requires a sunny location, and will do best in well-draining soil. To really bring out the best of the foliage and the flowers, plant it at the edge of a mixed border.