19 Herbs with Purple Flowers

If you can’t get enough of violet, plum, and other shades of purple, this list of herbs is for you. Briana Yablonski shares fragrant herbs with purple flowers so you can enjoy beautiful blooms in the garden and aromatics in the kitchen.

A wooden raised bed showcases a lush assortment of herbs, vibrant green with pops of purple and white flowers, creating a lively botanical haven in the garden.

Contents

If you’re anything like me, herbs are synonymous with fragrant leaves and aromatic stems. While all of the herbs on this list are useful in the kitchen or medicine cabinet, they also produce beautiful purple flowers that brighten up your garden.

Most herbs flower in the spring through fall, so adding them to raised beds or perennial gardens provides long-lasting color. And since the majority continue to grow after cutting, you don’t have to worry about kitchen harvests destroying the blooms.

I’ve included herbs of various heights, soil preferences, and growth forms, so you can likely find one or more that thrive in your garden.

Before we start, note that we are not medical professionals; these plants are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a healthcare professional before consuming them, verify correct identification with an expert, and use them at your own risk.

Anise Hyssop

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Anise Hyssop Seeds

Common Chives

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Common Chives Seeds

English Thyme

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English Thyme Seeds

Anise Hyssop

A close-up of purple flowers blooming on anise hyssop, gracefully contrasting with lush green leaves underneath, capturing the delicate beauty of nature in exquisite detail.
This is a versatile perennial with a sweet, anise flavor.
botanical-name botanical name Agastache foeniculum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Lots of herbs have purple flowers, but not all of them attract pollinators like the anise hyssop blooms. Plant one of these herbs in your garden, and the upright clusters of tiny lavender blooms will be abuzz with bees, parasitic wasps, hoverflies, and more. Its height and clumping nature make it a no-brainer companion to other flowering perennials like rudbeckia and bee balm.

Anise hyssop is also a great addition to the garden due to its hardy nature. First, it’s a perennial, so you don’t have to replant it annually. Second, it’s happy growing in various soil types and can tolerate drought once the roots are well established.

Plus, anise hyssop is a great addition to the kitchen. Both the leaves and the flowers have a sweet, anise flavor that you can steep in water for tea, mix into salads, or sprinkle onto cookies.

Borage

Fuzzy borage buds and leaves form a delicate cluster, their hues popping against the soft blur of surrounding foliage, nature's brushstrokes creating a serene backdrop.
The plant has large, fuzzy leaves and flowers that hang in clusters.
botanical-name botanical name Borago officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Not only does borage produce blue-violet flowers, but these star-shaped blooms are the plant’s attraction. They have a refreshing flavor that’s similar to cucumber, which makes them attractive and tasty additions to salads. But before you plant borage in your yard, be aware these plants produce lots of flowers! I’m talking about tens or twenties of new blooms each day.

While there’s no harm in letting the blooms drop from the plant, these mature flowers will self-seed. While borage is an annual, it tends to pop up in the same area year after year. The seedlings are easy to pull, so you don’t have to worry about it becoming invasive.

The plants grow multiple feet tall in a slightly wild branching form. Large leaves are covered with a somewhat prickly fuzz, and the flowers appear in downward draping clusters.

Catnip

Vivid green catnip leaves, basking in gentle light, their textured surfaces invite touch and play, promising feline delight and relaxation in every furry encounter with nature's calming herb.
This is less invasive compared to peppermint and spearmint.
botanical-name botanical name Nepeta cataria
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

You probably know catnip for its ability to make cats relax, roll, or flip, but this plant also has the ability to mellow out humans. Even if you aren’t interested in giving the leaves to your cat or steeping them for tea, the plant’s purple flowers make it a worthwhile addition to your garden. The plants produce tall and slender flower stalks covered with tiny flowers ranging from deep purple to white.

Catnip is part of the mint family, which explains its square stems and spreading nature. While these perennials can spread, they’re less aggressive and easier to contain than peppermint and spearmint.

Once the plants are established in the ground, they’re quite hardy. They don’t require any fertilizer and can survive periods of drought. However, they’ll grow best when they receive at least six hours of bright light each day.

Chives

Green chives form a delicate cluster, their slender stems swaying gracefully in the breeze, exuding freshness and vitality, promising a burst of aromatic flavor to enhance culinary creations.
Plant chives in well-draining soil and provide nitrogen fertilizer in spring.
botanical-name botanical name Allium schoenoprasum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 10-18 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Chives are one of the most versatile culinary herbs. Just chop up their long, round leaves and sprinkle the mild onion flavor over baked potatoes, dips, soups, eggs, tacos, and whatever else your heart desires. And don’t forget about mixing chives into biscuits and using them to make a beautiful compound butter.

This allium member is also pretty easy to grow. Make sure to plant them somewhere with well-draining soil, and provide a dose of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer or finished compost each spring. As long as you cut them a few inches above the ground, they’ll continue to send up new growth during warm weather.

And the flowers are a treat! While they’re not quite as impressive as ornamental allium blooms, they still display the same fun spherical shape and beautiful light purple color. These flowers also have the same subtle onion flavor as the leaves, so feel free to pick the individual blooms and use them to jazz up your dishes.

Common Sage

A close-up of common sage leaves, showcasing their intricate texture, hinting at their aromatic potency and culinary versatility, adding depth to any dish with their earthy essence.
Growing sage successfully involves planting it in well-draining soil with full sun.
botanical-name botanical name Salvia officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

When you think of sage, you probably think of common sage. Also known as culinary sage, this plant produces gray-green leaves that add an earthy flavor to everything from winter squash to meat.

Common sage prefers well-draining soil and dry air, but I’ve successfully grown it in the humid Southeast. Regardless of where you live, make sure to plant your sage in an area with full sun and excellent airflow to prevent fungal diseases. Established plants can tolerate moderate drought, so don’t worry about keeping the soil moist.

During the summer, sage plants send up flower stalks covered in beautiful light purple flowers. These flowers have a top and bottom lip, and they hold up well as cut flowers. 

Common Verbena

Clusters of purple verbena flowers against a blurred backdrop of more blossoms, adding a burst of color to the scene with their delicate petals and lush green stems.
This plant has been historically used for various medicinal purposes.
botanical-name botanical name Verbena officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Also known as verbena, this biennial plant is known for its branching flower stalks that resemble the arms of a candelabra. Flowers open on the bottom of the stalks first, and the flowers eventually open up the rest of the stalks. The blooms may be light pink to purple, depending on the variety and specific plant.

Common verbena is native to Europe and North Africa, but other verbena species are native to North America. Some native species include blue vervain (Verbena hastata).

People have used verbena for centuries to treat everything from fevers to congestion to insomnia to jaundice. Research shows that the plant possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Coneflower

Purple petals of coneflowers encircle a strikingly large orange center, inviting admiration for nature's colorful intricacies in full bloom.
These have large orange-centered flowers that bloom from midsummer to early fall.
botanical-name botanical name Echinacea purpurea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

While coneflowers come in numerous colors, purple cornflower is the most popular and widespread variety. This native perennial thrives just about wherever you plant it as long as it has access to at least six hours of sun and well-draining soil. You don’t have to worry about fertilizing or watering regularly.

The plants begin flowering in midsummer and continue through early fall. The large, round flowers have orange centers surrounded by light purple or pink petals. These blooms attract a wide range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and wasps.

Herbalists prize the plant’s roots, which are well-known for their ability to stimulate the immune system and help with inflammation. If you want to harvest the roots, wait until the plants are mature, then dig the roots in the fall.

Creeping Thyme

Vibrant purple flowers dotting a lush bed of creeping thyme, illuminated by the sun's golden rays, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty and tranquility in the garden.
The blooming purple flowers of this plant create a vibrant carpet even in dry conditions.
botanical-name botanical name Thymus serpyllum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1-4 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Also known as Breckland thyme and wild thyme, creeping thyme has a spreading form that makes it an excellent choice for a groundcover. It thrives sprawling over rock gardens and can even act as a lawn replacement in areas with well-draining soil.

When the plants come into bloom, the previously green carpet transforms into a sea of purple. These flowers continue to flower throughout the summer, even in adverse conditions, so they’re a great option if you want a colorful option for a dry area.

Creeping thyme leaves are edible and have a woodsy and earthly flavor. However, since they are not as flavorful as other types of thyme, the plant is primarily used for ornamental purposes.

Lavender

Tall lavender blooms grace the foreground, while a soft blur hints at a profusion of blossoms extending into the background, creating a dreamy, purple-hued vista.
English lavender is cold hardy with fragrant flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Lavandula spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

If there’s one herb that’s known for its purple flowers, it’s lavender. Whether you’re looking out at waving purple French fields or a potted plant on your porch, spending time with lavender plants relaxes your nerves and brightens your mood. The light purple flowers produce a beloved fragrance that you can enjoy fresh and dried.

Before planting lavender at home, be aware of the different species and varieties. Two of the most popular species—English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and French lavender (Lavandula dentata)—have a few key differences. English varieties are more cold hardy and have notably fragrant flowers, while French varieties possess a long bloom time.

Regardless of what type of lavender you’re interested in growing, make sure to choose a location with well-draining soil and lots of light. These plants can tolerate drought, but they hate sitting in wet soil, so err on the side of underwatering.

Motherwort

A close-up of small, fuzzy white motherwort flowers surrounded by dark leaves, against a blurred green backdrop, showcasing intricate botanical details in a natural setting.
Motherwort was originally utilized to address heart issues.
botanical-name botanical name Leonurus cardiaca
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial shade
height height 2-4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Another member of the mint family, motherwort is a perennial herb native to western Europe and eastern Asia. The plants produce square stems covered in short, fine hairs and feature oppositely arranged leaves along their stems. These leaves have long petioles and three to five pointed lobes. Small light purple flowers appear at the leaf nodes.

The plant was first used to treat heart ailments, hence the scientific name cardiaca. However, its medical uses have changed over time. It was previously used to treat menopause, postpartum depression, and other female-related ailments, which is how it got its common name. 

If you live in one of the many areas of North America in which this plant is invasive, plant a native alternative instead. Contact your local extension office or native plant nursery for more information.

Oregano

Purple oregano blossoms float elegantly over the dense green foliage, a striking contrast of color and texture in the garden's tapestry, beckoning with their delicate allure.
Ensure well-draining soil and ample airflow for thriving growth.
botanical-name botanical name Origanum vulgare
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 8-36 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Whether you sprinkle it on pizza or mix it into a pot of black beans, oregano is a must-have in the kitchen. And while old, dried oregano will work in a pinch, it’s nothing like oregano fresh-picked from the garden. And fortunately, oregano is easy to grow at home!

This perennial prefers well-draining soil and good airflow. The plant starts out with short rosettes of small, fuzzy leaves, but the stems eventually grow up to three feet tall. Eventually, the plants send out clusters of tiny light purple or pink flowers.

Regularly harvesting your oregano will encourage it to produce new growth. Even if you don’t need to use handfuls of oregano in your kitchen, regularly trim the top third of the stems. You can easily dry the leaves and store them for future use.

Rosemary

A close-up of a flourishing rosemary bush showcases delicate lavender flowers adorning its branches. The vivid green leaves cascade gracefully around the blooming flowers, emphasizing the bush's abundant lushness and vitality. The plant thrives in its vibrant display of color and growth.
Plants that like cooler temperatures tend to thrive in the morning sunlight.
botanical-name botanical name Salvia rosmarinus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2-6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10

Depending on where you live, rosemary plants can grow as small annual herbs or large statement shrubs. All sizes of this herb produce elongated, needle-like leaves with an earthy fragrance. These plants also produce beautiful flowers that range in color from light violet to deep periwinkle.

Even if you live in a colder area, you can still overwinter your rosemary plants by bringing them indoors. Potted plants are easier to move inside, but you can also dig up in-ground plants and move them indoors until spring arrives. If your plant grows large enough to develop woody stems, avoid cutting these thick stems when pruning.

Rosemary plants love well-draining soil and can tolerate drought, so they grow well alongside herbs like sage, lavender, and thyme. They don’t require much fertilizer but benefit from regular pruning.

Saffron

A close-up of vibrant purple saffron flowers soaking up sunlight, their delicate petals unfurling gracefully in a radiant display of color and texture, a testament to nature's intricate beauty.
Saffron cultivation involves planting corms in late summer or fall.
botanical-name botanical name Crocus sativus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4-10 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

Although saffron is a spice rather than an herb, I’ve included it on this list due to its beautiful purple flowers. Saffron is a member of the Crocus genus, and its delicate flowers closely resemble the short purple flowers that pop up in gardens during the early spring. However, this flower produces fragrant red-orange stigmas.

Like all types of crocus, saffron grows from a swollen stem known as a corm. Planting saffron involves tucking the corms into the ground in the late summer or fall. Leaves will emerge a few weeks after planting and flowers will form shortly after. 

As long as the corms remain healthy, they’ll produce new flowers each year. Eventually, the corms will send out smaller daughter corms that you can dig up and divide.

Blue Skullcap

A cluster of blue skullcap flowers, each with deep purple petals, gracefully arranged along the stem, contrasting beautifully against the blurred backdrop of lush green foliage.
Blue skullcap is rich in phytochemicals with potential benefits.
botanical-name botanical name Scutellaria lateriflora
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

A member of the mint family, skullcap is a branching herb that spreads via rhizomes. It features upright stems covered with oppositely arranged leaves. The plants also produce blue-violet flowers that people thought resembled military helmets… hence the common name.

Blue skullcap contains various phytochemicals that have the potential to reduce anxiety, suppress tumors, and prevent cell death. Herbalists use the plant’s leaves to promote relaxation, decrease anxiety, and help with sleep. You can make an herbal infusion of the roots for medicinal purposes (but consult your local herbalist before doing so).

Blue skullcap is native to marshes and bogs in North America, so it’s no surprise it prefers moist, rich soil. That makes it a great option for damp areas of your garden where herbs like sage and rosemary will quickly rot.

Summer Savory

Summer savory herbs, their petite leaves outstretched, soak up the warm sun rays, embracing the golden glow of summer.
An annual herb like summer savory thrives in sunny, well-draining locations.
botanical-name botanical name Satureja hortensis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12-18 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Although it’s not one of the most common culinary herbs, summer savory’s peppery and earthy flavor makes it a useful addition to the kitchen. You can use the leaves on their own or mix them with other herbs to make herbs de Provence.

Summer savory grows as an annual herb, so you’ll want to replant it each year. Choose a well-draining spot with lots of sun. The plants produce many slender green leaves and send out small flowers ranging from white to light purple.

Sweet Marjoram

A close-up of green sweet marjoram leaves, their delicate veins tracing patterns of life, inviting touch and releasing a subtle, herbal aroma into the air.
This grows well in ground or pots with thyme and sage.
botanical-name botanical name Origanum majorana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 8-24 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-10

While marjoram has a similar flavor to oregano, you can think of it as the mild counterpart. The small, slightly fuzzy leaves still have an earthy flavor, but it’s sweeter than oregano. Therefore, sprinkling directly onto pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and other dishes is a great option.

Since sweet marjoram is sensitive to cold, gardeners in most of the country treat it as an annual. It grows well in the ground and in pots if you provide well-draining soil. It’s low maintenance and grows well alongside herbs like thyme and sage.

The plants produce clusters of tiny pinkish-purple flowers during the late spring or early summer. These flowers continue popping up throughout the summer and into the early fall. The flowers taste similar to the leaves, so sprinkle them over your dishes for a pop of color and flavor.

Thai Basil

Basil thrives in warm conditions with good airflow.
botanical-name botanical name Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1-2 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Thai basil is well known for its flavor, which combines the aroma of classic Italian basil with sweet anise. It is a must-have in a myriad of Southeast Asian dishes. It also makes a delicious herbal simple syrup that livens up sparkling water and cocktails.

It grows similarly to other types of basil, preferring warm temperatures and excellent airflow. Therefore, you can plant it next to tulsi, cinnamon basil, and other basil varieties.

While traditional sweet Italian produces spikes of small white flowers, Thai basil sends up deep purple flower stalks with light purple blooms. I think it looks stunning when planted next to dark purple basil.

English Thyme

Clusters of delicate white English thyme flowers bloom gracefully, hovering above the lush, vibrant green leaves, creating a picturesque contrast of colors and textures in the garden landscape.
This herb produces small purple flowers that attract beneficial insects.
botanical-name botanical name Thymus vulgaris
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6-12 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

One of the best types of thyme for the culinary garden, English thyme has a woodsy flavor that adds depth to everything from roasted chicken to veggies. The plants prefer well-draining soil that remains on the drier side, so they fit in well with other herbs like rosemary and sage. Just make sure to leave enough space between the thyme and taller plants to ensure everyone receives adequate sun.

Although English thyme remains on the shorter side, it can grow up to a foot tall if left unpruned. Regularly pruning off the top quarter or third of the stems will encourage new growth and keep the plants healthy.

The plants produce small clusters of tiny purple flowers on the tops of the stems and also produce single flowers along the leaf nodes. These blooms’ small size attracts small beneficial insects like hoverflies, parasitic wasps, and green lacewings.

Wild Bergamot

A bergamot plant thrives in the sun, its green leaves shimmering as purple flowers bloom, absorbing the radiant sunlight, creating a vibrant display of nature's beauty.
Its leaves can be used in salads or tea.
botanical-name botanical name Monarda fistulosa
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

A type of native bee balm, wild bergamot is a hardy perennial that thrives in various conditions. It happily grows in dry meadows alongside coneflower and rudbeckia and also well in rich, moist forest edges. Although it’s in the mint family, it only spreads a few feet and won’t get out of hand in the garden.

The light purple flowers are some of my favorites due to their round centers bursting with delicate two-lipped petals. In addition to being a joy to look at, the blooms attract butterflies, bees, hummingbird moths, and other pollinators. Plus, they continue to flower throughout the summer, even when intense heat arrives.

The leaves have an earthy flavor similar to thyme or oregano but with stronger floral notes. You can mix these leaves into salads or steep them in hot water to create a soothing tea.

Final Thoughts

If you want to beautify your garden with plants that also provide culinary and medicinal uses, choose a few plants from this list. Although they all have unique flowers and uses, each one will brighten your garden with purple blooms.

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Green thyme that is fresh and ready to be harvested growing in the garden.

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