72 Perennial Flowers With Names and Pictures

Thinking of adding some perennial flowers to your garden this season, but aren't sure which ones to pick? There are many different types of perennial flowers that can brighten up just about any garden. In this article, we take a deeper look at our favorite perennial flowers, with names and pictures of each one.

Pink Perennial Flower

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Perennial flowers make some of the most beautiful scenery you can plant in your garden. You dig one hole per plant and can be confident that they’ll repeat their pattern of blooming year after year without you replanting them.

Of course, not all perennials can simply be left to their own devices. Some tend to spread and overtake other plants, and others need to be divided so that they continue to bloom well.

Because different perennials have different requirements, before you shop, you need to plan what you’d like to include in your landscape and check whether the plants require the same soil, the same light, and you definitely want to ensure that they don’t all bloom at the same time. You also need to make sure your favorites will cooperate in your hardiness zone.

Having a goal helps. Perhaps you want a pollinator garden. Maybe you prefer to just naturalize one area of your yard. Maybe you want a shady perennial garden. Whatever you decide, if you select the right perennials, you can manage a low-maintenance landscape that has color year-round. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite perennial flowering plants!

Balloon Flower

Platycodon grandiflorus
These flowers are easy to grow and will bloom all summer long.
Scientific name: Platycodon grandiflorus
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 30 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

Balloon flowers offer interest before the bloom even opens. The bud looks like a lavender balloon and opens up into five-petalled blooms from lavender to deep purple. This easy-to-grow perennial will bloom all summer long, especially if you snip off fading blooms.

Tolerant of many things, balloon flowers don’t like to be disturbed once established. So be certain you like the spot you’ve selected for them because they won’t want to move later.

Bee Balm

Monarda didyma
These flowers are very vibrant and unique but can take over if you don’t maintain them.
Scientific name: Monarda didyma
  • Soil type: Medium to wet
  • Plant height: 2 to 4 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 9

Bee balm attracts plenty of insects, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The ends of its stems look like tiny fireworks exploding in vibrant colors ranging from red to white, pink to purple. This active spreader blooms in the summer and fall and can take over garden areas if not maintained.

Requiring little care, keep your eyes on the bee balm and divide it if it begins taking over too much territory. Trimming a couple of inches off in the fall encourages healthy growth in the next growing season.

Bellflower

Campanula medium
This flower is self seeding so you’re sure to get blooms each year.
Scientific name: Campanula medium
  • Soil type: Moist, well-drained
  • Plant height: 20 to 26 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

Another freely seeding plant, bellflowers produce pink, white, purple, and blue perennial bell-shaped flowers on strong stems. Its medium-height makes it a great second row in a landscape setting.

Its clumping habit and ability to self-seed ensures your patch will continue to grow each year. Perfect for cottage gardens and lining edges, bellflower gives that summer punch of color you need in a compact plant.

Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta
These flowers will do best in well drained soil with full sun.
Scientific name: Rudbeckia hirta
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 3 to 7

One of the most popular wildflowers grown, this native North American perennial blooms in a traditional fall color palette of yellow with dark centers. Blooming from June to October, depending on your zone, these plants add dimension to the landscape and offer food for birds and bees alike.

A low-maintenance perennial, black-eyed Susan thrives in heat and doesn’t mind being divided. You can even cut off stems for fall bouquets. Rudbeckia is easy to grow, and fairly low maintenance. Just keep in mind it tends to act territorial and will choke out neighboring plants so divide regularly.

Blanket Flower

Gaillardia aestivalis
These flowers are quick bloomers and will do well in warmer climates.
Scientific name: Gaillardia aestivalis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 9 to 12 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

Depending on your area, blanket flowers can be a fast-growing but quick-blooming perennial. Known for its ability to grow and spread to maturity quickly, blanket flower doesn’t keep its blooms as long as other perennials.

Blooming in summer with a variety of yellow and orange flower colors to choose from, these sun-loving perennial flowers look good paired with spiky purple plants, such as speedwell or salvia.

Blazing Star

Liatris spicata
These flowers are easy to grow and will attract many butterflies to your garden.
Scientific name: Liatris spicata
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 4 feet
  • Plant width: 9 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

These native prairie wildflowers offer easy growth and a spectacular display of rich purple blooms with a unique look. They attract butterflies and look great not only in the landscape but also as cut flowers you can enjoy inside.

These summer bloomers offer low maintenance with their upright habit, lengthy stems, and ability to thrive in varied conditions. Their fuzzy perennial blooms can also be found in pinks, and whites, but all colors look like bright popsicles punctuating the landscape.

Bleeding Heart

Lamprocapnos spectabilis
These flowers will do well in partial shade and planted near larger plants.
Scientific name: Lamprocapnos spectabilis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 9

Old-school gardeners commonly used bleeding hearts around hydrangeas and ornamental trees to give some color at the base of the shrubs and trees. This part-shade-loving perennial does well around larger plants as it doesn’t compete for too much light or want to sit in water.

Its lighter green leaves offer an interesting color against deeper greens, and its heart-shaped flowers in reds and pinks look like they’re dripping from the stems, offering delightful colors in early to late spring.

Blue Star

Amsonia
These flowers are easily divided to plant in different ares of your yard.
Scientific name: Amsonia ciliata
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 9

Soft blue star-shaped flowers cluster around the top of these perennials. The flowers give way to interesting seed pods that lend a stunning look next to coneflowers or sedum in the fall.

Forming tidy clumps, blue star will not take over areas, but it will grow wide. So you can divide it every few years as it gets a bit bushier. Its swaying foliage and upright habit make it a versatile plant for the landscape.

Brown-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia triloba
Similar to the Black-eyed Susan, these blooms are slightly smaller.
Scientific name: Rudbeckia triloba
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  •  USDA zones: 4 to 8

A leggy cousin to the black-eyed Susan, brown-eyed Susan sports lengthier stems as well as longer waits for blooms. Blooming later than black-eyed Susan, this rudbeckia variety has smaller blooms arrayed on sprays rather than one bloom per stem.

Brown-eyed Susan tends to get bushier and taller than black-eyed Susan, but some people complain that its legginess gives it a weedy look. Combat the legginess of this easy-to-grow perennial by placing pincushion flowers in front of it.

Catmint

Nepeta racemosa
These flowers are great for planting around paths and walkways.
Scientific name: Nepeta racemosa
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 9 to 12 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Another perennial member of the mint family, catmint has gray foliage with a slight aroma, topped with spiked flowers in purple, white, and pink. Blooming throughout summer, catmint spreads, making it suitable for walkways, borders, and filling in gaps in the landscape where you want color during summer.

Pruning encourages reblooming, and even if your second showing doesn’t look as great as the first set of blooms, the plants will look tidier, an added benefit if catmint lines a well-used walkway.

Chinese Astilbe

Astilbe chinensi
These flowers are slow to grow but once they bloom, are very low maintenance.
Scientific name: Astilbe chinensis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 9 to 12 inches
  • Plant width: 9 to 12 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade to full shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

The versatile astilbe offers beautiful color and low maintenance all in one package. With soft-looking plumes in pinks and whites on stiff stems above airy foliage, Chinese astilbe works to add a pop of color in shady spots or even spots that get a bit of sun. This 12 inch tall perennial is perfect for garden edges or borders.

One of the easiest perennials to grow, astilbe may grow slowly, but once established, its blooms will continue producing year after year. Removing the blooms once faded will not extend bloom time. In fact, many enjoy the interesting golden look of the seed heads and prefer to leave them intact.

Christmas Rose

Helleborus niger
These unique flowers will bloom in the winter adding a bit of color to your snowy landscape.
Scientific name: Helleborus niger
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 9 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part sun to full shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

For everyone in cold climates looking for blooms in the wintertime, the Christmas rose has you covered. Blooming in late winter, between February and March, you can enjoy the white flowers that fade to a blush pink at a time when not much else has color. As the name suggests, it blooms around Christmas time in warmer regions.

The evergreen foliage of this perennial means you won’t have an empty spot in the garden throughout the rest of the year. Blooms have been known to open in the snow and can withstand short spurts of sub-zero temperatures.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum morifolium
These flowers will bloom in the summer and come in a wide variety of colors and types.
Scientific name: Chrysanthemum
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

These hardy fall favorites herald the changing season with a variety of colors throughout your landscape. You can find a few different types of flowers that further sub-categorize garden mums, but all can be planted in spring or summer and will bloom all through fall in a wide variety of white, pinks, purples, reds, yellows, and oranges.

If you have the time, you can pinch the buds on your mums, and although you may wait longer for them to bloom, you will be rewarded with larger, showier flowers that will stand out in the landscape.

Columbine

Aquilegia canadensis
These flowers come in a variety of different colors and its dropped seeds will produce blooms year after year.
Scientific name: Aquilegia canadensis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

The clover-like foliage and the lantern-like blooms make this airy plant an interesting addition to any landscape. Blooms come in many colors, including red, orange, yellow, white, pink, purple, blue, and white.

Columbines do not tolerate full sun well and will decline a bit in summer. Although they bloom quickly, if you allow the seed heads to drop, you will add more columbine year after year. When the foliage fades, you can cut them down to the ground and anticipate their coming back next spring.

Common Bugle

Ajuga reptans
This flower makes a great ground cover under walnut trees.
Scientific name: Ajuga reptans
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 6 to 9 inches
  • Plant width: 6 to 12 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 10

A dense groundcover with showy flowers, common bugle, or bugleweed, offers dark greenish-brown shiny foliage against its blue flowers. Flowering in spring, common bugle can tolerate black walnut trees, making it a great way to provide coverage around the tree.

Forming a nice, thick mat of groundcover, common bugle can choke out weeds. Wet conditions can be an issue, however, causing crown rot. So be sure you plant in a well-drained area.

Common Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea
These flowers come in many different colors and will self seed, coming back year after year.
Scientific name: Digitalis purpurea
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 5 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 30 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Foxglove can be found with purple, white, pink, red, or yellow blooms. Because common foxglove works as a biennial, either buy a second-year plant so that it will bloom the year you plant it or sow seeds and know that it will take a year to establish. This tall flowering perennial is perfect for areas next to garden fences, or areas where you need a taller flower.

Don’t worry that this spring-blooming tender perenial will fade and not come back. Although it loses vigor in the summer, it seeds freely, ensuring you get new plants every year. Be wary though: foxglove is beautiful but poisonous to humans and pets.

Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea
These unique flowers come in many different colors and will grow from midsummer into the fall months.
Scientific name: Echinacea purpurea
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 5 feet
  • Plant width: 18 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

Coneflower can be found in many bright colors, including deep red, purple, pink, and a beautiful range of orange. Blooming in midsummer with the proper care, they can continue blooming until fall. Even after blooming, the seedheads offer an interesting look as well as food for songbirds in the fall.

With their dark green foliage, coneflowers grow quickly and drop seed to continue spreading. You can cut spent blooms to encourage longer bloom time or cut the entire stem for use in bouquets.

Coral Bells

Purple Coral Bells Plant
These plants will thrive in well-drained soil and partial to full sun.
Scientific name: Heuchera
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 1 to 2 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 9

A clump-forming perennial, coral bells provide variety in their foliage, beginning with a purplish-brown color upon emergence and then maturing to a beautiful green. With purple flowers blooming in late spring, coral bells need a bit of afternoon shade, especially in climates with warmer summers, although it does well in full sun.

Some gardeners remove the stems before coral bells have a chance to flower to get it to put energy into spreading out and not blooming; whereas, other gardeners deadhead spent blooms to encourage more blooming.

Creeping Phlox

Phlox stolonifera
These flowers are great ground cover that will fill in any empty space in between your other plant.
Scientific name: Phlox stolonifera
  • Soil type: well-drained
  • Plant height: 6 to 12 inches
  • Plant width: 9 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

This popular spring-blooming ground cover lives up to its name. Phlox will creep along flower beds, rooting itself into empty space creating a puffy blanket of beautiful spring color. Tiny flowers in white, pink, or purple dominate the plant in the spring, but when the flowers are done blooming, a green carpet of foliage remains.

Weeds can pop up through the creeping phlox so mulching helps or pulling the young weeds early. Creeping phlox quickly spreads to plan your space accordingly.

Dahlia

Red and White Dahlia
Dahlias are beautiful perennial flowers that come in many different colors.
Scientific Name: Dahlia
  • Soil type: Rich, Well-drained
  • Plant height: 15 inches to 6 feet
  • Plant width: 18 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 8-11

Dahlias are sun loving perennials that you’ll see in almost any garden magazine. They are well loved by gardeners due to their hardy nature in warmer climates, and they come in a wide variety of different beautiful colors. Dahlias range in size from 15 inches up to 6 feet tall! The smaller varieties are called “dinnerplate” dahlias and will not grow quite as tall as others.

Dahlias can be grown in pots, as long as they have adequate sun. These sun loving flowers can be grown as annual flowers in cooler climates, and are hardy in zones 8-11. These perennials have gained quite a following over the last decade as the number of varieties have increased, also increasing their color combinations. For a low risk plant in warmer, more moist climates, it’s hard to go wrong with Dahilas.

Daylily

Hemerocallis
These flowers are fairly low maintenance and will do well in full sun.
Scientific name: Hemerocallis sp.
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 18 to 24 inches
  • Plant width: 18 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 9

Daylilies represent the dependable summer perennial. Easy to plant and easy to grow, you can dot your landscape, line your walkways, or simply plant masses of this cheery flower that will continue blooming all summer.

Because of their low-maintenance reputation, you often see daylilies planted around businesses and office buildings, which makes some people believe daylilies to be overused. However, the vibrant-colored blooms and the staying power of these perennials make it a wonderful choice for the home garden and landscape.

Delphinium

Delphinium elatum
These flowers will attract many different pollinators to you garden.
Scientific name: Delphinium elatum
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 5 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 3 to 7

A member of the buttercup family, delphiniums bloom from June to July, and if you trim off the first bloom, you can often get a second bloom, albeit shorter and smaller, about a month later. Hummingbirds and butterflies love delphiniums, and they partner well with coreopsis and other yellow summer bloomers since delphinium comes in purples and pinks.

Many enjoy using delphinium in cut-flower arrangements because their spiky upright blooms contrast nicely with flowing foliage.

English Daisy

Bellis perennis
These charming daisies will thrive in well drained soil.
Scientific name: Bellis perennis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 6 inches
  • Plant width: 3 to 9 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Unlike the larger daisy bloom you may be used to seeing, English daisies branch off with sprays filled with smaller flowers. These charming flowers prefer a bit of shade to protect their delicate blooms.

Although they like well-drained soil, English daisies simply require consistent watering and deadheading. Perfect for a wildflower look, use English daisies in naturalized areas for a striking, cheery effect.

English Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia
These beautiful, fragrant flowers will do surprisingly well hot warm, harsh conditions.
Scientific name: Lavandula angustifolia
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 4 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

English lavender is the type of lavender most gardeners think about when growing this perennial herb in their garden. Delicate looking and fragrant, lavender makes a sturdy addition to the landscape with purple flowers atop its green stems bursting through late summer. Lavender may look delicate, but it can withstand blazing hot sun and dry conditions, and proper pruning can keep it looking tailored and healthy for years.

You can cut off spent blooms to encourage reblooming through the growing season, and lavender also dries well and can be used fresh in cut-flower bouquets.

Feverfew

Tanacetum parthenium
These flowers have a wonderful fragrance and will self seed and spread quickly.
Scientific name: Tanacetum parthenium
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

Blooming from throughout summer, feverfew produces a brilliant white flower with a yellow center as well as dense light green foliage. A bushy aromatic perennial, feverfew will self-seed and spread quickly. So be sure to prune blooms as they fade if you want to control the spread.

Feverfew works best in cottage gardens and naturalized areas so it can freely self-seed and lower maintenance chores.

Gentian

Scientific name: Gentiana acaulis
These flowers will do well in full sun and will add a nice bright, pop of color to your garden.
Scientific name: Gentiana acaulis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

Also known as the trumpet gentian, this flower has a petunia-like appearance. The bold, blue flowers make quite the statement in this low-lying perennial, and it blooms in late spring and early summer, adding a punch of color while the pastels of spring fade and you wait for summer colors to come in.

Although the best flower occurs in full sun, it can use some partial afternoon shade to keep from scorching. It may be a small plant, but you can count on it for year-round interest as it retains its evergreen foliage over winter.

Goldenrod

Solidago drummondii
These are fall blooming flowers that will do best in full sun.
Scientific name: Solidago drummondii
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 18 to 36 inches
  • Plant width: 18 to 36 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

Growing on arching stems, this native to cliffs and bluffs produces panicles of tiny yellow flowers on its stems, lending a brilliant contrast to its green foliage. This species performs best in full sun, and if you need a fall-blooming perennial for your butterfly garden, goldenrod makes a great addition.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this native plant causes hay fever. The pollen from ragweed, which blooms at a similar time, should be blamed, not the beautiful goldenrod.

Greater Masterwort

Astrantia major
These flowers will do well in wet or well drained soil.
Scientific name: Astrantia major
  • Soil type: Moist or well-drained
  • Plant height: 30 to 36 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 7

In consistently wet soils where other perennials may suffer root rot, greater masterwort can thrive, but it also does just fine in well-drained soils. Showing off its red, pink, or purple blooms in early to mid-summer, masterwort creates a tall, upright plant that forms clumps.

You can cut it back in the fall or divide large clumps, but pinching it back in the early spring, while delaying blooming, gives you larger blooms.

Hardy Geranium

small light pink five petal flowers
These little flowers will grow during late spring into summer.
Scientific name: Geranium clarkei
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 7

Hardy geraniums include several different species with different growing conditions. This particular species suits most landscape needs. With purple or white flowers facing up, hardy geraniums bloom abundantly from late spring to early summer.

You can clean plants up by pruning spent blooms or allowing them to go to seed so that the hard geranium can spread.

Hosta

Hosta Plant
These flowers are easy to care for and will thrive best in the shade.
Scientific name: Hosta
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 5 feet
  • Plant width: 24 to 30 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade to full shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

A dependable grower in shady areas, some varieties offer tall, fleshy stems with a length of blooms ranging from white to lavender in the late spring and early summer. Trimming the stems as new blooms appear encourages vigorous blooming.

Easy to care for, hostas enjoy the shade, spread well, and can be easily divided each fall. The blooms in spring and summer make an interesting and long-lasting addition to cut-flower bouquets.

Hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis
These tall vibrant blooms will attract many different pollinators to you garden.
Scientific name: Hyssopus officinalis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 18 to 24 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 9

A fragrant, showy perennial that blooms profusely from summer to fall, hyssop attracts butterflies and bees with its fragrant purple blooms and erect stems filled with foliage. Hyssop forms clumps and spreads fairly well through self-seeding.

Hyssop prefers sun but might need a touch of afternoon shade in heated summer climates. Use hyssop as a second tier in the landscape or in pollinator gardens. You can also dry hyssop blooms and put them into potpourri. 

Ice Plant

Delosperma cooperi
These flowers make a great ground cover for the dryer areas of your garden.
Scientific name: Delosperma cooperi
  • Soil type: Sharply-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 6 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 6 to 10

If you have some dry areas in your landscape that need some sprucing up, then try adding in some ice plants. In vibrant purple, pink, yellow, and white, this succulent perennial adds a low-lying burst of color to troublesome dry spots.

A wonderfully colorful groundcover, you can even gain some winter interest from its evergreen foliage. Ice plants will creep, and if you keep it dry during winter, you will experience less foliage dying back than if the soil stays wet. In fact, wet soil in winter could prevent the plant from returning.

Joe Pye Weed

Eutrochium purpureum
These flowers have a nice light scent and will bring a pop of color to your garden.
Scientific name: Eutrochium purpureum
  • Soil type: Medium moisture
  • Plant height: 5 to 7 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 4 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 9

A late-blooming wildflower, Joe Pye weed makes an excellent addition to naturalized spaces and pollinator gardens. With its dusty rose flowers clusters atop tall, strong stems, you may find caterpillars munching on your Joe Pye weed as they do on milkweed.

With a slight vanilla scent, sometimes your Joe Pye weed may get so tall you have to stake it, which is worth the time and effort to retain its beauty and source of pollen and nectar for the wildlife.

Lamb’s Ear

Stachys byzantina
These fussy bloomers will add a unique look to your garden or walkway.
Scientific name: Stachys byzantina
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 9 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Lamb’s ear adds low-lying softness and an interesting shade of green well suited to garden borders and walkway edges. The shape of the leaves look like lamb’s ears and have a fuzzy texture that gives them a unique look. Blooming in summer, you will enjoy spikes of pink to purple flowers.

Although lamb’s ear can be used as edging, it pairs well with medium-height perennials, providing a soft green border to showier plants.

Lungwort

Pulmonaria officinalis
These blooms will change colors as they mature and will thrive best in shaded ares.
Scientific name: Pulmonaria officinalis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 6 to 12 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade to full shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

This low-maintenance perennial adds showy color to your early spring landscape. Its blooms begin as pink then age to a beautiful rose-violet and finally to blue. These low-lying perennials do well in the dappled shade of trees where the afternoon sun can’t scorch its leaves.

With a low-growing habit, these plants spread slowly, but if you do get some crowding, split them in the fall to ensure healthy growth and adequate space for the coming spring.

Lupine

Lupinus
These flowers come in a variety of different vibrant colors.
Scientific name: Lupinus
  • Soil type: Slightly acidic, well-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 4 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Offering an array of colors, lupines create colorful spikes in the garden and landscape during the spring. From dark purples, blues, pinks, and yellows, to lighter shades that remind you of apricot and lavender, you can find a variety of ways to punch up the color for spring with the tall, showy spires of lupine.

These garden favorites make wonderful additions to cottage gardens and borders, although taller ones may need some staking for support.

Marjoram

Origanum libanoticum
These flowers will tolerate dry, hot conditions and isn’t picky about soil.
Scientific name: Origanum libanoticum
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 9 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

Another great choice for rock gardens, sandy soils, and dry areas, marjoram tolerates heated dry conditions quite well. Although it should be winter tolerant to zone 5, zones 5 and 6 may want to apply sufficient mulch to avoid shock from freezing temperatures.

Showy flowers of pink with pale-green bracts, marjoram makes an excellent border, especially in hard-to-grow dry soils, and you can dry its stems for lovely everlasting bouquets.

Maximillian Sunflower

Helianthus maximiliani
With the look of a sunflower, these smaller flowers will also vine around fences and mailboxes.
Scientific name: Helianthus maximiliani
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 10 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 4 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 9

If you like sunflowers, the Maximilian vining perennial will give you plenty of fall color over walls, up a trellis, or covering a fence. You can often find this vining sunflower covering mailboxes on country roads in the Midwest.

Offering an easy-care habit, this dependable perennial features small sunflowers covering its vines, giving a casual, laid-back look to any garden area.

Meadow Rue

Thalictrum aquilegiifolium
These flowers don’t do well with too much heat so be sure to give them enough shade and well drained soil.
Scientific name: Thalictrum aquilegiifolium
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

With bloom often mistaken for columbine, meadow rue’s blooms look like tiny balls that unfurl to delicate petals that droop. The lilac color against its green foliage has a lovely effect in cottage gardens and pathways in late spring to early summer.

Too much heat and humidity will affect meadow rue so, depending on your region, it may require more shade than sun. Pollinators love meadow rue, and pairing it with bee balm makes for a natural-looking landscape.

Milkweed

Scientific name: Asclepias syriaca
These flowers will help deter caterpillars from eating other plant in your garden.
Scientific name: Asclepias syriaca
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

This plant represents the one plant gardeners don’t mind seeing chewed up. Nothing beats watching a caterpillar move through its entire lifecycle on a plant you grew. Milkweed simply creates magic in your garden space.

With beautiful spherical blooms like allium, caterpillars won’t bother the pretty lavender flowers. They just chew the leaves. Once the blooms fade, they are replaced with interesting seed pods that open to unfurl seeds that float through the air on cottony strings and self-seed. You can collect and dry the seed pods yourself and seed your own milkweed plants.

Mother of Thyme

Scientific name: Thymus serpyllum          
These flowers are beautiful planted in walkways or in-between stepping stones.
Scientific name: Thymus serpyllum          
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

Mother of thyme gives you a creative way to add ground cover around stepping stones or other hardscape walkways. Also known as creeping thyme for its spreading habit, mother of thyme produces tiny, tubular, deep-pink to deep-purple flowers that bloom during summer.

Great for naturalized spaces and pollinator gardens, mother of thyme provides aromatic foliage better suited to the landscape than culinary arts.

Mountain Bluet

Centaurea montana
This flower is perfect for any butterfly garden and comes in several different colors.
Scientific name: Centaurea montana
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 24 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

An easy-to-grow perennial, mountain bluet can be found in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and blue. Attractive to butterflies, mountain bluet makes a great addition to butterfly gardens.

This late-spring bloomer spreads rapidly and has been known to rebloom in early fall under good conditions. A favorite in cottage gardens and borders as well as naturalized areas, mountain bluet forms clumps that you can easily divide as it spreads.  

New England Aster

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
These flowers will bloom in late summer and early fall.
Scientific name: Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

If it wasn’t for its height, you might mistake New England aster for a mum. Its pink and purple blooms, bursting out in late summer through fall, take on a mum-like appearance, but the height makes it a clear fall standout, adding a beautiful dotted backdrop to a fall landscape.

Especially stunning with mums and coneflowers, aster should be cut back nearly to the ground after it finishes blooming to prepare for the spring. You can also pinch blooms in the summer for a bushier plant in the fall.

Pale Beardtongue

Penstemon pallidus
These flowers come in several different colors and will thrive in well drained soil.
Scientific name: Penstemon pallidus
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 18 to 30 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Pale beardtongue may look similar to snapdragons and foxgloves because they come from the same family. Although several species of beardtongue can be planted, this species offers a moderate growth habit in a variety of colors, including white, orange, yellow, pink, and lavender.

Another great choice for butterfly gardens, this perennial pollinator favorite opens its blooms in early summer, but unlike other perennials, it could use a cutting once it has finished blooming to tidy its appearance. If you live in the colder end of the USDA zones listed, a bit of mulch can help it overwinter properly.

Peony

giant pink flowers with layered flower petals
These big beautiful blooms love to be planted near plenty of sun and water.
Scientific name: Paeonia
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 18 to 30 inches
  • Plant width: 18 to 30 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

Seen lining long country driveways in the Midwest, peonies come in a large variety of colors and bloom types. There are many different varieties of peonies that have different physical characteristics. Their heavy fragrance and large, showy blooms make peonies a spring favorite for gardeners. They don’t like to compete for light or water so avoid planting these near trees or anything that might provide shade.

Their large blooms become so heavy that staking can be helpful; otherwise, one heavy rainfall has these plants bowing to the ground. Because of their large blooms and fragrance, peonies make wonderful cut flowers.

Perennial Flax

small five petal purple flowers with yellow centers
These flowers are easy to grow from seed and can bloom up to eight weeks.
Scientific name: Linum perenne
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 1 to 2 feet
  • Plant width: 9 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

This tufted perennial can easily be grown from seed. Perennial flax produces sky-blue flowers and blooms abundantly in late spring. You can expect weeks of blooms. Petals open early in the morning and usually drop in the afternoon, but perennial flax continues sending up shoots, sometimes for up to eight weeks.

To continue the blooming as long as possible, cut the stem back by half after blooming to encourage a second bloom. The stems can be tough, although they look wiry and thin.

Pincushion Flower

Scabiosa caucasica
These delicate flowers will thrive best with well drained soil and ample sun exposure.
Scientific name: Scabiosa caucasica
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 18 to 24 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 3 to 7

Blooming from May to July, these intricate flowers provide a deep blue color perfect for edgings and borders. Vibrant against greenery or taller yellow blooms, pincushion flowers have delicate-looking petals with a wide, white center, making them look dainty up close.

Wet winter soils will ruin the plant so mulch well and prune spent blooms to encourage further blooming throughout the season.

Pink

pink flowers with flat petals and jagged edges
These flowers are great to plant around the border of your garden.
Scientific name: Dianthus chinensis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 6 to 12 inches
  • Plant width: 6 to 12 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 6 to 9

As the name suggests, pinks or dianthus come in a variety of pink shades with vibrant green foliage and make a great summer bloomer, especially around borders. Though low-growing, this full, compact perennial offers a bunch of color in the landscape when you might need it most.

Pinks will self-seed. If you want to control seeding or encourage more blooms, deadheading needs to be a regular practice. If you want a controlled spread, simply divide the clumps in the fall.

Prairie Violet

Viola Pedatifida
The prairie violet is a small, beautiful lavender perennial.
Scientific name: Viola pedatifida
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 6 to 9 inches
  • Plant width: 6 to 9 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

This lovely, tiny flowering perennial blooms in very early spring sometimes lasting well into the summer months. This perennial is low growing, and makes a perfect addition to garden borders or edges. It usually only grows to around 8 inches tall, making it perfect in low growing areas.

Unlike other violet species, the larkspur violet does not spread aggressively and provides a looks great when layered with other early spring bloomers in varying heights. It’s also native to many areas across the United States.

Primrose

Primula
These flowers come in over 500 different species and colors.
Scientific name: Primula
  • Soil type: Moist, well-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 6 inches
  • Plant width: 3 to 9 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

With over 500 species, it should come as no surprise that you can find primroses in all colors except green. You can find a lot of variety in primroses, but these early spring bloomers put on a show. With very little care, you should have primroses blooming for a few weeks, making borders and pathways light up with color in spring.

Primrose will spread in the garden both underground and by self-seeding. So you can blanket bare spaces with this tiny flower, enjoying it when spring arrives, and allow it to continue to spread each year.

Queen of the Prairie

Filipendula rubra
These flowers will need a little extra water to keep them thriving in the warmer seasons.
Scientific name: Filipendula rubra
  • Soil type: Moist
  • Plant height: 6 to 8 feet
  • Plant width: 3 to 4 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

This species of meadowsweet gives your space a real show-stopper. All summer you can enjoy fluffy pink plumes from this super-tall species of meadowsweet. Although this native to Missouri can grow in many different soil conditions, it makes a great addition to rain gardens or anywhere you have slightly wet soil.

In warmer climates, you may need to keep up watering if the soil gets too dry; otherwise, the plant won’t get the moisture it needs and will end up scorched. You can prune it down throughout the growing season if it becomes unsightly.

Roman Chamomile

Chamaemelum nobile
This flower is commonly seen in walkways but is also known to be used for tea production.
Scientific name: Chamaemelum nobile
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 6 inches
  • Plant width: 6 to 12 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 9

This herb not only adds beauty to the landscape and reaches full growth in about ten weeks. A useful groundcover, this variety of the chamomile herb does not get used in tea production, but unlike the tea-worthy German chamomile, the Roman chamomile can be counted on for perennial production.

The tiny, daisy-like flowers top the ferny green foliage and provide a delightful cover on rock walls, stone walkways, or anywhere you want the flower to spread. The breezy greenery softens hardscapes and edges.

Russian Sage

Perovskia atriplicifolia
These flowers are known for their beauty and fragrance.
Scientific name: Perovskia atriplicifolia
  • Soil type: Dry to medium
  • Plant height: 18 to 24 inches
  • Plant width: 18 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

The sprawling habit of this beautiful plant can’t quite be described by simple measurements. Lengthy gray stems covered in tiny powdery lavender blooms come out from the ground in a V-shape, giving this perennial a lovely shape.

Its blooms offer a lovely fragrance and color from June to fall, and Russian sage looks best when planted in masses. Its stems make an interesting addition to cut-flower bouquets.

Salvia

tall purple stem with small purple flowers on it
These flowers are perfect for attracting butterflies and are fairly easy to care for.
Scientific name: Salvia nemorosa
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 18 to 36 inches
  • Plant width: 18 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Another good choice for perennial butterfly gardens, salvia produces deep purple spikes while offering low maintenance. Resistant to deer and drought, plants can rebloom throughout the summer, but they do need consistent watering to do so. Otherwise, although the plant will live, it will droop.

Best when planted in groups, salvia makes excellent borders for gardens or paths and looks picture perfect in naturalized areas that attract wildlife.

Sea Holly

Eryngium planum
These flowers are often used in bouquets to add some uniqueness.
Scientific name: Eryngium planum
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 1 to 2 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

Sea holly offers a splendid display from bloom to seed head and provides a unique perennial in your landscape. Blooming from June to August, you can enjoy steel-blue flowers atop sparse stems with little to no foliage. Then once the petals drop, you can enjoy beautiful seedheads, similar to coneflower, that wildlife will enjoy.

Sea holly pairs well with low-lying ground cover that can provide a backdrop to showcase its multiseason changing looks. The flowers and seed heads also make lovely bouquet additions.

Siberian Bugloss

Brunnera macrophylla
When these tiny blooms are gone the foliage will stay green all year long.
Scientific name: Brunnera macrophylla
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 18 to 30 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

Featuring intensely blue flowers that resemble forget-me-nots, Siberian bugloss features incredible spring blooms that look vibrant when paired with tulips in the landscape. Once the blooms have faded, Siberian bugloss unfurls its vibrant foliage to its full size, which remains lustrous the entire growing season.

The foliage may remind you a bit of hostas, especially varieties with silvery or variegated markings. Slow spreaders, this shade-loving plant looks best in clumps.

Speedwell

Veronica austriaca
These beautiful flowers are low maintenance and prefer dry soil.
Scientific name: Veronica austriaca
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 18 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

This showy flower, which enjoys a bit of shade, blooms from late spring to early summer. You can find speedwell in deep dark purples to lovely lavender colors, and they don’t require a lot of maintenance.

Preferring drier soils, don’t allow them to stay wet and cut them back a bit after blooming to encourage healthy growth. You may see a bit of reblooming in the fall after cutting back, but it will not be as full as the spring show.

Spiderwort

Tradescantia
These flowers need wet soil and partial sun and will bloom in late spring through summer.
Scientific name: Tradescantia
  • Soil type: Wet
  • Plant height: 12 to 24 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade to full shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

The showy purple flowers on the spiderwort stand out even in the shade. Blooming from late spring through summer, spiderwort provides continual summer color and can perform especially well in rain gardens.

Spiderwort acts a bit like a daylily even down to its spidery, sprawling foliage. The beautiful blooms open up in the morning and then close in the afternoon. Although each stem provides just one bloom, the spiderwort sends up stems and blooms all summer.

Spurge

Euphorbia palustris
These flowers do well in hotter climates and aren’t fussy about soil conditions.
Scientific name: Euphorbia palustris
  • Soil type: Well-drained, tolerates poor soils
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

Spurge has an interesting shape, and the greenish-yellow look of the blooms offers a color you don’t often see in summer perennials. Blooming in June and July, spurge’s chartreuse color scheme makes for an excellent contrast to other summer bloomers, especially purple and red flowers, such as the coneflower.

Tolerant of poor soils and even standing water, spurge may take a hit in hotter climates. So be sure to give it a bit of afternoon shade if you live in warmer regions.

Star of Persia

Allium cristophii
This unique flower will not only turn heads but will also attract many different pollinators to your garden.
Scientific name: Allium cristophii
  • Soil type: Dry to medium
  • Plant height: 12 to 24 inches
  • Plant width: 6 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

This bulbous perennial offers a unique ornamental look to your garden in late spring. Long, thick stems hold a beautiful ball of tiny lavender florets with flowing foliage only at the base of the plant. This versatile perennial gives a picture-perfect look to manicured landscapes but looks equally as stunning standing out in a more casual array of blooming plants.

The star of Persia will spread and form clumps that you can easily divide so that you can share its beauty in all areas of your landscape. Star of Persia also makes a great choice for butterfly gardens as it attracts pollinators.

Stonecrop

Sedum rupestre
These flowering succulents do well in the heat and are known to be drought tolerant.
Scientific name: Sedum rupestre
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 6 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

Sedum has officially made a comeback. Some used to think that sedum had been overused in landscapes, especially around office buildings and businesses, but when the succulent craze began, sedum made a grand re-entrance.

Thriving in dry conditions, sedum can be placed in dry areas that other perennials can’t tolerate. With its thick stems and tiny florets in pinks and purples, sedum not only adds color in late summer, but it also makes a stunning addition to cut-flower bouquets.

Swamp Rose Mallow

light pink flowers with big paper like petals and dark pink center
These flowers come in varying shades of pink and whites and will bloom throughout the summer.
Scientific name: Hibiscus moscheutos
  • Soil type: Medium to wet
  • Plant height: 3 to 7 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 4 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 5 to 9

Right when you thought that wet part of your landscape would kill any perennial trying to thrive there, in walks the swamp rose mallow. Reminding you of the tropical hibiscus flower, the swamp rose mallow provides a tall, flowery show throughout the summer.

Adding an exotic look to your landscape, the flowers bloom in colors of pink to white in varying shades. If you prefer a bushier plant, pinch the growing tips at eight inches and again at 12. Prune stems three to four inches in late fall to promote healthy new growth.

Thrift

bright pink flowers clustered in a ball
These flowers come in several different colors and will bloom in the early summer.
Scientific name: Armeria maritima
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 6 to 12 inches
  • Plant width: 6 to 12 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Don’t be fooled by the wiry green stems on these compact plants. Thrift produces round flowers atop its stems in colors ranging from pink to purple to white. Blooming in late spring to early summer, you can extend the bloom time by deadheading spent blooms.

If you have longer stems, you can use these flowers not just in your landscape but also bring them inside to add to cut-flower bouquets or dry for everlasting flowers.

Tickseed

big yellow flowers with pointy petals
These flowers come in a number of different varieties and are easy to care for.
Scientific name: Coreopsis palmata
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 18 to 30 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 3 to 8

A nice filler perennial, tickseed includes 80 varieties, plenty to satisfy the needs of any gardener. Its small, daisy-like blooms give summer color when the heat often chokes out other perennials. Plant in masses to fill in spots and add easy color throughout the landscape.

Coreopsis requires little care once established. Birds and bees will flock to its blooms in the summer, and wildlife will enjoy the seed heads throughout the winter.

Trillium

White Trillium Flower
These flowers come in several different colors and have these unique tri-lobed petals.
Scientific name: Trillium
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 12 to 18 inches
  • Plant width: 12 to 18 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade to full shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

A native to Missouri, this early spring bloomer produces flowers in white, yellow, pink, purple, red, and green. With leggy stems and sparse foliage, trillium looks like it stands proudly with its tri-lobed petals and yellow centers.

A woodland native, you would do best to plant and care for this as if it were in its natural habit. So they require shade, but planting them near shallow-rooted trees and shrubs means they will compete for moisture.

Western Sunflower

Helianthus occidentalis
These flowers will bloom in midsummer to early fall.
Scientific name: Helianthus occidentalis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 4 feet
  • Plant width: 18 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Looking a bit like a cross between coreopsis and black-eyed Susans, Western sunflowers give you two-inch wide yellow flowers with yellow centers with the star-like shape common to sunflowers. A profuse bloomer, expect blooms from midsummer through early fall.

Native to many Eastern and Midwestern states, the Western sunflower naturally provides good erosion control as well as food for wildlife, not to mention a beautiful border backdrop.

Whitlow Grass

Draba rigida
These flowers are drought tolerant and are perfect to grow around rocks and other ground landscaping.
Scientific name: Draba rigida
  • Soil type: Sharply-drained
  • Plant height: 3 to 6 inches
  • Plant width: 3 to 6 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 4 to 8

Not at all a grass, whitlow grass adds a showy, lustrous touch to rock gardens and other areas of your landscape that require drought-tolerant perennials. Quite small, these plants add a vibrant punch of green foliage in areas that need color and provide clustered bright flowers in the very early spring.

Though most often seen with yellow flowers, you can find whitlow grass in white, pink, and purple. These perennials like sandy, gritty soil, and if you plan to grow them from seed, chill the seed in the fridge for a few days before sowing.

Wild Indigo

Baptisia tinctoria
These flowers come in a variety of other colors such as white, blue and yellow.
Scientific name: Baptisia tinctoria
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 3 to 9

You will find these showy perennials easy to grow although they take a bit to establish. The dark green foliage sport blooms in early summer in white, blues, yellows, and purple. These may sleep for the first couple of years, but your patience will be rewarded with a plant full of lengthy stems and blooms.

You may be tempted to divide this plant, but wild indigo resents being moved, divided, or disturbed. Instead, it provides a low-maintenance, lasting beauty to your landscape.

Wild Pink

Silene caroliniana
These flowers will bloom in mid summer and attract butterflies to your garden.
Scientific name: Silene caroliniana
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 9 to 12 inches
  • Plant width: 9 to 12 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

Also known as catchfly, wild pink looks a bit like woodland phlox. A mid-spring bloomer, wild pink provides an early food source for insects and makes a great addition to a butterfly garden. Its rose-pink flowers cluster loosely around the top of the stem, the wild pink perennial is a low, mounding native wildflower.

Wild pink requires well-drained soil. It prefers to be in full sun in dry conditions and left undisturbed once established.

Windflower

Anemone hupehensis
These flowers have a unique quality that are resistant to disease and pests but will not deter the pollinators.
Scientific name: Anemone hupehensis
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 30 to 36 inches
  • Plant width: 24 to 36 inches
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • USDA zones: 5 to 8

You may notice this flower from the anemone family sometimes called Japanese anemone. This particular cultivar of anemone is resistant to disease and pests and attracts butterflies, but not all anemones can boast such features.

These dark pink flowers enjoy a bit of shade, but the blooms can droop if given too much shade. They do need a bit of pampering so be sure to keep them sheltered from heavy winds and give them a good bit of mulch for winter, especially in colder climates.

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium
This flower comes in a variety of different colors and are often used in bouquets.
Scientific name: Achillea millefolium
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 2 to 3 feet
  • Plant width: 2 to 3 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • USDA zones: 3 to 9

A dependable summer bloomer, yarrow comes in several different colors, including yellow, pinks, purples, and white. Their white pernnial flowers are what most gardeners think of when considering yarrow. Compact and clump-forming, yarrow has fern-like foliage and stems off near the top to form multiple flower heads.

Yarrow makes an excellent addition to borders and can stand average to poor soils as long as they drain well. With its strong central stem, yarrow can add color and texture to cut-flower bouquets. If you deadhead fading blooms, yarrow will continue blooming throughout the summer.

Yellow Archangel

yellow flower with angle wing shaped petals
These unique flowers are part of the mint family and have a similar scent.
Scientific name: Lamium galeobdolon
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Plant height: 1 to 2 feet
  • Plant width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Sun exposure: Part shade to full shade
  • USDA zones: 4 to 9

Also known as golden dead nettle, yellow archangel often gets used as a ground cover because of its prolific spreading habit. Bright yellow flowers cluster on spikes in the spring. A member of the mint family, the foliage produces a bit of a fragrance.

The flowers run atop erect stems that can sometimes get leggy. Cut the plants down by half to create a more compact form, and you can keep the spreading to a minimum by dividing plants in the fall.

Final Thoughts

Even if you have wet or dry soil or sunny and shady spots in your landscape, you can find a flowering perennial that adds color and dimension to your landscape beds, and flowering perennials offer versatility for your needs.

Whether you find yourself planting a pollinator garden, a rain garden, a landscape garden, or a cutting garden, perennials can provide all you need to make your project a success.

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