Early spring blooming flowers


10 Flowers to Plant Right Now

With proper planning, there is a plethora of beautiful fall-blooming perennial and annual flowers that you can grow from seed. However, you may prefer the convenience of buying plantings at a nursery on an as-needed basis. In the fall, your local garden center should have a selection of cool-weather-loving flowers ready to take home.

Some will tolerate frost and last into the snowy months, while others, like cosmos and marigolds, live fast and die young with the first frost of winter. Often you can find these frost-sensitive flowers at bargain prices since their season is essentially over, and in that case, buying them might be worth it for two additional months of beautiful blossoms. Here is a list of fall flowers that you can plant right now to keep your yard looking great.


Asters produce pretty daisy-like flowers in a range of colors and, depending on the species, are frost tolerant. In order to avoid diseases, don’t plant annual asters in the same place year after year. Preferably plant in either full sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained soil.

Cabbage and Kale

While not actual flowers, ornamental cabbages and kales have been bred to look colorful and eye-catching. They are definitely attractive and can tolerate freezing temperatures, keeping up appearances into the snowy months. Their colors may not fill out until the plant has experienced a few frosts. Plant in a sunny location with moderately moist soil.


A cheery, golden addition to the fall garden with medicinal qualities, calendula flowers grow up to 4 inches across and come in a variety of shades. Easy to grow, they help deter some garden pests and will tolerate light frosts. Although calendulas prefer full sun, they can tolerate partial shade.


Chrysanthemums (nicknamed “mums”) are very easy to grow and come in a vast array of color and size. They can tolerate light frosts so they compliment the fall garden perfectly. Autumn varieties enjoy full to partial sun and moist soil.


Cosmos are very pretty flowers for the fall but cannot tolerate frost. They are drought tolerant and depending on the variety, will grow from 1 to 3 feet tall. Prefer full sun.


Another beautiful and easy to grow flower, daisies look best when planted in groups or clumps. They are rarely affected by pests or diseases and are frost tolerant. Plant in rich, well-drained soil with plenty of sunshine.


While not frost tolerant, marigolds come in beautiful fall reds, golds, and yellows. They will last until the first frost. Generally, marigolds are considered good companion plants for keeping pests away from vegetable gardens. They prefer full to partial sun and rich, well-drained soil.


Pansies are one of my favorite ornamental flowers. They have a delicate appearance and come in many different color combinations. Low maintenance, they can even survive past the first frost. They like full to partial sun and moist soil.


Trumpet-shaped and colorful, petunias are a well-liked flower. The violet-flowered petunia is frost tolerant, but other types will last until the first frost. They prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade.


A front yard favorite, snapdragons produce an abundance of flowers in bright colors and enjoy cool fall weather. They can tolerate a heavy frost. They grow 1.5 to 3 feet tall and prefer full sun.

These flowers will keep your garden looking fresh for the next couple months. As an aside, the fall is also prime time to start thinking about spring flowers. Plan ahead and plant spring bulbs in October.

For gardening design, planting, and maintenance, hire an expert landscaping professional.

Updated November 29, 2018.

5 Flowers to Plant in Spring

1. CALIBRACHOA HYBRIDS; Sunset climate zones 8, 9, 14–24 as a perennial; zones 2–7, 10–13 as an annual. Tougher than petunias, calibrachoa has smaller flowers that last longer and fall off cleanly after bloom. They’re also abundant with ample water and fertilizer.

MiniFamous series. This year includes the first double calibrachoa.

Superbells series. Heat-resistant for hot-summer climates, these have large flowers in a wide range of colors. ‘Tequila Sunrise’ flowers are bright orange streaked with yellow.

How to use them. Use trailing calibrachoas in hanging baskets, mounding varieties as bedding plants (space 8 to 10 inches apart). For a showstopper in a large pot, pair Trailing Light Blue or cherry red Superbells with ‘Palace Purple’ heuchera or purple Ipomoea batatas ‘Ace of Spades’.

2. NEW GUINEA IMPATIENS HYBRIDS; perennial in zones 24, H1, H2; annual elsewhere. Plants need sun to bloom well. Choose an area that gets morning sun and light afternoon shade (full sun all day at the coast). Give them ample water. Feed regularly, starting 3 weeks after planting.

Pure Beauty series. Comes in a range of solid colors, including pink, violet, orange, and white. Plants grow as 18- to 24-inch mounds, great in pots and garden beds.

Celebration series. Flowers are large―3 inches across. Use trailing kinds in hanging baskets.

How to use them. Pretty in beds with colorful foliage plants that thrive in part sun. Mass them in patio pots or pair them (Celebration ‘Pink’ is pretty in a chocolate brown pot with Iresine herbstii ‘Blazin’ Rose’). In a 12-inch hanging basket, plant five seedlings of a trailer such as ‘Fanfare Orange’.

3. SALVIA SPLENDENS; perennial in zones 21–24, H2; annual elsewhere. You can give them full sun in mild-summer climates, but they’ll have a much longer season of bloom in partial shade where summers are hot. They need moderate water and occasional feeding to stay strong.

Picante series. Grows 15 inches high, 10 to 12 inches wide, and produces huge flower spikes in the red, salmon, and wine color range. If you have space, try ‘Van Houttei’, whose 3-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide stature supports maroon flowers tinged with scarlet-orange.

How to use them. The mixture has more zing than blocks of single colors (though scarlet has plenty of impact by itself, especially if contrasted with the chartreuse leaves of ‘Marguerite’ sweet potato vine). Bed these out in the shade of a high-branched tree.

4. TWINSPUR (DIASCIA BARBERAE); perennial in zones 1–10, 14–24, H1; annual in colder zones. Full sun, or afternoon shade where summers are hot. Regular water. Feed at planting time, then repeat at summer’s end. Shear back after each bloom cycle for repeat flowers.

‘Denim’ (part of the Sun Chimes series). New this year and already a favorite. Deep blue flowers atop 10-inch stems have a pink wash on the petals. Two spurs (thus the name) on the back contain oils that attract bees. Also look for the species, whose flowers are pink.

How to use them. A mat-forming plant, twinspur looks great massed in beds. But it also makes a pretty companion for roses in 22-inch containers; it thrives in the same growing conditions and its colors complement a wide range of roses, especially those with blooms in apricot shades.

5. ZINNIA ELEGANS; annual all zones. Plant in full sun in a spot that gets good air circulation. Feed regularly and snip off faded flowers to keep new ones coming. Among the easiest plants to grow from seed, zinnias need protection from snails and slugs.

‘Zowie!’ Intricately patterned, flame-colored flowers make this such a unique zinnia that its breeder decided not to turn it into a series. This true annual grows 2½ to 3 feet tall.

Magellan series. Try this for 12- to 14-inch-tall zinnias in red, pink, white, yellow, and orange.

How to use them. In our trials last year, one seed packet of ‘Zowie!’ filled a 4- by 8-foot bed with color until frost. Just give the plants plenty of room (we spaced ours 18 inches apart). Mass them in pots, or try a trio of plants in a container with a fringe of trailing blue scaevola.

Various exotic poppies
“My favorite varieties include Hungarian Blue Breadseed, Elka White, Lauren’s Grape, Black Peony, Jimi’s Flag, Jimi’s Purple Haze, and Black Swan. Edible Gardens L.A. combines many of our favorites into one mixed variety seed pack.”

Owner ofArthur’s Design Nick Spain’s picks

Flowering artichoke.

Photo: Hein Van Tonder/EyeEm/Getty Images

“A lot of fuss is made over eating artichokes, but not enough is said about their ornamental value,” says home and garden designer Nick Spain. They can be a bit finicky and require some space, but their spiny, silvery stems and serrated leaves create an unexpected textural contrast in a planting scheme. Armor-like bracts open in late summer to reveal an otherworldly purple that feels straight out of Little Shop of Horrors.”

Amaranthus caudatus ‘Mira.’

Photo: 4nadia/Getty Images

Amaranthus caudatus ‘Mira’
“I’ve been obsessed with all kinds of amaranth ever since I first saw Metaflora using it in her arrangements a few years ago, and this cultivar is a particular favorite. Easy to grow, it has a fuchsia color and an extremely long, weeping form that stand outs against the rest of a garden’s flowers, more so resembling a wig you might expect to see twirling around on top of the head of a RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant during a lip-sync battle. Since it takes about 80 days to go from seed to flower, it’s important to plan accordingly.”

Verrone’s Obsidian dahlia.

Photo: neilliebert/Getty Images

Dahlia ‘Verrone’s Obsidian’
“The American Dahlia Society lists over two dozen different types of dahlias, many of which have the kind of billowing double blooms you might expect to see in a Vermeer painting. Verrone’s Obsidian is the exact opposite of those—this single-orchid variety’s wiry, blood-red petals read jet black in the August landscape and remind me of something my nieces and nephew might draw if I gave them a couple of crayons and prompted them to show me what a flower looks like. Sorry, Johannes, sometimes five-year-olds do it better.”

Spring Flowering Bulbs

Giant Flowering Onion – Allium giganteum

Family: Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis) Zone 5

How to Plant: bulb; plant 6 to 8 inches deep and one foot apart in the fall

Habit: upright in foliage and flower

Foliage: bluish gray; strap-shaped; 18 inches long; 2 to 4 inches wide

Flower: pinkish purple; borne in dense globe-shaped cluster 4 to 6 inches across; flower stalk 3 to 4 feet tall; late spring to early summer

Culture: ordinary soil; full sun or partial shade; dramatic in flower – plant in clusters of 5 to 7 bulbs; usually planted in back of the perennial border; long-lasting as cut flower

Grecian Windflower, Green Anemone – Anemone blanda

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) Zone 6

How to Plant: tuberous root; plant 2 to 3 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart

Habit: mounded; less than 6 inches

Foliage: 1 or 2 dark green basal leaves; divided; dies down by midsummer

Culture: humus-rich, loamy soil; tolerated high pH; partial shade and protection from wind prolongs flowering

Glory-of-the-Snow – Chionodoxa luciliae

Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 4

How to Plant: bulb; plant 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart in fall

Habit: upright; 3 to 6 inches

Foliage: grasslike; dark green; 2 leaves per stem

Flower: blue with white center; about 5 in a cluster; each flower 1 inch across; star-like flowers borne on a reddish stalk that extends above foliage; early spring

Culture: ordinary, well-drained soil; suitable for under-planting deciduous shrubs; plant in masses for immediate effect; will multiply slowly by self seeding

Crocus – Crocus species

Family: Iridaceae (Iris) Zone 4

How to Plant: corm; plant 3 inches deep and 4 inches apart in fall

Habit: upright; 6 inches

Foliage: grasslike; dark green; curved; silver striped down center of leaf; leaves shorter than flowers, then expand to 8 to 12 inches after flowering

Flower: 1 1 /2 to 8 inches long; white, yellow, purple or striped; usually borne singly; close at night or on cloudy days; spring

Culture: plant in well-drained soil; full sun or partial shade; may be naturalized in lawns if foliage is allowed to ripen properly

Note: There are 3 main groups of crocus: C. chrysanthus (Golden Crocus) flowers very early and has small flowers; C. vernus (Dutch Crocus) is most popular and has larger flowers (many named cultivars of crocus are in this group); the third group is comprised of botanic species, that tend to have small, brightly colored flowers. There are Crocus species that flower in autumn.

Winter Aconite – Eranthis hyemalis

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) Zone 4

How to Plant: tuber; plant 3 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in early fall; soak tubers overnight before planting

Habit: upright; 3 to 8 inches

Foliage: basal; long petioles; deeply divided; leafy bract situated immediately under flower; actual foliage develops as flowering ends; dies down in summer

Flower: solitary; one inch across; yellow petallike sepals; very early spring

Culture: partial shade to full sun; well-drained, moist soil; plant in masses; good for naturalizing; will self-sow

Checkered Lily, Guinea-Hen Flower – Fritillaria meleagris

Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 4

How to Plant: bulb; plant 4 to 6 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in early fall

Habit: erect; 9 to 15 inches

Foliage: few, alternate leaves; linear; 3 to 6 inches long

Flower: drooping; usually solitary; white or mottled and veined with bronze, gray, purple and white; 1-1/2 inches long; spring

Culture: full sun or light shade; moist, well-drained soil; propagate by dividing after foliage ripens

Note: Arelated species, F. imperialis (Crown Imperial), bears several pendant flowers atop a 2 to 4 foot stalk with a tuft of leaves at the top of the stalk; flowers are bright yellow or orange.

Common Snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis

Family: Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis) Zone 4

How to Plant: bulb; plant 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart in fall

Habit: upright; 6 to 8 inches

Foliage: 2 to 3 leaves; 1/4 inch wide; 6 inches long

Flower: white except for green crescent around the notch of inner floral segments; external floral segments longer than inner ones; flower drooping; 1/2 inch across; borne on slender stalk; very early spring; cultivars may have more green in flowers or be doubled

Culture: partial to full shade; moist, well-drained soil with high organic matter; naturalize in large drifts; propagate by dividing clumps immediately after flowering

Common Hyacinth – Hyacinthus orientalis

Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 5

How to Plant: bulb; plant 7 inches deep and 6 to 9 inches apart in fall

Habit: upright; 12 inches

Foliage: 4 to 6 basal leaves; strap-shaped; margins upturned; 1 inch wide and up to 12 inches long

Flower: many flowers in showy, crowded, terminal raceme; individual flowers about 1 inch across; very fragrant; yellow, rose, pink, blue, salmon and white; mid-spring

Culture: full sun; good drainage; fertile soil amended with organic matter and sand; remove spent flower stalks; floral display gradually decreases each year – dig and discard bulbs as necessary; flowers too rigid for naturalizing; many named cultivars available

Dutch Hybrid Iris – Iris hybrids

Family: Iridaceae (Iris) Zone 6

How to Plant: bulb; plant 5 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in the fall

Habit: upright; 1-1/2 to 2 feet

Foliage: leaves almost cylindrical; up to 2 feet long; tips of leaves may tend to die back

Flower: 1 or 2 flowers; 3 to 4 inches across; white, yellow, orange, bronze, blue, purple or bicolor; late spring

Culture: full sun; well-drained soil; dry, warm soil in summer is ideal; good for forcing indoors

Note: Dutch Hybrid Iris originated by crossing Spanish Iris (Iris xiphium) with several other Iris species; Dutch Iris is a common cut flower used by florists

Common Grape Hyacinth – Muscari botryoides

Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 4

How to Plant: bulb; plant 3 inches deep and 4 inches apart in early fall

Habit: upright; 6 to 12 inches

Foliage: 6 to 8 basal leaves; up to 12 inches long and 1/3 inch wide; dark green on lower surface; appear in autumn and remain green through winter; dormant in summer

Flower: 12 to 20 flowers in terminal cluster on leafless flower stem; each flower urn shaped and drooping; blue or white; 1/8 inch long; early spring

Culture: fertile, sandy soil in full sun or partial shade; plant in masses for best effect

Note: Arelated species, M. armeniacum, self seeds more aggressively and is more invasive.

Daffodil, Narcissus, Jonquil – Narcissus species

Family: Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis) Zone varies

How to Plant: bulb; plant 6 inches deep and 6 to 12 inches apart (smaller species bulbs require more shallow placement)

Habit: upright; 6 to 24 inches

Foliage: about 3/4 inch wide; up to 15 inches long; shiny green

Flower: one or several flowers to a stalk; 6 lower segments white or yellow; trumpet long and tubular or short and cuplike, white, pink, yellow, orange and orange-red; flowers single or double; extremely variable – Narcissus are grouped into 12 named divisions; early spring to spring

Culture: well-drained soil enriched with organic matter; divide every fourth year after leaves have died; easy to grow; remove faded flowers so they don’t set seeds

Note: The name daffodil applies primarily to flowers with large trumpets and can be used for all members of the genus; the name jonquil originally applied only to N. jonquilla, but now is usually applied to all jonquilla daffodils of garden origin (Division 7); the name narcissus is derived from the genus name Narcissus.

Siberian Squill – Scilla siberica

Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone 4

How to Plant: bulb; plant 3 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in early fall

Habit: upright; 6 inches

Foliage: 2 to 5 grasslike, basal leaves; 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide; blunt tipped and bright green

Flower: deep blue; bell shaped; 1/2 inch wide; in loose cluster of 3 to 5; 1 to 6 flower stems per plant; early spring

Culture: fertile, sandy soil in sun or partial shade; useful under deciduous shrubs and trees; plant in large masses for best effect; tend to colonize over time; suitable for naturalizing in the lawn (foliage matures quickly before turfgrass needs cutting)

Tulip – Tulipa species

Family: Liliaceae (Lily) Zone varies

How to Plant: bulb; plant 4 to 8 inches deep and 4 to 8 inches apart in fall; deep planting (within reason) discourages bulbs multiplication and encourages good-sized flowers for several years; species tulips usually require shallower planting

Habit: upright or clumped; 6 to 30 inches

Foliage: usually basal; thick bluish green; untoothed; 6 to 10 inches long; Kaufmanniana and Greigii hybrids often have burgundy-or purple-mottled leaves

Flower: usually solitary; erect; saucer-shaped; total of 6 petals and sepals (except doubles); multitude of colors and flower forms (there are over 400 named cultivars: common classes are Mendel, Fosteriana hybrids, Kaufmanniana hybrids, Greigii hybrids, Triumph, Darwin hybrid, Lily-flowered, Cottage, Rembrandt, Parrot, Double-flowered and Species tulips); early spring to spring

Culture: well-drained, sandy, humus-rich soil in full sun or partial shade; plant in masses; bulbs may be moved or discarded in midsummer after foliage has withered; some gardeners plant new bulbs each year; remove faded flowers to avoid seed set

bulThere a many Spring Blooming Plants that arrive very early in the year. Some even peek through the last of the winter snow. This collection will give you some idea of what to be on the lookout for this year for your spring garden.

What flowers bloom in spring?

The answer is a simple one. Plants that give off a show of early spring color are those that don’t mind the cold.

Spring weather is so variable. One day it feels like winter and the next it seems like a summer day. These plants can deal with this fluctuation of weather.

After a long and cold winter, most gardeners are really looking forward to the first flowers of spring in their garden. Growing perennial plants and bulbs is a great way to get that color without extra work in the spring.

Thankfully, Mother Nature does not disappoint us with a wide array of flowers that bloom in spring since they don’t the cold. Are you ready for spring? Check out my early spring gardening check list here.

Some plants are annuals (a few…most annuals love the heat of summer), and many are perennials, bulbs and even flowering trees and shrubs. I’ve put together a collection of my 20 top picks. I bet some of them are on your list of favorites, too.

So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and get ready to welcome spring with these flowers that bloom in spring.

Shopping list for early spring blooming plants

Print out this shopping list and take it with you when you shop for spring plants. All of these can take some cold and will give a show of bloom in early spring.

Spring blooming Flowers Gallery.

If you are looking for flowers to plant in spring, this collections of plants will be sure to brighten up your yard this spring. Why not plant a few of them this year?

Spring blooming plants – Annuals

Even though these plants have to be planted each year, they are quite long lived and will flower for a long period of time.

This cool loving plant is right at home in the earliest spring days. The plant is an annual and looks great as a border or window box plant. It comes in a few colors for variety and can also be planted for fall color after other flowers have stopped blooming.

The brightly colored throats look almost like a person!

See my tips for growing pansies and some ideas for landscaping with them.

Many nurseries sell dianthus as an annual, but I have no problem at all getting it to come back each year as a perennial. The brightly colored blossoms with contrasting centers makes a great clumping plant.

It will slower all spring and looks great in any garden bed, either as a mounding or border plant. See tips for growing dianthus here.


Get a jump-start on color in your garden by planting snapdragons in your garden beds. These showy cold tolerant annuals also do well in pots, planters and hanging baskets.


Even though we see these annuals in gardens all through the summer months, petunias actually prefer temperatures on the cooler side to give off the best show of color.

They come in all sorts of colors, including some stunning bi-color varieties.

Spring blooming Plants – Bulb Flowers

The early spring bulbs need to be planted in the fall in order for them to get the period of cold that is needed for establishing the plants. (summer flowering bulbs can be planted in spring.)

From as young as I can remember, my mother had irises growing in the early spring. These lovely bulbs bring a dramatic look to an early garden, and are one of the showiest of early spring blooming plants.

They are very easy to care for and some have even been hybridized to be re-bloomers later in the summer.

All that is needed in spring is a bit of a clean up around last year’s foliage and you are ready to start over again for another year. Irises come in a wide variety of colors. Some are bearded and ruffled for a glorious show in early spring.

What early spring garden would be complete without the earliest of spring blooming plants? Daffodils poke their heads up in my yard in early February and will flower all through the month as long as we don’t get a hard freeze.

Plant daffodils in the fall to get a lovely surprise in very early spring. They make great cut flowers, too! Daffodils bulbs should be planted in the fall to maximize the spring blooms.


These beautifully colored perennial bulbs announce the arrival of spring in a majestic way. Their flowers have lovely trumpet shaped clusters on sturdy stalks. They make wonderful cut flowers.

My hyacinths arrive in the weeks between daffodils and tulips. Plant hyacinth bulbs in autumn and enjoy them in early spring. They can also be forced indoors.

“Goodbye winter and hello spring” say these early blooming spring bulbs. Crocuses come in pink, yellow, white and purple and are planted in corms.

The range in size from delicate miniatures to larger, more showy blooms. When you see crocuses poking through the snow, you know that spring is not long.


Each spring, right after the hyacinths start to fade in my front border, I look forward to the tulips giving me a dramatic show.

The colors are the most vibrant of those in my early spring garden. They don’t last long but give me so much pleasure when they are blooming.

When I was a little girl, I used to play with the neighborhood kids on a near by street that had a little stream. (Yes, you used to be able to let your kids do that in those days!)

There were rows and rows of lovely white lily of the valley plants that grew there every year in early spring.

I keep planting them every year in different areas of my garden just hoping, against hope, that they will grow. Alas, they like a cooler climate. But if you have one, try growing these delicate flowers.

Spring blooming flowers – Perennials

Plant these early blooming perennials once and enjoy them year after year. Older plants will benefit from dividing if the center of the crown starts to die back.

Creeping phlox gives your garden bed and pretty and colorful spring carpet with pretty pastel shades of many colors. This long lasting, aromatic, and showy flowers have become a staple in today’s spring landscapes.

Some varieties flower later, as well. There is also a summer blooming variety which is more upright than the creeping variety of phlox.

Glossy puckered leaves and brightly colored flowers with vibrant throats are the characteristics of this early spring bloomer.

I have one primrose plant in my front shady garden bed that has been flowering all during February here in NC. It brings promise of the warmer weather to come.

Some early spring blooming perennials will even grow in the snow!


Hellebores are also known as Lenten Roses. They produce spring flowers in very delicate hues that are very resilient to the cold weather. It is not at all unusual to see them blooming with snow still on the ground.

Read more about hellebores here. They come in single and double bloom varieties and can tolerate light frosts.

Some varieties have low blooming clusters of flowers and others have the cluster that sits well above the leaves. The self seed readily, too.

Hellebores are evergreen, but the leaves can get pretty ratty over the year. See my tips for pruning hellebores here.

My birth flower is a an English daisy, so I am fond on any flower that looks like this pretty flower. Gazanias are brightly colored daisy like flowers with vibrant stripes that make a really great show in an early spring garden.

They are very easy to grow and come back year after year if you live in the warmer zones. My plants flower in mid spring and continue to give a show of color all summer and fall.

If you love the look of romantic flowers, a bleeding heart is perfect for you. These exquisitely shaped heart shaped flowers have drops that hang below them to give them their common name.

Bleeding hearts love the shady spot in your garden and don’t like the heat too much. They flower best is early spring.

There is nothing quite like the look of lupine flowers with their heads held high above their leaves. Lupines are known for their love of cool weather and they thrive in early spring.

The showy blooms are something to behold. Start them from seed, but they can be a touch finicky to get established. Lupines are considered a short lived perennial (two to five years.)

The common name for this showy perennial is a blanket flower. And blanket your garden bed it does. The look of gaillardias is similar to gazanias and daisies. The bees and butterflies love this pretty perennial.

This perennial is very easy to grow. See my tips for growing galliardia here.

Spring flowering plants – shrubs that have a gorgeous display of early flowers.


Some of the prettiest spring blooming plants are azaleas. One of my fondest memories from my early days here in NC was a family trip to Georgia in early spring to see the Azaleas in bloom.

As soon as I saw them, I knew that I would have them in my garden.

I have a bed of them under a pine tree (they like the acid soil there) that gives me a spectacular show right after the spring bulbs have finished. The come in single and double flowers and all sorts of lovely shades.

Prune them after flowering for best results, since next year’s flowers comes on old wood.

I look forward with so much anticipation to my forsythia bushes blooming in very early spring. I have a row of of them that covers a whole fence line and it is just amazing looking.

The bushes flower before they get leaves and they show up right about the time that the daffodils do. For more information on forsythias, check out these articles:

  • Growing forsythia bushes
  • Forcing forsythia blooms indoors
  • Renovation Pruning Forsythia
  • Tips for Planting Forsythia
  • How to trim Forsythia bushes

Spring is also the best time to tackle the job of pruning forsythia. If you wait until later in the year, you will cut off all those buds wait to bloom!

Don’t forget spring flowering trees!

Spring blooming plants are not always small and shrubs and perennial plants are not the only source of flowers in early spring. There are some amazing blossoms on trees, too!

Flowering Magnolia

Every year in early spring we have a warm spell and my magnolia tree comes into full bloom.

And it also seems that the warm spell is following by a late freeze that kills all the blossoms. This happened to me again last week. It is such a disappointment, but I’ve gotten used to enjoying the flowers while I have them!

Flowering Dogwood.

One of the most commonly used flowers in the making of vintage jewelry is the dogwood flower. It was used over and over again by mid century designers of vintage jewelry.

Since I also have an Etsy store that specializes in this type of jewelry, a flowering dogwood has always been a favorite early flowering tree of mine.

Last, but by no means least on my list of early spring flowers are those that are borne on apricot trees. It is a delight for me to drive around Raleigh in March to see the roadsides lined with apricot trees in flower. They are a sight to behold!

What is your favorite early spring flower? I’d love to see some photos of it in the comments below!

Would you like a reminder of this list of spring blooming plants? Just pin this image to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in March of 2017. I have updated the post to include more photos, a printable shopping list and a video for you to enjoy.

Active Time 3 minutes Total Time 3 minutes Difficulty moderate


  • Print out this list and take it shopping with you when you plan to purchase plants that will flower early.


  • Printer
  • Stock card paper



  1. Pansies
  2. Dianthus
  3. Snapdragons
  4. Petunias


  1. Irises
  2. Daffodils
  3. Hyacinths
  4. Crocus
  5. Tulips
  6. Lily of the Valley


  1. Creeping Phlox
  2. Primrose
  3. Hellebore
  4. Gazania
  5. Bleeding Heart
  6. Gaillardia
  7. Lupines (short lived perennials)


  1. Azaleas
  2. Forsythia


  1. Dogwood
  2. Magnolia
  3. Apricot

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Top 25 Earliest Blooming Spring Flowers, Shrubs & Trees

I don’t know about you, but with some of the warmer temperatures we’ve been having in Michigan, I’m starting to get impatient for spring to come! It can be hard, in these first few weeks of spring, to believe it is really coming.

Everything is brown and dull, and we’re still getting fits of snow here and there. It may be days, or it may be weeks before the tree buds start to open, and the grass begins to turn green.

But you know what? I saw some of my first spring flowers starting to poke their green heads out of the ground the other day. These indispensable beauties can’t be daunted.

In fact, they love the cold and rainy March weather. Whether it snows or rains in the next few weeks, they’re going to continue their slow growth and give me a bright splash of yellow and purple just as I start to despair that summer will ever come.

Do you have any early spring blooming plants: flowers, shrubs or trees? Here’s a list of some of the best and earliest blooming spring flowers and plants you can find to spread the cheer.

Early spring flowers – pansies

Annual Spring Flowers

Most annual plants love the heat of summer, but there are a few you can find who like the cold of spring.


These delicate blossoms love the cool of early spring, and they are ready and willing to brighten up your Easter window box or porch display. They come in many variegated colors.


You can find Dianthus in most nurseries sold as an annual, but depending on which zone you live in, you can get them to come back year after year. They grow in gorgeous clumps of brightly colored petals with contrasting centers.

Blue snowdrops – early spring

Spring Plants – Bulbs

Snowdrops get their name from their habit of pushing up through the late-season snow, and they have white flowers. They are short plants with foliage that dies back by summer, so plant something else to take their place once they are done blooming.


One of the most popular of all early spring flowers, Crocus pop through the snow. This plant technically doesn’t have a bulb; it’s called a “corm,” but it comes in all kinds of colors.

Siberian Squil

These plants act a lot like snowdrops in that they are short and they will carpet a garden with color in early spring. Siberian squil comes in a rare blue – hard to find in flowers!


Onto our taller bulb plants! Miniature daffodils bloom earlier; the taller variety blooms a little later. I don’t know many gardeners who can resist this bright yellow, cheerful bloom.


These tall and lovely spring-blooming plants add a dramatic punch to your spring garden. Some varieties bloom again in late summer. Irises come in many colors and shapes, and they grow with very little care. Just remember to plant them in the fall – as with any spring bulb – as they need the cold season to develop properly.

Lily of the Valley

If you’ve ever been near a stream or creek bed – where the shade is deep in summer, and the snow lingers in spring – those are the ideal growing locations for this iconic bridal bouquet flower.

Lily of the Valley has become famous in recent years for being the flower of choice for the British royal brides, and it’s also an icon of early spring with its delicate and fragrant white flowers that look like a string of tiny bells. If you have the right area for these, I highly recommend them.


Primrose start to bloom exceptionally early in some climates, which can be a welcome colorful announcement of the warmer weather to come.

Hellebore – also known as Lenten Rose

Spring Blooming Perennials

Also known as Lenten Rose, these delicately hued flowers grow during the Christian season of Lent, usually in March and April. They can bloom with snow still on the ground!


Gazanias look like brightly colored daisies with stripes. They’re easy to grow, and they keep coming back every year with little effort. They flower in mid-spring, but they keep on giving color all season!

Bleeding Heart

Another delicate shade-loving flower is the bleeding heart, which gets its name from the heart-shaped flowers that dangle from a common stem and have drop shapes coming down from them. Plant them near your Lillies of the Valley!


If you love the mountain wildflower look, lupines are the flower for you. They thrive in early spring, and their showy cones are worth the work it takes to get them loving your garden.


The season’s first bees and butterflies will flock to your carpet of Gaillardias. They’re easy to grow, and they look very similar to gazanias and daisies.

Pasque Flower

So-called because, like the Lenten Rose, they bloom around Easter. Pasque is the old French name for Easter. The lavender flowers are a beautiful addition to your Easter decor.


Adonis will be some of the earliest flowers to bloom, bringing their yellow color to add to your purple crocus and white snowdrops!

Creeping Phlox

If you like ground cover, these spring beauties come in red, white, pink, blue, rose, lavender and purple

Creeping Myrtle

This ground cover is bigger than phlox and has white or bluish blooms. Creeping myrtle loves shade and doesn’t need very much care, so plant it around your trees and enjoy!

Winter Jasmine

With pale yellow flowers that bloom very early, you might consider this ground cover as a way to fill in an early spring garden that can tend to look sparse.

Yellow forsythia bush in spring

Spring Flowering Shrubs and Trees

Forsythia is one of my personal favorites. These deservedly popular bright yellow shrubs flower right away when spring has finally descended – right around when the Daffodils pop their heads up. It’s a shame they don’t stay yellow for very long, but the short few weeks of their blooming is one of my favorites all year. Counter-intuitively, spring is the best time to prune your forsythia. If you pruned later in the year, you would cut off all the buds waiting to bloom next year!

Pussy Willow

These wild shrubs can be grown in your landscape, and they often put out their fuzzy catkins while temperatures are still well below zero. If you need an early herald of spring, these are your friend.

Witch Hazel

These are one of the earliest spring blooming shrubs; at the tail end of winter or very early spring.

Magnolia Trees

Lovely, fragrant Magnolia trees are spring’s gift to the earth. With those huge, open flowers in shades of beautiful pink or white, they are also quite large, so with one tree, you can enjoy spring to the fullest!

Flowering Dogwood

Dogwood blooms are just as lovely as Magnolia and as iconic. Their flowers are quite graphic and got used in jewelry-making over and over again near the turn of the last century.

Flowering Apricot

Any fruit tree is going to have beautiful and wonderful-smelling blossoms in the spring. However, Apricot trees sport some of the most delicate and beautiful flowers out there. If you have room to plant one you can enjoy their blooms in spring and make your own dried apricots for years to come!


Hopefully, I’ve shared some plants you have never heard of before. Think about incorporating some of these into your spring garden for next year – or maybe all of them – for a riotous early-spring explosion of color.

22 Types of Spring Flowers – With Pictures

Types of Spring Flowers

Spring flowers are not just flowers. They are the harbinger of good times ahead after the dark gloomy days of winter when everybody is looking forward to some brightness and burst of color. And rightfully, spring flowers come in an array of colors that bring you a dash of color and positivity after a long and dark spell of winters. Maya Flowers brings you a list of spring flowers that promise to bring you brightness and lift up your mood. Because after all, who wouldn’t like to wake up to red and yellow sunshine flowers?

Early Spring Flowers

Early spring flowers bloom during the last phase of winter, giving us the much-awaited early signs of spring that can come anytime knocking at our doors.

Spring Crocuses

Crocuses are the earliest one to bloom and if you see them blooming in your garden or neighborhood, it is time! The cup-shaped flowers come in a variety of colors such as mauve, lilac, white and yellow, the colors of spring! This is a low-maintenance plant, however; you would like to keep it away from rodents.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is a colorful and fragrant flower that is actually low maintenance as well as resistant to rodents and diseases. This grows out a deciduous shrub and the flower looks so beautiful against the winter sun.

Winter Aconite

The flowers thrive in cold climate and give you hope for bright and sunny days ahead. The yellow flowers of winter aconite are frost-tolerant and can withstand the first snow as well.


The other popular names for hellebore are winter rose and Christmas rose, however, the plant isn’t related to roses. It is the red-dark flower and evergreen foliage that earns it its nickname.


The bright pink camellia flowers are all you need to brighten up a dull winter day! Besides the ornamental usage, the petals of the flowers are used in tea preparation and seeds are used for oil.


The milky white flower looks like drops of milk hanging from its leaf-less stem. It is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring as it works its way through winters. It is believed that flower was originated when an angel breathed upon a snowflake. The flower represents rebirth, hope and optimism.


It is also called Lucile’s glory of the snow or Bossier’s glory of the snow. The blue colored flowers form a white eye in the center, giving it a striking appearance. Juxtaposed against the winter sky or snow, these flowers look ethereal and soothing.


The word, pansy is derived from French language and means ‘thought.’ These viola flowers used to represent a lover’s idyllic pursuit and remembrance of his love and doing nothing else. Today, it symbolizes cheerfulness of mind. Pansy has two overlapping petals, one bottom petal, and two side petals.

A List of Early Spring Flowers

Scilla siberica

These are one of the early bloomers. This bulbous perennial, despite the cue, isn’t a native to Siberia. The blue flowers have six stamens and six petals. The nodding bluebell-like flowers feature on the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.


These perennial spring flowers have six petals-like tepals arranged in a trumpet-shaped corona. The color of the flower is usually white or yellow but you can also spot orange or pink varieties too at some botanical centers. Some parts of the plant including flowers are used for medicinal purpose and alternative healing.

Iris Reticulata

The flower is a bright blue color that goes against well with the spring sky. It is also called netted iris or golden iris. Flowers are usually purple but also available in blue, yellow and with an orange blaze. Sharply-pointed and ribbed leaves make for attractive foliage.


The plant is a deciduous shrub with a brown bark. The leaves are simple and placed opposite. The yellow four-lobed flowers bloom in early spring just right before the foliage. The petals are joined only at the base, rendering the much-needed protection to the productive parts by shielding them during rough weather. It has also been stated widely that forsythia flowers produce lactose or milk sugar. It is impossible to find lactose in nature except for milk but this fact isn’t verified by scientists.


Anemone happens to be one of the most attractive and productive early spring flowers. Depending on where you live, you can plant the bulbs in fall, winter or early spring. The plant flowers within three months after that! And each bulb can produce up to 20 white flowers! In fact, vase life of anemones is pretty fantastic too. They can go for 10 days and this is why they make for an integral part of fresh flower bouquets and wedding flower décor.

A List of Mid-Spring Flowers


This bulbous plant has a single and dense spike of fragrant blooms that grow in a variety of colors such as white, orange, pink, yellow, violet and red. The flower is perfect for this phase of spring as it prefers little and indirect sunlight. Rarely, a blue or white hyacinth spike can also be seen. The bulbs of flowers are poisonous and can cause mild allergies. The flowers represent rebirth and hope. It is also placed on the table for the Persian New Year. So, if you want to bring some hope to someone this summer or fill your garden with serenity, hyacinths are the perfect choice for you.


This perennial flowering plant grows from bulbs. The star-shaped flowers grow on single stalk amidst the leaves. The strap-shaped leaves have a waxy coating and are alternately arranged. Usually, tulips produce only one flower per stem but you can see some species producing multiple flowers on scapes.


Azaleas are slow growing but you have over 10,000 cultivars to choose from. Depending on the species, the flowers can be white-yellow, sometimes fragrant and sometimes crimson red in color. Plant breeders need to watch out for leafy gall disease in the early spring.


Magnolia is an evergreen large tree and produces white fragrant flowers. In the world of flowers, white magnolia flowers represent perfection and purity whereas pink magnolia flowers stand for the joyous innocence of youth.


The flowers bloom in early spring and are mainly used for ornamental purposes. Since they come in an array of size and color, they are used for beds and borders too. The red, yellow, orange, pink, white and cream, purple and bloom flowers give a colorful landscape against the mid spring sky.

A List of Late Spring Flowers

Lily of the Valley

This sweet scented flower, however, is highly toxic. In the universe of flowers, it represents a return of the happiness. It is also called ‘Our Lady’s Tears and Mary’s Tears as it is believed that the flowers sprung from Mary’s tears when she saw her son being crucified. The flowers are also used for weddings but can be quite an expensive affair. The flowers were used in the wedding of Prince Williams and Catherine Middleton.


Lilac flowers come in seven colors and are available in different phases of spring from early to mid and late. Different varieties can give you steady blooms throughout the spring and at least till 7 weeks. These low maintenance flowers are fragrant and attract butterflies.


Peonies flowers are loved by gardeners and rightly so! These flowers bring incredible beauty to your canvas and can thrive in any part of the country. The sumptuous beauty of flowers and pleasant fragrance are just the signs that spring has arrived.


Allium flowers are available in a rainbow of colors, from white to yellow and from signature violet to pink. The flowers belong to species of garlic and onion so rest assured that deer won’t touch them but the kind of beauty and the ornamental value they add to your garden is something that you are definitely going to love!

A List of the Names of Spring Flowers You Can Grow Easily In Your Garden Right Now.

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Daisies, Cosmos, Verbena, Petunias And Salvias In A Spring Garden Bed.

It’s Spring in the Southern Hemisphere (here in Australia) and there’s quite a bit of panic among those of us who are not quite ‘confident’ in the garden. What am I going to Plant? and What goes with what? are the two big questions. Oh no, it’s too late to plant Forget Me Nots!!! Well yes it is, but only if you want flowers this year. However, there are not many like that.

You can plant Forget Me Nots right now, but I wouldn’t sit around waiting for them to flower – well not this year anyhow. Why not? Because they are Biennials – they grow all their green bits this year, and their flowers don’t appear until the second year – next year. So do plant them, just don’t expect the flowers yet. Because if you don’t plant them this year … you’ll be right back where you started this time next year again.

Other Biennials on the List of Spring flowers are the Delphiniums and Hollyhocks, so you can either buy the seeds and sow them now or buy the plant plugs and get them in. Just make sure you plant them in the back row. If you get it wrong, just pull them up and rearrange them next year. I wouldn’t move them until they’ve done all the hard work and they have healthy stems and leaves.

Names of Spring Flowers. Common And Easy To Grow.

A List of Spring Flowers. All of these are the Names of Spring Flowers which I have grown.

  • Sweet Pea
  • Pansy
  • Viola
  • Heartsease
  • Stock
  • Phlox
  • Margeurite Daisy
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Coneflower
  • Moonflower
  • Aster
  • Cosmos
  • Snapdragon
  • Petunia
  • Marigold
  • Agapanthus
  • Cornflower
  • Lobelia
  • Impatiens
  • Hollyhock
  • Carnation
  • Forget Me Not
  • Gypsophila
  • Dianthus (Sweet William)
  • Portulaca (Moss rose)
  • Nasturtium
  • Poppy
  • California Poppy
  • Delphinium
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Hollyhock

This would Be My Spring Garden Right Now. Pretty Rough And All In Together. But So Perfect.

Planting In Autumn.

Did you know that you can sow some plants in early autumn? There are quite a few. By doing this, even though some may need covering for winter protection, they will come up much earlier and flower in early spring when they are meant to flower by Nature.

We usually rely on bulbs to do this, but we can have more. These plants are generally called Hardy Annuals and Half Hardy Annuals. Half Hardy Annuals will still need some light cover during the coldest months. Autumn is also the best time to work over your soil and get it just right.

Hardy Annuals which may not need any cover are Primroses, Calendulas, Nigella, Lunaria, Iceland Poppies, Snapdragons and Larkspurs. You can even plant hardy seeds in winter as long as the soil is not frozen. This centuries old tradition is now being brought back to the delight of many gardeners.

Annuals which will need some cover during the coldest parts of winter are Sweet Peas, California Poppies, Gypsophila, Lavetera, Salvia, Cosmos and Baby Blue Eyes. These are the Half Hardy Annuals.

Just One Book. But It’s A Good One.

Growing Annuals using Cool Weather Techniques, the main one being ‘Plant Them Early’. You can Look Inside this wonderful book from Amazon. This book shows you the way with Cold Hardy Annuals.

Cool Flowers. By Lisa Marion Ziegler.

This is one book is all you need to garden and grow flowers which bloom and keep on blooming. Use Cool Weather Techniques to create your annual garden. The mind bogglingly simple one is: Plant them Earlier. A Best Seller and I can see why. Planting before the sun is too hot (as it is in spring). I had no idea ….. Actually, this book is all you need to be a real gardener.

From the back cover:

‘Expert flower grower Lisa Zeigler profiles 30 long-blooming stars of the spring garden, the “hardy annuals” that thrive when they are planted during cool conditions (instead of waiting until the warmth of spring and losing much of the season). Give them a cool start, plant them in the right spot at the right time, and stand back. In no time at all you’ll have a low-maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming when the “tender annuals” are dead and gone’.

31st October, 2014. Having read this book last night – and it is quite a book – I really feel that what little knowledge of gardening I carried with me from the past was just that: very little. Now my whole outlook to plants and the garden has changed. This book is not very big but it is very substantial. It is no paperback. It is beautifully made with glorious photos every step of the way. And, of course, it is a story. Telling it in story form is what makes this book real for me. My next garden will be a real garden, grown the way Nature intended it to be. And even how to ‘do’ the soil is accompanied by clear photos for each task. And there are only a handful of tasks. It’s just so easy and it’s all organic gardening. Naturally.

A Cold Hardy Snapdragon. A Very Cool Flower.

I Love It! The Book. Lisa’s writing is amazing. So easy to read and she really takes you through how her life changed suddenly when she firstly found what her dream was, and then how it came about. If you get emotional about beauty, especially flowers, then this book is for you. My next update will be on its own page. About this book. Thank you, Lisa, I am now thinking of a new career move too. Just need to get a few acres … Cut Flowers? No, not really, I just want to really get into this and have blooms forever. Hardy Annuals are really the only way to have a bloomin’ garden nearly all year round. The Primroses above are Cold Hardy annuals but they are not listed in the book. That’s because Lisa sticks to just her 30 favourites which have been selected for special reasons. So don’t give up on the Primrose. And here’s the book on its own page. Cool Flowers.

Names of Spring Flowers I Have Not Grown … Yet.

  • Heliotrope
  • Verbena
  • Primula
  • Polyanthus
  • Campanula
  • Nigella
  • Bidens
  • Black-eyed susan
  • Angelonia
  • Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
  • Baby blue-Eyes
  • Calendula
  • Morning Glory
  • Foxglove
  • Lavetera
  • Calendula
  • Annual Phlox
  • Creeping Phlox
  • Amaranthus
  • Ageratum
  • Vinca

Just A Few For Now.

This section has been moved from Annual Plants as once again I have run out of room. Even in the online world of flowers there is a lot of pruning and snipping, not to mention dividing and transplanting.

Dianthus caryophyllus. (Carnation family.) Dianthus are really perennials which we grow as annuals. Carnations are the traditional flower for Mothers Day in the USA. But here in Australia it is the Chrysanthemums- officially perennials but which bloom annually in the autumn for the second Sunday in May. My favourite carnations are the big frilly ones with the divine perfume that only carnations can have. I also love the mini dianthus which looks like a small version of the large ones.

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus ) are tough. But they do respond to a little TLC just to prevent them from becoming scraggy. They love full sun and there quite a few types. They will climb like a vine or spread out over anything which will have them. You can’t make a mistake with these little gems. And you can eat them, leaves and all.

Ranunculus. Beautiful bright colours for spring and summer. They are tubers which grow to about 18 inches (45 cms). But don’t eat these ones. They are poisonous to animals, so farmers don’t like them and will cause skin irritation in humans. Unfortunately, the beautiful Buttercup is a member of this family. Choose wisely when selecting a site for these annual plants.

Blue Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button or Basket Flower. What a tough little plant! See it on Cool Flowers. A top blue annual from the Asteraceae family (Asters, Daisies, Gerberas, etc). It also comes in pink and white. I have grown these gorgeous annuals in pots and they are tough and striking when mixed together. They grow from from 16-30 inches tall (41-76 cms). Cornflowers would have to be one of my favourites of all time. Grow them all in the same pot – pink, white and blue. Adorable, even though they have no perfume. They just say ‘country garden’ wherever you put them. Such an easy flower to grow. You may need to put a few thin but sturdy stakes in the pot to support them against the wind.

Snapdragons are really tough little annual plants which can tolerate most soils, and will even cope with some early frost in autumn. They are good old-fashioned flowers which means they are reliable. I have had great success with them in a sub-tropical region which I thought was impossible. But I was so desperate for old-fashioned annuals I grew up with. And I was determined. They grew so well for the spring and into summer in some dreadful soil (clay). They are perennials and like well-drained soil with full to part sun. Keep them watered regularly but not too much. They come in three sizes: dwarf (6-8 inches), medium (15-30 inches) and tall (30-48 inches). That’s a pretty good variety. Just don’t be scared of them. they will self-seed easily for the next year. Another Cool Flower. They’re the ones on the cover.

Agapanthus (Star of Bethlehem) Another beautiful blue annual which is officially a perennial. It will grow to 4 feet in height but the dwarf varieties are much smaller. It needs lots of sun and can tolerate the heat. Colours come in shades of white, purple and blue. It flowers in summer and autumn. It provides a reliable show of blue meaning winter id ended and spring is here. The smaller ones look good in borders or even right in the middle in a bunch or in a row. It doesn’t need much water and it is another rhizome.

Impatiens. Busy Lizzie. (Definitely named after my Grand-daughter). There are between 850 – 1,000 different species of Impatiens, most of which are bright, cheerful and beautiful. However, there is nothing lovelier than the good old reliable Impatiens walleriana, or Busy Lizzie. They can grow from 16 inches to 2 feet and are so prolific that you will spend a lot of time pulling them out if you are as lucky as I was when mine took over the edges of the driveway, even growing in cracks in the concrete. They would wilt if the sun was too hot, but next morning they’d be back as fresh as daisies. They come in all colours and they are single or double. They remind me of the cane-like begonias because of their fleshy stalks. They really are quite stunning with many colours mixed together.

Ageratum houstonianum (Floss flower, blue mink, blueweed, pussy foot, Mexican Paintbrush). Another of the blue annual flowers which I love. A delicate looking and striking flower which is excellent for garden bedding. It grows to 1 metre and also comes in pink, lavender, purple, gold and white. It will flower from spring through to autumn. It is poisonous to animals but Butterflies and Hummingbirds love it. This plant loves the heat.

Home. Return from Names of Spring Flowers to Annuals Page.

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