Flower Glossary: Learn About Your Favorite Flowers

Have you ever seen a flower and wondered what it was? Or maybe you have a favorite flower and you’d like to know more about it.

Here, we’ve compiled a glossary filled with 50 different flowers. You’ll find information on what the flower looks like, its best growing conditions, what colors it comes in, and more. As you browse, you may find a new favorite among these various types of flowers.

Want to brighten your living space with some colorful blooms? Create your own FruitFlowers® bundle that includes a stunning floral bouquet and decadent chocolates of your choice. Whether you’re treating yourself or a friend or loved one, a gorgeous, fragrant flower bouquet and a sweet indulgence are the perfect pair.

Amaryllis

This plant produces exotic trumpet-shaped flowers (Amaryllis) that range in size from 4 to 10 inches. They come in a myriad of colors, including red, white, pink, salmon, apricot, rose, or deep burgundy. Native to Africa, the bulbs were brought to Europe in the 1700s. You can buy them as bare or planted bulbs, and they grow best in narrow containers. They’re great for green thumbs and beginners, as they’re easy to plant and care for.

Aster

These daisy-shaped flowers (Asteraceae) bloom in the late summer and fall when many other summer flowers are fading. The plants grow 1 to 6 feet tall and produce star-shaped flowers ranging in color from purple to white to blue. The name originates from the Greek word Astron, meaning “star,” since the flowers look like stars. Most asters are perennial flowers and will last two or more years. Caring for them is generally easy as long as you place them in reasonably moist soil.

Azalea

Often referred to as the royalty of the garden, the azalea (Rhododendron) is known for its outstanding colors and foliage. With thousands of varieties to choose from, it requires little maintenance once planted and can be brought inside to create a beautiful bouquet. The blooms appear in early spring and are light or deep pink, lavender, yellow-orange, and snowy white. Different species bloom at different times, so with the right planning, you can have a succession of blooms that lasts for several weeks.

Baby’s Breath

These are common in floral arrangements, but they can also look lovely in your garden. There are more than 100 species within this genus (Gypsophila spp.) with varying appearances. Some make good ground cover and others grow more upright. They have small, narrow leaves and bloom in the summer with tiny, five-petaled white or pink flowers. They generally require little maintenance after they’re planted as long as they get lots of light.

Begonia

The begonia (Begonia) is from the tropics and subtropics that works well as an indoor potted plant or garden plant. The flowers come in pink, red, yellow, or white, and have four-colored tepals (petals and sepals together) in two pairs of different sizes with three wings on the ovaries of the female flowers. Most varieties are easy-to-grow annuals that thrive in light shade with well-drained soil and ample water.

Bird of Paradise

Also known as crane flowers, these stunning blooms (Paradisaeidae) are known for their exotic appearance. Native to South Africa, they bloom from September to May. They come in bright orange and blue colors, but there are also some white ones. They thrive in bright indirect light to full sun and prefer humid conditions. Most species are native to eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and eastern Australia.

Bleeding Heart

Native to Siberia and northern China, Korea, and Japan, the bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos, formerly Dicentra spectabilis) is valued in gardens for its heart-shaped pink and white flowers that bloom in the spring. It is a shade-loving perennial with blooms that will last for several weeks as long as they’re not exposed to too much heat. Toxic to humans and animals, the bleeding heart likes rich and moist soil and protection from strong winds.

Buttercup

Buttercup (Ranunculus) is a genus of about 600 species of bright and attractive flowering plants that can be found in shades of yellow, red, orange, pink, white, and lavender. The blooms have five petals and are paper-thin and dainty. A cool-season perennial, it’s a favorite in wedding bouquets and floral arrangements and works well in container gardens, beds, and borders. The Persian buttercup is the most popular variety for use in home gardens. It grows about one to two feet in height and spreads up to two feet upon full maturity.

Calendula

Add a pop of color to your garden with the calendula (Calendula officinalis), also known as the pot marigold. In cooler climates, it’s an easy-to-grow annual which will readily reseed. In warmer climates, it’s a short-lived perennial. It prefers well-draining soil, full sun, and only occasional watering once the plant is established. With a daisy-like appearance, the blooms are bright yellow and orange and can be used in cooking. Eat them in a fresh salad or add them to rice.

Carnation

Another popular flower in floral arrangements, the carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) is native to the Mediterranean area and is known for its serrated petals and numerous colors. These include pink, light red, dark red, white, striped, green, purple, yellow, and blue. It also has a spicy fragrance and makes a bright addition to your flower garden. It likes well-drained soil and frequent pruning to remove old flowers and leaves.

Chrysanthemum (Mum)

A blooming flower native to Asia and Northeastern Europe, the chrysanthemum is a popular fall garden flower. Most are easy to grow in full sun and rich soil, and come in a range of colors including white, yellow, orange, lavender, purple, or red, as well as bicolors. Known as short-day plants, their flowering is triggered by the shorter days in late summer and early fall.

Columbine

The columbine (Aquilegia) is an easy-to-grow perennial with colorful blooms with spurs—long, narrow strips that stream horizontally from the back of each flower. Established plants typically bloom for about four weeks starting in mid-spring. They may attract hummingbirds. As long as you let the flower heads go to seed, they will readily self-sow and might soon form a colony when growing conditions are optimal. They like well-drained soil and full or partial sunlight. Bloom colors range from light pastels to bright reds, yellows, oranges, purples, and bicolors.

Coneflower

A member of the daisy family, the coneflower (Echinacea) features rich hues of violet, white, and pink. It is heat and drought-tolerant, though it likes full sun. A tough, upright perennial, it grows quickly and will reach a height of 2 to 4 feet, then flower from midsummer through the fall frost. The raised, cone-like center attracts butterflies and bees, and after blooming, the seed heads attract songbirds, such as goldfinches.

Daffodil

Known for their trumpet-shaped petals in the foreground and star-shaped petals in the background, daffodils (Narcissus) are native to the Mediterranean region. Yellow is the most common color, but they also come in white orange and pink. They are not fussy about soil and grow in sun or part shade. They come into bloom long before most perennials, giving you flowers as soon as the weather starts to warm up.

Dahlia

The dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous perennial plants native to Mexico and Central America. There are 42 species of dahlia, with hybrids that are commonly grown as garden plants. Plant the tubers in the spring when the ground warms in full sun and you’ll enjoy blooms all summer long. It’s best if you cut them and take them indoors for your vases, as the more you cut the more they will bloom. Enjoy orange, pink, purple, red, white, yellow, and multicolors.

Delphinium

Known for its tall, spiky structure and colorful summer flowers, the delphinium (Delphinium) is a genus consisting of more than 300 species. Some are annuals, some biennials, and some perennials. They prefer moist, cool summers and don’t fare well in hot, dry weather. Most will also need staking to keep them upright.

Keep in mind that all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested, so they’re not appropriate if you have grazing animals nearby. Most come in shades of blue, including blue flowers with white centers, and violet-purple flowers with pale centers, but some also come in shades of pink, red, white, yellow, and lavender.

Desert Rose

If you live in a dry, hot area, this may be a great plant to include in your landscaping. The desert rose (Adenium obesum) is a slow-growing plant and is often used as a bonsai plant because of its thick, succulent trunk and delicate leaves. The flowers bloom in the summer and are deep pink, rose, or red with a trumpet shape. Widely used as an ornamental outdoor plant, it grows well in tropical and warmer climates, or you can take it indoors if you live in cooler areas. The sap is toxic to people and pets.

Edelweiss

The Edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale) is native to Europe and Asia with flowers that look similar to snowdrops. A part of the daisy family, it blooms from late spring through early summer and has long been cultivated as an ornamental garden flower. Considered a short-lived perennial, the roots can travel and anchor themselves to rough terrains, such as on rocky outcrops and mountainous regions. It doesn’t like direct sun and prefers to be watered once a week or so.

Evening Primrose

Native to North America, the evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) is an erect biennial plant featuring large, bowl-shaped, lemon-scented yellow flowers. One of the most popular night-blooming plants, it adds a bright splash of color to a darkening garden. It typically blooms from late spring to late summer and even early fall and is ideal for attracting pollinators. Be cautious as it can be aggressive and take over your garden if you don’t watch it carefully.

Forget Me Not

The forget me not (Myosotis arvensis) is the official flower of Alaska. A humble but glorious spring flower, it creates frothy blue clouds at the front of borders and the edges of paths, complementing other spring flowers and making a great backdrop for taller flowers behind it. The flowers are light blue and may have a white or pink color when first opening. The forget me not likes well-drained soil in a sunny or shady spot and will spread profusely unless you pull it up.

Foxglove

This elegant flower requires your patience, as it typically takes two seasons before the blooms begin to appear. The wait is worth it as the foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) produces colorful, tubular blossoms with speckled throats atop tall stems that can grow up to five feet. Colors include white, lavender, yellow, pink, red, and purple.

A biennial, foxglove will form a rosette and leaves in the first year, bloom in the second, and then die. It reseeds easily, though, so plant them two years in a row to continue to enjoy continual flowering plants. All parts of the foxglove are poisonous, so handle it carefully.

Freesia

Flowering plants in the family Iridaceae, the freesia (Freesia spp.) is popular in wedding flower arrangements because of its delicate blooms and intoxicating scent. It comes in an enticing array of jewel-toned colors and can be grown outdoors or indoors as a gorgeous houseplant. When planted outdoors, it prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The trumpet-shaped flowers bloom in the spring and summer.

Gardena

Loved for its intoxicating fragrance and attractive, creamy-white flowers, the gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) is a genus of flowering plants in the coffee family (Rubiaceae). A tender, evergreen shrub, it has shiny, dark-green leaves. It is known for being picky and a challenge for gardeners as it needs more attention than other flowering shrubs. It prefers a tropical climate and suffers from too much direct sun.

Geraniums

The geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum) is a popular bedding plant in the garden and is also commonly found in outdoor hanging baskets. It’s easy to grow and emits a lovely scent. The flowers have 5 petals and come in white, pink, purple, blue, red, and mixed colors. It loves the sun and is considered an evergreen perennial with a long blooming season.

Gerbera Daisy

This large, cheerful flower is part of the sunflower, daisy, and aster family (Asteraceae). It looks like a colorful sunflower and comes in yellow, orange, white, pink, or red. Native to South Africa, it’s best planted in spring after all chances of frost have passed. It will deliver its first flowers within 14 to 18 weeks and will continue to bloom throughout the summer.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants of the iris family (Iridaceae). Also called the “sword lily,” it is a perennial that grows from a bulb-like corm, producing a sword-like stem up to 2 to 6 feet tall and flowers that range in size from miniature blooms less than 3 inches in diameter to “giant” ones greater than 5 inches across. (Corms are similar to bulbs but don’t have the layered scales.) The flowers are trumpet-shaped, sometimes with ruffled or frilled petals in a wide range of pastel or bright colors. They are easy to grow in beds, borders, and containers.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis) is a genus of flowers comprising several hundred species native to warm-temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions. They’re known for their large, showy flowers in trumpet-like shapes and a wide range of colors and sizes. Tropical varieties work well in warm climates or as houseplants, whereas the more hardy varieties and shrubs can withstand colder temperatures. Most attract butterflies and hummingbirds and love the bright sun.

Hollyhock

Known for its tall spikes of trumpet-like flowers, the hollyhock (Alcea rosea) can grow as tall as 8 feet so it’s best to have stakes handy to prop it up. It blooms mid-summer with numerous flowers in blue, pink, red, purple, white, yellow, or even black. Most varieties are biennials that complete their life cycle over 2 years, but others behave like short-lived perennials. They like full sun to partial shade and once established, don’t require much maintenance.

Hyacinth

Admired for its rich fragrance and soft pastel shades, the hyacinth is a small genus of bulbous, spring-blooming perennial. Belonging to the family Asparagaceae, it’s native to the area of the eastern Mediterranean. Easier to grow than other spring bulbs, it does best in areas where winter temperatures are consistently in the 30s, as it needs a chill to bloom. Like tulips and daffodils, the hyacinth is an iconic spring flower with showy spikes of blooms in blue, purple, white, pink, apricot, and red.

Hydrangea

Native to Southern and Eastern Asia and North and South America, the hydrangea (Hydrangeaceae) produces very small individual flowers that clump together in bunches at the end of a long stem. It comes in a variety of different colors such as white, blue, red, pink, and purple, and is excellent for a range of garden sites, from group plantings to shrub borders to containers. Choose fertile, well-drained soil in partial sun.

Impatiens

If you’re looking for a fun, cheery container plant, either indoors or outdoors, choose the impatiens (Impatiens walleriana). It also works well as a bedding or border plant. A popular annual flower, it creates blooms in a variety of colors, including white, red, pink, violet, coral, purple, and yellow. It likes well-draining soil and partial to deep shade. Easy to care for, impatiens are happy as long as they have the right level of light, fertilizer (for more blooms), and proper watering.

Iris

Native to Europe and Asia, the iris has a fan-like shape with six lobes. The stems are long and the flowers typically have three outer hanging petals and three inner upright petals. There are more than 250 species of iris, with the most familiar being the tall “bearded” ones. Named after the Greek goddess who rode rainbows, it comes in many colors. These include white, lavender, purple, white, and yellow.

Jasmine

A genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family, jasmine (Jasminum officinale) contains around 200 species native to the tropical and warm temperate regions of Eurasia and Africa. It’s widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of the flowers, which are white, small, and star-shaped, and borne in clusters with a minimum of three flowers each. Colors include white and yellow and more rarely, pink. Jasmine grows well in full sun to partially shaded areas.

Larkspur

With airy stalks of blue blossoms, the larkspur (Consolida sp.) adds gracefulness to any garden and looks good in masses or mixed with other perennials and annuals. It is an annual itself and grows easily from seed. It likes well-drained soil and needs consistent moisture, and will bloom as soon as the weather starts to warm in early spring. All parts of the plant are toxic to humans, particularly the seeds, so use gloves when handling and always wash your hands afterward.

Lavender

Lavender (Lavendula) is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family. It works well in herb gardens and landscapes because of its lavender-colored flowers held on spikes, and because of the lovely lavender scent. The leaves are covered in fine hairs which normally contain essential oils. An evergreen shrub, it likes lots of sun and good drainage but is not particularly fussy about soil. It will attract butterflies and bees to the garden.

Lilac

Native to Europe and the temperate zones of Asia, lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) are popular spring flowers, prized for their delicate blooms and heady fragrance. The deciduous shrubs bloom in the springtime and are part of the olive family. The blooms appear in branching clusters and come in shades of purple and white. They work well as focal points in a landscape, or rows along property borders and pruned into loose hedges.

Lily

Lilies (Lilium candidum) are a group of flowering plants that grow from bulbs, all with large, prominent, star-shaped flowers. Native to temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, they add graceful elegance and fragrance to any garden, blooming from early summer through fall, depending on the type. The flowers sit atop tall, erect stems with narrow, long, lance-shaped leaves and come in pink, gold, red, orange, and white.

Lily of the Valley

The lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is a woodland flowering plant with sweetly scented, bell-shaped white flowers borne in sprays in the spring. It is highly poisonous if consumed by humans or other animals, but can make an attractive spreading plant that’s useful for ground covers. Plant in the spring or fall in a shady location with well-drained soil. It’s typically easy to grow as it is a perennial.

Orchid

The orchid family (Orchidaceae) is a diverse family of flowering plants with blooms that are often colorful and fragrant. The flowers vary depending on the species, but most have three sepals and three petals with a waxy, tube-like structure known as a column. They also have a single lip that extends and serves as a landing pad for bees and other pollinators. Most require moist, well-draining conditions and bright, indirect light.

Pansy

A popular garden flower, the pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) is cheerful and colorful with what many people think of as a “face” on the petals. A cool-weather favorite, it works well in both spring and fall gardens, as well as containers, borders, and ground cover. It is the go-to flower for year-round color in some areas and can be treated as an annual or a perennial depending on the climate. Choose moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil and plant in the early spring or fall. The blooms come in all sorts of color variations, from blue and yellow to purple and white to orange and red and more.

Peony

Soft and fluffy with a light, sweet fragrance, the peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) flower works great lining the walkway or serving as a lovely low hedge. It is a perennial and is known to thrive for many years, sometimes outliving its caretaker! The blooms appear from late spring through early summer. Peonies grow well in most areas of the U.S. as long as they have full sun and well-drained soil. The flowers are vibrantly colored in pink, red, orange, yellow, white, and more.

Philodendron

The majestic philodendron is a tropical flowering plant that rarely flowers indoors but will bloom in its natural habitat. There are around 450 species of them, and many make good potted plants for offices and houses because they can adapt to low light levels.

The bloom comes in two parts: the spadix and the spathe. The spathe is a leaf-like hood that encloses the spadix, a tubular structure that’s shorter than the spathe and features male and female flowers. The spadix is usually white or yellowish and looks like a peeled banana, whereas the spathe is yellow with cream or red and green. It can take 15-16 years for the plant to become mature enough to bloom, and then it will be in the spring.

Poinsettia

The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is indigenous to Mexico and Central America and is a popular holiday flower because of its colorful leaves. It’s most commonly used for decorating during the winter holidays, but also makes an attractive houseplant throughout the year. Colors range from creamy white to pink to traditional bright red. Some varieties have multi-colored leaves (or “bracts” as they’re called). It likes semi-cool, humid locations in bright, indirect light.

Rose

One of the most common and popular flowers, the rose (Rosa rubiginosa) grows from shrubs that have sharp thorns along the stem. The rose genus consists of some 100 species of perennial shrubs native primarily to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Over hundreds of years, they’ve been bred to produce a wide variety of growing habits and a broad range of colors. Many have a strong, pleasant scent. Rose bushes can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

Snapdragon

The snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) is so named because its flower resembles the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when squeezed. Native to the rocky areas of the U.S., Canada, and Europe, it’s widely used in borders and as cut flowers. Famous for its long stalks, bright colors, and unique blooms, the snapdragon is generally planted as an annual and tolerates a variety of growing conditions. The blooms come in almost every color, including pink, red, white, yellow, and orange.

Sunflower

A native plant of North America, the sunflower (Helianthus) is so named because its head looks like the center of the sun and the petals look like the rays. Its most common color is yellow, but you can also find it in red and white. Belonging to the daisy family, it grows during the summer into early fall and tends to spread rapidly. It may reach heights of 120 inches or more.

Sweet Pea

Most often seen on trellises or fences, the sweet pea is a climbing plant with fragrant and colorful blooms. A favorite in informal gardens, it’s easy to grow and provides beautiful color in shades of pearly white, pastels, magentas, inky purples, and more. It gives off a delightful scent reminiscent of honey and orange blossom but has a reputation as being a hardy plant that can survive the cold. Blooms appear in late winter and early spring.

Tuberose

The best part of the tuberose (Agave Amica) is the gorgeous aroma that comes from the clusters of flowers, which are often white but may also be blue. Long used in perfumes and wedding bouquets, it makes an elegant addition to flower beds and borders but may be best in a pot so you can take full advantage of the smell. The glistening white, star-shaped petals seem to glow in the moonlight, which is appropriate as they open after dark. Though not frost-tolerant, the tuberose is considered a hardy annual. The bulbs are easy to start outdoors if you’re patient enough to wait 3-4 months for the first blooms.

Tulip

A spring-blooming perennial, the tulip (Tulipa x gesneriana) has large, showy, and brightly colored cup-shaped flowers that emerge as the earth awakens from its winter sleep. A member of the lily family, it is quite tolerant of the cold, though a freeze can delay growth. Plant the bulbs in the autumn before the ground freezes and they will surprise you with blooms in all sorts of colors, including purple, pink, lilac, yellow, red, yellow, orange, and more.

Wolf’s Bane

Also known as aconite (Aconitum variegatum) and monk’s hood, wolf’s bane is a genus of over 250 species of perennial plants native to the mountainous parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are extremely poisonous and must be handled carefully, but can be used to add color to borders. It’s best not to plant it near a vegetable garden, and to wear gloves when handling it. The plant has lobed to deeply lobed leaves with toothed margins and clusters of flowers with the characteristic upper hood that gives it the name of monk’s hood.

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