The series “Freshly Sourced” provides all the tricks of the trade when it comes to floral care. From floral design classes to tips on how to prolong your new floral arrangement, we have sourced expertise from floral maestros all over the country so you can show off your own unique craft. In this guide, we explore the world’s most popular flower types.

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Flowers come in thousands of different shapes and color combinations, each with their own name and classification. There are over 400,000 types of flowering plants, so there is sure to be a flower that speaks to your unique personality! If that seems like a lot to sort through, have no fear — here is a list of 60 of the most popular flower types.

1. Rose

Roses are the most popular flower types,. Their history is very colorful.

Like the flower itself, the history of the rose is very colorful. Roses have been naturally growing for over 35 million years! However, they were not known to be cultivated until about 5,000 years ago. Their usage began not just as a decorative touch to one’s home, but they were also used for medicinal purposes and to make perfumes, and their petals were even used as confetti for festive occasions. Getting your roses into water quickly is the first step in caring for them. Fill a vase three-fourths full of fresh, cool tap water. The roses will absorb the water, soaking up the nutrients that will travel up to the bloom and create a lively flower. Check the water level in your rose’s vase every day and add more water as needed. Shop these classic flowers for Valentine’s Day!

2. Sunflower

Sunflowers, a popular flower type, are known for their dazzling yellow blooms and large size, pictured here.

Sunflowers are one of the most popular flower types and are best known for their dazzling yellow color and large size. They generally symbolize adoration, loyalty, and longevity in the language of flowers. Native Americans view sunflowers as a symbol of harvest and bounty since the flower provides seeds and pigments, in addition to being visually beautiful. Sunflowers need direct sunlight for six to eight hours per day and require hot conditions to flower well. Sunflowers also have long roots that require plenty of room to spread out, so soil should be well dug and not too dense for growth. Avoid over-fertilization or risk your stems breaking in the fall. In addition to being great in a garden, sunflowers make great gifts and look wonderful in bouquets.

3. Hydrangea

flower types with hydrangea

You know summer is here when big, showy hydrangea bushes begin gracing gardens across the country. This perennial, a native of East Asia and the Americas, comprises more than 75 species and 600 cultivated varieties, of which mophead, lacecap, oakleaf, and peegee are the most common. Some hydrangea flowers can turn a pretty pink or blue depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the soil, while others will remain white. Mopheads, lacecaps, and oakleafs bloom on the previous year’s wood and can be pruned in the summer after flowering; peegees bloom on this year’s wood and can be pruned in the late winter, before the new spring growth.

4. Lavender 

Lavender, a popular flower type pictured here, provides soothing fragrances, flavorings, and beauty.

Spanish, French, or English lavender are sweet herb garden favorites that provide soothing fragrances, flavorings, and beauty all together in little floral packages. More than 40 species are native to areas surrounding the Mediterranean and are semi-evergreen perennials or sub-shrubs with gray-green, hairy, linear leaves and purple, violet, lavender, or pinkish-white flowers. Tiny glands on the flowers, leaves, and stems of the plant produce the scented oil that is used in perfumes, bath preparations, lavender water, and in aromatherapy to relieve stress and anxiety and bring about sleep. Lavender is also prized as a flavoring in cooking, as an ingredient in teas, and for a monofloral honey. 

5. Peony

Peonies, a popular flower type, come in red, coral, purple, pink, and yellow.

Peonies, a beloved flower that blooms in late spring/early summer, come in a wide variety of colors. They range from white to red, coral, purple, pink, and yellow. These flowers make stunning centerpieces and work great in large bouquets. The key to growing a thriving peony is to make sure you plant it at the right time, plant correctly, and, of course, care for it all throughout the year, even when it isn’t necessarily in season. Since peonies can grow rather tall (sometimes as tall as 5 feet!), you’ll need to make sure that the spot you choose is spacious enough. And remember, peonies can come back year after year, so you’ll need to think long term.

6. Daisy

Photo of a field of wild daisies, a popular type of flower.

Daisies are a very popular flower that can be found on every continent other than Antarctica. They belong to one of the largest known plant families and symbolized innocence, a connotation that comes from the Victorian era. Based on what color the daisy is, the flower can take on a different meaning. Daisy flowers prefer full sun and average soil conditions. Depending on the variety, they can grow anywhere from 8 inches to 4 feet. Care tip: Only water during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.

7. Orchid

Orchids, a popular flower type, are among the oldest flowers known to man.

Did you know that orchids are one of the oldest flowering plants known to man? Scientists speculate that orchids have been around as long as 100 million years. Some of the most popular types of the more than 30,000 that exist are phalaenopsis, dendrobium, cattleya, and vanilla. Orchids generally represent love, fertility, thoughtfulness, and charm. However, each variety of these flower types has its own color and meaning. Phalaenopsis orchids symbolize health and prosperity, while dendrobium represent wisdom and beauty. Cymbidium symbolize strength and nobility, and oncydium orchids symbolize love and talent.

8. Tulip

There are more than 150 types of tulips, with over 3,000 different varieties.

There are over 150 species and 3,000 varieties of tulips, which are part of the lily family. Like most common flowers, tulips come in a wide variety of colors and shapes, each of which has its own meaning. As a signal of the arrival of spring, these blooms are often associated with Easter. At one point, tulips were more valuable than gold in Holland during a period called “Tulip Mania,” and their popularity has only spread with time. Tulip bulbs should be planted in the fall, in areas where they can receive partial to full sun. Tulips will fare better in soil that allows for drainage, since over-watering will drown the bulb and roots.

9. Lily

Pink lilies are one of the most versatile flower varieties in the world. This flower type is known for its wide range of colors.

Lilies are one of the most popular and versatile flowers in the world. Coming in a variety of colors and known for their strong fragrance, this elegant bloom is a show-stopper on its own while also serving as the perfect complement to any bouquet. In fact, lilies are one of the most popular flowers in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. There are over 100 different types of true lilies belonging to the “lilium” genus. Lilies are found predominantly in the Northern Hemisphere.

10. Chrysanthemum 

Chrysanthemums, a popular flower type pictured here, originated in China more than 3,000 years ago.

Cultivated mums originated in China more than 3,000 years ago, and have become familiar and well-loved fall flowers the world over. Thousands of varieties with unique flower shapes brighten home gardens, containers, median strips, and parking lots from late summer through frost with their delightful orange, red, yellow, purple, or white blooms. Chrysanthemums are easy to grow perennials and will come back year after year if planted early in the season, so that they become established before winter. In addition to their beauty, chrysanthemum flowers can be made into a tea, and the leaves can be eaten as salad greens. 

11. Dahlia

Dahlias, a popular flower type, come in bold blooms.

These attractive blooms come in a wide range of colors and can be easily incorporated into any existing or new garden. And unlike most plants, these flowers thrive in some shade. They also flower extremely long, first blooming midsummer and lasting through the first frost. However, even though dahlias are perennials, they are tuberous rooted plants, so they should be replanted every spring after resting.

12. Daffodil 

Daffodils, pictured here, are known by many names, including narcissus and paperwhites.

Daffodils go by many names depending on the species and variety — narcissus, jonquils, or paperwhites — but they are all daffodils and they all belong to the genus Narcissus. These iconic flowers are perennial bulbs that are very easy to grow. They will multiply every year in the garden as long as they have good soil with adequate drainage. They are deer resistant and possess a natural pesticide, so few insects bother them other than for pollination. Daffodils are the national flower of Wales and the 10th anniversary posy. 

13. Iris 

Iris, a popular flower type pictured here, are native to Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, and North America.

Elegant irises are native to Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa, Asia, and North America. They grow from either perennial rhizomes or bulbs, and range in size from 8 to 36 inches high, with flat, sword-shaped or curved leaves, and purple, yellow, orange, blue, or white flowers, depending on the species and variety. The rhizomes of some iris species are called orrisroot and are used in perfumery and for potpourris. They are the state flower of Tennessee, the 25th wedding anniversary flower, and the national symbol of France, from the fleur-de-lis, a graphic representation of the iris. Irises also make great gifts for anyone in your life, particularly if you are looking for a non-traditional flower.

14. Periwinkle 

Perwinkles, a popular flower variety pictured here, are also known as myrtle.

Periwinkle, also known as myrtle, is a popular ground cover with shiny dark green leaves that blooms in April and May with purple, blue, or white flowers. There are over 30 varieties of the small plant that include variegated leaf types and lavender, blue, burgundy, or white flowers. They are great for erosion control, tumbling over rock walls in the sun, or spreading out underneath trees in the shade. Periwinkle is the flower of sweet and sad remembrance, and has often been planted over graves. 

15. Azalea  

Azaleas, a popular type of flower pictured here, bloom in late spring.

One of the hallmarks of late spring are the vivid azaleas that bloom in yards, along trails, and in woodlands. These familiar shrubs are either evergreen or deciduous and display a profusion of white, pink, red, orange, yellow, or purple flowers that cover the bushes. Azaleas prefer shady locations under trees and thrive in acidic soil. But be careful — all parts of the azalea are poisonous. 

16. Calla lily

Popular flower type Calla lilies are associated with faith and purity.

The calla lily, sometimes also called the arum lily, is associated with faith and purity. For this reason, religious figures like the Virgin Mary are often depicted holding a bouquet of calla lilies. Calla lilies are also often associated with sympathy and rebirth, making them a popular flower for sympathy occasions. These beauties grow in full to partial sunlight and should be planted in spring to bloom in late summer. With continued care, they can grow up to 2 feet tall! Once cut, calla lilies can last two weeks in a vase.

17. Carnation

Pink carnations are a popular type of flower. They come in three different varieties.

Carnations are an affordable option, making them a popular choice for gardens and floral arrangements. They come in three different types: large-flowered carnations (florist’s carnation), spray carnations, and dwarf flowered carnations. Large-flowered carnations can grow to over 20 inches high with one large bloom per stem. Spray and dwarf carnations have smaller blooms but multiple blooms per stem. These carnations grow to 12 inches and are more commonly found in gardens. When planting carnations, take care to plant them in well-draining soil and in an area with ample sunlight. Carnations have different meanings depending on their color: A pink carnation symbolizes motherly love, a white carnation means good luck, a yellow carnation means disappointment, etc. Their versatility has made them an extremely popular flower for all occasions.

18. Marigold

Marigolds, a popular type of flower, are usually orange and gold. These blooms symbolize wealth and will to succeed.

Beautifully orange and gold in color, marigolds symbolize a desire for wealth and success. They are such a bright color that their pigments are also used in the textile and food industry! Marigolds are easy to grow and are even deer resistant. They are a versatile flower and may also be used when grieving over the loss of a loved one or when celebrating those who have passed.

19. Violet 

Popular flower violets grow mostly in the temperate northern hemisphere.

There are over 500 species of these merry little wildflowers, mostly in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, popping up in lawns, woodlands, streambanks, and hillsides. True violets are annual, perennial, or even small shrubs with white, yellow, lavender, or purple flowers. Our garden pansies are also violets but are larger, multicolored cultivars of the European flower known as heartsease. The violet is February’s birth flower, and the state flower of Illinois, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.

20. Begonia

flower types with begonia

With over 1,800 species native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, begonias are one of the easiest-to-grow and best-loved plants we have in our gardens and homes. These annuals are mainly grouped by their root systems, and are grown for either their attractive flowers or ornamental foliage — or both. Rex begonias, with their striking leaves, are rhizomatous, and tuberous begonias are known for their big, beautiful flowers. Wax begonias and angel wing begonias are fibrous-rooted and grown for both flowers and foliage. Most are highly hybridized, such as the popular Rieger begonias, which is a cross between wax and tuberous.

21. Gardenia

Gardenias, a popular flower type, are pictured here. They're most famous for their scented white flowers.

Gardenias are most famous for their scented and waxy white flowers that can bring a garden to life. Depending on your geographical location (and personal preference), you can decide whether your gardenia will live indoors or outdoors. To ensure that your gardenias bloom throughout their growing season, keep the soil well-drained and at a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 regardless of whether they are planted in a pot or outside in the garden. These plants also need ample amounts of water, so make sure to never let your gardenia dry out — water regularly!

22. Hyacinth

flower types with hyacinth

Hyacinths, with their powerfully sweet scent, are popular spring bulbs native to eastern Mediterranean countries, including Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. Today, about 60 cultivars exist, with white, pink, red, purple, or blue flowers that grow in a tight column along short stems. Hyacinths can easily be grown outside in the garden or in containers, or indoors in pots. After planting, can take upwards of three months for them to establish a root system, but once established and blooming, they will reward you with pretty colors and a sweet scent.

23. Kale

flower types with kale

Ornamental kale is a member of the cabbage family and is closely related to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Like its relatives, it is a cool-season plant that grows best and achieves its most vibrant colors in the fall, winter, or early spring. It has been hybridized for its ornamental value rather than taste, and it makes a colorful addition to a cold-weather garden when the other plants have faded. Its wide head of ruffled leaves in red, pink, white, and purple makes a stunning border or brightens a container with its color.

24. Amaranthus

flower types with amaranthus

Amaranths comprise about 75 species that are native to every continent but Antarctica. Some are grown as ornamentals, some only for their highly nutritious seeds and foliage, and some are grown for both reasons. Many varieties that you can plant in your flower garden are ornamentals that can be eaten. Depending on the variety, they can reach 2 to 5 feet in height, with plume-like or tassel-like red, pink, burgundy, or bronze flower heads growing out from their green or purplish leaves.

25. Geranium 

Pink geraniums, a popular flower type pictured here, are native to South Africa and Australia.

What we call geraniums are actually in the genus Pelargonium and are tropical perennials native to South Africa and Australia. Our familiar garden geraniums are grown outdoors as annuals in temperate zones and can be brought indoors to overwinter or grown as year-round houseplants. The pretty clusters of flowers come in red, pink, salmon, white, violet, or bicolored, and some species and cultivars also have scented leaves with a surprising number of uses. Scented-leaf geraniums are used in the perfume industry, for potpourris and aromatherapy, as insect repellents (think citronella), and for flavorings like rose, lemon, and peppermint. 

26. Gladiolus

flower types with gladiolus

Elegant gladiolus, or glads, from Europe and South Africa, make a bold statement in a garden, with trumpet-shaped flowers that open from bottom to top along tall stems. They grow 2 to 5 feet high, with sword-shaped leaves and pink, yellow, red, purple, green, orange, or white flowers. Glads take 70 to 100 days from planting to flowering, so start planting the corms when the ground warms up in the spring and then continue to do so every two weeks until mid-summer for a continuous display from summer to frost. Glads show off behind smaller flowers in a mixed bed and are a favorite in large, cut-flower arrangements.

27. Petunia 

Petunias, a popular flower type pictured here, are a staple of old-school gardens and hanging pots.

The cheerful petunia, a staple of old-fashioned gardens, planters, and hanging pots, is more vivid than ever, with red, yellow, pink, purple, lavender, white, multicolored, or striped blossoms. They are reliable flowers that will bloom from spring through autumn if grown in the sun and deadheaded consistently. Many of them feel sticky to the touch due to sap that is exuded from the plant tissues to protect them from insect pests. Petunias are native to South America and are related to tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and tobacco.

28. Ranunculus 

Ranunculus, a popular flower type pictured here, are varieties of Persian buttercups.

Ranunculus flowers are varieties of the big, showy, Persian buttercups that grow from claw-shaped corms and come in a variety of bright colors. Their layers of paper-thin, glossy petals give the blossoms a rose-like appearance that is appealing for wedding bouquets or long-lasting cut flowers. Ranunculus are not commonly grown in home gardens, but they could be. Southern gardeners can plant the corms in the fall for spring blooms, and northern gardeners can plant in the early spring for summer blossoms.

29. Zinnia 

Zinnias, a popular flower type, are often grown in beginners' gardens.

Colorful, easy-to-grow zinnias are a beginner gardener’s dream. They can be seeded from the last frost to early summer and will consistently produce blooms all season if dying blooms are deadheaded — truly a “cut and come again” flower. They are herbaceous annuals, native to Mexico, South America, and the southwestern U.S. that are of varying heights, with bright flowers that measure 1 to 7 inches in diameter and are single, semi-double, or double. Zinnias are perfect for a butterfly garden, with their red, pink, purple, yellow, white, or orange blossoms that attract pollinators of all kinds, including hummingbirds.

30. Anemone

flower types with anemone

Swaying in the wind on tall stems, charming, delicate anemones come in a rainbow of colors depending on the species and variety. These members of the buttercup family are native to temperate areas around the globe, including North America. They thrive in full to partial sun in rich and moist soil, and can be grown from seeds or corms. Sow seeds in the ground after the last frost, or plant corms in the fall or early spring, but be careful — anemones, while lovely additions to your garden, are toxic to humans and pets due their containing protoanemonin, a chemical compound that can cause skin irritation if contacted and gastrointestinal discomfort if ingested.

31. Aster  

Asters, a popular flower type pictured here, are native to Eurasia.

Most of these beautiful perennials are native to Eurasia, with only two from North America — the New York and New England asters. Their 1-inch flowers are starbursts of closely packed, narrow petals in intense blue, purple, lilac, pink, or white. They brighten a garden in late summer through fall and are great for attracting butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.  Plant asters in well-drained soil, ensuring they get plenty of sun. The word aster means “star” in Greek, and it sparkles as the September birth flower and also for a 20th wedding anniversary. 

32. Black-eyed Susan  

Black eyed Susans, a well-known type of flower, are native to North America.

Cheerful black-eyed Susans, one of North America’s favorite perennial wildflowers, are frequently seen in fields and meadows. They are a popular addition to a sunny garden since they are hardy, can tolerate drought and a variety of soils, and can reseed and come back year after year. Black-eyed Susans are perfect for a beginner gardener. Their jolly orange petals and brown centers represent encouragement and can be given to a friend who could use a bouquet of optimism. 

33. Buttercup  

Buttercups, pictured here, are popular flower types that grow in temperate Asia, Europe, and North America

Buttercups are amazingly diverse wildflowers popping up in temperate Asia, Europe, and North America. They can be perennial, biennial, or annual; herbaceous, terrestrial, or aquatic; and can be upright or creeping. They have reflective cells in their petals that make them shine the usual yellow color, but they can also be white, pink, or red. Although buttercups are a cute, familiar sight in spring and summer, it’s best to remember that all parts of them are poisonous to humans and animals. 

34. Larkspur

flower types with larkspur

Annual larkspur, native to Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia, is a charming cottage garden plant that adds grace to a garden with its tall spires of bright flowers and fine-textured, fernlike leaves. It is beautiful in mass plantings, mixed groupings, or containers, but is toxic to both humans and animals. The five-petalled, spurred flowers come in colors of blue, red, purple, pink, or white. Since larkspur is a cool-season annual, its seeds should be sown in the early spring, right after the last frost, for springtime blooms that extend into the summer.

35. Pansy

flower types with pansy

Cheerful little pansies are native to Europe and Asia, and are some of the most popular garden plants grown. They come in blue, purple, white, yellow, and bi-color, and most varieties grow in bunches, close to the ground. Pansies are cool-weather plants and are only perennial in mild climates that have cold winters and summers that are not too hot. In warmer climates, they can only be grown as annuals during the spring and fall.

36. Snapdragon 

Snapdragons, a popular flower type pictured here, are native to the U.S. and Europe.

Snapdragon flowers, shaped like little dragon snouts, are native to the United States, North Africa, and Europe, and have been widespread posies for centuries. Their flowers bloom from the bottom to the top of tall stalks in the summer and fall, and come in yellow, peach, pink, orange, purple, red, white, and bicolor. Snapdragons are picky about their pollinators: Large bumblebees are the only insects that are strong enough to open the upper and lower lips of the snapdragon flower. 

37. Delphinium 

Blue delphiniums, a popular type of flower pictured here, often goes by the larkspur.

The delphinium, which is often called larkspur, is an herbaceous perennial with tall spikes of blue or purple flowers. It is indispensable in English cottage gardens and frequently used in florists’ bouquets for its height and vivid blues and purples, with cultivars in whites, reds, and even yellows. It is said that West Coast Native Americans used the flowers to make blue and purple dyes. Delphiniums are a beautiful accent in the garden, but don’t let them escape to a grazing meadow — they’re highly toxic to humans and animals. 

38. Gerbera daisy

Gerbera daisies, pictured here, are the fifth most popular flower in the world.

The gerbera daisy comes in a full rainbow of colors, including pink, orange, yellow and red. Also known as the African daisy, the gerbera was discovered in 1884 in South Africa and then was brought to England, where breeders grew a variety of gerberas that boasted brighter colors and sturdier quality. The popularity of Gerberas slowly spread to the Netherlands, which became one of the biggest gerbera daisy distributors in the world — a title it still holds today. Its vibrant petals make it the flower of choice for celebrating happy occasions, from birthdays to weddings.

39. Yarrow

flower types with yarrow

Yarrow is a perennial in the aster family that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Its flat clusters of small flowers come in white, pink, red, purple, yellow, or orange. Starting in the spring with seeds or from small nursery plants, it will bloom in the summer, and, if deadheaded, again in the fall. Yarrow does well in containers and is good as a cut flower for fresh or dried arrangements. It is attractive to pollinators but toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.

40. Allium

flower types with allium

Ornamental alliums are close relatives of onions, but because they are not safe to eat, they belong in your flower garden rather than your vegetable garden. Bold pompoms of star-like flowers sit on top of tall, straight stems, and come in shades of white, lilac, pink, and purple. Like onions, ornamental alliums grow from bulbs and should be planted in the fall. These Middle East natives are deer and rabbit resistant, and mildly toxic to humans and pets.

41. Astilbe

flower types with astilbe

Low-maintenance astilbe, with its 25 species native to Asia and North America and many cultivars from which to choose, is an easy flower for a beginner gardener to grow. Its fluffy, long-lasting plumes of red, pink, purple, or white rise on straight stalks above lacy, fernlike foliage during the spring and summer. This perennial grows from rhizomes, and, once established, will flower for years to come.

42. Cornflower

flower types with cornflower

“Cornflower blue” is a color named for this perky annual garden flower. It used to grow abundantly in European cornfields, where it is native, but the modern use of herbicides has prevented it from seeding itself naturally. The original flower was bright blue, but cultivars of white, pink, and purple have been developed. The frilly flowers that bloom from May to mid-July grow singly on tall stalks that can reach 48 inches high. It is good as a bedding plant, in containers, or in a pollinator garden, and is excellent as a cut flower for arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnieres.

43. Crocus 

Crocus are popular flowers because they are among the first blooms to appear in spring.

For many of us, the first hint of spring is the little crocus pushing up through the snow. Ninety species of these beautiful bulbs are native to North Africa and the Mediterranean, all the way east to China. Their cup-shaped flowers come in an array of lavender, purple, white, yellow, and multicolored depending on the species and variety. Crocuses are not only grown for their cheerful blooms, but also for the stigmas of autumn-blooming crocuses that are harvested in Iran for the highly prized saffron spice. 

44. Dianthus

flower types with dianthus

Dianthus is a large genus that includes carnations and various types of pinks (so named for their jagged-edged petals, which resemble the way fabric looks when cut with pinking shears). Dianthus plants tend to have smaller flowers and be more compact than carnations, and their flowers come in red, pink, lavender, or white, often with complementary markings on the petals. The most common types are perennial and are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Excellent in rock gardens, pollinator gardens, and borders, dianthus are deer resistant but toxic to pets.

45. Phlox

flower types with phlox

Phlox come in enough sizes and types to fill almost any niche in your garden. The most familiar is creeping, or moss, phlox, a low-growing, perennial ground cover. Annual phlox is medium height, reaching about 2 feet, and garden phlox is a perennial that can grow 3 to 5 feet tall. These five-petalled flowers show up in a wide array of colors, depending on the variety, and also have different bloom times, categorized as early, mid-season, or late. Most phlox species are native to North America and are excellent pollinator flowers.

46. Alstroemeria

Popular flower type Peruvian lilies (Alstroemerias) are native to South America.

Alstroemerias are more often called either Peruvian lilies or lilies of the Incas and are native to South America. Peruvian lilies come in a variety of warm colors, such as pink and orange, and are symbolic of friendship, wealth, and devotion. They are popular in floral arrangements for their wide variety of colors. These flowers bloom in late spring/early summer when exposed to direct sunlight and watered weekly. (Water more often when you notice the soil looking dry and less when the soil looks soggy.)

47. California poppy  

California poppies are popular flower types that are the state flower of the Golden State.

Also known as the golden poppy, this bright red, orange, or yellow native plant is the state flower of California. It is either an annual or a perennial depending on the climate — annual in colder areas and perennial in warmer regions. The California poppy is a sun worshipper that opens its petals in the sun and closes them on cloudy days and at night. Native Americans used preparations of the plant to relieve anxiety and for various kinds of pain, but unlike its cousin the opium poppy, it does not contain any opiates. 

48. Celosia

flower types with celosia

A native of the Mediterranean area and East Africa, celosia is a member of the amaranth family, and like its cousin, the amaranth, a celosia’s young leaves are safe to eat. It is generally grown for its interesting, whimsical flowers in the garden and as cut flowers that come in red, orange, yellow, pink, white, maroon, or purple. There are three main types of flower structures: plumosa (plume), which has multiple, feathery flower stalks; spicata (wheat), which is the most common, with single flower spikes; and cristata (cockscomb), with its dense, coral, or brain-like flower heads. Celosias come in various sizes, too, so choose one that is appropriate for your garden.

49. Agapanthus

flower types with agapanthus

Agapanthus, with their round clusters of blue, lavender, or white flowers sitting atop long, stiff stems, are showy and exotic additions to a garden as accent plants or in a grouping. Since they are happiest and produce more flowers when they are root bound, agapanthus tend to thrive in containers. These natives of South Africa grow from rhizomes that can be planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed and the ground has warmed to 50° F. The rhizomes can be divided in the spring or early fall and replanted in warm climates or brought inside for winter storage in cold areas.

50. Lisianthus

flower types with lisianthus

This elegant flower, native to the prairies of North America, is an herbaceous perennial often grown as an annual in cool regions. Its ruffled, rose-like flowers shine in jewel colors of blue, pink, purple, white, and bicolor against thick, waxy, blue-green foliage. Although it’s possible to grow them from their tiny, dust-like seeds, it takes between 15 to 20 months for them to mature into blooming plants. Buying nursery starts for spring planting is a better choice for most homeowners.

51. Freesia

flower types with freesia

Freesias are delightful members of the iris family that are native to South Africa. They feature five to seven fragrant, upward-pointing flowers that bloom sequentially in a line on slender, arching stalks. The flowers come in a rainbow of colors: pink, red, purple, blue, yellow, orange, and white. Freesias will flower 10 to 12 weeks after planting and stay fresh for six weeks or more, making them excellent cut flowers for arrangements or wedding bouquets.

52. Campanula

flower types with campanula

Over 500 species of campanula, or bellflowers, are native to the Northern Hemisphere. They can be annual, perennial, or biennial, and come in various heights and colors depending on the species and variety, but they are all charming additions to any garden. Tall bellflowers can be used in mass plantings as border plants, and shorter varieties are perfect in rock gardens. Their delicate flowers can be bell-, cup-, or star-shaped in white, pink, lavender, or pale blue.

53. Dusty Miller 

Dusty millers, a popular flower type pictured here, are known for their lacy silver-gray foliage.

Dusty Miller is a half-hardy perennial valued for its lacy, wooly, silvery-gray foliage. It is usually grown as a bedding plant or in containers where it acts as a light-colored accent against darker plants. It is especially beautiful paired with pink, reddish-purple, or violet flowers. Dusty Millers grow best in full sun and can stand heat and drought like in its native Mediterranean habitat.

54. Liatris

flower types with liatris

Fuzzy liatris flowers in amethyst, pink, or white blaze up tall, slender stalks that rise out of clumps of grass-like leaves. These herbaceous perennials are native to the eastern United States and can be grown from corms, small nursery plants, or seeds. They can be planted or sown in the early spring after the danger of frost has passed. Plants started from seeds will usually take two to three years to establish and bloom. They are perfect in meadows or wildflower gardens and are highly attractive to bees and butterflies.

55. Gypsophila

flower types with Gypsophila

Delicate sprays of baby’s breath, with their tiny white or pink flowers at the ends of threadlike branches, are a favorite choice in arrangements and wedding bouquets. This delightful flower is native to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In the garden, they grow in mounds, creating a cloudlike effect in borders or mixed containers. Once established, they are resistant to drought, deer, and rabbits but are toxic to humans and pets.

56. Scabiosa

flower types with scabiosa

Scabiosa, or pincushion flowers, are native to Europe and make beautiful additions to any sunny garden. They are distinguished by spherical little buds sitting individually atop tall, wiry stems. These buds open into flowers with wavy petals surrounding flattened centers where stamens stick up like pins. Scabiosa are either annual or perennial; the annuals come in a variety of rich colors — lavender, pink, red, burgundy, white, or cream — whereas the perennials are usually larger and are white, blue, or pink.

57. Stock

flower types with stock

Stock, or gillyflower as it’s known in Britain, has graced cottage gardens for centuries and was a favorite flower of the Victorian era. It is native to Mediterranean Europe, and is an annual in cool areas and biennial in warmer zones. Clusters of colorful, softly fragrant flowers grow on spikes and bloom throughout the spring and summer. Stocks are excellent as cut flowers, with a long vase life, and they also make beautiful dried flowers.

58. Hypericum

flower types with hypericum

Commonly known as St. John’s Wort, this cheerful little plant is one of the easiest to grow in a home garden. It has 1-inch-long, yellow, star-shaped flowers that bloom in clusters at the ends of its branches from June to September. A herbaceous perennial that is native from Europe to China and northern Africa, it was brought to America by colonists in the 1600s and has naturalized in abundance. It has a long history of medicinal use, having been used to treat everything from anxiety and depression to cuts and burns, in addition to gracing many gardens.

59. Eryngium

flower types with Eryngium

Blooming from June through September, eryngium, whose common name is sea holly, is a striking perennial that is a member of the carrot family. It is native to Europe, with steel-blue, thistle-like flowers sitting above spiny purple, green, white, or silver bracts. The branched blue or green stems rise in profusion out of dark green basal leaves. They are drought tolerant and salt-spray tolerant, and are excellent pollinator flowers for bees and butterflies.

60. Brunia

flower types with brunia

Brunia, a woody, evergreen shrub, is native to the Cape Region of South Africa and is just beginning to be grown commercially in California, Australia, and New Zealand. Though not yet widely available to grow in your garden, its unusual silver, green, or red knobby fruiting heads are used by florists to add an interesting touch to fresh or dried flower arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnieres. Its dark green, needle-like leaves are also used as filler foliage in small arrangements.

Types of flowers by life cycle

Flowering plants can be divided into three main categories with regard to their life cycle: annual, perennial, and biennial.

Here’s what each of those terms means.


Annuals are plants that live for just a single season, meaning they go through their entire life cycle — from seed to flower — only once before they die. Examples of annuals are petunias, sunflowers, and marigolds.


Perennials are plants that live for three or more seasons, meaning once you plant them, they come back year after year (with the proper care and maintenance, of course). Examples of perennials are asters, peonies, and daffodils.


Biennials are plants that live for two seasons, meaning they have a two-year life cycle. During the first season, seeds produce the root structure, stems, and leaves; in the second season, the plant completes its growth with the formation of flowers, fruit, and seeds. An example of a biennial is kale.

These 10 treasures brighten gardens all over the United States, regardless of region or hardiness zone. Each species comes in a charming assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes, depending on the variety.

  1. Rose
  2. Tulip
  3. Daffodil
  4. Lily
  5. Chrysanthemum
  6. Iris
  7. Dahlia
  8. Pansy
  9. Peony
  10. Hydrangea

What are the most beautiful flower types in the world?

Beauty is always subjective, but these five flowers are considered to be among the most beautiful in the world.

  1. Orchid – Speaks of elegance, prosperity, and calm. Perfect for any occasion.
  2. Lotus – Delicate blossoms that float on water are ancient symbols of purity and rebirth in Eastern cultures.
  3. Rose – Has conveyed beauty, love, and passion throughout the ages in poetry, song, and bouquets. A classic garden flower for millennia.
  4. Cherry blossom – Clusters of pink and white flowers cover the branches of the Japanese cherry, or sakura, briefly transforming the tree into a picture of ethereal beauty.
  5. Queen of the Night – The delicate, haunting, white flowers of this cactus bloom only at night and emit an exceptionally sweet perfume.

What are the most expensive flower types?

These exquisite flowers range in price from hundreds to millions of dollars.

  1. David Austin “Sweet Juliet” rose – The cost of developing Juliet was about 3 million British pounds, or $3.7 million U.S. dollars, making it the world’s most expensive rose.
  2. Gloriosa lily – This rare lily species can be difficult to harvest.
  3. “Gold of Kinabalu” orchid – The high price tag of this rare, endangered orchid is due to the fact that it can take up to 15 years to bloom.
  4. Saffron crocus – Harvesting the small stigma threads of the flower for saffron spice is a painstaking process.
  5. Kadupul flower – The most expensive flower in the world (it’s literally priceless) due to its rarity and frailty — it lives for only a few hours, and then dies.

What are common flowers for a garden?

These 15 flowers, which comprise annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs, are well-loved and frequently seen in gardens across the U.S.

  1. Azalea
  2. Begonia
  3. Chrysanthemum
  4. Clematis
  5. Coneflower
  6. Daisy
  7. Iris
  8. Lilac
  9. Magnolia
  10. Marigold
  11. Petunia
  12. Phlox
  13. Salvia
  14. Snapdragon
  15. Vinca

What are the most unique flowers?

These six flowers are highly unusual in size, shape, texture, or fragrance.

  1. Corpse flower – This huge, 100-pound plant only flowers once and gives off a strong, putrid odor.
  2. Black bat flower – The wide petals of this flower resemble a bat with long, cascading whiskers.
  3. Monkey orchid – The flowers of this orchid look remarkably like the face of a — you guessed it — monkey.
  4. King protea – This flower is very large — up to 12 inches in diameter.
  5. Ghost orchid – A rare, endangered orchid that is leafless and grows on trees, with a shape like a floating ghost.
  6. Skeleton flower – When they get wet, the petals of this simple white flower become transparent and appear to be made of ice.

What is the rarest known flower?

The Middlemist Red is considered the rarest flower on earth. It was over-collected from China in the 1800s and eventually vanished from its native habitat. Today, it is grown in only two locations: the Treaty House garden in Waitangi, New Zealand, and Chiswick House & Gardens in London. Fascinatingly, the Middlemist Red is not actually red but more of a deep rose color.

What is the rarest color of flower?

Blue is a rare color in nature, especially in flowers. The pigment is difficult for plants to produce and is found only in flowers that need insects, especially bees, to pollinate them. (The reason for that is bees see colors differently than humans do and are sensitive to blue, green, and ultraviolet.) Harsh environments tend to produce more blue flowers; the Himalayan Poppy, for example, grows in north India, Bhutan, and high in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal.


Nancy Maffia has a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in horticulture and communications. She has worked in plant taxonomy, has written and edited gardening books and plant articles, and currently works at a garden center helping customers with plant and gardening questions. She has been published in the Encyclopedia of Indoor Gardening, Getting the Most from Your Garden, and others.

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