1. Painted Daisy
Painted daisies (Tanacetum coccineum, formerly classified as Chrysanthemum coccineum), are daisy-like flowers with 2- to 3-inch flower heads that have petals in striking colors surrounding a yellow button-like center. The plants have lacy or fern-like foliage and grow in neat clumps of about 1.5 feet to 2.5 feet high and about 1.5 feet to 2 feet wide. Also known as pyrethrum, painted daisies are the source of the active ingredient in some insecticides.
The pansy is a hardy biennial, although it is generally grown as an annual. In areas with very hot summer weather and mild winters, the pansy is started from seed in summer, planted out in fall and grown outdoors through spring. Pansies are fairly compact, generally growing about 6 to 9 inches tall with a spread of 9 to 12 inches, and have a fast growth rate. Each plant has several stems that can give the plant a somewhat spreading appearance. Pansy flowers are borne on upright, nodding stems. Pansies and their relative, the viola or Johnny-jump-up, tend to self-sow readily.
3. Passion Flower
Passionflowers measure about 3 inches in diameter and are commonly red, purple, blue, pink, white or variegated. The exotic passionflower features five sepals, five petals, two thin rings above the reproductive organs, five stamens, three stigmas and three leaves.
In mid-summer, passion flower vines produce small, egg-shaped edible fruits commonly called maypops. The fruits ripen in the fall, turning a yellowish color at their peak. Maypops contains many seeds surrounded by soft pulp and each seed is about one-quarter inch long, with a hard, rough, dark brown or gray exterior.
4. Peace Lily
The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is an immensely popular houseplant, beloved for its undemanding nature and willingness to grow even in low-light situations. The plant’s popular name derives from the delicate flowers that soar above the leaves like white flags. Even when not blooming, the peace lily’s gently arching foliage still evokes a sense of tranquility.
These plants feature shiny, lance-shaped leaves of dark green and occasionally send up unusual flowers. The most noticeable part of the bloom is the white spathe or bract. Inside the spathe is a white or pale yellow spadix, which is the true flower. Most varieties grow between 1 and 3 feet in height and width.
English primrose (Primula vulgaris) is an herbaceous perennial plant with pale yellow, blue, purple, or variegated spring-blooming flowers and year-round green leaves growing in a rosette pattern.
Primrose plants reproduce by seed drop and by leaf or root cuttings. They reproduce naturally in the wild by dropping their seed after spring bloom. Seeds from hybrid varieties reproduce plants from the original parent strain of primrose. Most commonly, they are cultivated as annuals, and sometimes they are grown as indoor plants.
Pelargoniumoccurs in a large number of growth forms, including herbaceous annuals, shrubs, subshrubs, stem succulents and geophytes. The erect stems bear five-petaled flowers in umbel-like clusters, which are occasionally branched. Because not all flowers appear simultaneously, but open from the centre outwards, this is a form of inflorescence is referred to as pseudoumbels. They are one of the most reliable garden flowers and are generally grown as houseplants the world over, as garden annuals.
Depending on the variety, Pelargonium grow 1 to 4 feet tall and produce large, showy blossoms in shades of white, pink, red, lavender, purple, magenta and rose. Scented pelargoniums have fragrant leaves that smell like apple, almond, lime, nutmeg, rose, lemon and peppermint.
Penstemon (Penstemon spp.) stands out among other perennial flowering plants with its bright, tubular flowers and truly low-maintenance care requirements, which make it a popular choice in landscaping. It features lance-shaped foliage and spikes of tubular flowers.
Commonly called beard tongue, penstemon bears clusters of flowers in a rainbow of hues from bright red, pink, salmon and occasionally yellow to dark purple and blue. Different varieties prefer desert, open plain or cooler open woodland. They grow best with minimal fertilizer. Locate the plants in soil that drains quickly. Penstemon does not require watering, except in dry desert areas, so it’s an ideal choice if you want a xeriscape or reduced-water garden.
Peonies (Paeonia) are long-lived plants that produce white, pink, red, yellow and coral flowers. The blooms may be single or double, depending on the cultivar. A peony’s fragrance varies, but most peonies have a sweet, clean scent. Pink peonies usually have more fragrance than red peonies. Peonies are known as Northern flowers because they tolerate and even prefer harsh winter temperatures. With careful plant selection, however, gardeners in milder regions can have peonies in their yards.
9. Persian Buttercup
Persian buttercups (Ranunculus asiaticus) are a cool temperature-loving plant that grows as a perennial. Standard-size varieties grow to about 2 feet tall, but dwarf varieties grow only 8 to 10 inches tall. Persian buttercups display large, double-blossom flowers up to 5 inches wide that are shades of yellow, orange, lavender, pink, red and white. Persian buttercups are most commonly grown from tubers planted in the beginning of spring. Each plant will produce up to 70 blooms in a season. Picking the flowers when they mature will stimulate more to appear.
10. Pineapple Lily
Pineapple lilies are deciduous bulb plants that grow 2 to 3 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. The focal point of the plant is a pineapple-shaped inflorescence of star-shaped flowers topped with small leaves. The inflorescence is atop a long thick spiky stem that rises above a rosette of wide, glossy, strap-like leaves. Flowers of the plant are hues of cream, green, yellow, pink or purple, and may have striped red or purple edges. The tree also produces triangle-shaped fruit.
Faded flowers give way to a cluster of green seedpods that gradually fade and dry on the stem. As they mature, the seedpods may turn yellow or brown with a slightly translucent quality allowing you to observe the dark seeds inside the pod.
11. Peruvian Lily
Peruvian lily plants (Alstroemeria), also known as Lily of the Incas, are striking late spring or early summer, half-hardy perennial bloomers that are available in a myriad of colors including pink, white, orange, purple, red, yellow and salmon. Flowers resemble azaleas and make a beautiful addition to an indoor bouquet. After the flowers fade, seed pods form.
Petunias (Petunia spp.) are one of the most popular garden flowers for both borders and containers. Petunias have wide, trumpet-shaped flowers and branching foliage that is hairy and somewhat sticky. Within the petunia genus, there is great variety: single and double blooms; ruffled and smooth petals; striped, veined, and solid colors; mounding and cascading growth habits; and even some with fragrance. Most of the petunias sold today are hybrids, developed for specific design purposes. They grow easily and quickly when you transplant them into the garden, which should be done in the spring once the threat of frost has passed.
Phlox flowers (Phlox ssp.) produce masses of blossoms attracting butterflies and birds to the garden. Phlox plants grow as mats, cushions and upright plants. Phlox plants reach 6 to 48 inches high spreading 12 to 24 inches wide, depending on the species. These star-shaped flowers appear from spring through summer emitting a sweet fragrance. Phlox flowers are available in red, pink, blue and white colors. Tall varieties of phlox make good cut flowers to add to bouquets.
14. Pincushion Flower
Pincushion flower (Scabiosa spp.) gets its name from long, thin stamens that protrude from the curved upper part of the flower, making it resemble a pincushion with many pins. The flowers bloom in shades of blue, lavender, pink and white from midsummer until frost. Beyond looking beautiful and unique, scabiosa flowers also attract useful pollinators to the garden, such as bees and butterflies.
Poinsettias (Euphobia pulcherrima) remain a popular choice to brighten your home during the holidays, but there’s no need to limit these plants to winter months. Most poinsettias are grown as indoor potted plants, although you can set them outdoors during the day in areas where the temperatures remain warm enough in winter. With proper care, a poinsettia grows as a perennial and can bloom each winter.
Polyanthus (Primula polyanthus) is a variety of primrose that produces a cluster of white or bright-colored flowers on a 1-foot-tall stem, suitable for container gardens or mass plantings in a flower bed. They predominantly flower in early summer, although blooms may persist through fall. These low-maintenance plants are suitable for shaded garden beds, where they grow well with only minimal care.
17. Poppy Anemone
The poppy anemone produces a solitary bloom on each 10- to 12-inch stem. Blossoms average about 2 1/2 inches across, held above medium-green, finely divided leaves. Unlike other anemones, or windflowers, these spring bloomers grow from tuberous bulbs rather than rhizomes.
18. Portulaca Grandiflora
Portulaca grandiflora, commonly called moss rose, is a low-growing succulent with delicate flowers that bloom in summer through fall. Moss rose grows 3 to 9 inches tall with a spread of 6 to 12 inches. The fleshy leaves grow low to the ground, forming a moss like ground cover. In summer through fall, moss rose blooms in shades of red, purple, orange, yellow, white, salmon, lavender and rose colors. The flowers closely resemble small rose blooms. When not in bloom, moss rose still provides visual interest with mossy green leaves growing along red stems close to the ground.
19. Powder Puff
The pink powder puff tree (Calliandra surinamensis) is a large but low-branching evergreen shrub originally native to Suriname. This plant produces large numbers of 2- to 3-inch pink and white flower puffs, making it an appealing choice. This tropical non-native is relatively susceptible to cold, but can be grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and higher, or where winter temperatures do not fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
20. Purple Coneflower
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), is a hardy perennial wildflower that adapts easily to a range of growing conditions, including periods of heat and drought. Purple coneflower, a colorful, daisy-like wildflower, grows on top of stiff, 2- to 4-foot stems and medium-green, lance-shaped leaves. The narrow, droopy petals, in shades ranging from lavender, pink and purple, radiate from coppery brown center cones. Purple coneflower blooms for about a month in midsummer, often returning for a repeat performance in fall.
21. Peanut Cactus
Peanut cactus (Echinopsis chamaecereus) is most suited to container growing because it is a small, low-growing cactus that tends to get lost in the landscape. Bright orange flowers, large for the size of the plant, bloom in spring and summer, often in large numbers.
22. Pencil Cholla
Pencil cholla (Cylindropuntia leptocaulis) displays long, slender, jointed stems and 1- to 2-inch spines. Green or yellow flowers that appear on the cactus in late spring and early summer are replaced by red, olive-size berries in winter.
23. Perennial Flax
Perennial flax (Linum perenne) is a short-lived perennial that grows 1 to 2 feet tall. The plant is notable for its pale blue five-petaled flowers, which appear in late spring. The flowers open for only a day, often dropping by the end of the afternoon. Perennial flax is a resilient, adaptable plant that requires little care.
24. Perennial Pea
Everlasting sweet peas grow as ground cover in large areas or will quickly reach a height of 6 to 8 feet on a trellis or arbor. The gray-green vines are punctuated with clusters of bright flowers in various shades of red, white, purple and pink. Blooming begins in early summer and continues until early fall if the seed pods are removed as they appear. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers that also provide cut flowers for indoor vases.
25. Polka Dot Plant
The polka dot plant (Hypoestes spp.) is small in stature and doesn’t require daily maintenance. One popular color is the variety featuring a green leaf with pink polka dots, but other varieties feature rose or white polka dots. Often, the colors are combined in the same planting.
Poppies (Papaver spp.) grow as annuals in all climates, with most growing as perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. The papery-thin petals and cup-shaped blooms provide eye-catching color, with shades ranging from deep red and bright orange to more subdued shades of pink and lavender. Poppies grow well from seed sown directly in the garden bed.
Also known as skyflower or leadwort, plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) is a striking evergreen plant that may grow up to 10 feet tall, with a similar spread. This generous garden perennial blooms nearly year-round with sky blue flowers, set off prettily by lime green foliage. Plumbago plants rarely fall prey to serious diseases, so a plumbago that’s turning brown may be suffering from a pest infestation or improper cultural conditions.
Flowering protea shrubs (Protea spp.) offer brilliant blooms ranging in color from creamy white to deep red and grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, though different varieties have different zone ranges. Each cultivar within this genus has a specific shrub height and flower size. Although this bushy plant is highly resilient to cold and drought, depending on its variety, a number of environmental factors influences a protea’s size.
29. Pineaple Sage
Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is a tender perennial hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. When planted in well-drained soil in a sunny or partially sunny area, it produces dense bright green foliage that releases a pineapple scent when bruised. In late summer and early fall, this plant comes to life with brilliant red blooms that line tall spikes.
30. Parry’s agave
Parry’s agave produces larger leaves and rosettes than many of its sub-species. It consists of compact, nearly round rosettes of gray-green leaves that grow 7-20 inches in length. Leaves have marginal teeth as well as a stout tooth on the tip. Parry’s agave, purchased as a single specimen, ultimately forms colonies of many offsets. The mother plant will bloom once, usually during the summer. Because of ability to live for many years, Parry’s Agave is also known as Century Plant. After they put on a magnificent floral show, they die, leaving a legacy of bold bluish foliage and high-reaching plentiful blooms.