01 of 14
May Night Salvia
A Soothing, Rich, Elegant Color
Purple flowers, like blue blossoms, have a soothing effect. Bearing a color long symbolic of royalty, purple flowers also suggest richness and elegance. Browse my pictures of purple flowers to aid you in plant selection.
To keep flowers with similar colors together in this photo gallery, I have included pictures of flowers which, while technically they aren't purple, might often be referred to as "purple" by the layman (i.e., various shades of violet,... magenta, etc.).
Picture of 'May Night' salvia with its purple flowers....
The common name for this perennial is a good indication that the plant offers a dark-colored flower. There has been some debate down through the years as to its correct botanical name; see my article on May Night salvia for details.
A former Perennial Plant of the Year award winner (1997), May Night salvia produces small, bluish-purple blooms on flower spikes about 2 feet tall. The sword-shape leaves are more robust than those on, say, 'Blue Hill' salvia.Continue to 2 of 14 below.
02 of 14
Picture of Caradonna Salvia
With purple flowers on slender flower stalks, Caradonna salvia is distinct from the 'Blue Hill' and 'May Night' varieties....
The flower of 'Caradonna' salvia is just as deep a purple as May Night's flower, but the slender flower stalk of Caradonna sets off the flowers better. Another popular salvia that's hardy, Blue Hill salvia, is, true to its name, closer to a light blue.Continue to 3 of 14 below.
03 of 14
Purple Lamium Picture
Lamium maculatum 'Purple Dragon' displays not only silvery foliage, but also light purple flowers.
Also known as "deadnettle," this perennial ground cover bears an attractive variegated foliage. While the deadnettle in the picture above bears purple flowers, other deadnettles have white or yellow blooms. Lamium maculatum is generally grown for its foliage, however, not its flowers. Deer-resistant, Lamium maculatum is... slightly invasive.Continue to 4 of 14 below.
04 of 14
Picture of Purple Allium Flower
Picture of purple allium flower....
This light purple allium flower is a nice addition to the landscape, not only for its color but also for its globular shape.
Purple alliums are bulb plants. Like other spring-flowering bulbs, purple alliums need to be planted in the fall. The specific planting date in fall is determined by where you live. Plant in September if you live in zone 2 or 3. Plant in December if you live at the other end of the scale (warmer climate), in zone 8. For those in between,... plant in October or November.
Some of the biggest purple allium flowers are to be found on the 'Ambassador' ornamental onion.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
05 of 14
Purple Petunias Picture
Purple petunias picture....
Petunias are annuals, commonly used in hanging baskets, window boxes and as bedding plants. Purple petunias say "royalty," not only with their color (purple is the color of royalty), but also with the fine, velvety texture of their petals.
Although annual flowers such as petunias last only one year, their color displays make them well worth the investment for your landscape. As a bonus, some annual flowers will re-seed. Of course, it's not an "either/or"... when it comes to perennials and annuals: many gardeners intersperse annuals among their perennial flowers to plug any gaps in color.Continue to 6 of 14 below.
06 of 14
Purple Columbine Picture
Aquilegia is the botanical name for columbine flowers. This name is an allusion to the eagle-like or "aquiline" features some people see in the blossom. Aquilegia is based on the Latin word for eagle, Aquila....
Inspect columbine flowers up-close. Do you see the appendages that resemble spurs? They remind some people of an eagle's talons. Regardless, the shape of the bloom is certainly interesting.
Columbine flowers are perennials and come in various colors. They "nod," and their centers... are reminiscent of a honeycomb. Their unusual foliage is also quite attractive.Continue to 7 of 14 below.
07 of 14
Larkspur: Annual With Purple Flowers
This larkspur picture shows why larkspur has been a beloved annual for generations....
The photo of larkspur flowers above shows a purple colored variety.
The genus of larkspur is Delphinium, same as the perennial that goes by that name (in fact, some people use the words interchangeably). The name, "delphinium" has a rather unlikely derivation. It goes back to the Greek word for "dolphin," due to the flower shape in some species.
I grew purple larkspur flowers in a container garden last year and... was quite happy with the extra color they provided for my landscape. What made me even happier, perhaps, is the fact that my purple larkspur flowers re-seeded, meaning I'll be able to enjoy free blossoms this year!Continue to 8 of 14 below.
08 of 14
Picture of Annual Purple Lobelia Flowers
Picture of annual purple lobelia flowers....
These annual purple lobelia flowers are popular for window boxes, since they have a trailing habit. Annual lobelia is available in other colors, too; the most widely used color of all is blue.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
09 of 14
Picture of 'Jackmanii' Clematis Vines
Picture of Jackman clematis vines....
Jackman clematis (Clematis x jackmanii) is highly sought after for its large red, white, pink, purple, or lavender flowers. Purple is the most popular color. For another type with purple flowers, see my tips on growing 'The President'.
The recommended hardiness zones for this vine are 3-8. A trick to success with Jackman clematis vines is growing the plants in sunlight but keeping the roots cool. This may be achieved by mulching or planting low plants over... the Jackman clematis vines' root zone to provide ground shade.
Also be careful when pruning clematis vines. Some types flower on the previous season's wood, others on new growth. Make sure you know what type of clematis vines that you have before pruning them. The nursery where you bought your clematis vines should be able to identify them and indicate pruning dates.Continue to 10 of 14 below.
10 of 14
Picture of Perennial Purple Lobelia Plants
Picture of perennial purple lobelia plants....
There's also an annual lobelia, widely sold at garden centers. Despite sharing the name, "lobelia," it's easy to distinguish the perennial flower from the annual: the former has an upright growth habit, while the latter trails along the ground.Continue to 11 of 14 below.
11 of 14
Picture of Heliotrope Flowers
Picture of heliotrope flowers....
Heliotrope flowers are one of the most fragrant flowers in the garden. As you can see in this photo, the butterfly clinging to the bottom of the heliotrope flowers quite agrees! The name, "Heliotrope" comes from the Greek and means, literally, "turns to the sun."
Heliotrope flowers are treated as annuals north of zone 8.Continue to 12 of 14 below.
12 of 14
Picture of Purple Crocuses
Mix crocuses of lighter colors with your purple crocuses for knockout spring plantings....
Harbingers of spring, purple crocuses and other bulb plants are welcome visitors to our March and April yards.
Crocuses are small plants, reaching just 3-6 inches tall (depending on the type of crocus bulb you plant). Looking like blades of grass, the foliage is marked down the middle with a light stripe. Besides purple crocus flowers, blooms come in yellow, gold, white and lavender.
An endearing trait of... crocus flowers is the way they pucker up at night, or when the day is cloudy and/or cold. It's as if they're saying to us: "I'm going to bed -- and that's where you should be, too!"Continue to 13 of 14 below.
13 of 14
Picture of Purple Verbena Plants
Picture of purple verbena plants (more accurately, a light violet magenta)....
Because of their trailing habit, purple verbena plants are commonly used in hanging flower baskets, as is orange lantana (the blooms of which resemble verbena's). Both grow well in sunny locations.
Purple verbena plants come in other colors, too; most notably, pink. You can grow purple verbena plants as perennials in planting zones 7-11.Continue to 14 of 14 below.
14 of 14
Delphinium 'Black Knight'
'Black Knight' delphinium is, as its cultivar name suggests, a dark-flowered plant. Depending on conditions, it can appear such a dark purple as to be grouped by some with the so-called black flowers....
Why are delphiniums such great plants for cottage gardens? Well, consider the following scene:
You're walking along a lonely stretch of road. You round the bend in the road and behold a cottage not far away. A white picket fence on this property starts at the road and runs through the side... yard. Planted on one side of this white picket fence is a garden of perennial flowers.
Layering plants in rows is an effective way to handle such a perennial garden. Tall perennial flowers will fit in best in the row up against the fence. The shortest plants will not be displayed to best advantage if grown anywhere other than the front row. The rest will compose a loose middle row.
Of course, when we speak of tall perennials, medium-sized perennials and short perennials, we are using relative terms. Most delphiniums are among the tallest perennials (although not as tall as real freaks like plume poppy!). Since cottage gardens are known for their rambling, riotous design, with perennial flower spikes sticking out here and ornamental grass seed heads poking out there, a plant of not insignificant height is frequently needed for the back row.
Enter the delphinium! And the 'Black Knight' cultivar will be especially valued if you are a connoisseur of purple flowers.