Purple is a versatile color, and there are a few types of purple flowers that people enjoy planting and keeping in their homes. Created by the combination of warm red and cool blue, various shades of purple can signify anything from nobility to daring to delicacy. Purple flowers take many forms and appear in shades ranging from bold royal purple to pale lavender. Don’t just go with the blooms you like the most based on appearance. Consider the conditions of where and when you want to plant to help select the right flowers for your garden. Some purple flowers include agapanthus, aster, columbine, freesia, iris, pansy, petunia, phlox, rose, sweet pea, verbena and violet.
Agapanthus, Aster, and Columbine
The agapanthus has funnel-shaped flowers, arranged in large globes. They appear in hues of blue to purple, shading to white. They flower from summer into early autumn and do not have a noticeable fragrance. It is sometimes called “The Lily of The Nile” though it actually is native to South Africa.
The name aster comes from the Greek word meaning star, due to the shape of the flower. This perennial has a bloom with a yellow center and radiating purple flowers around it. The yellow disc at the center of the aster flower is actually comprised of many tiny flowerets.
The columbine has large delicate blooms with single and dual color patterns. Colors can include white, pink, purple or combinations. The state flower of Colorado, the Rocky Mountain columbine has white petals and blue spurs. These flowers are especially popular with bees and hummingbirds for the large amount of nectar they produce.
Freesia, Irises, Pansies and Petunias
Freesia is a popular and fragrant garden plant that is originally from South Africa. It comes in various colors including lavender and purple. The plant has sword-shaped leaves, thin stems and funnel-shaped flowers. They look best when grown in numerous clumps. Plant the freesia bulbs in fall or early spring.
The iris is familiar to lovers of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. They have long, erect flowering stems. Their flowers have six petals, three that droop backwards and three smaller ones that stand upright. Their distinctive shape is the inspiration for the fleur de lis. The iris is a hardy plant that does well in full sun or partial shade. Irises are fairly resistant to disease. Their most common problem is root rot, caused by poor soil drainage.
The pansy comes in two groups, monkey-faced and clear-faced. The former has a dark blotch in the center of the petal. The latter type is one solid color. This annual is among the earliest of the spring flowers. They come in a wide variety of colors including even black.
The petunia originally hails from South America. It has a distinctive trumpet-shaped flower and comes in a number of vibrant colors, including various shades of purple. Petunias are popular and easy to grow. They can fill an area or entire bed but also are great in windowsills, containers, or even hanging baskets.
Phlox and Roses
Most phlox have flowers that bloom in loose clusters consisting of four to ten blossoms. Creeping phlox has flowers that are about an inch across and typically come in shades of blue or purple. The other variety is moss phlox, which has a wide choice of flowers. There are round, narrow, notched or star-like petals, in colors ranging from white to lavender to magenta. In some varieties the flowers are also slightly fragrant.
The rose is familiar to nearly everyone with its delicate layers of petals, prickly thorns and fragrance. Different colored roses carry different meanings. Red, for instance, is for passion and yellow if for friendship. Lilac and purple roses signify enchantment and desire. They are meant to be sent when it’s a case of love at first sight.
The sweet pea is a popular garden plant with large, fragrant flowers colored in various hues, except yellow. There are over a thousand varieties of this hardy annual. Sweet peas can grow as vines or as bushes and prefer cooler climates. The sweet pea can even survive frosts, freezes, and a snow cover.
Verbenas and Violets
Verbena flowers are small, topping out in the 8 to 12 inch range. Their brilliant blooms have five petals that cluster in dense spikes. Often a shade of blue, they may also be white, pink, or purple. They are attractive to butterflies, and historically used in folk medicine.
The violet takes various forms, including the ordinary violet, the common blue violet, the sweet violet and the garden violet. They tend to be small, with heart-shaped leaves and asymmetrical flowers. The shape of the petals defines many species. Despite the name, violets can come in other colors such as blue, yellow and white. They bloom early in the season. Violets are the state flower of Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.