Perennial Annual Flowers

Perennials are easy to grow, colourful, bee-friendly and last for years in the garden, flowering every summer. They are easy to look after too, once established they require very little care but will reward you with a long lasting display year after year.

  • Ajuga
    This topnotch groundcover is grown mainly for its foliage, but also has pretty flowers. Ajuga produces glossy, dark green leaves and springtime spikes of blue flowers. Select varieties offer dark purple or variegated foliage, or pink or white
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  • Asters
    A staple of the fall garden, asters burst forth with their starlike flowers in late summer and autumn. Bloom colors include rich pinks, blues, purples, and ruby reds. They can soar to 5 feet, depending on the species, and are excellent for beds and
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  • Astilbe
    Astilbe brings a graceful, feathering note to moist, shady landscapes. In cooler climates in the northern third or so of the country, it can tolerate full sun provided it has a constant supply of moisture. In drier sites, however, the leaves will
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  • Bigroot Geranium
    Bigroot Geranium is One of the toughest plants in the shade garden, bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum) doesn't mind heat or drought. And, deer and rabbits typically pass it by in search of tastier morsels. This plant puts on a spring show with
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  • Black-eyed Susan
    Add a pool of sunshine to the garden with a massed planting of black-eyed Susan. From midsummer, these tough native plants bloom their golden heads off in sun or light shade and mix well with other perennials, annuals, and shrubs. Tall varieties
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  • Blanket Flower
    Blanket flower (gaillardia) is a drought- and heat-tolerant perennial wildflower that provides long-lasting color in a sunny border with poor soil. In red, gold, or brown, its daisy-like, 3-inch wide, single or double flowers bloom through the
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  • Bleeding heart
    It's easy to see the origin of bleeding heart's common name when you get a look at its heart-shape pink or white blooms with a protruding tip at the base of the heart. They grow best in partial to full shade in moist, well-drained soil. Some types
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  • Brunnera
    In spring, shade gardens sparkle with the sky-blue flowers of Brunnera. When not in bloom, its large, robustly textured leaves continue to look great -- especially if you grow a variegated type. While the plant is often short-lived, it does tend to
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  • Boltonia
    End your garden on a high note with boltonia. This underused North American native plant looks like a 6-foot-tall aster. It puts on a big fall show when covered in starry white or pink flowers.
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  • Canna
    Add garden drama with cannas. Their big leaves and brilliantly colored blooms in shades of yellow, orange, red, and pink will instantly lend your garden a tropical feel. Dwarf cannas may only grow 3 feet tall; others soar to 8 feet or more.
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  • Castor Bean
    Bonus plant! While it's technically a perennial in the tropics, most folks grow castor bean as a fast-growing annual. This heat-loving plant can reach more than 15 feet tall in a single season. Be wary, though -- all parts of the castor bean plant
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  • Coralbells
    This front-of-the-bed favorite offers a multitude of charms. Chief among them is the crinkly multicolored foliage. The variety 'Purple Palace' is especially noteworthy for its deep purple leaves. The tiny flowers, borne on stalks above the leaves,
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  • Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'
    One of the longest bloomers in the garden, coreopsis produces (usually) sunny yellow daisylike flowers that attract butterflies. Coreopsis, depending on the variety, also bears golden-yellow, pale yellow, pink, or bicolor flowers. It will bloom from
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  • Cup Plant
    Standing tall over the prairies of North America -- or your garden -- cup plant bears golden daisies on sturdy 8-foot-tall stems from midsummer to early fall. Wondering where its name comes from? The upper leaves attach and clasp the stem, creating
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  • Daffodils
    Daffodils are dependable perennial bulbs, blooming in early, mid, or late spring, depending on the cultivar. The flowers have a central trumpet (corolla) -- the length varies among cultivars -- surrounded by a collar of petals (perianth) that can be
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  • Delphinium
    Make stunning cut-flower arrangements with delphiniums. This summer-garden classic bears spikes of intensely colored blossoms in shades of blue, purple, white, and pink. The biggest varieties can reach 6 feet tall, though there are dwarf selections.
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  • Epimedium
    An under-used groundcover that deserves a lot more attention, Epimedium has it all. It blooms in spring in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, or white; it tolerates dry shade; and it's deer- and rabbit resistant. Some varieties are
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  • Fern-Leaf Bleeding Heart
    Fern-leaf bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia and D. formosa) look beautiful all season. They'll bloom on and off from spring to fall (if they get enough moisture during hot, dry periods), producing delicate clusters of pink, red, or white flowers. Even
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  • Giant Knotweed
    If you're looking for a perennial that you can grow like a hedge, giant knotweed may be the plant for you. This plant forms a thick clump to 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide. It bears airy white plumes atop its stems throughout the summer. And, happily,
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  • Giant Lily
    In summer, it bears spikes of up to 20 big white flowers with maroon stripes and a rich scent. The plant itself can easily reach 10-12 feet tall and thrives in moist, well-drained soil in partial shade.
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  • Goatsbeard
    Create color and interest in hard-to-landscape shady spots with goatsbeard. This 4- to 6-foot-tall plant looks like a giant astilbe with its finely divided foliage and early-summer plumes of creamy-white flowers.
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  • Gunnera
    Give your garden a touch of the exotic with gunnera. Everything about this perennial seems prehistoric, from its 6-foot-wide leaves to its weird flowers and spiny stems. Get an established specimen going in your garden and it might seem like a
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  • Hellebores (Helleborus)
    Hellebores are so easy and so pretty, they have a place in nearly every landscape. Their exquisite bowl- or saucer-shape flowers in white (often speckled), pinks, yellows, or maroon remain on the plant for several months, even after the petals have
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  • Hollyhock
    Lend old-fashioned charm to your perennial border with hollyhock. Known for its tall spires of colorful blooms, hollyhock is the perfect back-of-the-border plant. Old-fashioned selections can easily grow more than 6 feet tall in a spot with full sun
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  • Hosta
    Hostas are among the showiest and easy-to-grow perennials in the shade. They also offer the most variety of any shade plant. Choose from miniatures that stay only a couple of inches wide or giants that sprawl 6 feet across or more. Look for leaves
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  • Japanese Forestgrass
    Japanese forestgrass (Hakonechloa macra) is a wonderful grass for shady areas. It offers a lovely waterfall-like habit and variegated varieties have bight gold, yellow, or white in the foliage. In fall, the leaves usually pick up beautiful reddish
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  • Japanese Painted Fern
    It's tough to imagine a lovelier shade plant than Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum). This beauty offers fronds liberally dappled with silver, burgundy, and green. Plus, it's a low-growing, slow-spreading selection. And, deer and
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  • Joe Pye Weed
    Attract butterflies to your garden with Joe Pye weed. It's a tough-as-nails perennial that will easily grow 7 feet tall. In late summer, the plant produces waves of nectar-rich pink flowers that butterflies love. Joe Pye weed thrives in moist, rich
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  • Lamium
    Starting in mid-spring, Lamium produces clusters of pink or white flowers. This delightful groundcover can rebloom off and on through the summer, creating months of color. And even when its not blooming, the silver-infused foliage brightens up shady
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  • Lilyturf
    Lilyturf (Liriope) is an easy-to-grow favorite shade plant. Loved for its grassy foliage and spikes of blue or white flowers in late summer, as well as its resistance to deer and rabbits, lilyturf is practically a plant-it-and-forget garden
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  • Lungwort
    A great plant with an unfortunate name, lungwort (Pulmonaria) earned its moniker from the silvery, lung-shaped spots that dot the foliage. The variegated foliage looks great all season long, but is an especially nice accent to the clusters of pink,
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  • Miscanthus
    Add an airy, delicate look to your landscape with graceful miscanthus. Its arching foliage and feathery summer plumes make it a great late-season privacy screen (it can reach 8 feet tall or more) or a soft backdrop for your favorite perennials.
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  • Monkshood
    Monkshood (Aconitum) is worth a place in the garden because it blooms in late summer, when most other shade bloomers have finished. Plus, it's deer- and rabbit-resistant. Named for its drooping blue flowers that resemble the hood on a monk's robe,
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  • Moss Phlox
    Perfect for rock gardens, alongside paved areas, the front of raised perennial gardens, or as a ground cover on a slope, moss phlox forms a dense, creeping mat up to 6 inches high and 2 feet wide. The small leaves are slightly prickly, and the
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  • Oriental Lily
    Grow a colorful and fragrant living screen with Oriental lilies. These hardy beauties grow 4-6 feet tall (or more) and produce huge flowers in red, pink, and white. The flowers are great for bouquets. Oriental lilies need full sun and moist,
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  • Penstemon 'Husker Red'
    This North American native plant has a home in nearly every garden with flowers that hummingbirds love. Long blooming with brilliantly colored, tubular flowers, penstemons -- ironically -- have been a staple in European gardens for decades. There
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  • Peonies
    Often sweetly fragrant, the peony is a very long-lived plant that forms 2- to 4-foot-tall clumps in shrublike bunches. Its numerous varieties offer a wide range of colors -- almost every shade except blue -- with some bicolors, and blooming periods
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  • Perennial Hibiscus
    Perennial hibiscus may look like a tender tropical plant, but it's hardy enough to withstand winters to Zone 5. This giant plant bears 12-inch-wide flowers in stunning shades of red, pink, and white on stems that reach 7 feet or more tall. It's slow
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  • Perennial Sage
    Hybrid perennial sage, a relative of the herb garden favorite, combines 18-inch spikes of blue, purple, or white flowers with attractive gray-green foliage. Plant sage in the front or middle of the border in a sunny spot. The variety shown here,
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  • Pincushion Flower
    Pincushion flower, or scabiosa, serves up dainty blue flowers all summer and into fall, making it one of the longest-lasting bloomers in the perennial bed. It likes sun or partial shade, and is best at the front of the bed. The foot-tall variety
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  • Plume Poppy
    Plume poppy is the perfect perennial if you have a lot of space and want to make a big statement. It shoots up to 7 feet tall and bears airy clusters of flowers over big, tropical-looking leaves. One note: It's a fast spreader and needs lots of room
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  • Queen of the Prairie
    Give your garden a festive appearance with queen of the prairie's fluffy, cotton-candylike heads of fragrant pink flowers. This easy-growing wildflower has toothed, dark-green foliage that's a great accent to the blooms -- and a striking backdrop
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  • Russian Sage
    Suited to larger gardens, this 3-foot-wide by 5-foot-tall perennial creates clouds of blue flowers in late summer. Russian sage likes sun, and is tolerant of drought and heat. Plant it at the back of the bed and give it room to grow.
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  • Sedum
    The fleshy leaves and bright flowers make sedum a popular perennial. It is practically foolproof, and offers spectacular color during the latter part of the growing season when most other flowers are fading.
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  • Siberian Iris
    Siberian iris adds color to flowerbeds in early summer, and vertical accents all summer long. Like most irises, these are moisture-loving plants, but once established they will tolerate dry soil. The blooms appear atop leafless stems rising from the
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  • Switchgrass
    A lovely North American native prairie grass, switchgrass offers the garden beauty and easy maintenance. Varieties grow from 2 to 6 feet tall and have airy, cloudlike plumes. Some varieties have rich red or purple foliage in autumn.
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  • Tall Garden Phlox
    Phlox paniculata -- garden, tall, or border phlox -- grows 3 to 4 feet tall and bears large trusses of fragrant flowers from summer to early fall. It's an old-fashioned favorite that has few rivals for its color display and light, sweet fragrance.
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  • Threadleaf Coreopsis
    Coreopsis, comes in a wide range of sizes and several colors. The threadleaf varieties -- like 'Moonbeam' and 'Zagreb' -- produce blankets of small daisy-like flowers all summer long in yellow or pink, with soft, ferny foliage. (In hot areas, flower
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  • Toad Lily
    Put on a fall show with toad lily (Tricyrtis). This easy-to-grow perennial offers unique flowers that are often compared to orchids. Many are spotted with shades of purple or blue.
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  • Veronica
    Perennial hibiscus may look like a tender tropical plant, but it's hardy enough to withstand winters to Zone 5. This giant plant bears 12-inch-wide flowers in stunning shades of red, pink, and white on stems that reach 7 feet or more tall. It's slow
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  • Wild Ginger
    Hailing from the woodlands of North America, wild ginger (Asarum canadense) is one tough plant. It produces fuzzy, heart-shaped leaves that look great from spring to fall. And, it's rarely bothered by deer and rabbits. This slow grower eventually
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  • Yarrow
    Even if you've never gardened before, you can grow yarrow with little effort. Yarrow is an amazing perennial that is hardy throughout most of the United States and can withstand heat, drought, and cold. It's valued in the garden for its ferny,
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  • Yellow Corydalis
    This hard-working perennial takes the prize for being the longest bloomer in the shade garden. Enjoy its clusters of yellow flowers from late spring all the way to frost. It's not just the flowers that are beautiful; the gray-green leaves are
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