As much as I love the riot of colour in a garden, I’ve lately become intrigued and attracted to the sophistication of the uncommon green flower. The colour green is prominent in nature, found usually in foliage, but quite unusual however as a flower colour.
The green of plants is produced by chlorophyll, which converts light into energy the plant uses for growth. Colourful blooms serve as attractors for pollinators which will spread the plants pollen for reproduction. Green flowers have no need for bright colours as they reproduce themselves through asexual reproduction or rely on the wind to spread themselves around.
Green flowers are useful for creating a restful spot for the eyes to land between more brightly coloured plants. Used alone together without the interruption of other loud colours, we notice more of the structure and shape of the flowers and plants. Where can you find a green flower? Everywhere. You can choose from annuals, perennials, bulbs and even orchids.
Listed below are many of the green flowers I love and grow. Some are relatively common and easy to find, others are a little more mysterious.
THE GREEN FLOWER
Angelica archangelica ( Wild Parsnip )
A large plant growing up to 6 feet tall, Angelica is often grown as a biennial. Happy in partial or full shade it does however prefer a deep, moist and fertile soil. Angelica is great as a specimen plant giving a strong vertical element to your garden.
Arisaema jacquemontii ( Jack in the Pulpit )
This is a tuberous perennial good for sun or partial shade. Although not a true flower, but are actually spathes, or rolled up leaves. Loves a moist, woodland garden site and can use a bit of mulching in winter for protection.
A beautiful cultivar with flowers up to 8 inches across blooming in the fall. Usually purchased from greenhouse growers, this green flower is great for cutting and arranging.
Cornus kousa ( Kousa Dogwood )
A small specimen tree for sun or partial shade. The blooms are made up of small green flowers surrounded by 4 papery bracts which are produced in early summer. A real show stopper when in bloom.
Cyperus papyrus ‘Nana’ ( Dwarf Papyrus )
An evergreen perennial in warmer climates for full sun to partial shade. You can use it as an annual in colder zones. Very useful in bogs and water gardens. Most importantly the soil must not dry out.
More of my favourite Green Fower
Daylily ‘Green Mystique’
An easy perennial to grow in sun or part shade. Requiring average soil and water, daylilies are seldom bothered by pests or disease. Divide clumps every 2-3 years to encourage blooming. Other green varieties are ‘Green Flutter’/ ‘Easy Ned’/ ‘Lime Frost’
Dipsacus fullonum ( Common Teasel )
Easy to find, this plant is a short-lived perennial or biennial for sun or partial shade. Teasel has great architectural shape and is very prickly. Great for growing in a wild garden or along with ornamental grasses. It is also useful as a dried flower in arrangements.
Euphorbia lathyris ( Mole Plant )
Thought to repel moles in the garden, this plant is a biennial for sun to partial shade. It produces blue-green leaves and tiny flower parts without petals. Prefers a light, sandy and dry soil. Like all euphorbias this plant contains a white, milky sap that can cause severe skin reactions, so handle with care and keep away from children and pets.
Echinacea ‘Coconut Lime’
A hardy perennial suitable for sun or part shade. Echinacea prefers good soil and adequate water. Blooms in mid to late summer and lasts through to fall. Looks great when planted in groups of 3or 5.
A herbaceous perennial for sun or partial shade. Helleborus are clump forming with deciduous green leaves. The pendent flower is lime green and arrives in very early spring. Grow en mass for the best effect. The sap may irritate skin.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’
A beautiful 6 foot shrub for sun or part shade. The conical flowers have a green tinge to their otherwise creamy tones. Arriving in late summer the blooms turn a soft pink with age. Prefers good, moist but well drained soil. Is also great for drying and bringing indoors.
Moluccella laevis ( Belles of Ireland)
Herbaceous annual or short lived perennial fora sunny location. The flowers are surrounded by cup-shaped, lime coloured leaves which become white-veined and papery. Excellent for dried arrangements. Good in the mixed border or cutting garden, grow in fertile, moist soil.
More of the Best Green Flower
Passiflora juliana ( Passion Flower )
A green house plant except in warmer climates, this vine will grow to 6 feet or more. Can also be grown in large pots of loamy soil placed away from the hot sun and kept moist.
Polygonatum ( Solomon’s Seal )
A rhizomatous perennial for shady gardens. Sword-like leaves and bell-like flowers have a distinct greenish tinge. Blooms begin in late spring and last through to mid-summer. Solomon’s seal prefers fertile, humous-rich, moist soil.
Hummulus ‘Aureus’ ( Golden Hop )
A climbing herbaceous perennial for sun or part shade. Prefers a moist but well drained, fertile soil. For best leaf colour grow your hops in full sun. Also cut the plant back in early spring to encourage new growth.
Sarracenia flava ( Yellow Pitcher Plant )
A carnivorous perennial. Using its pitcher shape, slippery face hairs, toxins and digestive secretions it snares and eats insects. Grow in humous rich soil which is very well drained in an area shaded from the hot sun. Good for a woodland or bog garden.
Echinops ( Globe Thistle )
A very hardy herbaceous perennial good for sun or partial shade. Loves a hot, dry site on shallow soil. Spiny foliage and round shaped, prickled flower heads makes for a very interesting plant. Can self seed quite well so you might want to do some dead heading.
Gladiolus ‘Emerald Spring’
Glads are a bulbous perennial suitable for sun to part shade. Prefers a well drained soil. Usually the corms are lifted in the fall for winter storage, to be replanted again in the spring unless you garden in a warm zone.
Galanthus plicatus ( Snowdrop )
A small spring blooming bulbous perennial. Flowers bear a single green mark at the end of each segment. Prefers a rich soil that does not dry out in the summer in partial shade. Very hardy and easy to find.
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