As much as I love the riot of color in a garden, I’ve lately become intrigued and attracted to the sophistication of the uncommon green flower. The color green is prominent in nature, usually in foliage, but quite unusual as a flower color.
The green of plants is produced by chlorophyll, which converts light into energy the plant can use for growth. Colorful blooms serve as attractors for pollinators which will spread the plants pollen for reproduction. Green flowers have no need for bright colors 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 colored plants. Used alone together without the interruption of other loud colors, we notice more of the structure and shape of the flowers and plants. Where can you find green flowers? 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.
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 prefers a deep, moist and fertile soil. 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. 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.
A beautiful cultivar with flowers up to 8 inches across blooming in the fall. Usually purchased from greenhouse growers, this 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.
Cyperus papyrus ‘Nana’ ( Dwarf Papyrus )
An evergreen perennial in warmer climates for full sun to partial shade. Used as an annual in colder zones. Very useful in bogs and water gardens, the soil must not dry out.
Daylily ‘Green Mystique’
An easy perennial to grow in sun or part shade. Average soil and water, and seldon 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. Has great architectural shape and is very prickly. Great for growing in a wild garden or along with ornamental grasses. Useful as a dried flower as well.
Euphorbia lathyris ( Mole Plant )
Thought to repel moles in the garden, this plant is a biennial for sun to partial shade. 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 hary perennial suitable for sun or part shade. 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. A clump forming Helleborus 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. Great for drying and bringing indoors.
Moluccella laevis ( Belles of Ireland)
Herbaceous annual or short lived perennial for sun. The flowers are surrounded by cup-shaped, lime colored leaves which become white-veined and papery. Excellent for dried arrangements. Good in the mixed border or cutting garden, grow in fertile, moist soil.
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 distict greenish tinge. Blooms begin in late spring and last through to mid-summer. 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 color grow in full sun. Also cut 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 fron 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 flowerheads makes for a very intersting 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.
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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( Some photos are from Pixabay ) (some links go to my affiliate Amazon account)