It’s no secret that the world of flowers is vast and beautiful. One thing gardeners look forward to each year is researching, planning, and planting their garden! The most wonderful gardens usually contain a delightful mix of annuals, perennials, and shrubs, but deciding which plants to include in your display can be a daunting task!
To make things hassle-free, here is a short list of different types of flowers that begin with the letter D, plus some more unusual species to get you started. If you have your heart set on a tropical perennial but live in a colder climate, don’t despair, as many warm weather perennials can be grown as annuals!
Daffodils often referred to as Narcissus, are bulbous perennials that originally come from Northern Europe. They have become somewhat synonymous with the arrival of spring as they are one of the earliest bloomers of the year! These flowers are absolute favorites among gardeners for their sunny flowers.
Traditionally, daffodils have 6 outer petals with a trumpet-shaped flower in the center. They have been highly cultivated so many varieties exist in different shades and flower forms. Colors include white, yellow, orange, and pink. Their genus name Narcissus is after a mythological boy who loves to appreciate his own beauty.
#2 Dahlberg Daisy
These plants are also referred to as golden fleece, they are short-lived perennials that are normally grown as annuals. Dahlberg daisies have a spreading habit, making them fantastic for borders and groundcover. Flowers are sunny and emerge in large numbers in summer through to fall. Their flowers are daisy-like with sunshine-yellow outer rays and golden yellow centers.
Dahlberg daisies are native to Texas and Mexico so are drought-tolerant and do extremely well in rock gardens. They have attractive feathery-green foliage and are also suited for container planting.
Dahlias are a group of around 40 species of perennials, with around 6 species that have been highly cultivated as garden ornamentals and for the florist industry! They are well-loved by gardeners and extremely popular for bouquets. In some cases, they can reach a towering 6 feet tall, but there are numerous dwarf varieties suited for growing in pots!
Their flowers come in many wonderful growth forms such as single, double, dinner-plate, cactus, waterlily, pom pom, and more! Dahlias can also be found in every color except blue, making them extremely versatile and good choices for several garden schemes including tropical and cottage-style gardens!
#4 Dalmation Iris
Also called the zebra or sweet iris, this old-time favorite is native to parts of Northern Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean. It is also found growing in the Croatian province of Dalmatia, hence its common name. These plants are evergreen in milder winter climates and will die back in colder areas before emerging the following year.
Dalmatian irises grow just under 3 feet tall and have sword-like blue-green foliage. However, cultivars exist with extremely attractive variegated foliage. They produce strongly scented iris-form, lavender flowers with lightly ruffled edges and small yellow beards. Their fragrance is said to smell like orange blossoms or vanilla! These plants are perfect for coastal or cottage-style summer borders.
Daphnes are a genus of flowering shrubs that originally come from Eurasia, but are now highly cultivated as garden ornamentals. A few species are well-loved by growers and tend to be low-growing, evergreen shrubs with attractive flower clusters. Their fragrant flowers come in shades of white, pink, and purple and bloom over winter and spring.
These plants are often grown in borders and rock gardens, and some varieties can do well in containers. They will also bring bees, butterflies, and moths into the garden! One thing to note is that daphnes do not enjoy pruning so choosing the right sized variety is extremely important.
Daturas, also referred to as thorn apples, are a group of 9 flowering plants that belong to the nightshade family. They have varied uses that range from cultivation for their eye-catching flowers to their use in the drug industry. These plants are short-lived perennials or annuals that have a sprawling nature accompanied by showy, fragrant flowers!
Their large flowers are easily recognizable for their trumpet shape and come in white, pink, purple, and yellow. However, flower and foliage size can alter with growing conditions. While beautiful, daturas are poisonous and contain toxic alkaloids that if consumed, can be fatal.
Daylilies are hardy perennials that, thanks to extensive cultivation, now come in many wonderful and vivid shades! Depending on the climate they may flower over 1-5 weeks. However, different varieties have different blooming times, so with a little planning daylilies can be enjoyed from early spring through to late summer.
Their showy, 6-petaled, trumpet-shaped flowers come in white, pink, red, yellow, orange, and purple. They grow between 1 and 3 feet high and look fantastic in small groups along the border. Daylily flowers are edible raw or dried and are said to taste like asparagus or zucchini!
Deadnettles are a small group of plants belonging to the genus Lamium and can be either annuals or perennials. They are easy to grow, low-growing flowers with a spreading habit making them ideal for ground cover. Deadnettles also do well in containers. These plants grow best in areas of deep to light shade so will thrive in a shade garden or dark patio corner!
They have a long blooming season from spring to fall and produce masses of small flowers hidden amongst the foliage. Their flowers come in shades of white, pink, and purple, with interesting heart-shaped foliage that can be green, yellow, purple, and variegated.
Delphinium plants are one of the most popular choices for cottage-style or English gardens! There are over 365 species in the genus Delphinium which induces annuals, perennials, and biennials. A select few are highly prized as garden ornamentals, mainly the hybrid groups Delphinium x elatum, the Belladonna group, and the Pacific Hybrids.
The delphiniums grown in the garden are typically perennials and have tall, showy flower spikes that are adorned with masses of starry blooms. Flowers are single or double and come in varying shades of white, pink, yellow, purple, blue, and sometimes red. They are great for adding architectural height to borders and look stunning when planted in large groups.
#10 Desert Bluebells
Desert bluebells are California desert natives that also go by the name California or Arizona bluebell. These low-maintenance annuals will readily self-seed in the right conditions, adore the full sun, and are drought tolerant! They reach between 8 and 16 inches and form little clumps that look attractive between paving stones or at the front of borders.
Their flowers are vivid blue bells with contrasting yellow stamens that may grow as large as 1 inch. Plant them in wildflower or prairie gardens amongst California poppies and Mexican feather grass for a stunning spring display.
#11 Desert Marigold
These Sonoran desert natives are biennials or short-lived perennials that under optimum conditions bloom sporadically throughout the year in addition to freely self-seeding. Their flowers are long-lasting and become more papery with age, a single plant can produce between 20 and 50 flowers over the year!
Their sunshine yellow, daisy-like blooms, and golden centers are ideal for bringing a splash of color to stony or sandy areas where other plants may struggle. Desert marigolds are particularly lovely in Mediterranean gardens and are well-suited for container growing.
#12 Desert Rose
The desert rose is an unusual succulent that is native to dry areas of Asia and Africa. It is a perennial that grows with an interesting tree-like shape, with a thick trunk at its base and branches that bear leaves and showy flowers. These plants are extremely popular for bonsai, but can also be grown successfully outdoors in beds or containers!
It is a summer bloomer that produces tubular, bell-shaped flowers in varying shades of pink, white, and more rarely, red. Flowers can be bi-colored and leaves are typically green but may be variegated. They prefer full sunlight and dry soils with good drainage.
#13 Desert Sunflower
This cheerful annual is a native to the Mojave desert and southwest Arizona. Unlike other daisy-like flowers in the same area, the desert sunflower is easily identified by its branched stalks that contain sunshine yellow flowers. Each flower can have between 10 and 21 buttery yellow outer rays surrounding golden yellow centers.
Desert sunflowers reach heights of 30 inches and are normally found in dry, sandy, or gravelly soils, making them doubt-tolerant and perfect for rock gardens!
Deutzias are rather under-rated, deciduous flowering shrubs that are found in the Himalayas to the Russian far east, Mexico, and the Philippines. Depending on the variety, these shrubs can reach an astonishing height of 10 feet, lending them for hedge planting. However, dwarf cultivars exist which are more suitable for the average garden border and grow between 2 and 3 feet.
They produce masses upon masses of fragrant flower clusters in the spring and can be grown in partial shade to full sun. Their beautiful blooms come in shades of pink and white, with several wonderful cultivars available!
Dianthus is a group of around 300 species, some of which are firm favorites among gardeners as bedding plants. This genus contains annuals, biennials, and perennials, and includes the popular garden ornamentals carnations (D. caryophyllus) and sweet williams (D. barbatus).
The majority of ornamental dianthus grow between 10 and 20 inches and produce wonderfully fragrant flowers from spring to summer, and sometimes to the first frost. They can be found in white, pink, red, and yellow, plus multi-colored varieties! Dianthus plants are great choices for beds and borders and containers.
Dietes are stunning exotic-looking plants that are native to areas of tropical and South Africa. There are only 6 species in the genus, all of which have sword-like foliage and iris-esque flowers with 3 large outer petals. Flowers are white or yellow, and some have violet style branches, yellow markings, and brown speckles.
These plants are drought-tolerant but will perform well if given a good watering. Plant them in cottage-style, Mediterranean, or rock gardens under full sun conditions for the best results. They also grow well in containers and are particular favorites for city landscaping!
#17 Dogtooth Violet
Dogtooth violets are bulbous perennials that are members of the lily family, Liliaceae. This group has over 20 species that are mostly found in parts of North America with some originating in Eurasia. These lovely native wildflowers like shady areas, making them ideal for woodland margins and shade gardens! They like moist areas so are great for growing near streams and ponds too.
They form colonies easily and come spring, will grace the garden with beautiful nodding flowers that come in hues of yellow and purple. In the US they are important in supporting Andrena miner bees which are essential for the pollination of woodland berries, bulbs, and shrubs. A must-have in any pollinator garden!
Durantas are tropical, evergreen shrubs that are often grown as annuals in colder areas. They are native to tropical areas of America and love full sun conditions. These plants flower from summer to fall and have delicate little flowers that grow in clusters on short racemes.
Flowers are white, purple, or blue, and in the fall transform into beautiful golden berries! For this reason, they are also sometimes referred to as golden dewdrops. They can be grown in containers and as houseplants, but keep an eye on children and pets as these plants are highly toxic.
#19 Dutchman’s Breeches
These perennial wildflowers are found in North America and are low-growing reaching a maximum height of 6 inches! They are spring bloomers that prefer dappled to partial shade, lending them to woodland margins and shade gardens.
Their wonderful flowers are said to look like upside-down pantaloons hanging on a washing line, hence their name, Dutchman’s breeches. Their flowers are white or pink with yellow tips and are delicately fragrant! They hang down from arching stems that rise above their dark green foliage.