The world of flowering plants is vast and wide. You’ve got your perennials that will return year after year, biennials that flower in their second year, and annuals that need to be replanted or allowed to self-seed in the garden for continuous enjoyment. Not to mention flowering shrubs, trees, and vines!
It can seem a little intimidating, but don’t let this deter you from creating the garden of your dreams. With some research, it becomes easy to select flowers that suit your garden style, skill level, and growing conditions.
This short list of flowers that begin with F includes some well-known ornamentals as well as some more interesting plants to help you start planning your outdoor space.
#1 Fairy Foxglove
This pretty little flower is also called alpine balsam or the jewel flower. They are native to Central and Southern Europe and are semi-evergreen perennials. These low-growing plants only grow as tall as 4 inches, and from late spring to early summer they produce masses of delicate pink-purple flowers in terminal clusters.
Plant fairy foxgloves in containers or rock gardens, or use them to fill in the gaps between paving stones! They like full sun to partial shade and are relatively low-maintenance.
#2 False Asters
False asters, which are sometimes also called false chamomile, are perennial wildflowers that are native to the US. They belong to the daisy family and have a daisy-like appearance. These plants are often found growing along roadsides, marshes, or other wet areas, and are tolerable of occasional flooding.
Their flowers typically have white outer rays and sunshine yellow centers but sometimes, petals have a pink or purple tinge. These plants are late bloomers, with masses of flowers emerging from late summer and lasting through fall until the frosts!
#3 False Lily of The Valley
The ultimate choice for a woodland garden, these rhizomatous perennials can be grown in dappled, partial, or deep shade. They have heart-shaped, glossy, dark green leaves that make for perfect ground cover! These cool-weather plants belong to the lily family and are good for bringing pollinators into the area.
From late spring to early summer, the false lily of the valley plant produces delightful clusters of white, star-shaped flowers. Flowers hang in groups of up to 20 on slender stalks that stand above the foliage. In late summer, their blooms transform into eye-catching, scarlet berries that provide fall interest!
#4 Firecracker Plant
Native to Mexico, Russelia equisetiformis, the firecracker plant is a tropical shrub that grows to a maximum of 4 feet. This unusual plant has an upright habit and is a prolific bloomer that has cascades of showy flowers. Their long, tubular, red blooms are highly attractive to hummingbirds and will add a dramatic flair to the garden!
Firecracker plants need to be grown under full sunlight in warm conditions. Luckily these plants are well-suited for container planting, so in colder climates, pots or hanging baskets can be brought indoors and overwintered. Once plants are established, they can tolerate dry, moist, and salty soils.
#5 Five Spot
Five spots are beautiful little wildflowers that are native to parts of the US. These bushy annuals are low-growing with a maximum height of 10 inches, and are extremely versatile! They will grow happily in containers, beds, and borders, and work well in city and patio gardens, or cottage-style schemes!
These plants are vigorous bloomers and from late spring to summer their enchanting bowl-shaped flowers will emerge in large numbers. Flowers are white and decorated with a violet-blue spot on each of their five petals, hence the name five spot. Five spot flowers look particularly impressive when planted en masse.
Flax plants are probably most well-known for their use as linseed oil, flax linen fabric, and flax seeds, which are a popular health food. However, they also have wonderful flowers that would bring cheer to any garden. Common flax will reach between 2 and 3 feet high, and do best when planted in an area where they will get full sun!
Their upward-facing blooms are periwinkle blue and emerge over summer. Plant them in cottage-style garden borders in large groups for a stunning display, or in meadow gardens amongst other wildflowers.
#7 Foam Flower
A popular choice for shade gardens, foam flowers prefer full to partial shade, and make for excellent ground cover! They are low-growing only reaching as tall as 1 foot and have attractive blue-green foliage. Foam flowers are herbaceous perennials that are evergreen in milder climates, but over fall and winter, their leaves may change to reddish-bronze.
Foam flowers are spring bloomers with a long flowering period that lasts up to 6 weeks. Their delicate starry blooms have long stamens that are white or pink and grow in loose clusters on racemes that rise above the foliage.
#8 Forest Lily
These rather odd-looking bulbous perennials go by the common names forest lily, cape lily, or unicorn root. Native to the Eastern Cape of Africa, they bloom in late winter to early spring in their preferred climate. Flowerheads are showy and consist of long, narrow, tubular blooms that nod downwards.
Flowers are typically pink but cream and yellow-green varieties exist. Forest lilies are grown in containers in colder climates and do well under filtered light next to a bright window. In warmer areas, they can be grown outdoors under partial shade. They make great choices for rock or shade gardens and are good specimen plants in patios or indoors.
Forget-me-not plants are any of the few species that belong to the genus Myosotis. These iconic spring flowers are originally from temperate areas of Eurasia and North America or mountainous regions of the Old World tropics. Their whimsical flowers work extremely well in informal planting beds or along woodland margins!
They are versatile flowers that can cope under full sunlight or partial shade. If grown in the right conditions they may very well continue flowering throughout the summer! Their delicate flowers are blue, however, in most species, flowers start out as pink before maturing to blue. Pink and white cultivars are also available.
#10 Four O’clocks
Four o’clocks are fantastic tender perennials that are native to tropical America. There are 45 species in the genus Mirabilis most of which grow between 2 and 3 feet high and have trump-shaped flowers that come in vivid shades of yellow, pink, red, and white! They get their common name four o’clocks because their flowers do not open until late in the day.
One of the most popular ornamental four o’clock species Mirabilis jalapa, otherwise known as the marvel-of-Peru, has a shrub-like growing habit and produces fragrant flowers that can be mottled or bi-colored. They bloom from summer through fall and are beneficial to nocturnal pollinators plus will also attract hummingbirds and butterflies!
#11 Fox and Cubs
Fox and cubs, Pilosella aurantiaca, is also called golden mouse ear or flora’s paintbrush. They are whimsical little perennials that bloom over summer and have small, dandelion-like flowers. Flowers are just over 0.5 inches wide and grow in little clusters on top of 8-inch stems. Blooms are often orange or yellow and more rarely, red or white.
Their common name refers to their open blooms (foxes) which are accompanied by their closed buds (cubs). Fox and cubs will attract pollinators into the garden and look particularly impressive when planted in large groups. Grow them in prairie gardens, cottage, and coastal-style schemes of gravel gardens! Not only are these plants versatile, but they are also low-maintenance.
#12 Foxtail Lilies
These bulbous perennials are a top choice for adding height to statement borders! They look fantastic in cottage-style, informal, or prairie gardens and will bring butterflies and hummingbirds into the area. Originally from Asia, foxtail lilies get their name from their tall, golden orange flower spikes that have an almost fluffy appearance, just like a fox’s tail!
Foxtail lilies can grow up to 8 feet tall and their tall spikes are adorned with tightly packed 6-petaled starry blooms. Their flowers also come in delightful shades of pink, white, orange, and yellow. They need full sunlight conditions plus free-draining soils to thrive. Plant them in groups of 5 or more for a stunning outdoor display and bring them indoors as cut flowers to brighten up the home!
Foxgloves are absolute must-haves for any cottage-style garden! These extremely well-known flowers are firm favorites in the gardening world and many beautiful hybrids and cultivars exist. They are biennials originally from Western Europe and will grace the garden with their showy blooms over summer.
Growing as high as 5 feet, these Foxglove plants have tall flower spikes that are covered with a narrow cluster of tubular blooms along one side. The common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, typically has purple-pink flowers with white ringed purple spots on the throat. Other lovely colors include white, pink, purple, yellow, and peach!
Freesias are wonderful garden ornamentals that are also important in the floral industry! They are bulbous perennials that belong to the iris family and are a group of around 20 species that belong to the genus Freesia. Native to South Africa, these tender plants are typically grown as annuals in milder climates or kept indoors.
They have vividly colored flowers that grow in clusters on arching flower stems. Although freesias are suited to USDA zones 9-10, they require cooler nights in order to flower at their full potential. Flowers are funnel-shaped, come in shades of white, pink, red, purple, yellow, or are bi-colored, with a sweet lemon scent!
#15 Fried Egg Plant
This beautiful plant gets its common name from its showy flowers that resemble a fried egg! Also known as Matilija or California tree poppy, it is a herbaceous perennial that is found in part of California and Mexico. These plants may grow as large as 8 feet and spread vigorously through underground rhizomes, so care should be taken in small spaces as they tend to take over.
Their large flowers may reach 9 inches wide and have soft, tissue paper white petals and an eye-catching central ball of golden yolk-colored stamens. They do best with limited watering so are well-suited to Mediterranean gardens, but will also look spectacular in cottage-style beds and borders!
Fritillarias are a group of roughly 80 species of bulbs, most of which are perennials. They have interesting flowers that make a nice break away from the more traditional ornamental bulbs favored by most gardeners. Their nodding flowers are bell-shaped and often solitary, although some species have eye-catching flower clusters.
Many species have a unique checkered pattern on their petals. One of which is Fritillaria meleagris, also referred to as snake’s head fritillary, because of its snakeskin checkered patterned flowers! Fritillarias tend to not do well in mass plantings, but their eye-catching flowers look stunning even in small groups.
These beautiful plants are one of the most popular flowering shrubs worldwide and are highly prized for their ornate flowers! Garden varieties may grow to 10 feet and can be trained as hedges and topiary standards. They are sometimes referred to as ladies’ eardrop as their delicate, hanging blooms resemble a dangling earring.
Growing Fuchsias is rewarding because they come in many wonderful colors and color combinations, with an estimated 3000-5000 cultivars available! Blooms can be single or double and come in vivid or softer shades making them versatile to many planting schemes. In milder climates, they are grown as perennials shrubs, but in cooler areas, they are grown as annuals, or as container plants that can be overwintered indoors.