With so many flowering plants available to us nowadays, choosing a select few for the garden can seem like an impossible task! Whether you’re looking for an annual, a perennial, a tree, or a shrub, there seem to be hundreds of possible candidates, making narrowing it down a mammoth task.
This list of flowers that start with P should give you a rough idea of whether or not these plants will suit your growing conditions, garden-style, and skill level. There are some firm favorites in the list as well as some lesser-known flowers!
#1 Painted Daisy
Tanacetum coccineum, formerly classified as Chrysanthemum coccineum, is known commonly as the painted daisy. They are beautiful perennials known for their striking color and masses of showy flowers! They have daisy-like flowers that can be up to 3 inches wide, with large, golden yellow, central discs, and bold outer rays. Their rays come in bright shades of white, red, pink, and purple!
Painted daisy flowers have a long blooming season and will grace the garden from early to mid-summer, attracting butterflies into the area. They grow as tall as 3 feet and are extremely versatile and easy to grow, suiting cottage-style and coastal beds and borders, as well as container gardens and patios.
#2 Painted Tongue
The painted tongue or Salpiglossis sinuata is a wonderful cool weather annual that does best in places that experience cool summer temperatures. They prefer full sun conditions, but in areas with hot summers, some afternoon shade and mulching would be much appreciated.
Native to parts of Chile and Argentina, this beautiful plant has incredible flowers that grow on average to 2 inches wide, are funnel-shaped, and bloom over summer and fall. Painted tongue flowers grow in clusters, and have striking marbling or contrasting colored veins and throats. Their flowers come in shades of pink, red, purple, yellow, and blue.
The common name pansy is given to several highly cultivated violets that belong to the genus Viola. Their long history of cultivation means their origins are uncertain and they have many fantastic color variations and forms! Pansies are grown as either annuals or short-lived perennials and are low-growing, reaching heights between 6 and 12 inches.
They have wonderful velvety flowers that can be 1-2 inches wide, have 5 petals, and normally have color combinations of blue, yellow, and white, although other colors exist. Pansies are often used as bedding flowers but also grow well in containers, making them a top choice for patio gardens!
#4 Partridge Pea
The partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata, goes by many names including prairie sienna, golden cassia, and more! They are showy annuals that belong to the legume family and are native to the eastern, central, and southeastern US. These whimsical flowers are popular garden ornamentals and are well-loved in meadow gardens.
Partridge peas have lovely, sunshine yellow, pea-like flowers that grow up to 1 inch across in short clusters. They bloom from June to September providing a good source of nectar for bees and butterflies, making them a great option for pollinator gardens too!
#5 Pasque Flower
Pasque flowers are any of the 30 or so species in the genus Pulsatilla. They are early bloomers and will be amongst the first herbaceous perennials to appear in spring! Of these, the most popular species to grow in gardens is P. vulgaris or the European pasque flower.
This lovely flower is low-growing, reaching a maximum height and spread of 1 foot, making it fantastic for beds and borders in rock, prairie, and meadow gardens, as well as container gardens and patios! Pasque flowers are prolific bloomers and plants may produce more than 30 flowers over the blooming period. Their bell-shaped flowers can be shades of blue and purple with a contrasting central tuft of golden yellow stamens.
#6 Peacock Orchids
Although given the name peacock orchid, these enchanting flowers actually belong to the iris family. Their Latin name is Gladiolus murielae, and they can be found in mountainous regions in tropical East Africa, although they were introduced to the US as far back as the 1800s! These plants are winter hardy to zones 7-11 so will need to be overwintered indoors in cooler climates.
Peacock orchids have star-shaped, delicate flowers that hang down gracefully. Their flowers may grow as wide as 3 inches, and are delightfully fragrant with a scent similar to gardenias or jasmine! They have pure white petals with a nicely contrasting deep purple central blotch. These beautiful bulbous perennials grow as tall as 2 feet and will do well in containers. They are also great for adding some height to cottage-style or informal garden borders.
Known commonly as beard-tongue plants, the Penstemon genus contains around 250 species of herbaceous perennials or low-lying shrubs that are native to North America. Their flowers are generally large and showy, tubular, and are two-lipped. Several species and varieties are prized as garden ornamentals for their colorful flowers that can be white, pink, red, purple, yellow, or blue!
Penstemons are easy to grow and will come back year after year bringing bold color to the border. Their flowers look phenomenal in cottage-style, prairie, or rock gardens, and make great cut flowers too.
Peonies are one the most well-known and popular garden ornamentals! There are around 40 species in the genus Paeonia and numerous cultivars. Peonies can be classified into 3 types, herbaceous, tree, and itoh. They all produce magnificent flowers and have similar care needs.
Peony flowers only bloom for 7-10 days each year, but different varieties have slightly different flowering times, so with some extra planning, a peony season of up to 6 weeks is possible! Their flowers come in a variety of attractive forms which are single, semi-double, fully double, Japanese, anemone, and bomb. They also exist in many delightful shades.
#9 Peruvian Daffodil
The Peruvian daffodil, Hymenocallis x festalis, is also referred to as the spider lily or the basket lily. These bulbous perennials are hybrids that are winter hardy in zones 8-10. They have eye-catching, fragrant flowers that resemble a spidery-looking daffodil and have white petal-like segments.
These plants prefer well-drained, humusy soils, and can be grown in full sun to partial shade, however, the soil must never be allowed to dry out. Peruvian daffodils are wonderful in woodland gardens, but can also be grown easily in containers for easy overwintering in colder climates!
Petunias are a group of over 35 species from the genus Petunia that belong to the nightshade family. They are extremely popular garden flowers, and the modern-day varieties we see today are hybrids that are classified as P x atkinsiana or P. hybrida. Petunias are native to South America so are tropical perennials that are suited for zones 10-11, however, in cooler climates they can be grown as annuals.
These delightful petunia plants have a variety of forms with different growing habits, sizes, and colors. Some are more suited for hanging baskets, whereas others make lovely bedding plants. They have a long flowering season from spring to fall, so they will bring glorious color into the garden! Petunias come in a wide range of bold colors including white, pink, red, purple, blue., yellow, orange, and even black. Stunning multicolored varieties also exist!
Phlox is a large group of roughly 65 species and several hundred varieties. Most of them are perennials, with many highly cultivated species prized as garden ornamentals. Phlox is extremely versatile with low growing varieties such as moss phlox (Phlox subulata) reaching between 3 and 6 inches high, and taller types such as garden phlox (P. paniculata) that can grow as tall as 5 feet!
They flower prolifically, producing wonderfully fragrant flower clusters from early spring to mid to late summer depending on the variety. Their blooms come in a range of colors from white, pink, red, purple, and blue, with some multi-colored varieties.
#12 Pincushion Flower
The pincushion flower or Scabiosa atropurpurea gets its name for its lovely flowers that resemble a pincushion full of needles! These plants are grown as annuals in colder areas and actually perform best in cooler climates. Pincushion flowers prefer rich, well-drained, alkaline soils and full sun conditions.
These plants have a long blooming season from summer to fall, with flowers in many pretty shades such as white, pink, red, purple, blue, and yellow. Their blooms are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies and make attractive cut flowers! Plant them along borders or en-masse in a meadow, cottage-style, Mediterranean, or rock gardens!
#13 Pineapple Lily
Pineapple lilies or Eucomis, are exotic-looking flowers that may seem challenging, but are quite easy to grow! These striking plants bloom from late summer to fall, producing interesting spikes of starry flowers with a rosette of young green leaves at their tip, resembling a pineapple. Their long-lasting flowers are nectar-rich, making them a favorite amongst pollinators.
They are native to South Africa and hardy in zones 7-10, so are great for growing in containers on patios, balconies, or in conservatories for ease of overwintering. Otherwise, a spot in a sunny border is ideal, as long as they have some winter mulching for added protection!
Plumeria, known commonly as frangipani, is a small genus of 11 flowering shrubs and trees. These plants are ideal for bringing a touch of the tropics into the garden and are hugely popular worldwide for their pretty and sweetly scented flowers! Their popularity has led to hundreds of varieties with different forms, growing habits, and flower colors.
Plumeria flowers are 2-4 inches wide and grow in terminal clusters from the ends of their stems. They bloom from early summer to fall and have 5 overlapping petals that come in hues of white, pink, red, yellow, and attractive bi-colored varieties! In cooler climates, growing dwarf varieties in containers are ideal as they can easily be brought indoors for overwintering.
Poinsettias are highly recognizable due to their popularity as a Christmas plant! However, they are also wonderful in the garden. Poinsettias have colorful leaf bracts that change color in response to shortening days over winter, leading to a bright display over the holidays! Their tiny yellow flowers are modest and are found in the center of their colorful petal-like bracts.
Although red is the most sought-after color, poinsettias also come in creamy white, pink, and multicolored varieties with white, pink, red, green, and even orange color combinations! In warm climates, they can reach 10 feet high when grown outdoors, but in cooler areas container plants rarely reach over 3 feet.
#16 Popcorn Cassia
Popcorn cassia, classified as Senna didymobotrya, is a tropical shrub or small tree that comes from central and eastern Africa. It gets its common name from the scent produced when its foliage is rubbed together, which has been described as similar to buttered popcorn! This plant is winter hardy in USDA zones 9-11 but is often grown as an annual in colder climates.
They can grow up to 25 feet tall, but more commonly only reach between 6-10 feet in height. Those grown as annuals will grow to a final height between 1-2 feet. From spring to fall, popcorn cassia produces dense 1-foot high flower spikes adorned with 20-30 round flower buds that unfurl to reveal buttery yellow flowers. Some even claim they have a subtle peanut butter scent! These interesting plants are good in mixed informal borders or as specimen plants.
The name poppy is given to any of the 800 flowering species in the family Papaveraceae, the most well-known belonging to the genus Papaver. Poppy flowers are extremely distinctive and are favorites for cottage-style, meadow, wildflower, and informal gardens!
Their whimsical blooms can be single, semi-double, and double formed and come in a range of attractive colors! Some of the most notable species are the California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, the oriental poppy, Papaver orientale, and the field poppy, P. rhoeas.
Primroses are a group of between 490 – 600 species that belong to the genus Primula. They are easy-to-grow plants with several varieties that have a range of sizes, forms, and colors! This versatile group can be grown in containers or beds and borders, with options to suit any garden scheme.
Most primroses prefer partial shade and well-drained soils, however, they are tough plants that are happy in a range of conditions. Plants are generally low-growing, reaching between 10-20 inches, but some species can grow as tall as 4 feet! Many are highly cultivated as garden ornamentals for their beautiful flowers!