One of the most exciting things about having a garden is choosing what plants to grow! Unfortunately, there are so many wonderful flowering plants, shrubs, trees, and vines, that sometimes the task of narrowing it down to a select few can feel like a headache.
Seasoned gardeners thoroughly research the care, growing habits, and look of each plant, but many of us don’t have the time! Luckily, this short list of flowers that start with R has been written to let you know at a glance whether or not these plants are the right choice for you! It includes annuals, perennials, bulbs, and shrubs, so no matter the garden, this list will have the perfect plant.
Don’t feel disheartened if a tender perennial catches your eye but you live in a cooler climate, as many tropical flowers can be grown successfully with a little extra care over winter, or be grown as annuals.
There are roughly 300 flowering plants in the genus Ranunculus, which are better known as buttercups or crowfoot plants. They belong to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae and are found worldwide, particularly in forests and fields of the northern temperate zone. Many within this genus have been highly cultivated to produce flowers in many glorious shades, though in the wild their flowers are glossy yellow and more rarely white!
R. asiaticus, also called the Persian buttercup or the florist’s ranunculus, is a firm favorite among florists and gardeners alike! They grow between 10 and 24 inches tall, producing wonderfully long-lasting single, double, or frilly flowers with delicate crepe paper petals that come in vivid shades. These cool-season flowers are perfect for beds and borders in cutting gardens or for container or patio gardens!
#2 Rattlesnake Master
Eryngium yuccifolium or the rattlesnake master is a herbaceous perennial native to the US. Their native habitat is in rocky forests and prairies, making them tolerant to drought, and giving them a preference for dry, sandy soils! Their common name stems from their use historically in treating rattlesnake bites.
Rattlesnake master plants bloom from June to September producing interesting green and white spiky-looking flowers! Their tiny flowers are tightly packed onto spherical flower heads that are 1-inch wide and resemble thistles. They are ideal for naturalized or prairie gardens and can work well in mixed borders too.
#3 Redwood Sorrel
This delightful creeping perennial is a fantastic choice for adding groundcover to woodland gardens, or for planting under shrubs or rose bushes! Known as redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana), this lovely flower can be found growing wild in California, Oregon, Washington, and other areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Redwood sorrel is low-growing, reaching a maximum height of 10 inches, and has velvety green foliage. From mid-spring to fall it boasts charming little 1-inch flowers that are white to pale pink, with delicate purple veining! It is easy to grow and will naturalize easily in ideal conditions through its underground rhizomes.
#4 Red Hot Poker
Red hot pokers are a striking addition to any planting scheme! Part of the genus Kniphofia, these exotic-looking flowers are wonderful for spicing up coastal gardens or for adding some tropical color to beds and borders. These perennials are easy to cultivate and are long-lived, flowering from March to November depending on the variety, with brightly colored flowers that resemble red hot pokers, hence their common name!
Their distinctive flowers commonly come in shades of red, orange, yellow, and cream, but may also be green, brown, or pink! Red hot poker plants have sturdy stems and may reach up to 6 feet tall! They prefer full sun conditions and enriched sandy soils.
#5 Regal Lily
Lilium ‘regale’ or the regal lily is a firm favorite amongst florists and gardeners, and are prized for their magnificent 6-inch long flowers. Their trumpet-shaped flowers are white with golden throats and are streaked with purple and pink on the outside. Their fragrant blooms are excellent as cut flowers and emerge over mid-summer.
Plant these perennials in mixed borders amongst other summer bulbs or grow them in containers in patio gardens or balconies. They will reach a maximum height of 6 feet, looking particularly stunning when planted in groups of 3 or more bulbs! Place them in an area with partial to full sun conditions and well-draining soils.
Rhododendrons, belonging to the genus Rhododendron, are hugely popular woody, evergreen plants, shrubs, and trees that are well-loved for their bold and beautiful flowers! There are roughly 1,000 species in this diverse genus, some of which have been highly cultivated as garden ornamentals. They are found growing wild mainly in the northern temperate zone, with a high concentration around the Himalayas, western China, and Myanmar.
These lovely plants prefer acidic soils and areas with dappled to partial shade. They generally flower in spring, with masses of brightly colored blooms in shades of white, pink, red, purple, yellow, and blue. Rhododendrons are ideal in woodland or shade gardens, and depending on the variety can make spectacular hedges!
#7 Rock Purslane
Calandrinia spectabilis, also called rock purslane, is a succulent plant that grows between 1 and 3 feet tall. They are native to Chile and winter hardy in USDA zones 9-11, so are grown as annuals in colder regions. These pretty flowers look fantastic in beds and borders of Mediterranean, gravel, and rock gardens, but can also grow well in containers making them perfect for adding a splash of color to the patio garden!
Rock purslane blooms from spring to fall, with vivid, purple-pink, 5-petaled flowers that rise above the foliage on slender stalks. They need to be grown in full sun conditions, planted in well-draining soils, with occasional watering. These plants are drought tolerant once established.
Rock roses are a small group of 18 species in the genus Cistus and the rock rose family, Cistacaea. These evergreen shrubs are native to the Mediterranean and many of their hybrids are well-loved rock garden staples! Rockrose flowers only last a single day, but are produced en masse over the summer. Their blooms have delicate crepe paper petals and come in white, pink, or reddish-purple, sometimes accompanied with dark central blotches.
Depending on the variety, rock roses can grow between 20 inches and just over 6 feet tall, making them a versatile group. They grow well in poor, gravelly soils, and are a top choice for areas that are a little more challenging for other plants. Rockrose flowers look brilliant in Mediterranean and coastal gardens accompanied by other Mediterranean favorites such as lavender and rosemary.
There are 90 species in the genus Romulea which belongs to the iris family, Iriacaea. They are native to South Africa and Europe and grow from corms. Romulea flowers are similar to crocuses, with some rather striking individuals, particularly from the South African varieties! These lovely plants are easy to grow and will do well in containers.
They come in many vivid shades, often with contrasting throats, or bold markings.
Roses are possibly the most popular flowers worldwide. They belong to the genus Rosa and are roughly 100 or so perennial flowering shrubs. They are mostly native to the northern temperate regions and are highly cultivated for gardens and the florist industry. Their flowers come in many enchanting shades from white, cream, pink, red, yellow, and maroon. Roses are highly recognized by their scent which is used in the perfume industry and can change depending on the variety and climate!
Wild rose flowers typically have 5 petals, but cultivated varieties normally have double flowers. Flower size ranges from 0.5 inches to 7 inches. Roses can be trained as hedges, standards, or along archways adding to their incredible versatility! Plant them in mixed borders alongside English lavender, hardy geraniums, or alliums. For patio gardens, check which varieties are suitable for container planting.
#11 Rose Campion
Rose campions (Lychnis coronaria) are short-lived perennials or biennials originally from southeastern Europe. They are winter hardy in zones 4-10 and won’t survive harsh winters; however, they will readily self-seed in the garden. Their common name is said to come from their use historically in flower crowns for athletic champions!
These low-maintenance plants have lovely little flowers in vivid shapes of red to purple-pink to white. Their foliage is a soft silvery gray with a velvety appearance, leading them to sometimes be called “dusty miller”. Rose campions will attract butterflies into the area and look absolutely beautiful in beds and borders of cottage-style, prairie, and meadow gardens.
#12 Rose Of Sharon
Rose of Sharon or Hibiscus syriacus is a tropical-looking woody shrub, known for its showy flowers. Originally found in south China and Taiwan, the rose of Sharon grows as tall as 12 feet and as wide as 10 feet! Their flowers are trumpet-shaped and 2-4 inches wide, and come in many bright shades including white, pink, purple, and yellow. Their flowers have crepe paper petals, may be two-toned, and can have single or double forms.
They bloom from spring to summer attracting all kinds of pollinators including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds! These eye-catching shrubs make fantastic hedges and are great for adding a touch of the tropical to colder regions!
Silphium integrifolium, known as rosinweed or whole-leaf rosinweed, is a herbaceous perennial found in the central US and a member of the daisy family, Asteraceae. They are easy-to-grow, performing well in average, well-draining soils, and full sun conditions. This wildflower may grow as tall as 6 feet, but typically reaches between 2 and 3 feet high.
Rosinweed may be a little too leggy for borders, however, they look great in naturalized, meadow, or prairie gardens! They flower from July to September, with 2-3 inch wide sunflower-like blooms that have sunshine yellow outer rays and golden yellow central disks.
Ruellias are a group of perennials and shrubs that are native to tropical Africa, America, and Asia. They are recognized by their wonderful flared, bell-shaped flowers that come in shades of white, pink, purple, red, and more rarely yellow. Ruellias are tender, so are often grown in greenhouses in colder regions!
The Mexican petunia, R. brittoniana, is a popular choice among the group, growing up to 3 feet high and flowering from mid-summer to fall. This hardy plant is tolerable of both drought and overly wet conditions, making it great for a range of garden styles! Its beautiful blue-purple petunia-like flowers grow on solitary stems and are wonderful for bringing butterflies and bees into the garden.
#15 Russian Sage
Salvia yangii, previously known as Perovskia atriplicifolia and known commonly as Russian Sage is a lovely, clump-forming perennial shrub, and a favorite for Mediterranean and coastal gardens! It is a summer bloomer, producing racemes that are densely packed with lavender-blue flowers. Their showy blooms contrast nicely with their silvery-gray foliage giving Russian sage a whimsical look.
These plants are drought resistant and perform best when grown in full sun conditions in well-draining soils. Their softness adds a nice texture to mixed borders and compliments more striking flowers such as coneflowers and crocosmias. For coastal gardens, grow them alongside lavender and rosemary bushes!
See more common types of flowers you can grow.