For anyone who has decided to give their garden a little makeover, or is thinking about trying out gardening as a new hobby, it will come as no surprise that when it comes to flowering plants, shrubs, trees, and vines, the choices are almost unlimited!
There are so many wonderful plants to choose from, that at times the thought of narrowing it down to a select few may seem impossible. Luckily, your climate, garden-style, and how much time you are able to commit, can help weed out unsuitable choices!
This list of flowers that start with S has been designed to give you a quick idea as to whether these plants will work in your garden! You will find annuals, perennials, shrubs, bulbs, and more, all with different levels of care, climate requirements, and looks! Just remember that many tender perennials are grown as annuals in cooler regions, so you can still enjoy them in colder climates.
Safflower, Carthamus tinctorius, is a pretty flowering annual that is native to parts of Africa and Asia. Sometimes referred to as American saffron, false saffron, or bastard saffron, they belong to the daisy family, Asteraceae, and will reach an average height of 2 feet. These interesting plants historically were used as a red textile dye, and still are in some parts of southwestern Asia!
They are erect, thistle-like, highly branching plants with spiny green leaves. Over summer, safflower plants produce vivid orange or yellow flower heads that make lovely cut flowers. Plant them in cottage-style and informal garden beds and borders, in full sun conditions and light, well-draining soils.
Salvias are a group of roughly 960 flowering herbs, subshrubs, and shrubs from the genus Salvia. They can be found growing in the wild throughout Eurasia and the Americas, with particular diversity in Central America and Mediterranean regions. Several species are highly prized as aromatic herbs and can be found in most kitchen cupboards!
Some notable salvia species are common sage (S. officinalis), rosemary (S. rosmarinus), and clary sage (S. sclarea). However, these wonderful plants are also well-loved as garden ornamentals due to their lovely flowers which are usually two-lipped, tubular, and grow clustered on showy flower spikes. Salvia flowers are commonly purple but can also be red, blue, pink, yellow, and white!
#3 Sapphire Flower
Sapphire flowers, also referred to as Browallia speciosa, bush violet, or amethyst flower, are tropical perennials, prized for their vividly colored blooms! There are several lovely varieties to choose from with different colored flowers, growing habits, and sizes. Some trailing types are wonderful for hanging baskets or window box displays, whereas more compact varieties are ideal for beds and borders, and containers.
These plants are winter hardy in USDA zones 9-11 so are grown as annuals in colder regions. They typically bloom from late spring to fall, but this may vary with climate. Sapphire flowers are 2-inch wide, tubular-shaped, and starry. Their flowers are typically bluish-purple with a white center, however, white cultivars exist.
#4 Scarlet Sage
Salvia splendens, or scarlet sage is a striking tender perennial originally found in Brazil. Commonly grown as an annual in cooler areas, these beautiful plants are known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds into the garden! They are clump-forming and will reach an average of 1-2 feet, preferring full sun to partial shade conditions, and well-drained soils.
Scarlet sage blooms from June until the first frosts, with large 2-inch flowers growing along showy racemes that rise above the rich green foliage. As their common name suggests, their flowers are typically brilliant red, but varieties in various shades of red, pink, white, blue, orange, and purple, are available! Grow them along borders in cottage-style or informal garden schemes, and bring them indoors as cut flowers to brighten up the home.
#5 Sea Holly
These unique and interesting plants commonly known as sea holly belong to the genus Eryngium. Sea holly flowers are extremely versatile, adding interest to coastal, cottage-style, informal, city, and rock gardens! These perennials are perfect for mixed borders as their spiny leaves and thistle-like flower heads will add some fantastic texture.
Sea holly plants are upright, with greenish-white or steel blue flowers, surrounded by spiny bracts. They are extremely easy to grow, mostly thriving in poor soils and doing well under full sunlight. Their blooming season is from early summer to fall and their flowers are known to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies into the garden!
#6 Sea Kale
Crambe maritima or sea kale is a herbaceous perennial of the mustard family, Brassicaceae. Sea kale is mound-forming, reaching heights of 3 feet and a spread of 30 inches. Native to coastal areas of Europe and the North Atlantic, they are salt-tolerant and prefer rich, alkaline, sandy to gravelly soils. They can be grown as garden ornamentals for their attractive foliage and flowers, but are also edible, so are often found in vegetable gardens too!
Sea kale blooms from June to August, with dense panicles covered in delicate, fragrant, 4-petaled flowers. Their cabbage-like foliage is blue-green and contrasts nicely with their white flowers. Plant them in coastal, vegetable, and cottage-style gardens, alongside alliums or sea thrift.
#7 Sea Thrift
Sea thrift (Armeria maritima) is a wonderful evergreen perennial that grows as large as 12 inches. Its compact growing habit makes it ideal for edging, border fronts, and as ground cover in smaller areas! Found in Europe and North America, it is suited for USDA zones 3-9 and grows best in full sun conditions.
From April to May, sea thrift has tiny white to pink blooms growing in rounded clusters that rise above its grassy foliage from slender stalks. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage reblooming. Grow these charming flowers in coastal and rock gardens.
#8 Shasta Daisy
Shasta daisies are extremely popular herbaceous perennials that are treasured for their long summer bloom and profusion of daisy-like flowers. They are hybrids with the classification of Leucanthemum × superbum and were first developed in the 1890s. These sunny flowers are relatively easy to grow, performing well in average well-drained soils, under full sun conditions. They are tolerable of some light shade, particularly in hot summer climates.
Growing between 2 and 4 feet high, shasta daisies are perfect for mixed borders in cottage-style, coastal, prairie, and meadow gardens. They also happily grow in containers making them a wonderful choice for container and patio gardens! Their flowers typically have white outer rays and sunshine yellow centers, with semi-double or cream to yellow petaled varieties available.
#9 Shooting Star
Dodecatheon meadia known commonly as shooting star is a fascinating little herbaceous perennial found in eastern and central North America. They prefer partial shade, making them wonderful for shade or woodland gardens! Their common name is after their beautiful flowers that are said to resemble a shooting star. Flowers have 5 pulled-back petals and a cluster of yellow stamens that converge to a point. Petal color is variable, ranging from white to pink to pale purple.
Shooting stars are spring bloomers producing umbels with between 8 and 20 dangling, 1-inch flowers. Their flowers rise above the low-lying foliage on slender, leafless stalks, growing as high as 1.5 feet!
#10 Siam Tulip
This tropical perennial, referred to as siam tulip, summer tulip, or Curcuma alismatifolia, is native to Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, and winter hardy to zones 8-10. They can however be grown in cooler climates with some extra winter care. Dig up rhizomes in fall after the first frost, and store them in a dry, cool area, planting them out again in spring. Otherwise, grow them in containers and overwinter them indoors.
Siam tulips grow as large as 2 feet and flower from June to August. Like other members of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, these plants have modest flowers but are prized for their showy bracts. Their bracts come in varying shades of pink, growing in an inflorescence up to 3 inches tall, surrounding their tiny lilac to white flowers.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are old garden favorites that are native to southwestern Europe. They are herbaceous perennials with showy flowers, blooming from April until the frost. Winter hardy to zone 7-10, they are grown as annuals in cooler areas and are staples in cottage-style and informal gardens. Snapdragons thrive in cool-summer conditions and in areas that experience hotter summers, their flowers may not last the entire blooming season.
Due to their popularity, there are numerous cultivars, suiting different growing habits. Dwarf cultivars are great for growing in containers, making snapdragons a fantastic choice for city or patio gardens. These showy plants can grow between 1 and 3 feet, with tubular, two-lipped flowers that resemble dragon heads. Their flowers grow along racemes and come in a variety of vibrant and pastel shades, including white, pink, red, orange, yellow, and purple.
Snowdrops are a group of around 20 species belonging to the genus Galanthus. These bulbous perennials are found in Eurasia and belong to the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae. Several species are extremely popular as garden ornamentals including the common snowdrop (G. nivalis) and the giant snowdrop (G. elwesii). Snowdrops bloom from late winter to early spring, making them the earliest flowers to appear in the garden! They often emerge when there is still snow on the ground, hence their common name.
These delightful plants thrive in full sun to partial shade, making them extremely versatile. Plant them along beds and borders in cottage-style gardens, or use them to underplant shrubs and roses. They also do well in containers, so are great for patios, balconies, and city gardens. They have small, nodding white flowers made up of 3 outer and 3 inner petals.
#13 Society Garlic
Tulbaghia violacea or society garlic is a tender bulbous perennial originally from South Africa. They grow between 1 and 2 feet and look fantastic planted along Mediterranean, rock, and cottage-style garden borders. These lovely plants bloom from summer to fall, producing umbels of star-shaped flowers in various shapes of pink and purple!
Society garlic flowers and leaves are edible, with a mild garlic flavor, and are used in soups and salads. Plant them in full sun to partial shade in well-draining soils. They are winter hardy to zones 7-10, so in colder regions can be grown as container annuals or overwintered indoors.
#14 Stoke’s Aster
The stoke’s aster, or Stokesia laevis, is a semi-evergreen perennial native to the southeastern US. They look wonderful planted along the borders of cottage-style gardens but are also great for planting along streams and ponds, as long as the soil is well-draining. They bloom from May to July and can be deadheaded to encourage prolonged blooming!
Stoke asters grow up to 2 feet tall and have cornflower-like flowers that are a pretty violet-blue and up to 2.5 inches wide. Their flowers have notched outer rays surrounding a central pincushion of feathery disk florets. In areas that experience warm winters they will remain evergreen, otherwise, they can be cut back after blooming and given a protective winter mulch.
Sunflowers belong to the genus Helianthus and are a large group of roughly 150 species, which are mostly native to North America. They belong to the daisy family Asteraceae and can be annuals or perennials. All sunflowers are tall and will self-seed readily under optimum conditions.
They have cheery flowers that commonly have golden-yellow outer rays and yellow or brownish-red central disk florets. However, their outer rays can also come in various shades of orange, red, and white! They are popular with pollinators such as bees and butterflies, and their seeds which emerge after flowering are an important late fall and winter food source for songbirds. Grow them in cottage-style, native, edible, and pollinator gardens.
#16 Sweet Pea
Lathyrus odoratus or sweet peas are firm favorites for cottage-style gardens. They have been highly cultivated with many wonderful colors, flower sizes, and growth forms. Most are climbers that can be trained to grow up trellises and along fences, but some dwarf varieties form bushy mounds, making them ideal for container planting!
These delightful annuals perform best in cool summer climates where they will have a long spring to fall blooming season! Their fragrant flowers come in every color except yellow and can be bi-colored, coming in pretty color combinations. Some varieties even have frilly petals! Plant them in full sun to light shade in rich, well-drained soils.
See our list of flower names you can grow.