Have you ever wondered how many flowers there are in the world and if you should add them to your garden? The answer is there are hundreds if not thousands of incredible plants out there but the light, soil, and climate in your space will narrow down what you can choose!
This list of names of flowers that start with the letter W includes annuals, biennials, perennials, shrubs, vines, and bulbs! You will find beautiful flowers that love the sun as well as pretty shade-loving plants. Just remember that if you’ve seen a tender perennial you love, it may still be able to grow in cooler climates as an annual.
#1 Walking Iris
Neomarica gracilis is an exotic-looking plant found in parts of Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil. They are sometimes referred to as the walking iris or apostle plant, however, the common name “walking iris” is also given to other flowers! Walking irises are clump-forming, rhizomatous plants with long green sword-like leaves that can grow as large as 24 inches.
Their flowers are short-lived and have a typical iris form, with 3 large, ivory, open-faced outer petals spotted with yellow-brown at the base, and 3 small, curved, blue inner petals. In their regular climate, they bloom over winter and spring, producing a 3-foot tall stalk that bears a solitary 3-inch flower. They are winter hardy down to zone 9 and can be grown in sunny or partially shaded borders. In cooler climates, they should be grown in containers and treated as patio plants.
#2 Walking Onion
The tree onion or walking onion is a hybrid cross (Allium x proliferum) that gets its common name from its habit of “walking” across the garden! Instead of flowers, these plants produce a cluster of bulbils at the tip of their stalks that eventually reach the ground as the stalk flops under their weight. They then replant themselves, beginning their “walk”!
Walking onions grow vigorously in zones 3-10 and their new green foliage can be enjoyed like chives, or their bulbs when left in the ground to mature can be eaten as shallots! Although they are more commonly seen in vegetable and herb gardens, walking onions are also grown by gardeners in cottage-style garden beds and borders!
Wallflowers, which belong to the Erysimum genus, are popular springtime bedding plants! They are mostly biennials and have been highly cultivated, leading to many wonderful varieties. Recently, new perennial varieties have been bred that will flower almost year-round. These perennial wallflowers have tremendous wildlife value, providing a long and reliable source of nectar for bees and butterflies.
These beautiful flowers are fantastic as an edging plant or for growing in containers. Wallflowers are also firm-favorites for growing in stone walls and look sensational tumbling over garden walls! Their fragrant flowers grow in pretty clusters and come in many vibrant shades.
Oenothera lindheimeri, previously known as Gaura lindheimeri, is commonly called the wandflower. However, be careful as many other flowers also have this common name! These herbaceous perennials are bushy with slender stems that can reach between 3 and 4 feet tall. They produce small, delicate, little flower clusters over summer and fall.
Wandflowers are typically white, however, many beautiful cultivars exist with flowers in pretty shades of white, pink, and red! These plants do best in sunny conditions in fertile well-drained soil, but they can tolerate some partial shade and dry conditions. Grow them in beds and borders of cottage-style or informal gardens or use them for prairie plantings.
#5 Water Lily
Water lilies are a huge group of around 58 species that belong to 3 genera! All members of the family are perennials except for the genus Euryale. These plants are freshwater flowering plants that are highly recognized by their iconic leaves and flowers. They can be found in both temperate and tropical regions throughout the world and provide an important food source for fish.
In general, water lilies have waxy, round, notched leaves that sit on top of the water attached to long stalks. Their flowers are solitary, showy and fragrant, and sit on top or just above the water’s surface. Some species have flowers that open only in the mornings or evenings. Many varieties are prized garden ornamentals either for ponds or for water features in conservatories!
Watsonias belong to the genus Watsonia and are tender bulbous perennials hardy in USDA zones 8-11. They are native to South Africa and were named after the 18th-century botanist Sir William Watson. These plants are quite popular so there are many wonderful varieties to choose from! Some are hardier and can be grown in colder climates as long as their corms are dug up and stored over winter.
These delightful plants bloom in summer, with showy spikes containing up to 25 tubular flowers! Their flowers are most commonly light pink, coral, and orange, but white, purple, yellow, and red cultivars can also be found. They grow well in containers making them wonderful for patios or city gardens!
#7 Welsh Poppy
Papaver cambricum, or the Welsh poppy, is a delightful poppy flower that is native to Western Europe. This sunny perennial has a long blooming season from late spring to early fall, producing buttery yellow to orange poppy-form flowers that can grow up to 2 inches across.
Welsh poppy flowers grow best in areas that experience cool summer temperatures and prefer partial shade and neutral to acidic well-draining soils. They make the perfect candidate for wildflower, meadow, or cottage-style gardens and are low-maintenance plants that will readily self-seed under optimum conditions!
#8 White Laceflower
The white lace flower, also referred to as Orlaya grandiflora or French meadow parsley, is a delicate-looking annual found in parts of Europe and Turkey. Its common name is derived from its beautiful flowers that have a lacy appearance! They have almost flat umbels which have small inner flowers and outer flowers with enlarged outer rays. These beautiful flowers are white and highly attractive to insects.
White lace flowers grow between 2 and 3 feet tall and have green branching foliage. Their compact, bushy growing habit makes them wonderful in small gardens, although they also look fabulous in cottage-style and informal settings. Their flowers have a long vase life and can be brought indoors as pretty cut flowers
#9 Wild Rose
Wild roses are a group within the Rosa genus that are made up of mostly single, fragrant, early summer blooming flowers that are great for attracting bees into the area!
Plants have thorny stems and following their blooming season their flowers transform into fruits or “hips” if they are not deadheaded.
One of the most well-known wild roses is the dog rose, Rosa canina, a vigorously growing deciduous shrub. Their delicate flowers look incredible in cottage-style or wildflower gardens, emerging in early summer either alone or in small clusters! Their flowers have a touch of fragrance and are white flushed pink.
Winecups, purple poppy mallow, or Callirhoe involucrata, is a central US native and a herbaceous perennial. It is low growing reaching a maximum of 1 foot but can have a spread 3 times that size. These easy-to-grow plants perform best in well-draining soils in full sun conditions and are drought tolerant once established.
These plants are mat-forming making them a great choice for adding some ground cover! Their pretty magenta flowers are solitary, upward facing, and cup-shaped, appearing from mid-spring to fall. Grow winecup flowers in rock, naturalized, or meadow gardens.
#11 Winter Aconite
Eranthis hyemalis or winter aconite is a low-growing perennial that only reaches 4 inches high! They are clump-forming and true to their common name, begin blooming in late winter through to spring with small, bright yellow, cup-shaped flowers. Winter aconite flowers are native to western Europe and hardy in zones 4-9.
Plant them in areas that receive full sun to partial shade in humus-rich, well-drained soils. They need consistent moisture throughout the year, but will readily self-seed in the right conditions creating a stunning winter display! Winter aconite is a fantastic choice for edging shaded paths and walkways or as underplanting beneath roses and large shrubs!
#12 Wishbone Flower
The wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri) is a flowering annual native to Asia. It will grow in a large range of climates, as it suits USDA zones 2-11, although they don’t perform well in areas with hot and humid summers. These beautiful plants are great for the more shady areas of the garden, preferring partial to full shade conditions.
Wishbone flowers are trumpet-shaped, two-lipped, and emerge from mid-summer lasting all the way to the frosts! They are pale lavender with dark purple-blue-edged petals and a yellow throat blotch. These compact plants grow to a maximum height of 1 foot, and are great for containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets! Wishbone flowers are also great candidates for woodland or shade gardens!
Wisteria plants belong to the genus Wisteria and are a small group of 8-10 species. They are woody vines in the pea family, Fabaceae, that are prized for their abundant and beautiful flowers! Wisterias have been widely cultivated and in some countries have escaped cultivation and are considered invasive! Wisteria vines are generally fast-growing and will tolerate poor soils, but may take several years to flower.
Their flowers grow in large, drooping clusters that are densely packed with white, pink, purple, or blue blooms. These fragrant flowers emerge in spring and occasionally continue flowering into the summer. Wisterias look stunning growing around archways or up trellises, but in smaller spaces, they can be trained as a free-standing standard!
#14 Woad Plant
Isatis tinctoria, also known as the woad plant, dyer’s woad, or glastum, is a summer bloomer native to Eurasia. These biennials or short-lived perennials were previously cultivated as a source of indigo dye, but have since become garden ornamentals for their attractive flowers! Woad plants will grow as high as 3 feet and should be planted in full sun conditions in well-draining neutral to alkaline soils.
These whimsical plants are wonderful for adding texture to summer beds and borders, looking particularly at home in cottage-style, wildflower, or meadow gardens. Their tiny flowers grow in delicate sprays and are sunshine yellow and are attractive to bees making woad plants also suitable for pollinator gardens!
#15 Wood Sorrel
Wood sorrel plants are pretty little garden ornamentals that belong to the genus Oxalis. They are popular flowers for greenhouses but take care as some species can quickly take over the garden becoming weeds! These plants are native to South America and southern Africa, however, several species are hardy and can survive in cooler climates.
Wood sorrel plants are easily recognized by their clover-like foliage, with some species having attractive purple leaves! Flower colors come in hues of white, pink, and yellow. They make good additions to rock gardens but are also popular houseplants!