It might be the right time to give your outdoor space a makeover or maybe you have relocated and are excited at the prospect of starting over from scratch! No matter what your reason is, a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into creating your dream outdoor space, and any seasoned gardener will tell you it takes a lot of research!
This lovely list of flowers that start with the letter Y contains some well-known meadow-garden favourites to some more obscure tropical plants. It should let you know quickly whether these flowers and their names will suit your garden style, climate, and conditions, all without the major headache!
Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow, common yarrow, devil’s nettle, or hundred-leaved grass, is a delicate perennial native in Europe to western Asia. This lovely plant has a spreading habit and will bloom for weeks on end from early to late summer! They do best in sunny areas with well-drained soils but will tolerate some light shade at the expense of their flowering.
Yarrow plants produce flat-topped clusters that grow up to 5 inches wide and are made up of 20-25 pretty little creamy-white to pink flowers! These flowers stand out against the green, fern-like foliage, and look lovely in coastal, cottage-style, meadow, and prairie gardens. Their blooms are particularly attractive to butterflies so are a must for pollinator gardens!
#2 Yellow Allamanda
Allamanda cathartica or the yellow allamanda is a tender and vigorous climber originally from Brazil. These plants are wonderful for adding some tropical color to the garden and can climb between 10-20 feet tall! Yellow allamanda flowers can be trained to grow up trellises or pergolas but can also be grown successfully in containers as they can be pruned to form a small bush!
In tropical climates, these plants will flower year-round but in cooler areas, they will bloom from summer to the first frosts! Yellow allamandas have large, golden, bell-shaped flowers with darker throats. These flowers are fragrant, may be single or double, can have white markings, and will grow as wide as 5 inches across. Grow them either in full sun or partial shade, in fertile, well-draining, moist soils. In cooler climates where winter nighttime temperatures drop below 60-65°F plant them in containers and overwinter them indoors.
#3 Yellow Asphodel
Yellow asphodel, which is also called Asphodeline lutea, king’s spear, and Jacob’s rod are clump-forming perennials, native to the Mediterranean to the Caucasus. They are ideal for beds, borders, banks, and slopes, in Mediterranean and gravel gardens. Plant them in full sun conditions in areas that have moderately fertile and well-drained soils.
They bloom in late spring producing dense racemes of golden-yellow flowers that are just over 1-inch wide. These flowers are fragrant with 6 narrow petals, and protruding golden yellow stamens. They can grow up to 60 inches tall and after flowering leave attractive seed heads that can add prolonged interest to the garden!
#4 Yellow Coneflower
Echinacea paradoxa or the yellow coneflower is an interesting herbaceous perennial that is native to Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. They belong to the daisy family Asteraceae and will grow between 2 and 3 feet with a maximum spread of 1.5 feet. Their showy, fragrant, daisy-like flowers have sunshine yellow, drooping outer rays and a brown, conical central disk. E. paradoxa are the only species in the genus Echinacea to have yellow flowers, hence their specific epithet “paradoxa”!
They are mid to late summer bloomers that look particularly stunning when planted en masse along native borders or scattered throughout wildflower or prairie gardens! Pairing them with the purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea can have a nice impact. These flowers are easy to grow, preferring full sun conditions and average, well-draining soils. These plants are low maintenance and don’t require deadheading for a rebloom, but this could help to keep the garden looking neat.
#5 Yellow Daylily
The yellow daylily, Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, is a beautiful herbaceous perennial that is found in Europe and Asia. They are also called lemon daylilies or lemon lilies after their lovely lemon-yellow flowers. Their trumpet-shaped flowers are short-lived, only lasting for 1 or 2 days, and appear from May to June! These lovely plants prefer to be grown in full sun conditions with moist-well draining soils. Although they can tolerate shadier locations, flowering is likely to be poor.
Yellow daylilies will grow between 2 and 3 feet tall and are clump-forming so can be useful as ground cover. Their flowers are wonderful for adding a splash of color and contrast to perennial borders and when not in flower, their lush green foliage is still attractive! They may need to be divided to prevent overcrowding.
#6 Yellow-eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium californicum or yellow-eyed grass is a herbaceous perennial found in the western US that is often grown as an annual in cooler areas. They are winter hardy in zones 8-10 and should be planted in moist to wet areas under full sun conditions. Unlike most of the Sisyrinchium genus which has blue flowers, yellow-eyed grass is prized for its pretty yellow flowers that bloom from May to June.
These flowers are naturally found growing along the edges of ponds, bogs, marshes, and moist grasslands making them ideal candidates for rain gardens or moist areas in cottage-style, woodland, and native gardens. Their starry flowers are golden yellow with 6 pointed tepals and will close up by noon each day!
#7 Yellow Flag
Iris pseudacorus or the yellow flag is a hugely popular water iris and a vigorously growing herbaceous perennial found in Europe, Asia, or Africa. They grow between 3 and 5 feet tall and will form large colonies in the right conditions. Their flowers are typical of the iris family Iridaceae, and are a striking bright yellow! Each flower can grow as wide as 4 inches and is adored by contrasting brownish-purple veining on the base of each petal.
Their foliage is sword-like and gray-green, with each stalk bearing 4-12 flowers. They bloom prolifically from late spring to early summer providing the garden with a bright pop of color! Yellow flags perform best in full sun, in water at least 1 foot deep. Grow them along pond and stream edges in cottage-style, coastal, and informal gardens.
#8 Yellow Ginger Lily
The yellow ginger lily, Hedychium flavescens, is a tender perennial native to parts of Asia and winter hardy in zones 9-11. These tropical flowers are great for adding a bit of exotic flair into the garden! In colder areas, their rhizomes can be lifted and stored in a cool, dry, place over winter to be replanted the following year once the risk of frost has passed.
Their cream to pale yellow butterfly-like flowers have a heady fragrance and grow in loose clusters at the end of their long stems. They grow between 3 and 6 feet high with glossy, dark green foliage, and lance-shaped leaves that can grow up to 2 feet long! Even though these plants are tropical by nature, their flowers still make a lovely addition to cottage-style and Mediterranean gardens!
#9 Yellow Oleander
Cascabela thevetia or yellow oleander is an evergreen tropical shrub or small tree that is native to southern Mexico and other parts of tropical America, however, they are now widely naturalized in tropical regions worldwide. C. thevetia flowers are winter hardy in zones 8-10 and are ideal for tropical gardens! These plants have woody stems, simple narrow green leaves, and large showy flowers.
These flowers are trumpet-shaped with overlapping petals that come in shades of yellow, gold, and orange. All parts of yellow oleander plants are poisonous to people, dogs, and cats so care should be taken when planting them in the garden.
#10 Yellow Rattleshaker
Calathea crotalifera, also referred to as the yellow rattleshaker, peacock plant, or rattlesnake plant, is a tender herbaceous perennial native to rainforests in South America. They are ideal for zones 11-12, and have escaped cultivation in Hawaii and Puerto Rico and naturalized due to the ideal conditions of high humidity, temperatures, and organically rich, moist soils.
Yellow rattleshaker plants will grow between 4 and 10 feet tall with large green oval leaves, and showy flower inflorescences. These inflorescences are upright, yellow, and 2-4 inches long and are said to resemble a baby’s rattle, hence their common name! Their flowers reside within and are inconspicuous. In non-tropical climates, yellow rattleshakers can be grown indoors and make attractive houseplants, however, they will rarely produce flowers.
#11 Yellow Wax Bells
Kirengeshoma palmata or yellow wax bells are clump-forming herbaceous perennials that can grow as large as 4 feet! Their leaves are rich green and resemble the shape of a maple leaf with green stems turning dark purple-red over summer. These plants are native to Japan and Korea and are well-loved for cottage-style, informal, and Japanese garden beds and borders!
Yellow wax bells flower from summer through to fall, preferring full to partial shade and moist, lime-free soils. They may need to be planted in a sheltered area away from cold winds. During the blooming season, these plants produce long stems with nodding, narrow, creamy-yellow, bell-shaped flowers that are just under 1.5 inches long. These flowers grow in delicate panicles that rise above the foliage.
#12 Yellow Wild Indigo
Yellow Wild Indigo, Baptisia sphaerocarpa, would make a striking and vibrant addition to the garden! This mound-forming herbaceous perennial grows as large as 3 feet tall and wide and has showy yellow flowers that appear in late spring to early summer that are wonderful for attracting butterflies into the area. Their sunshine-yellow, pea-like flowers grow clustered on upright racemes that sit on top of the clover-like blue-green foliage.
These lovely plants look best as a specimen plant, or planted in small groups, in cottage-style, prairie, meadow, or naturalized gardens. B. sphaerocarpa is native to the south-central US and grows well in dry to medium, well-draining soils, in sunny or partially shaded conditions. After blooming they can be given a light trimming to maintain an attractive shape and keep them looking neat!
#13 Yellow Woodsorrel
Yellow woodsorrel, Oxalis stricta, or lemon clover is a North American and Eurasian native perennial that in some places is considered a weed! They are easy to grow and will grow successfully and aggressively even in poor soils, however, this plant does have some uses in that its leaves and flowers can be added to salads to add decoration and a tangy taste.
These low-growing plants bloom from spring to fall with small, delicate, yellow flowers. Their leaves are shaped like shamrocks and curl up overnight before opening the following morning. It should be noted that yellow woodsorrel should only be consumed in moderation because excessive amounts can be toxic! These plants are also harmful to cats, dogs, and horses.
#14 Yucca filamentosa
This incredibly eye-catching plant is commonly called the needle palm, Adam’s needle, or is classified as Yucca filamentosa. It is an ornamental evergreen shrub hardy to zones 4-11 and a US native. These impressive plants will grow up to 3 feet tall and wide, with a showy, singular flower spike emerging from a rosette of spiky green leaves. This attention-grabbing flower spike may grow as high as 5-8 feet and will be adorned with panicles of bell-shaped, nodding, creamy-white flowers!
Yucca filamentosa prefers to be grown in light, dry, well-draining soils in full sun conditions. They are fantastic in a range of settings, including Mediterranean, city, coastal, rock, and architectural gardens! A few cultivars exist with different colored foliage.