World’s 25 Most Pretty Purple Flowers

Purple Flowers
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Purple Flowers: Flowers come in a wide variety of colors. For instance, many of these colors bear huge symbolism and meanings. In particular red flowers symbolize love, yellow ones symbolize joy, white blossoms mean purity, and purple ones indicate nobility and elegance.

Believe it or not, purple is one of the most common colors of flowers. In relation to this, it is important to note that the purple color of flowers and other purple plant organs (like purple leaves and stems) are due to the pigment called anthocyanin.

Aside from purple, anthocyanin also produces red, magenta, and blue colors, depending on its intensity.

In this article, we compiled 25 of the most beautiful purple flowers in the planet. So let’s not make the introduction any longer. Welcome to the wonderful world of purple flowers!

Purple Flowers

1. Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

Verbena

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Lamiales Verbenaceae Verbena Verbena bonariensis

Also known as the Purpletop Vervain, the Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) is characterized by having small purple five-petaled flowering plant.

  • Aside from its aesthetic value, Verbena has long been used in folk plant medicine, usually served as an herbal tea. Basically, the Verbena has a  galatagogue effect ( can trigger and promote lactation in women) and can even act as a sex steroid.
  • New hybrid species of Verbena can already thrive even in the hottest of summer season. However, Verbena is very sensitive to cold weather and can be easily damaged by winter frosts.
  • This plant is native to South America.

2. Delphinium (Delphinium sp.)

Delphinium

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Ranunculales Ranunculaceae Delphinium Delphinium sp.

This purple floweer is found in thriving in relatively cold to moist environments, Delphiniums are perennial plants with spike flowers that can vary from purple, blue, white, and yellow flowers. This plant, also called as the “larkspur” is characterized by having dark green but glossy leaves.

  • The size of a Delphinium plant can range from 2 feet up to 6 feet.
  • The name “Delphinium” comes from the Latin word meaning “dolphin“, which refers to the shape of the nectar secreting part of its flower.
  • Despite being attractive to look at, all parts of the Delphinium (all species) are highly toxic to humans and other animals.

3. Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

Pasque flower

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Ranunculales Ranunculaceae Pulsatilla Pulsatilla vulgaris

Found in the regions with tundra biomes, the Pasque flowergrows low in the ground and has fine silky hairs in order to insulate itself and keep out of the cold environment.

  • Characterized by having dark purple to almost white petals, yellow stamens at the center of the flower, and the rest of the plant being covered in silky hairs, this plant only grows on a southward direction where it faces the slopes.
  • This flower is a member of the plant family Ranunculaceae (from Ranunculus meaning “little frog“) and it is assumed that members of this family thrive in places where frogs can be found.
  • This flower is endemic and is seen almost anywhere in the northwest United States and Northern Alaska. In fact, it is the state flower of South Dakota.

4. Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

Lilac

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Lamiales Oleaceae Syringa Syringa vulgaris

The next purple flower in this list is the Lilac Syringa vulgaris which is often considered as the harbinger of spring, as the time of its blossoming can signal whether spring will be early or late.

  • Basically, the Lilac is large-sized shrub that can grow up to 6 to 7 meters high. It has light green oval leaves that are arranged oppositely to the sides of the plant. It also has lilac to mauve colored (sometimes white) flowers arranged in panicles.
  • Aside from its very attractive flowers, the Lilac is very popular because of the sweet scent produced by its flowers. And because of its “hardy” character, it was chosen to be the state flower of New Hampshire.
  • This flower is widely distributed in some parts of northern and western Europe and North America.

5. Clematis (Clematis sp.)

Clematis

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Ranunculales Ranunculaceae Clematis Clematis sp.

Mainly found in the cold regions of the Northern hemisphere, the Clematis is a versatile plant that can grow almost anywhere: from walls, containers, or even when left through the trees and other plants.

  • The members of the genus Clematis are composed of climbing vines that have beautiful purple blossoms and have bright evergreen foliage.
  • The Clematis is very known for its various names like Old man’s beard (because of its very prominent seedhead), Traveller’s joy (a name invented by herbalist J. Gerard), and Leather flower (because of the appearance of its petals).
  • The leaves of Clematis serve as food for some caterpillar species.

6. Salvia (Salvia sp.)

Salvia

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Lamiales Lamiaceae Salvia Salvia sp.

The next purple flowers in this list is the Salvia, the largest genus in the Family Lamiaceae (Mint/Deadnettle family). Usually, Salvias grow from 30 centimeters up to 3 meters high.

  • Salvias, which are native to North America, are very easy to cultivate as they are very drought-tolerant and bloom all summer long.
  • Purple Salvias are very appealing for hummingbirds, hence, these purple flowers are often referred to as the “Hummingbird Magnet“.

7. Purple Freesia (Freesia sp.)

Purple freesia

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asparagales Iridaceae Freesia Freesia sp.

Freesias are herbaceous flowering plants that are members of the plant family Iridaceae. Freesia flowers are funnel shaped and come in a variety of colors (white, yellow, pink, purple), however, the most popular are the purple ones.

  • The name “freesia” was derived from its discoverer, German botanist Friedrich Freese.
  • Purple Freesias are endemic to Kenya and some regions of South Africa.
  • Because of their sweet scent, Freesias are usually cultivated in order to be used as perfumes, shampoos, creams, and others.

8. Catmint (Nepeta sp.)

Catmint

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Lamiales Lamiaceae Nepeta Nepeta sp.

The Nepeta or Catmint is a type of perennial flowering plant that is somehow related to catnips (which are favored by cats). The most common type are those with bluish-purple flowers that grow during early summer.

  • Catmints usually grow from one foot up to 3-4 feet high, hence are useful in making garden borders and edges.
  • This plant, having silver foliage, are drought-resistant and grow well during the hot weather.

9. Dwarf Iris (Iris sibica)

Dwarf iris

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asparagales Iridaceae Iris Iris sibica

As its name suggests, the Dwarf Iris is smaller as compared to the typical irises we know. Basically, the Dwarf Iris is distinguishable by the presence of crests in its sepals (leaf-like structure below the petals).

  • Relative to common irises which grow from 15 to 38 inches high, Dwarf Irises are just six inches in height.
  • The flowers of this plant are very fragrant and thus appeal to insects and animals. They usually bloom in dry pine forests during the early spring.
  • The name of the Dwarf Iris and other native irises come from the Greek goddess Iris, the goddess of the rainbow.

10. Lavender (Lavandula spica)

Lavender

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Lamiales Lamiaceae Lavandula Lavandula spica

The next flowering plant to make it to this list is the Lavender Lavandula spica which is endemic to many continents of the world like Europe, Africa (northern and eastern), and Asia (southwest).

  • This plant has purple to light violet flowers that are held in spike inflorescence.
  • This plant is very popular in herbal medicine as it is commercially packaged as herbal tea and essential oil that are used to induce sleep and relaxation.
  • The name of this plant is derived from the Latin word, “lavare” which means “to wash“, probably referring to the use of the extracts of the plant.

11. Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)

Balloon flower

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asterales Campanulaceae Platycodon Platycodon grandiflorus

The common name of the next flowering plant in this list truly makes a perfect sense. The Balloon flower Platycodon grandifloras have flower buds that are inflated and can be popped open.

  • These flowers, which usually appear in bluish-purple colors (sometimes white and pink), are best suited to dry climate and can tolerate light shades.
  • Interestingly, this plant have foliage that turn to clear gold during the winter.

12. Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum)

Lisianthus

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Gentianales Gentianaceae Eustoma Eustoma grandiflorum

Endemic to the regions of Carribean, Mexico, and South America, the Lisianthus Eustoma grandiflorum is a popular ornamental plant that grows 15 to 60 centimeters tall.

  • The Lisianthus is very much known for its bluish green succulent leaves and light purple bell-shaped flowers that arise from its long stems.
  • This plant grows well on grasslands.

13. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus)

Lily of the nile

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asparagales Amaryllidaceae Agapanthus Agapanthus africanus

As its name suggests, Lily of the Nile is endemic to South Africa. As a matter of fact, it is also called as the Agpanthus or the African Blue Lily.

  • The name of this plant is derived from the two Greek words “agape”  and “aanthus” which mean “love” and “flower” respectively.
  • Agapanthus plants have flowers that have purple, blue, and sometimes white petals that look like lilies.

14. Morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea)

Sky blue morning glory

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Solanales Convolvulaceae Ipomoea Ipomoea purpurea

As its name suggests, Morning Glory flowers Ipomea purpurea blossom in the early morning and start to wrinkle a few hours after.

  • This plant is a climber characterized by having thin stems, and cordate leaves. Its flowers are bell-shaped and come in colors like purple, pink, magenta, and white.
  • Because of its flowers, insects as well as hummingbirds are easily attracted.
  • In medicine, the Morning Glory is very much popular because of its seeds that have laxative properties.

15. Bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

Bittersweet nightshade flower

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Solanales Solanaceae Solanum Solanum dulcamara

Coming from the Nightshade family or Solanaceae, the Bittersweet nightshade is a perennial plant distinguished by its herbaceous branches that die every year.

  • Its flowers are star-shaped and have purple petals and yellow heads.
  • Like any other members of the family Solanaceae, this plant contains the toxin, solanine. Its leaves, when crushed, produced a very unpleasant smell and is in fact poisonous to animals.
  • This plant was originally native to Europe but is now widely grown in the North America.

16. Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Wild indigo

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Fabales Fabaceae Baptisia Baptisia australis

Wild indigo comes from the Family Fabaceae, the same plant family where clovers and pea belong. Wild indigos are typically seen along the Pacific coasts of USA.

  • This plant, which can reach 1 to 2 meters high, is characterized by its bright purple flowers positioned in spike inflorescence.
  • The plant is used as a dye, resulting to an indigo color, hence the name of the plant.
  • Despite being included in the list of toxic plants, the roots of Wild Indigos are used to produce medicine.

17. Monkshood (Aconitum variegatum)

Monkshood

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Ranunculales Ranunculaceae Aconitum Aconitum variegatum

The next plant in this list is the Monkshood plant that grows in the mountainous areas in the north hemisphere. This plant, which has distinct purple flowers, derived its name from the appearance of its sepals which somehow look like the cowls of monks.

  • Its genus name Aconitum comes from the Greek word “akonitos” which means “pointed cone“.
  • Despite being attractive, this plant is extremely poisonous (due to the compound aconite) and ingestion even in small quantities may cause gastrointestinal problems.

18. China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)

China aster

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asterales Asteraceae Callistephus Callistephus chinensis

As its name suggests, the China Aster is native to China. This plant, which stands 12 inches to 36 inches tall, is very easy to distinguish because of its daisy-like flowers that appear like pompoms.

  • The China Aster come in various colors like purple, blue, white, yellow, red, and pink.

19. Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

Hydrangeas

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Cornales Hydrangeaceae Hydrangea Hydrangea macrophylla

Native to southern and eastern Asia, and some parts of America, the Hydrangea is type of evergreen plant that grow during the early spring to late autumn.

  • Interestingly, the color of the Hydrangea flower can give an indication about the pH of the soil it is planted in. Purple to blue flowers indicate the soil is acidic whereas pink ones show it is acidic.

20. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)

Cosmos flower

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asterales Asteraceae Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus

At present, there are only three known species of Cosmos: Cosmos bipinnatus, Cosmos sulphureus and Cosmos atrosanguineus. Among the three, the first one is the most common.

  • Cosmos bipinnatus is a species of Cosmos characterized by having yellow eyed head, and purple to burgundy red outer petals.
  • This plant can grow from 48 centimeters up to 1.2 meters tall.
  • During the 1800s, Cosmos plants were first introduced to Mexico.

21. Cattleya Orchid (Cattleya labiata)

Cattleya orchid

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asparagales Orchidaceae Cattleya Cattleya labiata

Cattleya orchids come in a wide variety of colors like light purple, pink, and white. These purple colored flowers are native to Central and South America and thrive in warm temperatures and slightly bright areas.

  • This plant was named after horticulturist William Cattley, who accidentally discovered the plant during his en route from Brazil to England.
  • The Cattleya orchid is also called as the Corsage orchid because in the old times, it is used by women as corsage during special occasions.

22. Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

Candytuft

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Brassicales Brassicaceae Iberis Iberis sempervirens

The next flower in this list is the Candytuft, a plant endemic to Europe but has already adapted to some regions in the United States.

  • This evergreen plant stands 12 to 18 inches tall and has very delicate lilac, pink, and white flowers that blossom during early spring or summer. After that, it may or may not reblossom during the fall.

23. Fuchsia (Fuchsia sp.)

Fuchsia

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Myrtales Onagraceae Fuchsia Fuchsia sp.

The Fuchsia flower is very distinguishable due to its two-toned teardrop-shaped flowers. Its sepals (leaves actually) are bright red whereas its petals are purple. Because of such colorful appearance, insects and hummingbirds are easily attracted to it.

  • Fuchsia plants are highly sensitive to hot temperature so care is very much advised especially during the summer.
  • The fruits of all species of Fuchsia are edible.

24. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Foxglove

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Lamiales Plantaginaceae Digitalis Digitalis purpurea

Standing 2 to 5 feet tall, the Foxglove plant Digitalis purpurea  is easily distinguishable because of its tall purple (sometimes pink, red, yellow, and white) flowers that bear speckled throats.

  • The leaves of this plant contain a compound called as the digitalis which is considered to be poisonous but is viewed as a potential cure for heart ailments.
  • This plant is endemic to the western and southwestern parts of Europe.

25. Liatris (Liatris spicata)

Liatris spicata

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asterales Asteraceae Liatris Liatris spicata

Last but not the least purple flower is the Liatris or the Blazing Star. Known to be an insect magnet, the Liatris can attract Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies.

  • Like any other members of the Family Asteraceae, the Liatris grow from bulbs or corms that start to arise during spring and blossom during late summer.
  • While this plant can relatively survive dry climate, it can also somehow tolerate moderate cold temperature. Interestingly, its foliage can turn into light gold during winter.

Cite this article as: "World’s 25 Most Pretty Purple Flowers," in Bio Explorer, February 1, 2017, https://www.bioexplorer.net/purple-flowers.html/.

References

  • [1] – “Verbena bonariensis | Argentinian vervain/RHS Gardening”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [2] – “Delphinium (National Gardening Association)”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [3] – “Pasque Flower – Anemone patens”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [4] – “Lilacs Flower Meaning & Symbolism | Teleflora”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [5] – “How to grow Clematis.” How to Grow Clematis | Van Meuwen”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [6] – “Gardening Australia – The Joy of Salvia”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [7] – “Pacific Bulb Society | Freesia”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [8] – “dwarf iris”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [9] – “Lavandula | Fine Gardening”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [10] – “Balloon flower”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [11] – “Lisianthus | The Flower Expert – Flowers Encyclopedia”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [12] – “How to Care for A Lily of the Nile | DoItYourself.com”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [13] – “Morning Glories: How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Morning Glory Flowers | The Old Farmer’s Almanac”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [14] – “Bittersweet nightshade – King County”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [15] – “The Health Benefits of Wild Indigo Herb | Health Benefits”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [16] – “Aconitum napellus, monkshood – THE POISON GARDEN website”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [17] – “Callistephus chinensis (China Aster)”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [18] – “How to Grow Hydrangeas.” The Micro Gardener. December 07, 2016. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [19] – “Everything you need to know about cosmos, the flower of 2016 | The Telegraph”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [20] – “Get to Know Cattleya Orchid | Everything Orchids”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [21] – “Candytuft Plant: How To Grow Candytuft”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [22] – “Foxglove (National Gardening Association)”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
  • [23] – “Liatris”. Accessed January 31, 2017. Link.
World’s 25 Most Pretty Purple Flowers
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