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 flower colors. About this, it is essential to note that the purple color of flowers and other purple plant organs (like purple leaves and stems) is due to the pigment called anthocyanin.
Aside from purple, anthocyanin also produces red, magenta, and blue colors, depending on its intensity.
This page has compiled 50+ of the planet’s most beautiful purple flowers. So let’s not make the introduction any longer. Welcome to the beautiful world of purple flowers!
Table of Contents
- Purple Flowers
- 1. Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)
- 2. Delphinium (Delphinium sp.)
- 3. Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)
- 4. Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
- 5. Clematis (Clematis sp.)
- 6. Salvia (Salvia sp.)
- 7. Purple Freesia (Freesia sp.)
- 8. Catmint (Nepeta sp.)
- 9. Dwarf Iris (Iris sibica)
- 10. Lavender (Lavandula spica)
- 11. Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)
- 12. Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum)
- 13. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus)
- 14. Morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea)
- 15. Bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
- 16. Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)
- 17. Monkshood (Aconitum variegatum)
- 18. China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)
- 19. Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
- 20. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
- 21. Cattleya Orchid (Cattleya labiata)
- 22. Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
- 23. Fuchsia (Fuchsia sp.)
- 24. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
- 25. Liatris (Liatris spicata)
- More Purple/Indigo Flowers
- The Significance of Purple Flowers
- The Symbolism of Purple Flowers
There are the best types of purple flowers in the plant world:
1. Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)
Also known as the Purpletop Vervain, the Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) is characterized by having a small purple five-petaled flowering plant.
- Aside from its aesthetic value, Verbena has long been used in folk plant medicine, usually herbal tea. The Verbena has a galactagogue effect (can trigger and promote lactation in women) and even act as a sex steroid.
- New hybrid species of Verbena can already thrive even in the hottest summer season. However, Verbena is very sensitive to cold weather and can be easily damaged by winter frosts.
- These small purple flowers are native to South America.
LantanaFlower Type: Perennials
2. Delphinium (Delphinium sp.)
This purple flower is found 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 type of purple flower also called 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.
DelphiniumFlower Type: Perennials
3. Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)
Found in the regions with tundra biomes, the Pasque flowergrows low in the ground and has fine silky hairs 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 in 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.
- These dark purple flowers are endemic and are seen almost anywhere in the northwest United States and Northern Alaska. It is the state flower of South Dakota.
Pasque flowerFlower Type: Perennials
4. Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
The next purple flower in this list is the Lilac Syringa vulgaris which is often considered the harbinger of spring, as the time of its blossoming can signal whether spring will be early or late.
- The Lilac is a large-sized shrub that can grow up to 6 to 7 meters high. It has light green oval leaves arranged oppositely to the sides of the plant. It also has Lilac to mauve colored (sometimes white) flowers arranged in panicles.
- Aside from its beautiful 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.
- These large purple flowers are widely distributed in some parts of northern and western Europe and North America.
5. 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 trees and other plants.
- The members of the genus Clematis are composed of climbing vines that have beautiful purple blossoms and 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.)
The next purple flower 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.)
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 to be used as perfumes, shampoos, creams, and others.
8. Catmint (Nepeta sp.)
The Nepeta or Catmint is a perennial flowering plant related to catnips (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, is drought-resistant and grows well during hot weather.
CatmintFlower Type: Annuals/Perennials
9. Dwarf Iris (Iris sibica)
As its name suggests, the Dwarf Iris is smaller as compared to the typical irises we know. The Dwarf Iris is distinguishable by the crests in its sepals (leaf-like structure below the petals).
- Relative to common irises that grow from 15 to 38 inches high, Dwarf Irises are just 6 inches tall.
- This plant’s small purple spring flowers are 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.
Miniature GladiolusFlower Type: Perennials
10. Lavender (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 in spike inflorescence.
- These lavender-colored flowers are very popular in herbal medicine as they are commercially packaged as herbal tea and essential oil 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.
LavandulaFlower Type: Perennials
11. Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)
The common name of the next flowering plant in this list makes perfect sense. The Balloon flower Platycodon grandifloras have flower buds that are inflated and can be popped open.
- These flowers with purple petals, which usually appear in bluish-purple colors (sometimes white and pink), are best suited to the dry climate and can tolerate light shades.
- Interestingly, this plant has foliage that turns to clear gold during the winter.
Balloon FlowerFlower Type: Perennials
12. Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum)
Endemic to the regions of the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America, the Lisianthus Eustoma grandiflorum (long-stem purple flowers) 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.
- These tall purple flowers grow well on grasslands.
Eustoma grandiflorumFlower Type: Biennials
13. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus)
As its name suggests, Lily of the Nile is endemic to South Africa. It is also called the Agapanthus 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.
AgapanthusFlower Type: Perennials
14. Morning glory (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 climbs with thin stems and cordate leaves. Its bell-shaped flowers come in 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)
Coming from the Nightshade family or Solanaceae, the Bittersweet nightshade is a perennial plant distinguished by its herbaceous branches that die every year.
- Its star-shaped flowers have purple petals and yellow heads.
- Like any other family members of Solanaceae, this plant contains the toxin solanine. When crushed, its leaves produce a very unpleasant smell and are poisonous to animals.
- This plant was originally native to Europe but is now widely grown in North America.
BittersweetFlower Type: Shrubs
16. Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)
Wild indigo comes from the Family Fabaceae, the same plant family where clovers and peas belong. Wild indigos are typically seen along the Pacific coasts of the USA.
- These types of purple wildflowers, which can reach 1 to 2 meters high, are characterized by their bright purple flowers positioned in spike inflorescence.
- The plant is used as a dye, resulting in an indigo color, hence the plant’s name.
- Despite being included in the list of toxic plants, the roots of Wild Indigos are used to produce medicine.
False IndigoFlower Type: Perennials
17. Monkshood (Aconitum variegatum)
The next plant in this list is the Monkshood plant that grows in the mountainous areas in the northern hemisphere. This plant, which has distinct purple flowers, derived its name from the appearance of its sepals which somehow look like monks’ cowls.
- 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, ingestion may cause gastrointestinal problems.
18. China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)
As its name suggests, the China Aster is native to China. This plant stands 12 to 36 inches tall and is straightforward to distinguish because its daisy-like flowers resemble pompoms.
- The China Aster comes in various colors like purple, blue, white, yellow, red, and pink.
19. Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Native to southern and eastern Asia and some parts of America, the Hydrangea is an evergreen plant that grows from early spring to late autumn.
- Interestingly, the color of the Hydrangea flower can indicate 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)
At present, there are only 3 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 characterized by a yellow-eyed head and purple to burgundy red outer petals.
- These purple flowers with yellow centers can grow from 48 centimeters to 1.2 meters tall.
- During the 1800s, Cosmos plants were first introduced to Mexico.
21. Cattleya Orchid (Cattleya labiata)
Cattleya orchids come in a wide variety of colors, like light purple, pink, and white. These purple and white flowers 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 en route from Brazil to England.
- The Cattleya orchid is also called the Corsage orchid because, in the old times, women used it as corsage during special occasions.
22. Candytuft (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 delicate Lilac, pink, and white flowers that blossom during early spring or summer. After that, it may or may not reblossom during the fall.
Persian CandytuftFlower Type: Perennials
23. Fuchsia (Fuchsia sp.)
The Fuchsia flower is very distinguishable due to its two-toned teardrop-shaped flowers. Its sepals (leaves) are bright red, whereas its petals are purple. Because of its colorful appearance, insects, and hummingbirds are easily attracted.
- Fuchsia plants are highly sensitive to hot temperatures, so care is very much advised, especially during the summer.
- The fruits of all species of Fuchsia are edible.
24. Foxglove (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 the digitalis, which is considered poisonous but is viewed as a potential cure for heart ailments.
- This plant is endemic to Europe’s western and southwestern parts.
FoxgloveFlower Type: Biennials
25. Liatris (Liatris spicata)
Last but not least purple flower is the Liatris or the Blazing Star. Known as 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 survive a relatively dry climate, it can also tolerate moderate cold temperatures. Interestingly, its foliage can turn into light gold during winter.
GayfeatherFlower Type: Perennials
More Purple/Indigo Flowers
Aromatic AsterFlower Type: Perennials
BrowalliaFlower Type: Annuals/Perennials
BugleweedFlower Type: Perennials
CaspiaFlower Type: Annuals/Perennials
ChivesFlower Type: Perennials
ColumbineFlower Type: Perennials
ComfreyFlower Type: Perennials
Globe ThistleFlower Type: Perennials
Hardy GeraniumFlower Type: Perennials
HollowrootFlower Type: Perennials
Little LarkspurFlower Type: Perennials
LobeliaFlower Type: Annuals/Perennials
MilkwortFlower Type: Perennials
Misty Blue Limonium
Monte CassinoFlower Type: Annuals/Perennials
PolemoniumFlower Type: Perennials
Turpentine BroomFlower Type: Shrubs
The Significance of Purple Flowers
Purple flowers hold a deep significance in flora. Due to their rich hue, they are often associated with nobility, royalty, and ambition due to their rich hue1. The color purple is also linked to spirituality, mystery, and magic, making purple flowers a symbol of enchantment and the extraordinary.
- Violet blooms are also significant in the world of science. They attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, playing a crucial role in the ecosystem. In addition, some purple blossoms, like lavender, have a calming scent and are used in aromatherapy for relaxation and stress relief.
- Purple blooms are often used in various cultural and religious ceremonies. For instance, in Christianity, purple is associated with penitence and mourning, making purple flowers a common choice for Lent and Advent seasons.
The Symbolism of Purple Flowers
Purple flora symbolizes a variety of sentiments and meanings. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Royalty and Nobility: These flowers often symbolize nobility, dignity, and pride1 due to their royal hue.
- Mystery and Magic: The color purple is often associated with the mystical and the magical. Therefore, purple flowers can symbolize enchantment, wonder, and the extraordinary.
- Spirituality: Purple is also a color often linked to spirituality and higher consciousness. Thus, purple flowers can represent spiritual achievement and mindfulness.
- Admiration and Respect: Purple roses, often symbolize admiration and respect.
- Creativity and Imagination: Purple is associated with creativity and imagination. Therefore, purple flowers symbolize the ability to imagine, dream, and create.
It’s important to note that the symbolism can vary depending on the type of purple flower. For instance, lavender symbolizes serenity and calmness, while purple lotus represents spiritual enlightenment.
What’s your favorite purple flower from the above list?
thank you for sharing!