Favorite Spring Blooming Perennials
Photo By: Image provided by Felder Rushing
©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Photo By: Image courtesy of Felder Rushing
©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited
©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Photo By: Image courtesy of northscaping.com
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
Also known as Virginia cowslip, this beauty deserves a spot in every garden. A native wildflower, Virginia bluebells is a spring ephemeral. That means it appears in spring and disappears completely when summer heat arrives. It’s a great choice for tucking into partial to full shade settings. Pink flower buds yield deep blue blooms that fade to lavender. Hardy in Zones 3 to 8.
‘Raspberry Splash’ Lungwort (Pulmonaria ‘Raspberry Splash’)
If you have a spot where hosta, ferns and bleeding-heart grow well, you should include lungwort in the mix. ‘Raspberry Splash’ is one of the best lungworts available, offering excellent disease resistance. It’s also ignored by deer and rabbits. Lungwort stages a great display with flowers that change colors from bud to faded bloom. Silver-flecked leaves look good all season. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.
Wake Robin (Trillium ovatum)
A cherished spring wildflower, wake robin is often referred to by its botanical name, trillium. This plant unfurls a perfect trio of petals skirted with a trio of leaves. Trillium thrives in woodland settings or partly shaded garden beds with humus-rich soil. Plants go dormant in summer, after heat arrives. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.
Decadence ‘Cherries Jubilee’ False Indigo (Baptisia ‘Cherries Jubilee’)
Low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, false indigo packages some of the best qualities of native plants in a hybrid with an unusual flower color. Deep burgundy flower buds open to reveal bicolor maroon and yellow blossoms from late spring to early summer. This perennial dislikes being moved; plant it where it can stay put. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
Sun or Shade
Columbine has delicate red, orange, and yellow flowers. It's happy in full sun or full shade. Aquilegia Formosa; Delicate red, orange, and yellow flowers. Happy in full sun or in full shade. H 24–36 in (60–90 cm); S 18 in (45 cm).
Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)
A cheery bloomer, yellow corydalis thrives on neglect. Tuck it into partial to full shade, where it will flower non-stop from spring to fall frost. Plants self-sow freely, spreading throughout your garden. Deer and bunnies turn up their noses at the blue-green, ferny leaves, while butterflies swarm the blossoms. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)
This old-fashioned favorite greets spring with ruddy shoots followed soon after by dainty heart-like blossoms. Established plants form small shrubs in the garden. They thrive in partial to full shade and aren’t bothered by deer or rabbits. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.
‘Caesar’s Brother’ Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother’)
In classic purple, this is one of the oldest Siberian irises—and one of the best. Plants tolerate wet and dry soil, making them a perfect choice for a rain garden. Flowers appear in late spring and linger into early summer. This iris is low maintenance and resists deer and rabbits. Hardy in Zones 3 to 8.
Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)
Lady’s mantle is a can’t-miss perennial that flowers in spring but looks good all season long. Sprays of tiny chartreuse blooms appear on plants in spring and linger into early summer. The flowers make great additions to spring garden bouquets, providing an airy filler. Leaves are velvety and transform dew drops into works of art. Hardy in zones 3 to 7.
Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)
Pasque flower hides a clue to its bloom time in the name. “Pasque” is the Old French word for Easter, which is when this beauty typically stages its show. New growth usually appears when snow still lingers, especially in northern growing areas. Flowers open in shades of lavender and deep purple. Hardy in zones 4 to 8.
Pigsqueak (Bergenia cordifolia)
Also known as heartleaf bergenia, this ground cover perennial brings glossy evergreen leaves to the garden. Thick and leathery, the leaves squeak when rubbed, giving rise to the common name pigsqueak. Pink flowers appear in spring. Use pigsqueak in a woodland or shade garden. Hardy in zones 3 to 8.
‘Jack Frost’ Heart-leaf Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’)
Tiny blue-purple blooms appear in spring above the variegated leaves of ‘Jack Frost’ heart-leaf brunnera. The flowers complement the silvery leaves beautifully. This perennial adds striking color to gardens in part shade. Fuzzy leaves are slug- and deer-resistant. Hardy in Zones 3 to 10.
'Little Gem' Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens ‘Little Gem’)
Candytuft opens snow-white flowers from spring into early summer. This groundcover perennial grows best in well-drained soil. Avoid heavy clays, which retain water in winter. Use candytuft to tumble down a slope or drape over a stone wall. Hardy in zones 3 to 9.
‘Candy Stripe’ Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata ‘Candy Stripe’)
In early spring, this ground cover bursts into bloom to form a solid blanket of color. The unusual pink and white blossoms beckon bees and early season butteflies. In a cool spring, flowers can last 6 weeks or more. Tuck this bloomer along bed edges, atop stone walls or into rock gardens. Hardy in zones 3 to 9.