10 Types of Purple Plants - Urban Agriculture

10 Types of Purple Plants

One of the most visually striking colors of the rainbow, purple is a powerful and pretty color that features heavily in some of the world’s most cherished plant species. Not that purple is necessarily the first color that comes to mind when you imagine a plant. However, it sure does make for a big impact in home gardens and sweeping lavender fields just the same. 

There are 62 recorded species of flowering purple plants across the world. All of which emanate their own unique scents, aesthetics, and taste. In this article, we will showcase an impressive selection of purple plants to put you in a splendorous mood and give you some inspiration to grow your own purple wonderland at home. 

Lavender

Probably the most prized purple plant in the world, lavender has many proven health benefits and a calming scent. Native to North Africa and the hilly Meditteranean regions of France and Italy, Lavender has been cultivated for over 2,500 years.

There are different subspecies of lavender that range from very hardy, half-hardy, and tender. Lavender is a haven for pollinating bees and due to its hardiness can be grown to great effect in most parts of the US too. 

It is primarily harvested for its essential oil that comes from distilling the flower spikes of some lavender species. This prized essential oil works wonders on the hair and skin and is also proven to treat anxiety, insomnia, infections, wounds, and hair loss.

Even if you simply desire it for its flowering appeal in your garden, lavender can offer a soothing scent to usher in the warmth and pleasantly linger around the house long into the summer months. 

Wisteria

Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants that includes 10 species of twining vines. They are native to many parts of Asia including China and Japan as well as the eastern US states of Virginia, Illinois, Texas, and Florida. Their stunning purple flowers are held in high regard, with many cultures looking to wisteria as the ultimate form of natural beauty.

They form in 10 – 80cm long groupings that hang low and, through the months of April to June, put on a real parade of purple color.

Unfortunately, the beauty of wisteria does come with its setbacks. Some wisteria species are quick-growers, and their roots are known to cause unspoken amounts of damage to garden walls and homes. They are also considered toxic and should not be overly touched or ingested under any circumstance. This makes them less than ideal for anyone with pets or kids who can’t be trusted to not be intrigued by the pretty purple flowers. 

Jacaranda

Native to tropical and sub-tropical areas of South America, the Jacaranda plant can now be admired in many other parts of the world for its long-lasting purple flowers. Seen as a symbol of wisdom, rebirth, good luck, and wealth, the Jacaranda is a towering tree with a big heart.

There are 49 subspecies under the Jacaranda branch that each suit certain climates best. One country that has taken the Jacaranda in its stride is Australia. The Mimosifolia species of Jacaranda is a permanent feature in many streets and parks across its more populated eastern states. 

Because of our close proximity to South America, the Jacaranda has, unsurprisingly, made its way up into the US too. Being grown extensively in southern California and the southern parts of Texas and Florida to wide appeal. If you live in one of these southern parts of the country and fancy a Jacaranda tree proudly flourishing in your garden every summer, then go for it – just make sure that you’ve got the space to fit one first. 

Lilac

Formerly termed the Syringa vulgaris, but more commonly known as the lilac or common lilac, this species of flowering plant is native to the Balkan Peninsula of Southeastern Europe – where it grows abundantly on rocky hillsides. The lilac plant is a large deciduous shrub that can grow up to 20 – 23ft in height. Blooming in late spring and early summer, lilacs symbolize renewal in many cultures. 

It is a non-toxic plant that’s also not considered to be aggressive. These two attributes make it a great purple flowering plant to jazz up your garden in time for early summer. It grows particularly well in the northeastern parts of the US and Canada. Having been introduced many years ago, California even has its own lilac species known as Ceanothus or Californian lilac. A beautifully bushy purple flowering plant to complement any lively home garden. 

Clematis

Clematis is a large genus of 300 flowering plants within the buttercup family. Their arresting aesthetic makes them one of the most popular flowering plants to grow for home gardeners across the country. Clematis is native to most of North America and can be found from the Northern reaches of Nova Scotia and Northwest Canada all the way down to Florida and Baja in the south. 

There are three main varieties of clematis that are grown in America. You can find early spring bloomers, repeat bloomers, and late summer/fall bloomers, which is a rather impressive scope from one flowering genus. When in bloom their classic star shape set to their purple color will have your passers-by and guests alike, remarking at what a beautiful garden you have.

Purple Sensation Allium

Purple Sensation Allium is part of the greater allium genus that includes hundreds of plant species like garlic, onion, and shallot. Although a good portion of alliums produces purple flowers, we chose to focus on the purple sensation because of its ornamental attraction. Grown best in full sun, these flowering perennials can be grown, under the right conditions, and with well-drained fertile soils in most parts of America. 

Purple Sensations are known for their large and rounded bulbous heads of star-shaped purple flowers. Affixed to a tall and sturdy stem, these purple plants can bring a unique appeal to a bordered garden bed. Known to attract bees, birds, butterflies, and moths they can be a valuable addition to a flourishing garden ecosystem.

Just be mindful that, although they pose no risk to people in terms of toxicity, if digested they can be bad news for dogs and cats. 

Hardy Geranium

Hardy Geraniums, as the name suggests, are reliable, easy-to-grow plants that offer a long window of time to admire their pretty purple flowers. Geraniums have been a staple of home gardens for years, with many people choosing to grow geraniums for their attractive appeal without the hassle.

Just make sure their soil is nice and moist to get the best results while growing and then watch them flower their little hearts out through most of the summer months.

They are also known widely as cranesbill and can be successfully grown with a little attentive care in every state of America. Thankfully they aren’t targeted by such garden pests like rabbits, slugs, and snails, which is just another reason why so many people have and will continue to plant the hardy geranium.

There are many different subspecies of hardy geranium, so best to talk to your local garden center to see which species are best grown in your local area. Then get ready to reap the flowering rewards of this small but hardy plant for many years to come. 

Globe Artichoke

Native to the southern Mediterranean regions of Europe, the Globe Artichoke can be an edible or ornamental flowering plant. Also known as the French Artichoke and sometimes the green artichoke here in America, this varietal species of thistle is often cultivated for food. Their peak growing season is from March through to May, but if you stagger plants, you will have them blooming late into the summer. 

Once the globe Artichoke moves past the edible stage it can bloom into a very attractive purple-spiked feature plant of any modern garden. They are also super hardy and can even survive mild frost which is a testament to their hardiness in March. A unique purple plant that gives you the option to serve it for dinner or admire its blossom all summer long. 

Salvia

Clocking nearly 1000 species of shrub within the salvia genus, this hardy plant has been used for herbal and medicinal purposes since ancient times. Part of the larger sage family of plants, Salvia is known to grow rapidly and can reach up to six feet within one growing season. This makes a sharpened pair of secateurs clever to have on hand when growing Salvia. 

Out of the 1000 species of Salvia, there are 100 species that can be found growing wild in the US, with 89 of them known to grow in California alone. Their tall pointy groupings of flowers often have people mistake certain salvia species for the scented lavender plant. In full bloom, salvias offer a thick and bursting display of purple flowers that can create a gorgeous border or defined garden bed. 

 Sweet Rocket

Also referred to as dame’s rocket, the sweet rocket is native to Europe and Asia, but has since naturalized in the eastern states of North America too. It can also be found wild in some western parts of Canada and the US, making it a smart and hardy flower to plant in the garden. Part of the mustard family, the sweet rocket is a prolific producer of seeds, and is typically biennial, or sometimes perennial depending on species. 

In the summer months, sweet rocket becomes abundant in pretty purple flowers that make it a very attractive addition to liven up any garden that’s lacking in purple. The young leaves and petals of the sweet rockets are also edible and go great in salads as they offer a bitter mustard tang. This ability to both look and taste good is why a sweet rocket is the best species of weed we ever did see, and taste. 

Summary

As you can see, there are a huge variety of purple plants out there that suit the even vaster growing conditions and climates across America. Whether you’re looking for the irresistible scent of lavender, the beauty of wisteria, or the eatability of a globe artichoke, we hope you found what you were looking for in this interesting purple plant list.

Caroline Roberts
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