15 Plants That Start With S - Urban Agriculture

15 Plants That Start With S

When it comes to plants that begin with ‘S’, your mind might jump to sunflowers or a spider flower, or it might even jump to common edible plants such as squash or strawberries or even sweet potatoes.

With so many beautiful blossoms under the letter, however, this article looks at a selection in closer detail and what each one looks like. All these plants are verified and we are excited to share them with you, let’s jump right in!

Sunflowers

Arguably one of the most common plants under the letter ‘s’, the sunflower is grown for its beautiful, colorful blossoms. They are prime subjects for cut flowers but are tough and have been widely adopted. The perennial sunflower spreads like wildfire and might become invasive in gardens.

The taller kind of flowers are not for tidy and small gardens and they might need staking. They bloom in the summer and the fall. The different kinds of sunflowers include the swamp sunflower, the common sunflower, the dark-eyed sunflower, the willow leaf sunflower, and the Jerusalem Artichoke.

Summer Snapdragon

The summer snapdragon is native to the tropics of America, the angelonia is the perennial plant found in the Coastal and Tropical South, but it is grown throughout many other regions. It looks similar to delphiniums and blooms well in the sun.

Spikes of purple, pink, or white blossoms often grow on top of the plants and the deadheading ensures the flowers continue to grow. They are used as bedding plants, as well as in containers, and will be a great addition to any garden. They provide long-lasting cut flowers, they are easy to grow and maintain and they are not bothered by pests.

Strawberries

Strawberries are known botanically as Fragaria xananassa and can be easily grown in any garden, meaning you would be able to pick them right off your plant and pop them straight onto your Greek yogurt in the morning. The plants have toothed, medium round green leaves with white flowers and they can grow up to 68 inches tall.

They are spread by long runners and stretch about 1 foot wide. They are split into three categories, the high-quality June-bearing types, the everbearing types, and day-neutral varieties.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato plants have the botanical name of Ipomoea batatas and they are extremely popular in the South and they can easily withstand the long and hot summers in this part of the world.

Around 40% of all sweet potatoes in America are grown in North Carolina and unlike normal potatoes, these have thickened roots of tropical vines that are native to the Caribbean region. This is most likely in the Yucatan Peninsula.

The potatoes themselves do not contain fat and they are great to add to a nutritious diet plan, as they are full of fiber and important vitamins such as A, C, and Vitamin E. There are over 400 different varieties of sweet potato and skin colors range from pink to buff to dark red. The inside may be yellow or orange, but also red, purple, or even white.

Scotch Heather

These evergreen shrubs are native to Asia Minor and Europe and you can spot them from their tiny, needle-like, dark green leaves with spikes of rosy pink flowers shaped like bells.

The types you commonly find in gardens range from dwarf ground cover and rocky garden sorts which are just a few inches high to plants that reach 3 feet tall. They usually flower in the summer but can continue into the late fall and the white, pale pink, lavender colors turn to deeper greens or gray in the winter.

Scarborough Lily

The Scarborough Lily is native to South America and looks like a smaller version of amaryllis. Their evergreen leaves are strap-shaped and can grow up to an impressive 12 feet long.

In the summer and the start of Autumn, clusters of bright orange-red flowers shaped like funnels appear and these are 23 inches wide and appear on top of stalks that are 2 feet tall. In the Coastal and Tropical South, they live throughout the year, and they can live alongside other tree roots. 

Shooting Star

These plants are native to the eastern US and are light green with oblong leaves that can grow up to 10 inches long. In the spring, stalks without leaves rise 16 inches and they are topped with clusters of flowers that blossom in white and often turn pink or purple with yellow stamens that point downwards.

The petals of a shooting star are swept back and make them look like shooting stars, hence the name. It prefers loose, well-drained soil and they grow well in woodland gardens. 

Summer Cypress

You might know this plant by its previous name, the Kochia scoparia. The plant is native to Eurasia and you can tell them apart from other plants by their thickly coated branches, coated in light green leaves. They are covered so much that the plant is too dense to see through.

They can grow up to 3 feet high and 2 feet wide and to keep their rounded form, they grow individually. However, if you are grouping plants, you will form a temporary hedge.

This hedge can be sheared into any shape you desire and it can grow from seeds that have been sown in the early spring or in the fall. It can also cope with high temperatures.

Sycamore, Plane Tree

The sycamore plant tree is a large plant with a heavy trunk and unique pattern on its branch. Older bark tends to shed in irregular patches and this reveals creamy new bark which has been smoothed out underneath and creates this pattern. The tree has bright green leaves which can measure up to 10 inches across and have 3-5 lobes.

They resemble maple leaves. The foliage color in the fall is yellow or brown and brown seed clusters on the stalks and hang on the bare branches in the winter. The plants are best kept in rich, moist, and deep soil that has been well-drained. They are however subject to anthracnose and this causes an early leaf drop and twig dieback.

Spider Flower

A spider flower is a shrub that is native to South America and is topped with fluffy clusters of white or pink flowers in the summer and the fall. They have long stamens and the slender seed capsules follow through to the blossoms.

The stem of these flowers is covered in short, solid spines and feels slightly clammy if you touch them. The lower leaves on the stem remain divided whereas the upper ones are not and they also have a strong smell to them. Since they can grow up to 46 feet tall and 45 feet wide, they are great as summer hedges against walls or fences.

Squash

There are two main forms of squash and this is derived from species that are native to the Americas. Winter squash is harvested in the late summer and fall after it has matured and developed a tough skin.

It stores particularly well and is used for baking, in stuffing you find on your roast, and in pies. Spaghetti squash is a popular type of winter squash that can be substituted for pasta. Summer squash however is soft-skinned and served sauteed, fried, or steamed. It is harvested all summer long. 

Sea Holly

Sea Holly has stiff branches and blooms in summer. They are thistle-like plants and they have a striking steel-blue oval or amethyst flower heads on them. These are surrounded by very small blue bracts.

They are also covered in deep cut dark green leaves with spiny-toothed edges and the stems and upper leaves on them are usually blue. They dry rather well and are great for winter arrangements, whilst also lasting you a long time. 

Shrub Bush Clover

A shrub bush clover allows flowers to bloom from a shrub in the late summer. They are 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide and their branches are covered in beautiful blue-green leaves which are composed of three leaflets.

Peashaped flowers droop in the later summer and fall and the plant can easily tolerate hot and dry conditions, as well as infertile soil. You need good drainage for these plants and cut the plant within a few inches of the ground in the late winter. This will allow it to grow like wildfire again and bloom multiple new flowers. 

Stachyurus Praecox

These plants are native to Japan and although they take their time to grow, they can grow up to 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide and they have slender-looking branches which are usually chestnut-brown.

Their flower stalks are about 3-4 inches long and they can carry as many as 20 buds on them, which hang like strings of pearls off of the branches in the fall and the winter. In the late winter, these buds open up and turn pale or greenish-yellow, and in the late summer, you will find yourself with berry-like fruit of the same color.

The leaves are toothed are 37 inches long with sharp tops. The foliage is sparse and they provide well-drained acid soil.

Sage

The final plant we are going to talk about under plants beginning with ‘s’, is sage. Sage is popular in the South and has square stems and whorls of two-lipped flowers. They are spaced across the flower stalks but are slightly crowded which makes them resemble one densely coated spike.

Some sages have blossoms and aromatic foliage and attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Salvia is the largest genus of the whole mint family. A lot serve as annual bedding plants, whilst other border perennial plants and others might be shrubs, culinary herbs, or cover. Well-drained soil is needed for them to survive the winter. 

Caroline Roberts
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