16 Plants that Start with L - Urban Agriculture

16 Plants that Start with L

Starting to learn about the various different types of plants can be incredibly daunting, as there are thousands of different species to learn about, many of which have both glaring differences and intricate similarities.

This often makes budding landscapers and gardeners feel overwhelmed and can make it really difficult to find and use the right plants in the right environment, and can often lead to the same old plants always getting picked due to their reputation and prominence among landscapers and growers.

However, there is a way to learn about different plants without getting overwhelmed and that’s by grouping various different plant species and families by their starting letter.

This is actually a great way to remember and learn about different plants as it stops you from getting overwhelmed and makes for both an easy reference list and mnemonic device should you find yourself struggling to think of a particular type of plant.

In this guide, we’re going to look at plants that begin with the letter L, and some of the world’s most famous and beloved plants fall into this category, as well as quite a few lesser-known options that can help you learn something new and interesting for your garden or vegetable patch.

But without further ado, let’s take a look at the plants themselves!

Lady Bells

Lady Bells, also known as Adenophora, is a type of flowering plant in the family of Campanulaceae, or bellflowers, and are given this name due to the conical bell shape of their petal arrangement and the large central stigma that protrudes from it.

The flower is indigenous to eastern Asia, and parts of Europe.

The plant is a type of perennial herb that has fleshy roots. Most of the plants in this genus have petals that are blue, but there may be some mutations or slightly different colors occasionally.

The flower has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and some still use it today.

Lacy Pine Fern

Ferns are one of the most populous and ancient plants in the world and cover large areas of various different continents.

The lacy pine fern is native to New Zealand and is actually quite unique, with widely spaced fronds and an intricate pattern similar to lace, hence its name. It was first described in 1892 and is one of the more unique species of fern. It can grow to heights of 1.5 meters.

Larch

Larch trees are a type of deciduous conifer that can grow to heights of between 20 to 45 meters in height. They are native to temperate northern regions where temperatures are cool but can be found further south sometimes too either in lowlands or high on mountains.

They are one of the most dominant species of tree in the boreal forests of Russia, particularly in Siberia, as well as Canada and some areas of Europe.

Although they are a conifer, they are interesting because they are actually deciduous trees that change color in the autumn, losing their needles and hibernating over the winter, unlike a lot of other conifers which are generally evergreen.

There are many different species of larch, found all over the world. The tree is vulnerable to several different serious diseases, particularly the dreaded Sudden Oak Death which has badly affected forestry in the United Kingdom as well as Canada.

Larkspur

Larkspur, also known as Delphinium, is a genus of some 300 species of flowering plants which are perennial and native to various parts of the Northern Hemisphere as well as some elevated areas of the tropics in Africa.

This flower is very toxic to both humans and many animals. 

Its name is derived from the Greek word delphinion which means dolphin, which is believed to be due to the interesting and unique shape of the petals and flower of the plant.

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most well known flowering plants, famous for its strong scent which is tied to its place in the mint family. 

It is native to Europe but can be found all over the world now due to the fact that it is cultivated for its use in culinary traditions and for commercial essential oils and scents.

It has also been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cosmetics.

It is known and named for the specific species lavandula angustifolia, which is the lovely purple version that is the poster child of the species.

Leek

The leek is a vegetable, a cultivar of the broadleaf wild leek. It’s an edible plant that tastes a little like an onion, and is in the same genus, Allium, as onions, garlic, shallots, and chives, all of which share similar aromatic flavors and textures. 

The name is derived from the Old English word leac, which actually meant onion, and also led to the name garlic.

Unlike garlic and onions, the leek doesn’t form a bulb, but instead produces a long narrow cylindrical bundle of leaves which are usually blanched.

They are a popular ingredient in British cuisine, and are very easy to grow.

The plant is one of the main national symbols of Wales, in the United Kingdom, and is traditionally worn on St. Davids Day, similar to how four leaf clovers are worn by the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Lettuce

Lettuce is a leafy vegetable grown widely for use in salads and other foods from soups to sandwiches. There are many varieties of lettuce and various cultivars.

It is believed that lettuce was farmed originally by the Ancient Egyptians, and it spread to the Greeks and Romans, who gave it the latin name lactuca, from which the word lettuce comes from.

The plant is known to be hardy and is an annual, which is easy to grow, particularly in lower temperatures which allow it to flower more slowly and extend the growing period.

Lilac

Also known as Syringa, this is a genus of 12 species of flowering plants that are actually in the olive family, and are originally from woodlands and scrublands in eastern Asia and southeastern Europe. It is also widely cultivated in other temperate regions, giving it a very wide distribution. 

Lilacs can actually grow quite large, and become small trees, reaching heights of between 2 to 10 meters. The leaves are usually green, and the flowers can range in color, but are most commonly purple, pale yellow, pink or white.

They are a popular flower in landscape gardens and parks, and are a great medium sized shrub that can fill awkward spaces between flowers and larger trees.

Lily

Also known as Lilium, lilies are a large group of flowering plants which have significant cultural importance all over the world. Most species are native to the northern hemisphere in more temperate climates, however they can be seen in the northern subtropical region too.

Lilium are known as true lilies because there are many other flowers that use the term ‘lily’ but which aren’t actually in the same genus as the lily.

Lily’s are highly appreciated for their beauty and are known for their long style and stigma, powerful scent and beautifully colored and ornate leaves. 

Linden

Also known as Tilia, this genus consists of around 30 species of trees, bushes or shrubs that are mostly found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The tree is known as Linden in Europe, and Basswood in North America, while in the UK and Ireland they are known as lime trees, which can get very confusing very quickly.

They are large deciduous trees that can grow up to 40 meters in height, with heart-shaped leaves of around 6 to 20 cm in width.

They are a common ornamental tree that are used when a lot of lush foliage is required, and they also produce fragrant flowers which are popular with many insects such as bees.

The flowers have also been used in herbal teas and tinctures throughout European and North American history.

Lemon Grass

Also known as Cymbopogon, lemongrass has many names and is part of the large grass family. It has a very wide distribution being found in Asia, Africa, Australia, and many tropical islands, and is known as lemongrass due to its scent, which resembles that of the citrus lemon.

This large bushy plant can grow to around 2 meters and is used in many gardens, however, it also has commercial uses and is harvested for the production of citronella oil, which is used in everything from soaps to insect repellents and candles. 

It is also a common ingredient in the oils and rituals of Hoodoo, and is believed to protect against evil, spiritually cleanse areas and to bring good fortune in love relations.

Lotus

Nelumbo nucifera, also known as Indian Lotus or Sacred Lotus, is one of two living species of aquatic plants that are sometimes also known as the water lily.

The plants adapted to grow in slow-moving rivers and flooded areas such as river deltas. It has a wide native distribution that stretches from northern and central India to northern Indochina, and East Asia, as well as some locations around the Caspian Sea region.

It has been a common ornamental plant in water gardens and opulent palaces for thousands of years and is the national flower of both India and Vietnam.

It is known for its beautiful flowers with hints of pink, yellow and white, and its lush green leaves that help it to float on the top of calm waters.

Lychee

The lychee is a tropical tree native to southern China, where it has been cultivated since the 11th century. Its fruits are known for their delicious fleshy interiors and scaled exteriors and are very sweet, being used in many dessert dishes around the world.

The tree is a tall evergreen, and is produced mainly in China, India, and areas of Southeast Asia as well as South Africa, where the fruits are harvested for commercial and retail use.

Lobelia

Lobelia is a genus of flowering plants containing 415 different species, which are primarily found in temperate and tropical regions of the world, while a few species can be found in temperate regions which are a little cooler.

The various species have many different characteristics, from being perennial bushes to hardy slender shrubs, and flower very abundantly, with very intense colors, which makes them a popular choice for ornamental gardens and landscaping.

The size also makes them a good choice for medium sized areas that can be hard to fill out.

Leopard’s Bane

Also known as Doronicum, these flowers fall into the sunflower family and are all herbaceous perennials which are native to southwest Asia, Siberia, and Europe.

There are many different varieties of this flower, but a common theme is their thin petals of varying shades of yellow and tall, sturdy stems.

Little Bluestem

Also known as beardgrass, little bluestems are a form of prairie grass found widely in the contiguous United States where it is native, as well as areas of the US-Canadian border and areas of northern Mexico.

It is most abundant in the Midwestern prairies.

It s a perennial bunchgrass that grows upright into a fairly large round mound of blueish gray  blades, that can reach three feet in height.

As the winter strikes it can become more orange or brown, and then becomes tan in the spring.

The grass grows best in full sun and well drained soil. There are several different cultivars available too, from more compact forms such as the Carousel to The Blues which have a deeper blue tint to their foliage.

Caroline Roberts
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