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10 ornamental flowers and their botanical names

With over 400,000 types of flowering plants available, there are lots of options if you are looking for ornamental flowers to brighten or bring warmth to your space.

Ornamental flowers are quite a delight, whether indoors set in a vase or outside blooming in the garden. But to find the flowers you need, you have to know them by name or picture –that’s where our list of ornamental flowers and their botanical names comes in.

These are the 10 most common ornamental flowers and their botanical names:

1. Sunflower (Helianthus)

Sunflower (Helianthus)
Sunflower. Image: Aleks

    Considered a symbol of happiness and positivity, the sunflower blooms a radiant yellow and is a favorite in outdoor gardening. Sunflower stems grow to an average of 2m in height, with serrated leaves growing alternately along it.

    Native to North America, there are a whopping 24,000 species of sunflowers with varieties that have petals in shades of orange and red.

    Sometimes considered a weed, this pest and high temperatures-resistant flowering plant grow annually.

    2. Lily (Lilium)

    Lily (Lilium)
    Lily (Lilium). Image: alte kuh sjn

    Lilies have 3 petals that are surrounded by an equal number of sepals. The Lily natively grows in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia like Japan, China, and India.  

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    The fragrant white flowers, which are a common symbol of purity, also come in pink, yellow, purple, and more.

    These ornamental plants can grow to a height of 2m.

    Disclaimer for cat owners: These perennial plants can be dangerously fatal to our feline friends.

    3. Orchid (Orchidaceae)

    Orchid (Orchidaceae)
    Orchid (Orchidaceae). Image: djrd

    Orchids are among the largest flowering plants in terms of species, accounting for 10% of the world’s flowering species.

    This flower has its origins in Japan and China but has since spread to 6 other continents, that is, except Antarctica.

    Like lilies, orchids have 3 petals and sepals. These ornamental flowers are perennials.

    4. Tulip (Tulipa)

    Tulip (Tulipa)
    Tulip (Tulipa). Credit: VeganFeast

    Tulips are native to Central Asia. However, they were first cultivated in Turkey. Once the most expensive flowers, these garden, and outdoor space favorites are perennial in nature.  

    Tulip stems stand firm, two to three inches long, with broad leaves and a flower at the tip.

    It is interesting to note that all tulip flowers have six petals.

    Fun Fact: From late 1636 to early 1637, some of the hybrids of tulips in the Netherlands cost more than a house in what is now referred to as “Tulipomania.”

    5. Rose (Rosa)

    Rose (Rosa)
    Rose (Rosa). Photo: Eilbracht

    Shakespeare once wrote: “Of all flowers, methinks rose is best”.

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    The prominence of the rose flower as a symbol of love and beauty remains unmatched. Native to Central Asia, these flowers come in pure white, yellow, pink, orange, red, lavender, plum purple, burgundy, and – quite surprisingly – green.

    They have long prickly stems and glossy leaves that have serrated edges. Roses grow perennially and could take up to 2 years to bloom.

    Wild rose flowers have 5 petals, while cultivated rose flowers grow multiple sets of petals.

    6. Peony (Paeonia)

    Peony (Paeonia)
    Peony (Paeonia). Photo: Bob Wright

    Peonies are perennial flowering plants that grow to a height of 1m. The scientific name for these flowering plants is Paeonia.

    These ornamental flowers have a shrub-like appearance. Cultivating peonies requires quite some patience as they are slow-growing.

    These flowers are considered symbols of luck and prosperity. They are native to China, Europe, and parts of Western North America.

    It is no surprise that peonies are also associated with romance.

    7. Daffodil (Narcissus)

    Daffodil (Narcissus)
    Daffodil (Narcissus). Photo: georgeplakides

    Next on our list of ornamental flowers and their botanical names is Daffodils, which are native to Europe and Northern Africa. Their scientific name, Narcissus, is derived from Greek mythology.

    The daffodil plant has a long green stalk with green leaves at the base and a flower at the top.

    The daffodil flower petals are yellow or white in color and can grow to a height of 80cm.

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    Note: Worth noting for pet owners; these perennial flowers are potentially poisonous to cats and dogs.

    8. Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)

    Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)
    Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus). Image: Lordv

    Carnations are native to Greece, Italy, Spain, and other Mediterranean countries. They have fluffy flowers with fringed petals and grow to a meter tall.

    These flowers bloom perennially and are among the most cultivated ornamental plants.

    The botanical name Dianthus roughly translates to “flower of the gods”, with reference to how carnations were used for garlands worn during coronations in Ancient Greece and Rome.

    9. Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

    Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
    Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). Image: Jamesjardine

    Hibiscus rosa-sinensis represents the collective names of ornamental flowers that have a trumpet-like shape and come in the colors red, orange, yellow, pink, or purple.

    Hibiscus are ornamental plants that grow perennially. The original 8 hibiscus species are believed to give rise to the modern exotic varieties and were said to be from Mauritius, Madagascar, Fiji, Hawaii, and China.

    The flower, in its powder or tea leaves form, is used to regulate blood pressure, reduce body fat, improve metabolism, and protect the liver.

    10. Hydrangea (Hydrangea)

    Hydrangea (Hydrangea)
    Hydrangea (Hydrangea). Image: clorane40

    Hydrangeas have 70-75 species and were first discovered in Japan. The botanical names of these flowers are pretty much the same as their English name.

    These perennial flowering plants are also used for medicinal purposes to treat bladder infections, prostate infections, enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and others.

    Hydrangeas are shrub-like with round flowers that are arranged in clusters. The flower petals in hydrangeas come in white, pink, or blue colors.

    Different flowers possess unique charms and characteristics. The list above only touches on 10 ornamental plants with their scientific and common names, but there are approximately 400,000 different flowering plant species in the world.