Early-Blooming Spring Flowers

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Early-Blooming Spring Flowers

virginia bluebells perennials

Short Answer: Early-blooming spring flowers that bring sunshine include Crocuses, Daffodils, Forsythia, Tulips, Primroses, and Irises. These vibrant flowers are among the first to bloom as spring arrives, brightening gardens with cheerful colors.


Early spring flowers are the surest sign that milder weather is coming. These bulbs and perennials provide a splash of color before many other plants have started to leaf out after a long winter. Once you spot these blooms, you’ll know it’s soon time to get back to work in your garden!

Pansy

Cool weather is just what pansies prefer, blooming in cool spring or fall weather. This short-lived perennial plant is usually treated annually to provide color in early-season flower beds, containers, and window boxes. Petals can be just about any color, from white to almost black and everything in between.

Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 10 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Zones: 4-8

Yellow Trillium

Yellow trillium is a true spring plant: Once its flowers die at the season’s end in June, the foliage also recedes. Even so, its marbled leaves and delicate yellow-white blooms are a welcome sight in April. If you’re planting a woodland-style garden, pair it with other shade-loving plants.

Growing Conditions: Shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Zones: 5-8

Hellebore

Also known as a Lenten or Christmas rose, hellebores produce spring flowers with delicate beauty and surprising resilience. It may even tolerate light frosts in warmer climates, making it one of the best flowers to plant in spring. For unusual flowers, ask at your nursery about double-bloom varieties.

Growing Conditions: Shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide

Zones: 4-8

Bloodroot

This herbaceous spring perennial flower appears in March, shooting up small white flowers that last until late spring. Bloodroot is a good fit for either a shaded or woodland garden.

Growing Conditions: Shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Zones: 3-9

Grecian Windflower

Growing from a hard, lumpy tuber best planted in fall, the Grecian windflower is a type of anemone. It produces daisy-like blooms for weeks and so profusely that they all but hide the ferny foliage. You can find windflowers in shades of blue, pink, white, and even bi-colors.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall

Zones: 4-10

Celandine Poppy

Celandine poppy produces beautiful yellow and orange flowers, one of the first to bloom in spring. Also called wood poppies, this plant looks like a delicate wildflower when it blooms.

Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 2 feet tall

Zones: 4-8

Dutchman’s Breeches

A type of bleeding heart, the flowers on the Dutchman’s breeches look more like an upside-down pair of pants than a heart (hence the name). The blooms can be pink or white, with clusters0 or more on a single stem.

Growing Conditions: Part sun or shade in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 1 foot tall

Zones: 3-9

Grape Hyacinth

Grape hyacinths trump spring’s arrival as much as any other spring bulbs. Clustered flowers hang lusciously from sturdy stalks, resembling bundles of grapes; they’re one of the best, most beautiful flowers to plant in spring.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide

Zones: 4-8

Crocus

Announcing the departure of winter with lovely pink, purple, yellow, or white petals, crocuses are one of the best early spring flowers. Planted from corms (swollen stem bases, a little like tubers), crocuses also range in size from delicate blooms to more showy versions.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and wide

Zones: 3-8

Daffodil

If it’s spring, it’s time for a show of daffodils. The bright, cheerful spring flower has a range of shapes and sizes, including trumpet, small- and large-cupped, and double-blooms. Deer find them less flavorful than other spring plants, but the foliage should be left to die back to rejuvenate the plants for the following year.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: To 1 foot tall and wide

Zones: 3-9

Tulip

Fringed petals make ‘Cool Crystal’ peony tulips extra gorgeous.

With a vast variety of shades (including nearly every color of the rainbow), tulips lend themselves to various garden settings, including formal border gardens and naturalistic, casual settings. And there’s a tulip for every gardener, from tiny 4-inch-tall specimens to extravagant multi-foot-high blooms.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide

Zones: 3-7

Winter Aconite

If the snow has melted, you can be sure that winter aconite is ready to burst into bloom in your garden. Its growth time is limited (the plant dies back once spring transitions to summer) but its pretty, open blooms make it a showpiece in a woodland garden.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 3 inches tall and wide

Zones: 4-9

Puschkinia

The blooms of this small bulb have a sweet surprise: a distinct stripe of darker color runs down the center of each tiny petal. Puschkinia is also known as striped squill for this reason. Its taller foliage makes it a good companion for lower spring growers like crocus.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide

Zones: 3-9

Virginia Bluebells

virginia bluebells perennials

Stunning bell-shaped blue blooms make native Virginia bluebells stand out in the early spring garden. Plant this perennial among other spring bloomers, such as daffodils and tulips, for a truly magical display. At the beginning of summer, their foliage and blue flowers will die back, so make sure you plant a few summer bloomers nearby to fill the gap.

Growing Conditions: Part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall

Zones: 3-8

Marsh Marigold

Also known as cowslip, marsh marigolds’ flowers don’t look much like traditional marigolds. The small, bright yellow flowers resemble wild buttercups, a related plant to this early spring blooming native perennial.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in consistently moist soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall

Zones: 3-7

Trout Lily

Tiny compared to other lily varieties, native trout lily bears adorable early blooms that make up for their smaller size. The plant will die back to the ground after it flowers, returning again the next spring.

Growing Conditions: Part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 6 inches tall

Zones: 3-8

Pasque Flower

This perennial starts producing buds every spring, even before its fern-like foliage has fully unfolded. Pasque flower doesn’t grow very tall, so if you’re planting it in a flower bed, place it towards the front.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 12 inches tall

Zones: 4-7

Snowdrop

Distinct white flowers with green markings dangle like charms among narrow leaves that sprout from small bulbs planted in fall. Though tiny plants, snowdrops look stunning when grown in large groups. You can also amp up the effect by pairing them with purple rock garden irises that bloom simultaneously.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist but well-drained soil

Size: 6-8 inches

Zones: 3-8

Claytonia

Not only does claytonia produce small, beautiful flowers in spring, but it’s edible, too. Also called miner’s lettuce, both the leaves and blooms are edible and can be eaten like salad greens.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 12 inches tall

Zones: 6-9

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.