Purple is a common choice of flower due to its variety of hues and calming effect on a space. It can range from light lavenders and lilacs to more vibrant violets and magentas. Add lavender to your bathroom decor to create a soothing retreat or include foxgloves in a bouquet to create a dynamic look. No matter your space, purple flowers will add a royally elegant touch!
- Purple Flowers for Fall
- Purple Flowers for Winter
- Purple Flowers for Spring
- Purple Flowers for Summer
- Plants with purple flowers
- More plants with purple flowers
- Purple perennial flowers: 24 brilliant choices for big and small gardens
- Types of perennials with purple flowers
- Tall purple perennials
- Vervain (Verbena stricta)
- German bearded iris (Iris germanica)
- Bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis)
- Monkshood (Aconitum napellus or A. carmichaelli)
- Tatarian aster (Aster tataricus)
- False indigo (Baptisia australis)
- Russell blue lupine (Lupinus ‘Russell Blue’)
- Clustered bellflower (Campanula glomerata)
- Blazing star (Liatris spicata)
- Salvia (Salvia nemorosa)
- Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum ‘Blue Fortune’)
- Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum)
- Spike speedwell (Veronica spicata)
- Pikes Peak beardstongue (Penstemon x mexicali ‘Pikes Peak Purple’)
- Short purple perennial flowers
- Purple-leaved spiderwort (Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Queen’)
- Lalla aster (Symphyotrichum x ‘Lalla’)
- Lavender (Lavandula species)
- Creeping speedwell (Veronica x ‘Waterperry Blue’)
- Lungwort (Pulmonaria species)
- Coralbells (Heuchera species)
- Millenium flowering onion (Allium ‘Millenium’)
- Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)
Purple Flowers for Fall
As the temperatures and the days get shorter, purple flowers are popping up to brighten up your day! Try putting a vase of them on the table to contrast your pumpkin soup or include them in a wedding bouquet for a pastel palette.
China Aster (Callistephus chinensis) – The word aster is Greek for “star” which refers to its star shaped blossoms. China aster also goes by the name of annual aster. It has a sturdy stem and is long lasting, making it good for bouquets. The China aster represents patience, elegance and daintiness.
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) – Cosmos feature petals that are symmetrically aligned, earning them the Greek name for “ordered universe.” Cosmos symbolize peace, order and modesty. They are the birth flower of October and are also given to celebrate a second wedding anniversary.
Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) – Often confused with a daisy, these flowers do well in warm climates. They have a distinct orange center that attracts butterflies and songbirds. The coneflower symbolizes strength and healing. For a special touch, add the flowers to a gift basket for someone who is ill.
Italian Aster (Aster amellus) – The name of this flower is derived from the Greek word for “star.” This is due to their star shape and habit of growing with distance between one another, like stars in the sky. The aster is a symbol of dantiness and peace.
Pansy (Viola wittrockiana) – The pansy also goes by the name of pansy violet, Johnny jump-up and heartsease. The pansy gets its name from the french word “penser” which means “to think.” Because of this, the pansy is a symbol of free thinking and being considerate.
Purple Flowers for Winter
Despite the icy grounds and darker days, purple flowers still manage to bloom and add some color to your winter. Gift them along with presents for the holiday season or create a bouquet to decorate your mantle.
Monkshood (Aconitum napellus) – Named after its resemblance to a monk’s habit or hood, monkshood has a tall stem with vibrant purple flowers. It is also known as wolfsbane, devil’s helmet, blue rocket and friar’s cap. It is often found in woods or areas with moist soil. Historically, the plant has been used as a poison, so it is known as a sign of danger.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) – A popular house plant, cyclamen have stacked layers of purple petals. Folklore states that women would wear cyclamen around their neck during labor to speed up delivery. The cyclamen plant represents resignation or goodbyes.
Crocus (Crocus vernus) – The crocus plant finds its way through the cold ground to reveal a burst of purple. The flower is identified by its cup shape. The crocus flower symbolizes cheerfulness, youthfulness and innocence.
Waxflower (Chamelaucium) – Waxflowers are native to Australia but have become more popular throughout the floral industry in the recent years. They have tiny purple blooms and are used as filler flowers in a bouquet. Being a winter flower, they can be spotted in Christmas arrangements.
Purple Flowers for Spring
Embrace spring by bringing the freshly flowering purple hues into your home. Add purple flowers to your entryway so that guests feel calm and welcome upon entry. Try planting these flowers in your garden so when spring comes you can venture outdoors and have a picnic among the new blooms.
Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) – Purple verbena flowers can be found blooming in clusters of vivid color. It is drought tolerant (meaning it will thrive in almost any garden) and it attracts butterflies. Verbena is known for its healing properties, able to soothe earaches and gum disease. The verbena plant symbolizes healing, creativity, and happiness.
Clematis (Clematis) – Clematis are climbing plants known for their visually enticing flowers. They are named after the Greek word “klematis,” which means vine. Clematis flowers are used solely for decorative purposes and are toxic to consume. They are a sign of cleverness and beautiful brilliance. This a gift that’s traditionally given after eight years of marriage, on your anniversary.
Bellflower (Campanula) – Also known as campanula, bellflowers are star-shaped blooms that come in a variety of purple hues. Bellflowers are often used as ground flowers and dividers in gardens. Bellflowers are a symbol of affection, constancy and everlasting love.
Dwarf Iris (Iris Reticulata) – A variation of the Iris genus, the dwarf irises are a smaller but widely known flower. They can be identified by their deep purple petals and bright yellow center. They are planted in gardens and used in bouquets. The dwarf iris symbolizes faith, hope, and wisdom.
Catmint (Nepeta) – Also known as catnip, catmint is an herb that consists of long violet flowering spikes. It attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it a popular choice for gardens. It’s often paired with roses and used as a replacement for lavender when growing conditions are tough. Catmint symbolizes love, beauty, and happiness.
Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) – Known as ‘the daughter of the wind” this wildflower opens up with the help of the wind. In Greek mythology, it’s said that the anemone grew from Aphrodite’s tears. They represent anticipation, good luck, and protection.
Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) – Wild indigo is a member of the pea family and a relatively easy plant to grow. The stalks grow up to 4 feet tall. Indigo is a popular choice for wedding bouquets for weddings with a lavender color scheme.
Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium montanum) – Contrary to its name, blue-eyed grass produces clusters of tiny purple flowers with a bright yellow center. It is a plant that’s easy to grow and spreads quickly if not tended to.
Wild Hyacinth (Dichelostemma capitatum) – Native to California, the wild hyacinth is a drought tolerant plant that thrives in meadows across the state. It is great for gardens, attracting bees and requiring very little attention. The flower symbolizes sport or play and constancy.
Candytuft (Iberis pruitii) – Native to Europe, candytuft gets its name from the Olde English name of the island of Crete — Candie. Its pink and lilac hues also resemble cotton candy. Candytuft symbolizes indifference. It is found in gardens as well as bouquets.
Columbine (Aquilegia) – Columbine flowers have dark green foliage and bell-shaped flowers that come in a variety of pastels, including purple. The purple flower symbolizes foolishness and innocence.
Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica) – Fuchsia is a very distinct and exotic looking flower. It is two-toned, with layered petals that hang from their bush. Due to this downward growth, they can typically be found in hanging baskets. The plant has a romantic symbolism and makes for a meaningful gift.
Geranium (Geranium) – Also known as cranesbill, geraniums are popular garden plants. They come in a wide variety of colors, purple being a popular choice. Geraniums symbolize feminine health, fertility, love, and protection.
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) – Lilac produces small purple flowers that grow in dense clumps on the bush. It symbolizes rebirth and is often associated with Easter. Lilacs have a fragrant scent and are often found in gardens and decorative bouquets.
Rhododendron (Rhododendron) – A member of the rhododendron family, daphnoides rhododendron have large purple blooms. A springtime flower, they produce a bell-shaped bloom and a unique fragrance. They are given as gifts to represent protection.
Scabiosa (Scabiosa) – Also known as the pincushion flower, scabiosa can be found in blue, violet and purple hues. The Romans used the flower to treat skin diseases like scabies, which is where its name originated. Despite this, it is a symbol of pure love when given.
Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) – The wisteria plant produces lavender colored flowers that hang from a vine. It is a member of the pea family and originated in Asia. The wisteria plant is often grown on arbors or from hanging pots. It is a symbol of beauty, fertility, and love.
Purple Flowers for Summer
Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or hiding from the heat in an air-conditioned house, you can enjoy the purple flowers that are popping up this season. Plant varieties that attract butterflies in your garden or create a bouquet to put on the dinner table as decor.
Lavender (Lavandula) – Lavender is one of the most recognizable purple flowers. It’s fragrant and calming scent is used in beauty and bath products like lotion and soap. It’s also commonly found in cooking. Lavender symbolizes devotion. The plant itself can be given as a gift or its flowers can be included in a wrapped present for an extra special touch.
Balloon Flower (Platycodon) – The balloon flower, also known as a Chinese bellflower, is named for its appearance. Before the star-shaped flowers bloom they take a purple balloon shape. They are known for blooming all summer long. The flowers are used to flavor Japanese sake and utilized in Chinese medicine. The balloon flower is a symbol of unwavering love, obedience, and honesty.
Salvia (Salvia) – Similar in looks to a lavender stalk, salvia has similar purple coloring but lacks the scent. The plant, also known as sage, is said to have hallucinogenic properties and is known for being used in Oaxaca, Mexico for religious and healing practices. It is also used as a remedy for sore throats, eczema, bad breath, and dandruff. Due to this, salvia is a symbol of healing.
Allium (Allium) – The flowers of allium grow in a unique globe shape that makes them easily recognizable. Latin for “garlic,” these flowers have a distinctive garlic or onion scent. Allium is commonly used in bouquets, adding dimension to the arrangement. It represents unity, good fortune, and prosperity.
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) – The sweet pea is known for its bright coloring and unique petals. They have a subtle fragrance and are known as a climbing plant. The sweet pea plant is long-lasting, even after being clipped, which makes it a popular gift. The purple flowers are a symbol of good fortune.
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus orientalis) – Lily of the Nile, also known as agapanthus, are native to South Africa. Its globe-like shape consists of smaller flowers that range from blue to violet. Lily of the Nile is known as both medicinal and magical. These flowers represent love, fertility, and childbirth. They are often given to new mothers.
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) – Properly named, the bee orchid looks like it has a bee coming out of its purple petals. Its scientific name is ophrys apifera. The plant is self-pollinating and is easily spread through its thousands of tiny seeds.
Bell Heather (Erica cinerea) – Bell heather is a shrub that grows low to the ground. The flowers have a uniquely dry texture. Queen Victoria made this bloom popular in England and introduced its symbolism of good luck in Scottish tales. Heather also represents admiration and protection.
Sea Holly (Eryngium) – Also known as sea thistle, sea holly has grown in popularity over the years, now used in bouquets to add texture. Its purple globe-shaped blooms are surrounded by spiky petals. Sea holly symbolizes attraction and is often used in wedding bouquets.
Calla Lily (Zantedeschia) – Calla lilies are funnel-shaped flowers that come in many colors, purple being a popular choice. The flower is named after the Greek word calla, meaning beautiful. Purple calla lilies represent charm and passion and should be given to a person you feel strongly about.
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) – The foxglove flower is made up of tubular petals. It is best known for its medicinal use, specifically helping aid in healthy heart function. The foxglove flower symbolizes both the negative attribute of insincerity and a positive connotation of youth.
Gladiolus (Gladiolus hortulanus) – Gladiolus flowers are known for their height, growing as tall as sunflowers. The gladiolus flower symbolizes integrity, calmness, and infatuation. It is planted in gardens or cut for bouquets. They are often given for anniversaries or for Valentine’s Day.
Heliotrope (Heliotropium peruvianum) – Heliotrope blooms are small star shapes that grow in clusters. They come in white, lavender and deep purple. The flowers are poisonous to both humans and pets so should not be grown in a place that could be a danger. Heliotrope symbolizes eternal life, healing and wealth.
Honesty (Lunaria annua) – Honesty is known for its bright and fragrant blooms. Its flowers have four teardrop shaped petals and grow in clusters. The seeds are contained in a unique translucent pod. Due to this, it is sometimes called silver dollar or pope’s coin.
Liatris (Liatris) – Also known as blazing star, the Liatris has tall, fluffy flowers that bloom a fuchsia color. The flowers bloom from the top down, making for a unique look. This flower is used in bouquets to add height and texture.
Lupine (Lupinus) – The name “lupinus” means “of wolves.” This refers to an ancient belief that the flower stole nutrients from the land. The purple flower is a symbol of imagination. It is used in bouquets or grown in gardens for the Karner Blue caterpillar to feed on.
Lisianthus (Eustoma Grandiflorum) – The lisianthus flower is also known as a Texas bluebell or prairie gentian and is considered a newer genus. Similar in style to the rose, lisianthus are often used in wedding bouquets. They are said to symbolize rising above your surroundings due to their ability to grow in difficult places.
Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea) – Morning glories are known for their delicate cone-shaped flowers and ability to wind their vines around trellises and fences. In addition to being planted in the garden, they are used as garnishes in the culinary field. The morning glory represents affection.
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) – Also known by the name of mystic merlin, the hollyhock is native to southwest and central Asia. The name comes from the old English phrase meaning “holy flower.” The hollyhock flower represents fertility and abundance.
Petunia (Petunia) – These flowers come in a variety of colors, including a deep purple. They grow in clumps close to the ground, making them popular in gardens. Although petunias can represent anger and resentment, when given as a gift the purple variety also symbolizes enchantment, charm, and fantasy.
Hydrangea (Hydrangea) – The name hydrangea comes from the words “hydro” and “angeion” which means water vessel in Greek. This is because they are known for being grown in moist locations and are good for holding water. Hydrangeas are popular in weddings and symbolize gratitude and emotion.
Zinnia (Zinnia) – The zinnia flower comes in a deep purple (known as the purple prince zinnia) as well as other color variations. They are named after the German botanist, Johann Gottfried Zinn. They are able to resist harsh climates, making them a popular garden plant. The zinnia symbolizes transformation.
Blackcurrant Swirl Moonflower (Datura) – Also known as datura, this moonflower grows on a vine and opens in the late afternoon, showing off its delicate, heart-shaped, lavender petals. Moonflowers represent mystery, like that of the moon and stars.
Dianthus (Dianthus Spp) – Also known as sweet william, the dianthus is a fragrant flower that has hints of cinnamon or cloves. These flowers commonly bloom in pinks and purples. Dianthus is a member of the carnation family, the purple ones meaning having a selfish nature.
Purple flowers have the ability to add an elegant touch to any venue. Fill your events with violet and deep magenta flowers for a regal presence or calming impact. No matter the occasion, you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit. A purple flower bouquet will always make a statement.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac | Flower Info | Flower Bud | Fun Flower Facts | Flower Meanings
Plants with purple flowers
Purple-flowered plants work well in most colour schemes, pairing just as effectively with whites and pastels as they do with hot reds and oranges.
For a striking pot or border, try combining purple blooms with the acid greens of Alchemilla mollis, or euphorbias like Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae. Red poppies and orange kniphofias would also work well here.
For a more classic look, combine different shades of purple flowers with pink- and white-flowered plants.
Another benefit of growing purple-flowered plants is that they’re highly attractive to pollinators, with some showing an innate preference for purple flowers.
Discover some of our favourite plants with purple flowers to grow, below.
Teasels (Dipsacus fullonum) are UK natives that every garden could make room for. Sow a few and they’ll take care of themselves, providing food for pollinators, seeds for birds and beautiful winter seedheads in the process. Check out more UK native wildflowers to grow.
Sweet rocket, Hesperis matrionalis is a pretty annual with mauve blooms, that’s perfect for dotting in borders or sowing in containers. It has fantastic evening scent, too. Discover more plants with rich, evening fragrance.
Most ornamental alliums range in colour from white, through to pink and purple. They’re especially popular with pollinating insects and provide interest in borders with their drumstick shaped blooms. Discover 10 great alliums to grow.
There are salvias to grow in an array of colours, but purple-flowered cultivars like ‘Amistad’ and ‘Ostfriesland’ are probably the most numerous. Check out this advice from an expert grower on how to care for salvias.
Catmint (Nepeta) are bushy perennials producing masses of nectar-rich flowers in summer. For sensory gardens, the aromatic foliage is ideal. They thrive in a position of full sun, with light, well-drained soil. Cut the first flush of blooms back hard to encourage a second flush. Try using catmint to create this nectar-rich container display.
Verbena bonariensis is a popular garden perennial, though being half-hardy, is often grown as an annual. Unaffected by slugs, it’s great for providing both height and long-lasting colour in borders. Popular with pollinators.
There’s an abundance of purple-flowered clematis to grow, with blooms from pale mauves to deep, royal purples. For spring flowers try Clematis alpina, or for summer grow a variety of Clematis viticella. Check out Monty Don’s advice on how to plant clematis for best results.
This fragranced climber is synonymous with spring, as the beautiful lilac blooms open. Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) is less vigorous than Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and has longer flowers. Find out how to prune wisteria in summer.
Lavender has become a garden stalwart due to its rich scent, colour and ease of growing. Be sure to take plenty of cuttings, and use the extra plants to make lavender bath oil or lavender bath bags. Grow it in full sun, in well-drained soil.
Buddleias are deciduous shrubs commonly known as butterfly bushes. They grow particularly well on chalky, lime-rich soils and are one of the best, if not the best, plants for attracting butterflies. Here’s how to prune buddleia in spring or summer.
More plants with purple flowers
- Paulownia tomenstosa
- Cercis chinensis
- Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’
- Jacaranda mimosifolia
- Magnolia ‘Joe McDaniel’
- Liriope muscari
- Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
- Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’
- Purple thalictrums
Purple perennial flowers: 24 brilliant choices for big and small gardens
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Purple is a powerful color. When the Pantone Color Institute declared a shade of purple named Ultra Violet to be the Color of the Year, they called it “complex and contemplative,” noting that purple has long been “symbolic of unconventionality and artistic brilliance.” While I don’t know much about using purple for interior design, art, or fashion, I do know how to use it in a garden. The power and bravado of purple in the landscape is undeniable, especially when it comes to perennials. Today, I’d like to share my favorite purple perennial flowers. Whether their shade of purple is dark and regal or light and luscious, these beauties add depth, richness, and a pop of color to your garden.
Whether dark and regal or soft and luscious, purple brings a touch of brilliance to the garden.
Types of perennials with purple flowers
Fans of purple in the garden are always pleased to learn that there are violet-hued blooming perennials in a broad range of sizes and shapes. From purple-flowering ground covers to the tallest purple perennials, there’s a purple plant for every garden no matter its size or style.
In creating this list of purple perennial flowers, I found it easiest to divide them into groups based on their stature. Most gardeners use the mature height of a plant to determine its placement in the garden and whether or not it works in the space.
Below, the list is divided into three sections:
- Tall purple perennials
- Medium height purple perennials
- Short purple perennial flowers
In addition to each plant’s botanical name, details on their site preferences, growth habits, hardiness, and bloom times are also included. In addition, I noted which of these perennials with purple flowers are deer-resistant.
I’m sure you’ll find these purple perennial flowers to be excellent additions to your garden. And be sure to tell me about any other varieties you adore in the comment section at the end of the post. I always love to learn about reader favorites!
There are many purple-flowering perennials worth growing in your garden.
Tall purple perennials
Garden phlox is such a classically beautiful perennial, and purple varieties of phlox, such as ‘Flame Blue’ or ‘Blue Paradise’, offer added flair. Averaging 2 to 3 feet tall, with round globes of blooms, phlox perform best in areas with full sun. Though the deer are quite fond of them, these purple perennial flowers are in bloom from mid summer through fall. Deadhead them regularly to generate more blooms, and pinch the stems back by a third in late spring to increase branching. Hardy down to -30 degrees F, purple phlox are adored by butterflies, bumblebees, hummingbird moths, and other pollinators.
Phlox is an exceptional perennial for many climates, and purple varieties are truly stunning.
Vervain (Verbena stricta)
If you’re looking for a North American native perennial with purple flowers, vervain is an excellent choice. The tall purple perennial flowers produced on these plants are real standouts in the garden. Topping out at 4 to 5 feet in height, sun-loving vervain is among the most underused purple-flowering perennials. Plants are somewhat difficult to find in the nursery trade, but it’s easy to start from seed. The deer don’t bother it, and many of our native bees find its nectar delicious. Vervain is hardy to -30 degrees F.
The airy blooms of vervain are tall and stately in the landscape.
German bearded iris (Iris germanica)
German bearded iris come in a rainbow of colors, but my favorite hue by far is violet. Thankfully, there are many varieties to fulfill your desire to add purple flowering perennials to your garden. Iris thrive in full to partial sun, and they’re tough as nails. Don’t bury the rhizomes too deeply, though, or they rot. Of the many deer-resistant purple perennials available, German iris are among the easiest to grow. Fully hardy down to -40 degrees F and reaching 2 to 3 feet in height, iris are early spring bloomers with a carefree nature.
Though bearded iris are common, you can’t beat them for their resilience and ease of care.
Bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis)
If you’re looking for a large perennial with purple flowers, bear’s breeches has you covered. Big, bold, spine-covered leaves are topped with 3-foot-tall spires of hooded flowers every summer. Thriving in full sun, bear’s breeches’s blooms last for months. Winter hardy down to -20 degrees F, give this purple perennial tons of room in the garden. And with all those spines, the deer and rabbits leave it alone.
No plant is bolder in the garden than bear’s breeches. The big spiny leaves and hooded blooms are amazing.
Monkshood (Aconitum napellus or A. carmichaelli)
This plant is a real treat for gardeners looking to add purple perennials that bloom in the fall. My monkshood is the latest blooming flower in my landscape. Tall spires of flowers don’t open until very late summer and last well into autumn. Give this plant full sun and the flowers stand tall. In the shade, they’re a bit floppier. Hardy to -40 degrees F, monkshood tops out at 3 to 4 feet in height. Be warned, however, that all parts of this plant are poisonous, so wash your hands thoroughly after working with it. This trait also makes monkshood deer-resistant, which is certainly an added bonus.
Monkshood is among the latest flowering perennials in the garden, often in bloom well beyond fall’s first frost.
Tatarian aster (Aster tataricus)
Of all the tall purple perennials out there, Tatarian aster is my hands-down favorite. A magnet for migrating monarchs, this late-blooming perennial with purple flowers stands a whopping 6 feet tall! It’s smothered with clusters of small, pale purple flowers that are relished by many different pollinators at a time when little else is blooming in the landscape. Thriving in full sun and requiring no staking for support, Tatarian aster is hardy to -40 degrees F. Though the deer don’t eat it in my garden, I have heard from other gardeners who find their plants nibbled by deer from time to time.
Pollinators love, love, love the late blooms of Tatarian asters. You’ll love them, too!
False indigo (Baptisia australis)
False indigo is an exceptional early-blooming perennial. I enjoy watching the chubby bumblebees pop open the lidded blooms each spring. They’re among the only bees heavy enough to open the flowers and pollinate them. False indigo is another plant on the list of purple flowering perennials the deer don’t eat, which is certainly a nice bonus. The straight species of false indigo produces spikes of purple-blue flowers, but there are other varieties that bloom in shades of yellow, burgundy, and white. Growing to 3 feet in height in sunny spots and with a winter hardiness down to -40 degrees F, false indigo doesn’t have a particularly long bloom time, but the foliage itself is quite lovely.
The spires of blooms on false indigo stand tall above the foliage in mid spring.
Russell blue lupine (Lupinus ‘Russell Blue’)
Lupines are classics in the sunny perennial garden, though I struggle to grow them in mine due to heavy clay and acidic soil. Lupines bloom in late spring and produce tall spires of dense blooms. ‘Russell Blue’ is actually more purple than blue, despite its cultivar name. For those seeking plants with purple flowers, it’s a variety well worth growing. Deer-resistant and winter hardy to -30 degrees F.
Long-blooming purple perennials such as lupines add so much to the garden.
Clustered bellflower (Campanula glomerata)
The dark purple flowers of clustered bellflower stop garden visitors in their tracks. Thriving in both full and partial sun, bellflower is hardy down to -40 degrees F. A favorite of pollinators, clustered bellflower is a purple flowering perennial that blooms all summer, as long as you keep the plant deadheaded. Reported to be deer resistant, the blooms of bellflower are grouped into balls atop the flower stems.
Clustered bellflower adds a spark of color to the garden in mid summer.
Blazing star (Liatris spicata)
A North American native purple perennial, blazing stars are relished by butterflies and bees. Their 12-inch-tall bloom spikes emerge from thin, strap-like leaves each summer. The blooms open in succession down the stem, giving this plant a long bloom time. Preferring full sun conditions, blazing star plants grow from a bulb-like structure called a corm. They’re easy to plant, deer-resistant perennials with purple blooms that also make great cut flowers, and they are hardy to -40 degrees F.
Blazing star blooms are absolutely adored by pollinators.
Salvia (Salvia nemorosa)
Another purple flowering perennial that blooms all summer, salvia thrives in hot, sunny, and dry garden beds. The skinny spikes of flowers have square stems, indicating that this plant is a member of the mint family. Keep the plant deadheaded, and you’re rewarded with blooms for months on end. Topping out at 18 inches, this deer-resistant purple flower deserves a place in every garden. There are many purple-flowered varieties worth growing, including ‘Cardonna’ and ‘Amethyst’. Another personal favorite salvia is S. sylvestris ‘May Night’. Most varieties are hardy to -30 degrees F.
The slender bloom spikes of perennial salvia blend well with other garden plants.
Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum ‘Blue Fortune’)
If pollinator-friendly purple perennial flowers are on your must-have list, than write down the name anise hyssop. ‘Blue Fortune’ produces chubby spikes of light purple blooms atop licorice-scented foliage. Adored by bees and butterflies, but loathed by deer, anise hyssop is in non-stop bloom for months. Pinch the plant back by a third in late May, and you’ll have twice as many blooms! Hardy to -20 degrees F. Full sun conditions are best for this plant, but it can also tolerate light shade.
There are many deer-resistant perennials with purple blooms, but the only one with licorice-scented foliage is the anise hyssop in the lower left corner of this garden.
Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum)
Another North American native plant with purple flowers, mistflower reminds many gardeners of common annual ageratum. The powder puff-like blooms appear in clusters, just like ageratum, but this late-blooming purple flower doesn’t produce its blooms until very late in the season. Also unlike ageratum, mistflower is a perennial that’s fully hardy down to -20 degrees F. Plant it in full sun to partial shade, and your late-season garden will be filled with pale purple, fuzzy blooms on 1-foot-tall stems. It’s moderately resistant to deer, and spreads quite prolifically (occasionally to the point of being obnoxious).
The fuzzy blooms of mistflower look a lot like annual ageratum, but this is a long-lived native perennial.
Spike speedwell (Veronica spicata)
Veronica is an old-fashioned, deer-resistant, purple flowering perennial that gardeners have loved for generations. Unfortunately, some varieties are prone to powdery mildew, so choose resistant varieties, such as ‘Royal Candles’. Reaching about 12 inches in height, spike speedwell has pointy spires of densely packed purple flowers that open from the bottom up. It remains in bloom for weeks. When planted in full sun the plant does not need to be staked and survives winters down to -40 degrees F.
Spike speedwell is an long-time favorite of gardeners everywhere.
Pikes Peak beardstongue (Penstemon x mexicali ‘Pikes Peak Purple’)
Yet another purple perennial for the bees, ‘Pikes Peak Purple’ beardstongue has it all. Gorgeous looks, prolific dark purple flowers, and ease of care separate this plant from the rest. Winter hardy to -20 degrees F, Pikes Peak Purple’s tubular blooms are shaped like little trumpets. Choose a full sun site with well-drained soil, and this plant thrives.
Give Pikes Peak Penstemon well-drained soil and full sun, and it’s as happy as can be.
Short purple perennial flowers
Wood phlox is a shade-loving, purple perennial that produces early-season blooms. Often finished blooming right along with the tulips, this native of the woodlands of eastern North America, is nothing short of lovely. The pale purple blooms bear five petals each, and they are borne in clusters atop 6-inch-tall, wiry stems. In bloom for just a few short weeks each spring, wood phlox is hardy to -40 degrees F. It’s resistant to deer and dry soil, too.
Wood phlox is a shade lover with lots to offer, including it’s early-season blooms.
Purple-leaved spiderwort (Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Queen’)
While this perennial does have tiny lavender flowers, it’s more prized for its purple leaves. Though it is hardy only in warmer climates that don’t fall below 0 degrees F, it’s well worth growing, even if you have to replace it each spring. Of all the plants with purple leaves available to gardeners, ‘Purple Queen’ is a real standout. It makes a dramatic display, and with a height of just 12 inches, it tumbles nicely over the edges of containers and retaining walls.
Purple tradescantia looks terrific in containers, too!
Lalla aster (Symphyotrichum x ‘Lalla’)
A hybrid of a North American native aster, ‘Lalla’ has so much bloom power it’s not even funny. Low-growing and spreading, this purple perennial is hardy to -40 degrees F. It produces a bazillion small purple flowers very late in the season, and it’s a magnet for tiny native pollinators. Though the deer may nibble it from time to time, ‘Lalla’ provides much-needed late-season color in the perennial border. It enjoys full sun, though it’s at home in dappled shade, too. If you can’t find this variety of aster, try the more common ‘Purple Dome’ as an alternative.
‘Lalla’ asters are low-growing and spreading, making them a perfect fit for the front of the border.
Lavender (Lavandula species)
Lavender is among the most familiar of all plants with purple flowers. Prized for its heavenly scent and essential oil content, lavender is both deer-resistant and sun-loving. Plant it in well-drained soil for the best results. There are many different species and varieties of lavender available. Choose one that’s hardy in your climate as there are many to choose from. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’ and ‘Grosso’ are personal favorites.
A list of purple-flowered perennials wouldn’t be complete without lavender!
Creeping speedwell (Veronica x ‘Waterperry Blue’)
A low-growing perennial with purple flowers, creeping speedwell makes a great ground cover. Though it’s only in bloom for a short time each spring, creeping speedwell looks lovely year-round. It’s semi-evergreen and needs nothing more than a light haircut in the very early spring. Hardy to -30 degrees F, this purple-flowering groundcover is deer resistant and produces pretty little blooms in full sun.
‘Waterperry Blue’ is a great plant to use as a ground cover.
Lungwort (Pulmonaria species)
Those seeking purple perennial flowers that bloom early, thrive in the shade, and are deer resistant, should put lungwort on their list. There are many varieties of lungwort with purple blooms, including ‘Diana Clare’, ‘Mrs. Moon’, and ‘Blue Ensign’. Other selections produce pink or white flowers. Some have mottled or spotted foliage, too. Plant lungwort in a shady spot and give it ample water. Hardy to -40 degrees F.
There are many different varieties of Pulmonaria. Some even have spotted leaves.
Coralbells (Heuchera species)
Okay, I’m cheating a little here, because coralbells aren’t purple perennial flowers. Instead, they’re purple-leaved perennials. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different coralbell cultivars, with all manner of interestingly colored foliage. From bronze and chartreuse to silver, green, and peach, coralbells are standout foliage plants for the shade, but purple coralbell varieties, such as ‘Plum Pudding’, ‘Dark Secret’, ‘Forever Purple’, and ‘Wildberry’, are really something special. And because it’s their foliage that’s colored, the splash of purple lasts all season long.
Heucheras are known for their purple foliage, not their flowers.
Millenium flowering onion (Allium ‘Millenium’)
This is a rabbit-, vole-, and deer-resistant plant with purple blooms that has so much to offer! The orb-shaped bloom clusters last for weeks, and they play host to oodles of pollinators, including butterflies and bees. Full sun is best for this perennial, and it’s hardy to -20 degrees F. ‘Millenium’ cannot be beat for its compact growth habit, ease of care, and long bloom time. It’s a winner all around.
Allium ‘Millenium’ knocks your socks off with its long-lasting blooms. Here, it looks spectacular combined with dark-leaved dahlias, hostas, and coleus.
Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)
Pasque flowers are so sweet! Their cheery blooms pop out of the soil to welcome spring, soon followed by fine, fern-like foliage. This early-blooming purple perennial also produces little poufy seed heads that wave in the wind. Hardy all the way down to -40 degrees F and thriving in well-drained soils, they reseed quite nicely if they’re happy. Pasque flower is among the earliest blooming purple perennial flowers, and it’s at home in full to partial sun. Deer resistant.
The blooms of pasque flower are absolutely delightful additions to the spring garden.
I hope you’ve discovered some new favorite purple perennials to add to your own garden. If you’re fond of one that’s not on our list, be sure to tell us about it in the comment section below.
For more on growing beautiful perennials, check out the following articles:
- Perennials with long bloom times
- The best evergreen ground covers
- 15 exceptional perennials for the shade
- Plants for cottage gardens