Perennials forum: Flower Colour: perennials

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Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Mar 11, 2017 3:30 PM CST
Was looking at Plant Finder at the Royal Horticultural Society site last year and decided to tally the flower colour and the flower colour by season (information was included for each perennial) for the 2092 perennials listed.

Of the 2092 perennials listed, the blooms are pink (24%), yellow (23%), purple (20%), red (15%), blue (13%) and orange (6%). Doesn’t add to 100% (rounding error).

For all of these six colours, the season with the largest number of perennials in bloom is summer.

Spring compared to autumn/fall:
There are more perennials, in bloom, with pink, red, yellow and orange flowers in fall than there are in the spring. For these, the weighting to the fall is greatest for orange; then in descending order yellow, red and pink.

For purple, the percentage of perennials in bloom is the same in spring and fall.

Only for blue are there more perennials in flower in spring than in fall.

Meets your expectations?

Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
Mar 11, 2017 8:23 PM CST
Nice to hear from you charlie! In my area the native plants are definitely heavy on the gold/yellow orange and white colors in the Fall. I haven't noticed a strong showing of any particular color for Spring and Summer.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Mar 11, 2017 8:49 PM CST
Like Gary, fall here is a lot of yellow/orange and red. Spring is mostly blue with many white but not much (if any) orange.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Mar 12, 2017 2:40 PM CST
Hi Gary, Arlene.

Back from a warmer climate (Florida). Returning, dropped 40 to 50 degrees.

Interesting, from your comments, I avoided including white. There's supposed to be snowdrops in the picture below (today). But it's the other white that's bothering me. Apparently the temperature was going up and down here while we were away.

Guess there's an adage about cool flower colours in spring and hot colours in summer. Think some of the (late?) summer colours continue into fall, though think there may also be a current trend, in purchasing perennials, to choosing available orange cultivars (notably for summer blooming purple coneflowers). I do, however, agree with you.

Other than orange, I'd say the other minority garden flower colour is blue. Spring comes relatively late here. After the bulbs, I've found that primulas, lungworts, brunneras and hellebores work best for our earlier spring gardening. Hence we have quite a few cultivars of these perennials. All our brunneras are blue flowering and some of the lungworts are quite blue flowering (partly my choice). I'd say our gentians are our bluest flowering perennials and we do have spring blooming Gentiana Acaulis Group ones. On the other hand, our summer blue blooming gentians do contribute more blue to our garden that the spring ones.

Of the six colours I looked at, as you might expect (at least here) pink was, overall, the most common perennial flower colour. Perhaps, traditionally, it's a choice that was available to gardeners?

Thumb of 2017-03-12/SunnyBorders/414c96

[Last edited by SunnyBorders - Mar 12, 2017 2:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
Mar 15, 2017 10:26 PM CST
Charlie good to see you posting.
Enjoyed your observations.
I never really took notice of what is blooming in such details. "Food for thought".
"Life as short as it is, is amazing isn't it ?" Michael Burton
"Be your best you".
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Mar 17, 2017 8:43 AM CST
Thanks, Mike.
Think I tend to see the trees for the forest
But as a sunshine gardener I wouldn't want those trees too close to me!

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