No summer garden is complete without the unblemished beauty and otherworldly grace of white flowers.
White flowers carry connotations of innocence, honesty, and perfection. They strike the ideal balance between elegance and purity while providing a pleasing contrast to the other vibrant hues of the garden.
Read on to explore the numerous different types of white flowers and their significance.
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This bushy, annual plant yields an abundance of small white flowers and will never grow higher than half a metre. It does well in partial sun, making it the perfect addition to beds with taller plants that provide dappled shade.
Tulips are perennial flowers that are a favourite in spring gardens, often appearing in varying bright colours. The white tulip is synonymous with purification and forgiveness, making it a powerful symbol of good-will. Tulips grow from bulbs and thrive in the sun. Make sure to plant them at least 5cm apart to give them adequate space.
Galanthus, commonly known as “snowdrop”, gets its name from its unique, bulbous, white flowers that droop whilst in full bloom. They are more resilient than their name suggests, making snowdrops fairly easy to grow. They do not reach great heights, so be sure to plant them near to the edge of the bed where they will be visible.
Daffodils are white and yellow flowers with trumpet-like central crowns surrounded by six petals. Planting daffodil bulbs in autumn will yield gorgeous blossoms in the early days of spring, and they symbolise rebirth, hope and resilience. Interestingly, their Latin name means “narcissus” after the ancient Greek hunter who fell in love with his own reflection.
These fragrant flowers have a silken, creamy texture that is offset by their dark, glossy leaves. Propagating them can be a challenge, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Their delightful scent makes them wonderful to have indoors, so long as they receive plenty of sunlight and their soil stays damp.
There are several varieties of dahlia, all of which are herbaceous and perennial. Depending on the species, they can bear either small or big white flowers, ranging from 5-30cm in diameter. Other species of dahlia come in almost every hue with the exception of blue.
Moonflower vines bear trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in the late afternoon, releasing a gentle fragrance that perfumes their surroundings. The vines will twine merrily around anything within their reach. Guide the vines gently through a trellis and you will soon have a magnificent, sweet-smelling vine to compliment your garden.
These annual plants come in several different colourful varieties. To yield the types of white flowers you desire, try planting the blanket double white or supertunia white varieties. They bloom fully from the beginning of spring until the first frost so long as they get plenty of direct sunlight.
Peony plants bear large, sweet-scented flowers that range in colour from white to fuchsia. They are perennial and hardy, which makes them the ideal garden plant. Place them somewhere with decent sun exposure and plenty of space to grow, as the herbaceous varieties can reach heights of nearly 2 meters.
This is another genus of flowering plant that comes in a wide variety of flamboyant colours (even though most wild irises are white) – giving credence to its name which is the Greek word for a rainbow. Iris are long-stemmed and often compete with other plants for sun exposure, therefore need plenty of space to themselves.
Foxglove bushes give rise to tall, proud, leafy stems that sport drooping, bell-shaped, purple, or white flowers. While they are aesthetically quite beautiful, foxgloves can be dangerous if eaten. Fortunately, they have a remarkably unpleasant taste that discourages consumption.
Hibiscus moscheutos (or luna white) is a perennial shrub that is well-known for its ostentatious, big white flowers. While each flower has a lifespan of only 1-2 days, they rapidly replace each other as the old ones die off. Luna white hibiscus is identifiable by its large, creamy-white petals and their bright red centres.
The white rose has a reputation for being fussy and difficult to propagate, however, they are more than worth the extra attention. Symbolising everlasting love and purity, they are a favourite at weddings. The more sun these rare beauties see, the better they will bloom.
White hydrangeas come in a few varieties, one of the most popular being oakleaf hydrangeas. Their small white flowers grow in charming, conical clusters. These common shrubs provide stunning contrast to other more colourful springtime flowers. Ideally, they should get full sun in the morning and fall into shade as the afternoon wears on.
This variety of orchid is relatively easy to grow if their preferred environment is maintained. They make gorgeous ornamental houseplants, sporting delicate, white flowers. Orchids feel most at home in shallow pots and lots of sun.
These deciduous shrubs grow rapidly and produce cone-shaped clusters of small white flowers. They can be invasive if their growth is not curtailed, but they do attract a host of pollinating insects as the name suggests.
Dianthus flowers are unusual in appearance, bearing spiky petals and pink, curling stamens. They are hardy annual plants that produce a characteristic spicy aroma when in full bloom. Their unique scent attracts pollinators such as hummingbirds and bees.
Ranunculus plants are popular among florists for their robust, spiralling petals and their long vase life. They are often used in bouquets and flower arrangements due to their longevity once separated from the root. Usually annual plants, you can coax different types of ranunculus plants to return for a second year if they’re in well-drained soil.
Bacopa monnieri has risen to prominence as ayurvedic medicine, as it possesses memory-enhancing, antidepressant, and anxiolytic properties. It is a perennial herb that grows in bushy clusters, giving rise to dainty white flowers.
The white snapdragon (or Antirrhinum coulterianum) grows in clusters of woody stems that give rise to delicate white blossoms. The buds appear pink in hue but gradually fade to white as the petals open. They often grow wild in areas in areas that have seen fire the previous year.
Native to the southern regions of Africa, the calla lily is easily recognisable by its characteristic animal-ear shape and protruding, colourful pistil. Although commonly referred to as a lily, the calla lily is not a true lily at all, belonging instead to the genus Zantedeschia. It was a mistake during the naming of the plant that led to this common misconception. Although the white calla lily is most popular, there are many different coloured calla lilies to choose from.
Commonly used as decoration for weddings and other special events, this plant can be recognised by its small, star-shaped flowers and large, dark-green leaves. They prefer warm, temperate climates and do well as house plants.
Camellia plants are evergreen, so if you are looking for a flowering plant to lend some life to your garden during winter, look no further. Their petals grow in a fractal pattern, making the flowers gorgeously symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing. A partial sun/shade combination is best for these.
Baby’s-breath, also known as gypsophila, is a common favourite among florists for use in flower arrangements. The tiny, delicate, white flowers are borne from thin stems. They are used both fresh and dried as ornamental additions to bouquets and indoor floral displays.
These low-maintenance annual flowers are native to southern Australia but have been adopted as garden favourites in several parts of the world due to their lovely appearance and resilience to summer heat. Their resilience to neglect and harsh conditions combined with their tendency to attract pollinators make them a superb addition to any garden.
Coming in a myriad of colours, lobelia is typically a compact plant that disdains the summer heat. They provide excellent ground cover, provided taller plants shield them from the afternoon sun.
Chrysanthemums (affectionately known as “mums”) are exceedingly diverse in shape, size, and colour. White chrysanthemums are conspicuous, big white flowers that are symbols of fierce loyalty and devotion. With proper care of your mums during the winter, you can count on them returning year after year.
Often praised for its medicinal qualities, yarrow sports clusters of small white flowers that attract pollinators. In natural medicine, it is used to treat a myriad of ailments such as gastric distress, congestion, arthritis, and flesh wounds.
Snowball marigold plants consist of tall, leafy stems that bear spherical clusters of white flowers that crowd together pleasantly. Marigolds grow best in full sun and well-watered soil. Once in full bloom, they are remarkably attractive.
Hellebores are tough plants that stay evergreen in all except the harshest winter climates. They are often planted on hills or slopes so the drooping flowers can be seen and appreciated. They are perennial and are excellent companion plants for snowdrops and daffodils.
There you have it! 30 types of white flowers for your garden, bouquet or vase.