Spring Color Spring Color

Spring Perennial Color

by Rod Smith
Oregon Certified Nursery Professional

© 1999-2017 Rodney A. Smith
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Common and Scientific Names of Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Perennials, Herbs & Houseplants

Low = under 15 inches, Medium = 15 inches to 30 inches, Tall = over 30 inches

Low Spring Perennials

Scientific name          USDA Zone Height X Width      Description
  Common name                Water Exposure
Ajuga reptans                    3 5" X 12"   Evergreen. Blue flowers. Green     
  Carpet Bugle                Med. Sun-Part     bronze purple or varieg. leaves. 
Anemone blanda                   4 4" X 6"    Bulb. Single blue, pink or white   
  Windflower                  Low  Part Sun     flower in March.                 
Anemone pulsatilla               5 1' x 1'    Low mound of featherly leaves.     
  Pasque Flower               Med. Sun-Part     Violet flowers in spring.        
Arabis caucasica                 3 4" X 1'    White flowers on fleshy leaves in  
  Rock Cress                  Med. Sun          March to April. Good rock garden.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi          2 8" X 4'    Native evergreen. Pink flowers.    
  Kinnikinnick                Low  Sun-Part     Red berries. Good groundcover.PNP
Arenaria montana                 3 4" X 18"   Low mound of white flowers from    
  Montana Sandwort            Med. Sun-Part     March to April. Likes lime.      
Armeria maritima                 4 10" X 1'   Native evergreen. Mound of leaves. 
  Sea Thrift                  Med. Sun-Part     Pink or white flowers April-June.
Asarum caudatum                  4 4" X 2'    Native. Large, heart shaped leaves.
  Wild Ginger                 High Shade-Part   Brown flowers early Spring.   PNP
Asarum species                   4 6" X 18"   Groundcover. Glossy leaves hide    
  Wild Ginger                 High Shade-Part   small red flowers.               
Asarum splendens                 4 6" X 2'    Large, heart shaped leaves with    
  Chinese Ginger              High Shade-Part   white stripes. Tiny red flowers. 
Aubrieta deltoidea               4 5" X 15"   Low mat of red to blue flowers in  
  Rock Cress                  Med. Sun-Part     March to May. Good in rock walls.
Aurinia saxatilis                4 10" X 1'   Evergreen. Green gray leaves with  
  Basket Of Gold              Med. Sun-Part     yellow flowers from April-June.  
Bellis perennis                  4 5" X 6"    Red, rose, and white flowers in    
  English Daisy               Med. Sun-Part     April and May. Good in lawns.    
Bergenia cordifolia              3 12" X 2'   Evergreen. Large heart shaped      
  Heartleaf Bergenia          Med. Sun-Part     leaves. Pink flowers in Spring.  
Calceolaria biflora              6 12" X 8"   Evergreen. Pouch-like flowers of   
  Pocketbook Flower           Med. Shade-Part   yellow and red in May and June.  
Ceanothus gloriosus              7 12" X 3'   Evergreen. Blue flowers in late    
  Point Reyes Ceanothus       Low  Sun          spring. Good groundcover.        
Convallaria majalis              3 6" X 15"   Small fragrant bell-shaped white   
  Lily-of-the-Valley          Med. Shade-Part   flowers in May. Poisonous.       
Cornus canadensis                1 3" X 2'    Semi-evergreen. White flowers in   
  Bunchberry                  Med. Sun-Shade    spring. Red berries in fall.  PNP
Cotoneaster dammeri              1 5" X 6'    Evergreen. White flowers in        
  Bearberry Cotoneaster       Low  Sun-Shade    spring. Orange berries in fall.  
Cotula squalida                  4 2" X 1'    Evergreen. Button flowers in May-  
  Brass Buttons               Med. Part Sun     June. Fern-like foliage creeps.  
Crocus vernus                    3 4" X 4"    Bulb. White, pink, blue, or purple 
  Dutch Crocus                Low  Sun-Part     flowers in February to March.    
Dianthus species                 4 1-3' X 1'  Low mound or tall cut flower in    
  Carnation or Pinks          Med. Sun-Part     pink, red and white May to July. 
Dicentra formosa                 3 12" X 18"  Native. Dark fern-like leaves.     
  Western Bleeding Heart      Low  Shade-Part   Pink flowers April to June.   PNP
Epimedium grandiflorum           4 1' X 3'    Evergreen. Red white pink or       
  Bishop's Hat                Med. Part Shade   violet flowers. Bronze leaves.   
Fragaria 'Lipstick'              4 4" X 24"   Evergreen groundcover. Large, rose 
  Lipstick Strawberry         Med. Sun-Part     colored flowers in Spring.       
Fragaria chiloensis              4 6" X 1'    Native evergreen groundcover. White
  Wild Strawberry             Med. Sun-Part     flowers in spring. Red berries.  
Galanthus nivalis                3 8" X 8"    Bulb. Dainty white bells in Feb. to
  Snowdrop                    Med. Shade-Part   March. Naturalizes under trees.  
Galium odoratum                  4 8" X 2'    Small white flowers on dense mat   
  Sweet Woodruff              Med. Shade        of green from May to August.     
Gaultheria procumbens            3 6" X 18"   Native evergreen. Pink bell flowers
  Wintergreen                 Med. Sun-Shade    in spring. Red edible berries.   
Heucherella tiarelloides         4 1' X 2'    Hybrids between Heuchera and Tia-  
  Foam Flower                 Med. Part shade   rella. Colorful foliage.         
Hyacinthus orientalis            4 8" X 6"    bulb. Very fragrant spikes of blue,
  Hyacinth                    Low  Sun-Shade    white, or purple in April to May.
Iberis sempervirens              4 8" X 1'    Evergreen. White flowers in April  
  Candytuft                   Low  Sun          cover low mound of small leaves. 
Iris "Dutch Hybrid"              5 8" X 5"    Bulb. Slender stalks topped by iris
  Dutch Iris                  Med. Sun-Part     flower in many colors in April.  
Leontipodium alpinum             3 6" X 8"    White woolly leaves. Flowers and   
  Edelweis                    Med. Sun-Part     floral leaves in May to July.    
Leucojum vernum                    6" X 6"    Bulb. Clusters of white bells in   
  Snowflake                   Med. Shade        March. Naturalizes under trees.  
Lewisia cotyledon                4 10" X 5"   Evergreen. Pink to orange flowers  
  Lewisia                     Low  Sun-Part     in May-Aug. above rosette leaves.
Lithodora diffusa                5 5" X 3'    Evergreen. Brilliant blue flowers  
  Lithospermum                Med. Sun-Part     May to July. Likes good drainage.
Mazus reptans                    5 2" X 18"   Evergreen groundcover. Blue flowers
  Mazus                       Med. Sun-Part     in spring. Moist well drained.   
Muscari armeniacum               4 6" X 6"    Bulb. Bright blue flowers on 6"    
  Grape Hyacinth              Low  Sun-Part     spikes in March and April.       
Myosotis sylvatica               3 8" X 8"    Blue, pink, or white flowers May to
  Forget-Me-Not               Med. Sun-Shade    September. Spreads easily.       
Oxalis oregana                   3 7" X 30"   Native groundcover for shade. White
  Wood sorrel                 Med. Shade-Part   flowers April-June.           PNP
Pachysandra terminalis           5 8" X 1'    Evergreen. White flower spikes.    
  Japanese Spurge             High Shade-Part   Dark green leaves. Groundcover.  
Phlox subulata                   3 4" X 1'    Evergreen. Dense mat of color in   
  Creeping Phlox              Med. Sun          May-June. Needs good drainage.   
Ranunculus asiaticus             4 12" X 1'   Large yellow, orange, red, pink, or
  Persian Ranunculus          Med. Sun          white flowers in April to June.  
Rhodohypoxis baurii              4 4" X 4"    Mass of rose red flowers in spring 
  Rhodohypoxis                Med. Sun          and summer. Good rock garden.    
Sagina sublata                   4 2" X 1'    Dense mat of dark green with small 
  Irish Moss                  Med. Sun-Part     white flowers in spring.         
Sagina sublata 'Aurea'           4 2" X 1'    Dense mat of light green with small
  Scotch Moss                 Med. Sun-Part     white flowers in spring.         
Saponaria species                3 1' X 3'    Dark, oval leaves with pink flowers
  Soapwort                    Low  Sun          in spring. Good groundcover.     
Saxifraga species                4 1' X 18"   Small white star-like flowers with 
  Rockfoil                    Med. Shade-Part   a reddish tinge in April-June.   
Silene species                   5 12" X 15"  Groundcover. Magenta to cream flow-
  Moss Campion                Med. Sun-Part     ers in spring.                   
Sisyrinchium angustifolium       3 1' X 1'    Green or bluish leaves. Purple &   
  Blue-eyed Grass             Med. Sun          yellow flowers in May to June.   
Sisyrinchium idahoensis          2 12" X 12"  Native. Thin, grass-like leaves.   
  Idaho Blue-eyed Grass       Low  Sun          Purple flowers on tip of stalk.  
Tiarella cordifolia              4 8" X 2'    Fast spreading groundcovers. White 
  Foamflower                  High Shade-Part   to pink flowers.                 
Trillium ovatum                  4 1' X 6"    Native. Three leaves with white    
  Trillium                    High Shade-Part   flowers in March.             PNP
Trillium species                 4 1' X 6"    Native. Three leaves with white or 
  Trillium                    High Shade-Part   yellow flowers in March.         
Tulipa species                   4 6-24" X 8" Bulb. Many colors of flowers in    
  Tulip                       Med. Sun-Part     March to May. Needs good drainage
Verbena hyb. 'Homestead Purple'  6 10" X 3'   Evergreen. Purple flowers spring to
  Homestead Purple Verbena    Med. Sun          fall. Good groundcover.          
Vinca minor                      4 1' X 3'    Evergreen. Blue, white or purple   
  Periwinkle                  Med. Sun-Shade    flowers in spring and summer.    
Viola glabella                   6 8" X 8"    Native. Small heart-shaped flowers.
  Yellow Wood Violet          Med. Shade-Part   Small yellow spring flowers.  PNP
Viola odorata                    6 6" X 1'    Dark purple flowers and a lovely   
  Sweet Violet                Med. Sun-Shade    fragrance in February to April.  
Waldestenia fragarioides         2 3" X 8"    Evergreen. Strawberry-like plant.  
  Barren Strawberry           Med. Sun-Part     Yellow flowers in spring.        

Medium Spring Perennials

Scientific name          USDA Zone Height X Width      Description
  Common name                Water Exposure
Anemone coronaria                6 2' X 15"   Bulb. Red, blue, purple or white   
  Wind Flower                 Med. Part shade   flowers May and June. Good cut.  
Aquilegia species                3 2' X 18"   Red white or blue flowers in May.  
  Columbine                   Med. Sun-Shade    Attracts hummingbirds/butterflies
Brunnera macrophylla             5 15" X 1'   Airy clusters of blue flowers above
  Siberian Bugloss            High Part Shade   heart shaped leaves in March-June
Camassia quamash                 6 18" X 12"  Native bulb. Blue flowers in       
  Common Camas                High Sun          Spring.                       PNP
Chrysanthemum coccinneum         4 30" X 2'   Finely divided leaves. Pink, red,  
  Painted Daisy               Med. Sun          or white flowers in May.         
Dianella tasmanica               7 2' X 2'    Evergreen. Blue/purple flowers in  
  Flax Lily                   Med. Sun-Part     spring. Blue-green leaves.       
Dicentra formosa                 3 30" X 3'   Native. Dainty pink or white     
  Bleeding Heart              Low  Shade-Part   flowers in April to June.                   
Dicentra spectabilis             3 30" X 3'   Dainty pink or white flowers in    
  Bleeding Heart              Med. Shade-Part   April to June.                   
Doronicum cordatum               4 18" X 12"  Low mound. Yellow daisy flowers on 
  Leopard's Bane              Med. Part Shade   tall stems April-June. Good cut. 
Endymion non-scriptus (Scilla)   4 15" X 12"  Bulb. Spikes of blue white or pink 
  Wood Hyacinth               Med. Sun-Part     flowers in May. Easy to grow.    
Euphorbia species                6 2' X 2'    Green to purple leaves. Chartreuse 
  Spurge                      Low  Sun          to burgandy flowers.             
Fern, Dryopteris erythrosora     6 18" X 18"  Evergreen. New fronds are coppery  
  Autumn Fern                 Low  Shade-Part   red, mature to green.            
Freesia species                  3 15" X 1'   Bulb. Fragrant flowers in many     
  Freesia                     Med. Sun-Part     colors in May. Good cut flower.  
Fritillaria species              5 2-4' X 1'  Bulb. Unusual flowers of orange,   
  Fritillaria                 Med. Sun-Part     yellow or checkered purple/white.
Gaultheria shallon               6 2' X 3'    Native evergreen. Pink flowers in  
  Salal                       Med. Sun-Shade    spring. Black edible berries. PNP
Helleborus orientalis            4 18" X 1'   Leathery dark green leaves. White, 
  Lenten Rose                 High Shade-Part   pink, red, yellow, green flowers.
Heuchera sanguinea               4 15" X 18"  Evergreen. Tall stalks of dainty   
  Coral Bells                 Med. Sun-Part     coral flowers in April-August.   
Iris tenax                       5 15" X 18"  Native. Purple flowers with yellow 
  Oregon iris                 Low  Sun-Part     or white. Drought tolerant.   PNP
Libertia peregrinans             7 18" x 18"  Narrow leaves are bright orange on 
  New Zealand Iris            Med. Sun-Shade    the edges. White flowers Spring. 
Ligularia tussilaginea (Farfugiu 8 2' X 2'    Thick leaves with yellow spots.    
  Leopard Plant               Med. Sun-Part     Yellow flowers. Good indoors.    
Lychnis coronaria                6 2' X 18"   Silky white foliage. Magenta to    
  Rose campion                Low  Sun-Part     crimson flowers from May to July.
Mertensia virginica              3 20" X 1'   Native. Pink turning to blue petti-
  Virginia Bluebells          Med. Shade-Part   coat flowers in April and May.   
Narcissus species                4 2' X 1'    Bulb. Yellow, orange, or white flo-
  Daffodils                   Low  Sun-Part     wers in March to April. Easy.    
Paeonia lactiflora               4 2' X 2'    Ever popular plant in many colors  
  Bush Peony                  Med. Sun-Part     in May. Good cut flowers.        
Papaver nudicaule                2 15" X 10"  3-4" flowers in many colors from   
  Iceland Poppy               Low  Sun-Part     April to September. Good cut.    
Polygonatum biflorum             3 30" X 2'   Pairs of greenish white flowers on 
  Solomon's Seal              Med. Shade-Part   arching stems. Blue-black berries
Rosmarinus officinalis           8 2' X 5'    Aromatic leaves with blue flowers  
  Rosemary                    Low  Sun          in spring. Needs good drainage.  
Tricyrtis hirta                  6 2' X 2'    Purple spotted flowers in spring.  
  Toad Lily                   High Shade-Part   spring.                          
Trollius species                 3 2' X 2'    Deciduous. Gold or yellow flowers  
  Globeflower                 High Sun-Part     May-June.                        
Zantedeschia species             2 2' X 2'    White, yellow or pink flowers in   
  Calla Lily                  High Sun-Part     May.                             

Tall Spring Perennials

Scientific name          USDA Zone Height X Width      Description
  Common name                Water Exposure
Aster frikartii                  5 3' X 2'    Large lavender blue daisies from   
  Frikart's Aster             Med. Sun          May to frost if deadheaded.      
Delphinium hybrids               3 3-6' X 2'  Tall spikes of blue, lavender, or  
  Larkspur                    Med. Sun          white in June. Good cut.         
Dierama pulcherrimum             7 5' X 5'    Sword-like leaves. Purple to white 
  Wand Flower                 High Sun          bell-shaped flowers May-June.    
Digitalis purpurea               4 4' X 1'    Spike of white to pink spotted     
  Pink Foxglove               Med. Part shade   flowers. Leaves are poisonous.   
Euryops pectinatus               8 5' X 3'    Bright yellow daisy-like flowers   
  Golden Shrub Daisy          Low  Sun          March-October. Needs protection. 
Hesperis matronalis              5 3' X 2'    Old fashioned plant. Fragrant lav- 
  Dame's Rocket               Med. Sun-Part     ender or pink flowers May-June.  
Incarvillea delavayi             5 3' X 2'    Clusters of 3" long purple trumpet 
  Hardy Gloxinia              Med. Sun-Part     inMay-July.                      
Iris ensata                      4 3' X 2'    Large white, lavender, purple or   
  Japanese Iris               High Sun-Part     blue flowers in May. Wet or dry. 
Iris hybrids                     4 3' X 2'    Many sizes and colors of flowers in
  Bearded Iris                Med. Sun          May and June.                    
Iris sibirica                    3 3' X 2'    White, yellow, lavender, purple or 
  Siberian Iris               High Sun-Part     blue flowers in May. Wet or dry. 
Paeonia suffruticosa             6 5' X 5'    Large flowers up to 1' across in   
  Tree Peony                  Med. Sun-Part     many colors in May. Some double. 
Rheum palmatum                   3 4' X 3'    Deciduous. Green, bronze & dark red
  Ornamental Rhubarb          High Sun-Part     leaves. Red flower stalks in May.
Rodgersia aesculifolia           5 5' X 3'    Creamy white flowers late spring to
  Rodger's Flower             High Shade-Part   early summer. Huge fingered leaf.
Smilacina racemosa               3 3' X 1'    Tall plumes of fuzzy white flowers.
  False Solomon's Seal        High Shade-Part   Red & white speckled fruit.   PNP
Thalictrum species               5 3' X 2'    Airy plants with fuzzy flowers in  
  Meadow Rue                  High Sun-Part     white, pink or purple.           

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