Best Early-Spring Flowers for the South

Celebrate spring in your southeastern garden with these spectacular early bloomers.
Lenten rose

Southerners are truly blessed with a confectionery delight of spring blooms.

Saucer magnolia (Magnolia 'Elizabeth') offers large, sweet-smelling, lemony yellow blooms. Zones 6-9

Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia) bears long, arching branches with golden blooms. Zones 6-9

Yoshino cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) is a graceful tree with tiny, pale pink blooms. Zones 6-8

 

Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother' is a sentimental favorite in my garden. Zones 4-9

 

Spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum) with its tiny, nodding white flowers on 8-inch stalks is easily overlooked. Zones 4-8

Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) burst into bloom with the first warm days of spring. Annual

 

Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens), a native vine with powdery-fresh, pale yellow, trumpet-shape blooms, twines its way around mailboxes, fences, and porch rails throughout the South. Zones 7-

Siberian squill (Scilla siberica), a perennial grown from bulbs, produces 6-inch-tall stalks of bright blue flowers. Zones 5-8

 

Narcissus 'Hawera' sports small (2 inches across) nodding yellow flowers on 7-inch stalks. Bulbs naturalize to create multiple miniature trumpets heralding spring. Zones 3-8

 

Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), with its blooms in shades of white, chartreuse, purple, and crimson, marks the end of winter more than the start of spring. Zones 4-9