16 Beautiful Flowers

Dianthus 'Apple Slice'
When asked, "What are the most beautiful flowers," every gardener will likely have their favorites. Here are 16 beautiful flowers that offer a diversity of color, form, and habitat. Which one will you pick for your garden?


Otherwordly in appearance, passionflower vines add rich color and a unique visual splash to a garden; some of these beautiful flowers can measure about 3 inches wide. There are over 500 species -- mostly vines but some shrubs -- and cold hardiness varies, with many adaptable down to Zone 5.


Compound blooms and a sweet fragrance are the most recognizable characteristics of the much-loved peony. The cut flowers -- which range from singles to large doubles and white to red -- make excellent bouquets either alone or as companions to other early summer bloomers.

Balloon Flower

Sometimes called Chinese bellflower, perennial balloon flower comes in varieties that range in height from dwarf to several feet. Easy to grow, the plant gets its name from the flower buds, which resemble a balloon before opening up. Its most recognized -- and oft-used -- color is a rich purple-blue, but varieties of this beautiful flower can be found in both pink and white.


And old-fashioned flower that's a favorite of cottage and country gardens, hollyhocks are typically grown from seed. Distinguished by tall spikes adorned with multiple blooms, hollyhocks love sun and work well in the backs of borders or up against a fence or other structure.


A summer stalwart in gardens that range from cottage to traditional, hydrangeas generally bloom for several months, beginning at the start of summer. These beautiful flowers range in size and form from lacecap to mopheads, and include colors from white to pink and blue. They like a little bit of sun and a little bit of shade, and benefit from deadheading, which encourages more blooms the following season.


Hardy in warmer climates and an annual in cooler zones, sun-loving dahlias are actually grown from tubers. These beautiful flowers range in size from teensy pom-poms to stunning dinner plates; the plants also grow several feet tall.


Often called America's most beloved flower, the rose is one of the most recognizable blooms. Even so, there are thousands of rose cultivars, ranging from shrubs to vines and typically armed with thorns. Many of these beautiful flowers are more delicate than others, and fragrance depth varies, too.


Generally grown from seed, sunflowers are actually native to North America and are a favorite of not only gardeners but birds and wildlife, too. It is a tall-growing plant -- some reach heights of over 10 feet -- and loves a sunny location, too.


Sometimes called the Lenten rose, hellebores are a dainty bloom, one of the first beautiful flowers to announce the arrival of spring. Shade is their preferred location, and they'll bloom for several months -- although they are less hardy in colder climates.

Water Lily

It's scientific name -- Nymphaeaceae -- calls to mind water nymphs of myths and legends, but the beauty of water lilies is far more real. Notched beautiful flowers float above underwater stems and submerged leaves. They grow rapidly but are mostly tropical and come in a range of species and colors.


Tall, attention-getting spikes and tubelike flowers are just two of the distinctive elements of foxglove. A cottage and country garden favorite, many foxglove varieties provide uncommon and beautiful flowers with patterning and unexpected colors in rich hues.


Although its purple blossom tends to be more popular, echinacea is also known as coneflower. This beautiful flower is often used in native plantings, loves sun, and makes a great cut flower, too.

Black-Eyed Susan

This cheery, beautiful flower thrives in sun and works well in traditional, cottage, and native gardens. The latter makes sense: It's native to North America and attracts butterflies and bees, too.


Natives to Asia, daylilies -- and gardeners -- have benefited from enthusiastic hybridizers, whose tinkering created a rainbow riot of beautiful flowers as well as those adapted to a host of climates. In general, each bloom lasts a single day, but each stalk will have several flowers over a blooming period.


Found in both shrub and tree form, magnolias are elegant and showy -- but it's important to pick one that's hardy for your climate. Their beautiful flowers can be found in white, yellow, pink, red, and purple.


Depending on the type and your climate, dianthus may be an annual, a biennial, or a perennial. Though the plants are smaller and more suitable for a border or container, their beautiful flowers come in a range of particularly intense hues, some of which are multicolor. Bonus: They're prolific bloomers throughout summer and into early fall.

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