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Flowers • HO-80-W

Department of Horticulture
Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service • West Lafayette, IN

Annual Flowers
Michael N. Dana
Annuals offer almost unlimited versatility. They’re
available in a wide range of colors and sizes, and
various species offer solutions for sun and shade
Each year new cultivars are being introduced by
seed companies. Most of these are hybrids which have

common name





been selected for their superiority over existing cultivars
or species. When making selections, consult the latest
descriptions in publications and catalogs. Also visit
Floricultural demonstrations such as the Purdue University Horticulture Gardens and the University of Illinois
Trial Garden.







Alcea rosea












white, red,
orange, yellow
pink, apricot
(depends on and





Many new flower and
foliage types. Ideal for
shady locations.



A free-flowering, dwarfgrowing annual which is
well suited for edging
flower beds.

Amaranthus tricolor

Common Snapdragon

Antirrhinum majus

African Daisy

Bedding Begonia,
Wax Begonia
Begonia x semper-

Swan-River Daisy

Brachyscome iberidifolia

Rev 8/03

The dwarf types are well
suited for bedding: the
taller ones are good for
mass effects and cuttings.
The annual varieties are
similar to the biennial
ones. Taller varieties are
for background or screen
planting only. Dwarf types
are now available.
Desirable for colorful
foliage. Often susceptible
to diseases which may kill
The semi-tall and dwarf
sorts are best suited, for
they require no staking.
Well suited for cutting and
bedding. Use rust
resistant strains only.
New varieties are continuous bloomers.
Best in areas with cool
night temperatures.

sun; light,
sandy soil

Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service

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March Crested Coxcomb sun yellow. Suitable for cutting. purple. Grown for foliage. Extremely easy to grow. They are self-feeding after once well established. Perfectly hardy. purple. moist areas. Control insects such as cabbage worm and cabbage looper. Catharanthus rosea B-April. June B-April sun 24-30/61-76 Apr. A-May B-April sun assorted 20-30/51-76 June-Oct. white 36-48/91-1. Excellent for drying. Stands heat. Many new cultivars available. tall borders and backgrounds. orange 10-15/25-38 July-Oct. Rev 8/03 . Heat and drought resistant. Well suited for bedding. Asters are very susceptible to Aster Wilt and Aster Yellows. B-April sun. yellow. white 8-12/20-31 July-Sept. sun yellow 24-36/61-91 June-Aug. A-May B-March Grown for foliage. A-April B-April or March sun. Pot Marigold semi-shade yellow. blue. Excellent for drying. purple 12-20/31-51 July-Sept. red 6-36/15-91 June-Oct.2M. An old-fashioned flowering plant which has been greatly improved by plant breeding. June-Oct. Excellent plant for shady. Flame Nettle Coleus x hybridus shade green to red foliage 12-30/31-76 June-Sept. Callistephus chinensis A-April B-April Ornamental Pepper sun white 10/25 June-Oct. The flowers are borne on long stems and are very suitable for cutting. sun gray foliage purple foliage white. Many cultivars available. make sowings at monthly intervals. orange. orange. Buy seed of wilt resistant varieties. A-April B-May Attractive in large beds. Grown for colorful fruit in black-red. semi-shade assorted 12-15/31-38 June-Oct. will seed them- Brassica oleracea Amethyst Flower Calendula officinalis China Aster Capsicum annuum Madagascar Periwinkle Celosia cristata Plume Celosia Celosia cristata Cornflower Centaurea cyanus Dusty Miller Centaurea gymnocarpa Sweet-sultan Centaurea moschata Feverfew Chrysanthemum parthenium Silver Lace Dusty Miller Chrysanthemum parthenium Spiderflower Cleome hasslerana Consolida ambigua Page 2 of 8 Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Sweet-scented flowers of artistic shape. Browallia speciosa semi-shade blue. A-April. white 30/76 June-Sept. B-April Color is best in cool weather. A-May B-April sun yellow. semi-shade assorted 12-36/31-91 July-Oct. yellow. A free-flowering plant with dark laurel-like foliage. sun pink. A-May B-March sun gray foliage 6-8/15-20 May-Oct. Aromatic. and after they once become established. Extremely easy to grow. excellent for edging in borders and planters. It is well suited for cutting. A-May B-April Coleus. plants will self-sow. A-May B-March A-May B-April A free-flowering plant which is well suited for bedding in shady areas. A-May Calendula. Heat and drought resistant. B-March Rocket Larkspur sun pink. red 6-36/15-91 June-Oct. Plant asters in a new location each year and keep leaf hoppers and aphids under control. red.-Oct.Flowers • HO-80-W Flowering Kale and Flowering Cabbage sun red or white variegation on blue-green foliage 10-12/25 April-Oct. May. If continuous flowering is desired.

orange. purple.8M. Dainty flowers and graygreen foliage make this plant a “must” in your garden. Treasure Flower sun sun white. Several direct sowings can be made. Digitalis purpurea 12/31 July-Oct. purple assorted yellow. red.Flowers • HO-80-W Calliopsis sun. A-May 1 B-April 8-12/20-31 June-Sept. A-May sun assorted 6-36/15-91 June-Sept. pink 10-12/25-31 July-Oct. Very attractive and useful for mass plantings and as a cut flower. pink. semi-shade red. moist soil. which produces long stems and flowers suitable for cutting. A-May B-April 12-24/31-61 July-Oct. yellow. white orange. The flowers may be dried and used in winter bouquets. white white sun yellow Gazania rigens Satin Flower. July-Oct. Gloxinia like flowers. are best suited. The Gypsophilas are quick-blooming. semi-shade sun assorted (reds and yellows) assorted (reds and yellows) 10-24/25-61 July-Oct.5M. They are well suited for background planting. Page 3 of 8 . Good for beds and borders in cool. Large exotic daisy-like blooms for dwarf masses.2M. edging and cutting. A-May B-March 8-12/20-31 July-Sept. 18-60/46-1. lavender. white orange. Early flowering varieties which begin flowering in July and continue until late autumn. short season plants. Seeding dahlias often are uneven and flower poorly. Excellent filler in arrangements. splendid for beds and borders. One of the very best flowering annuals. A-May B-April 24-72/61-1. Should be used only as background or screen plantings. B-March 18-30/46-76 July-Oct. Also a wide try a range of dwarf varieties. B-March sun. They are well suited for bedding and cutting. A plant of easy culture. sun blue 20/51 July-Sept. semi-shade June-July A-April B-March Winter Cape-Marigold sun lavender. white yellow. Remove flowers for continuous bloom. A-May B-April 12-18/31-46 July-Sept. red 24-48/61-1. They are well suited for bedding. A-May Coreopsis tinctoria Common Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus Chinese Forget-MeNot A-May B-April A-May B-April Cynoglossum amabile Dahlia Dahlia pinnata Garden Pink. yellow. July-Aug. red. Many of the new hybrids are of merit. A-May B-April 12/31 July-Sept. Treat as biennial. Clarkia semi-shade Godetia grandiflora Globe Amaranth sun Gomphrena globosa Baby’s Breath Gypsophila elegans Common Sunflower Helianthus annuus Rev 8/03 Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service selves. Rainbow Pink Dianthus chinensis Common Foxglove Dimorphotheca sinuata Poppy sun Eschscholzia californica Indian Blanket sun Gaillardia pulchella Gazania. An old standby which is well suited for cutting. orange red. Grows under exceedingly dry conditions. Flowers of brilliant colors with sweet fragrance. red. A-May B-May sun. A showy plant with cloverlike flower heads.

Old favorite for beds and borders. A very desirable edging plant. Soak seed in water the night before sowing. white. heads downward in a cool place until dry. Excellent bedding plants. May be cut back and potted to bloom in the house during winter. A-May B-April. 12-18/31-46 July-Sept. blue white. red 6-24/15-61 June-Oct. March sun purple.8M. B-April.. Usually freezes to soil level. Sow sweet peas early in deep rich soil. lavender 4-10/10-25 June-Sept. pink. A striking annual plant worthy of more extensive use. A beautiful golden-yellow. June sun white. A-May B-April semi-shade purple. purple. pink. (vine) June-July A-Feb. purple 6-24/15-61 June-Sept. Rev 8/03 . red. A-May 21/53 June-Sept. sun Crape Myrtle sun Lagerstroemia indica Sweet Pea semi-shade Lathyrus odoratus Russian Statice semi-shade Limonium sinuatum Flowering Flax sun white. Highly desirable for small beds. red 4-10/10-25 June-Aug. March A-May B-April Iberis umbellata Garden Balsam Impatiens balsamina Impatiens Sultana. red 20-30/51-76 Aug. A-May B-April 15/38 July-Sept. A-May.5M. pink. Vining plant that can form a temporary dense screen. May tend to go out in summer. Patience Plant Impatiens walleriana Morning Glory Ipomoea spp. This plant may survive the winter in southern Indiana. A-May B-April sun yellow. well-drained. Does best in rich. A-May B-April Lobelia erinus Sweet Alyssum Lobularia maritima Page 4 of 8 Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Helichrysums are ornamental garden plants and the flowers are highly prized for winter bouquets. March 20/51 July-Sept. B-March 60/1. dwarf Ageratum or dwarf forget-me-nots. Flowers may be dried and used in winter bouquets. A successive planting will provide flowers throughout the summer. poppy-like flower which is very well suited for cutting.5M. mixed golden yellow 36-60/ 91-1. Well suited for mass planting and edging. red. lavender. Adds fragrance and beauty to any garden. white 24-28/61-71 July-Sept. Is very showy when associated with blue Lobelia. Flowers for drying should be gathered when partially unfolded and suspended. red. B-April semi-shade white. blue. edging and ribbon bedding. lavender red Linum grandiflorum Edging Lobelia semi-shade blue. purple 12/31 July-Sept. pink. B-April Bracteantha bracteata Common Heliotrope Heliotropium arborescens Rose Mallow Hibiscus moscheutos Goldencup semi-shade Hunnemannia fumariifolia Globe Candytuft semi-shade pink. pink. A-May B-April 72+/1. slightly moist soil. lavender white. white white. July-Oct. They require considerable water. Difficult to transplant unless pot grown. succeeds in any good soil.Flowers • HO-80-W Strawflower sun yellow. red. July-Sept. but produces new growth each season.-Oct. white. Long season of bloom. purple. red.

The enlarged green calyx of this plant may be harvested and used for dried arrangements. red. pink. Flowers open early in the evening. red. B-March an interesting subject in any garden. They are also free of disease. several color cultivars in trade. purplered. yellow. Suitable for large bedding. If overwintering. blue. red white. A-May Grow in cool. white blue. White flowers emit sweet perfume. sun. A-May B-March Molucella laevis Forget-Me-Not Nicotiana alata Blue Cup Flower Nierembergia hippomanica Love-in-a-mist sun Nigella damascena Ornamental Basil Ocimum basilicum Corn Poppy Papaver rhoeas Penstemon gloxinoides Fountain Grass Pennisetum setaceum Rev 8/03 sun Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service A-Sept.2M. B-March Penstemon sun white. July-Sept. B-March 18/46 July-Oct. Excellent grass. purple pink. Wonderful for edgings or in rock gardens. white 6-12/15-31 May-Aug. high organic matter. A-April 40/1M. shaded location. pink. A biennial which will produce a late summer bloom as an annual. B-April C-March Four-O’clock sun red. Variety ‘Dark Opal’ has attractive purple leaves. pink. Gloxinia-like blooms on tall spikes. orange. Myosotis sylvantica Flowering Tobacco sun white. Monkey Flower Mimulus x hybridus shade 12-24/31-61 June-Aug.Flowers • HO-80-W Honesty sun red-purple. B-April Unusual seed pod for dried arrangements. Seed propagated types are more rugged for outdoor use. semi-shade yellow. it will fill in around spring flowering bulbs. yellow. blue. A-May B-March. Very desirable for cutting. violet. July-Sept. A-May sun creamy white 18/46 July-Sept. They dislike transplanting. A-May B-April semi-shade 6-18/15-46 June-Sept. Very pleasant fragrance. It is Lunaria annua Annual flowering Lupine Lupinus polyphyllus Unicorn Plant Martynia proboscidea Mirabilis jalapa The flowers are inconsequential. Effective in pots or as cut flowers. red. but the round flat seed pods (a silvery disc) are useful in winter arrangements. Very good for always Bells-of-Ireland sun white 24-36/61-91 July-Sept. Free flowering annual plants. graceful spikes. Successive sowings may be made to provide continuous flowering. A-May sun lavender. purple. rose white. white pink. Page 5 of 8 . pea-shaped flowers. Sow seed early where they are to flower. April sun assorted 12-20/31-51 June-July A-April B-May Bedding Geranium Pelargonium x hortorum sun 12-24/31-61 May-Sept. pink purple 24-48/61-1. blue. free-flowering plant with long stems. green 24-36/61-91 July-Oct. Flowers are relatively inconspicuous. white 24-36/61-91 July A-May semi-shade assorted 24/61 July-Sept. white 24/61 July-Oct. white 15/38 May-Oct. with long. A compact. Useless as a cut flower. An old-fashioned flower or bushy habit.

Rev 8/03 . Bloom freely during late summer and fall. An aristocrat of the annual flower garden if well grown. Salvia plants are commonly used for bedding. as they make ideal ground covers. One of the easiest annuals to grow. If faded flowers are removed. May-Oct. Single. Well suited for covering steep banks. red. Generally. A very desirable flower for cutting. white. white scarlet. A-May sun. Excellent for large screen plantings. semi-shade assorted 24/61 July-Oct. Excellent for edging in borders and planters. pink 24-36/61-91 July-Oct. Long season of bloom. Will thrive well in the poorest of soil and under dry conditions. Mixed colors are very pleasing. Self-sow profusely. white. Dwarf varieties are available. Cultivar ‘Diamond’ is most often planted selection. Growth habit of this plant is a spreading vine.1M. blue foliage 24-84/61-2. One of the most satisfactory and best keeping annual flowers with a long season of bloom. the earlier they will bloom. flowering varieties are gennerally considered best for bedding purposes. Free-flowering plants which are attractive in borders and small beds. yellow. Portulaca grandiflora A-May B-April Castor Bean sun green. Long season of bloom. semi-shade assorted 12-18/31-46 June-Oct. A-May B-April Annual Phlox sun. The flowers are of no value for cutting. Beans are poisonous. Very well suited for bedding and edging. the shorter the variety. semi-shade yellow 8/20 June-Oct. A-May B-March Physalis alkekengi Moss Rose Ricinus communis Cone Flower Rudbeckia hirta Painted Tongue B-April Salpiglossis sinuata Mealy-Cup Sage Salvia farinacea Scarlet Sage sun Salvia splendens Creeping Zinnia Sanvitalia procumbens Sweet Scabious Scabiosa atropurpurea Dusty Miller ’Diamond’ Senecio cineraria Page 6 of 8 Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service A-May B-March April A-May B-April March One of the most outstanding bedding and edging plants. the plants will continue to flower throughout the summer. A-May B-April sun. 18-30/46-76 Aug. Requires a rich soil which is well prepared. A-May sun yellow 24/61 June-Sept. semi-shade assorted (no blue) 6-15/15-38 July-Sept. Phlox drummondii A-May B-April Chinese Lantern sun red 24-61 Aug. sun. The plants are prostrate in habit and produce flowers much like tiny Zinnias. A-May B-April semi-shade assorted 24/61 sun blue.Flowers • HO-80-W Common Garden Petunia Petunia x hybrida sun. semi-shade red.-Oct. Very useful for bedding. purple.-Sept. rose 6/15 June-Sept. Red papery capsule is valued for use in dried arrangements. A-May B-April sun gray foliage 24/61 May-Oct. but for best results they should only be used in limited amounts.

A-May B-April sun pink 18/46 July-Sept. window boxes and rock gardens. Some varieties are well suited as cut flowers. Verbenas are freeflowering plants which are well suited for bedding and edging work. Hybrids are more vigorous. Fine for beds. red 48/1. B-February semi-shade assorted 10/25 May-Aug. A-May B-April A-May semi-shade blue. red. The dwarf flowering sorts are best suited for edging and cut flowers. March Viola semi-shade blue. A-May C-March semi-shade blue 24/61 July-Sept. Tiny flowers on stalks set small red ‘jewel-like’ seed. pots. B-March C-Aug. sun orange-red. A-May B-April sun yellow 24/61 July-Oct. A-May semi-shade yellow. Sow seed in hotbed in early spring and transplant to garden in May.2M. purple 12/31 July-Sept. white 12/31 July-Oct. dahlia-like flowers. red. coarse dissected foliage. readily grown from seed. Marigolds afford a wealth of color in yellow. 12-40/31-1M. bronze 6-12/15-31 June-Oct. Page 7 of 8 . Resembles Queen Ann’s Lace which is common along roadsides. The best plants are obtained by planting seed in a well prepared cold frame in Aug. 1 foot or less. A twining vine. sun orange. orange 24/61 Apr. A-May B-April. compact habit. Good for accent plants. apricot 6/15 June-Oct. A-May Garden Verbena Verbena x hybrida sun. July-Sept. gold. New hybrids are heat tolerant. and transplanting in special prepared beds in early spring. Easy to grow and free of diseases and pests. semi-shade blue.-Oct. July-Oct. ‘Pumila’ group includes various cultivars of low dwarf. Climbing varieties may be trellised. Performs best in cool temperatures and moist soil. Stately plant with single. orange. Dissected foliage. One of the most useful and colorful of bedding plants. B-March sun orange Vine July-Sept. yellow. borders. red 12/31 July-Oct. Tall Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus Viola cornuta Garden Pansy Viola x wittrockiana Rev 8/03 Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Grown for long.Flowers • HO-80-W Dusty Miller sun gray foliage white flowers yellow. orange and bronze. Good for cutting. Sececio viva-viva African Marigold American Marigold sun A-May B-March A-May B-April Tagetes erecta French Marigold Tagetes patula Signet Marigold Tagetes tenuifolia Jewels of Opar Talinum paniculatum Orange Lantern Vine Thunbergia gregorii Mexico Sunflower Tithonia rotundifolia Wishbone Flower Bluewings Torenia fournieri Blue Lace Flower Trachymene coerulea Garden Nasturtium. Excellent for backgrounds or hedges. The taller forms are well suited for mass effects and cuttings.

S. Attractive multicolored flowers. B-Sow seed indoors or in hotbeds and transplant to garden. A-May B-April. Page 8 of 8 Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Rev 8/03 . Director. West Lafayette. The Cooperative Extension Service of Purdue University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. IN. Petritz. state of Indiana. 1914. Many new hybrids offer a wide selection in flower type and color.C. Department of Agriculture cooperating. consult your local office of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. For more information on the subject discussed in this publication. A-Sow seed directly in bed. mahogany 12-18/31-46 June-Oct. June-Oct. Purdue University. Cooperative Extension work in Agriculture and Home Economics. A-May B-March. The small flowering types are especially well suited.Flowers • HO-80-W Common Zinnia sun assorted 6-40/15-1M. and plant height. March sun yellow. and U. border or in rows where they are to flower. gold. April Zinnia elegans Mexican Zinnia Spreading Zinnia Zinnia haageana *Note: One of the outstanding bedding and cut-flowers. Plants are mildew resistant. Issued in furtherance of the acts of May 8 and June 30. D. C-Sow seed in coldframe and transplant to garden.