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Alphabetical List of Perennial Flowers: Perennial Flowers I-L

This is the third installment in the alphabetical list of perennial flowers. This list is comprised of perennial flowers whose names begin with the letters I through L. There are many thousands of perennial flower cultivars, so this post will only list the most common species, and often an entire genus will be described as if it were a single species, for the sake of simplicity and brevity.

For a more detailed analysis of a particular type of flower, stay tuned for future articles which will dissect some of these species in depth. If you know of any perennial flowers I didn't mention, leave a comment and I will add it to the list.

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Perennial Flowers: I

Iberis - Iberis is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which makes it a cousin to broccoli and cabbage. Commonly called the "Candytuft" flower, these thrive in rock gardens and areas of partial shade to full sun. This perennial was used in herbal medicine for the treatment of gout and arthritis.

Iceland Poppy - This Poppy grows lovely white or yellow blooms, though there are cultivars which produce red or pink flowers as well. The Iceland Poppy is a hardy perennial which grows in the cold, harsh climate of Northern Europe; nevertheless, cold temperatures may transform this perennial flower into a biennial.

Ice Plant - The Ice Plant grows succulent foliage with large pink or yellow flowers, which somewhat resemble dandelions. Outside of its native South Africa, the Ice Plant is very invasive and can cover entire hillsides if left unchecked.

Ilex - More commonly known as the Holly in North America, Ilex describes an entire genus comprised of over 500 species. Ilex is widespread around the world both commercially, as a domestically-native plant, or as an invasive species. Some varieties are grown for decoration or for ornamental use, while others, such as Yerba Mate, are grown to make tea.

Impatiens - Impatiens describes a genus comprised of over 1000 species. There are many perennial varieties of Impatiens, which mostly grow in mild climates, although there are also tropical varieties which can be perennial if kept indoors. With flowers available in all colors, they are a popular choice in flower gardens. Impatiens are also used in traditional and modern medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Indigo Plant - Flowers of the Indigo plant can be white, red or pink, and grow in clusters of alternating nodules along a stem, called Racemes. Indigo is used to make blue dye, though this herbaceous perennial is also used medicinally by certain peoples.

Ipheon - This ornamental plant, better known as the Starflower in the United States, is a native of South America, from Argentina, the Southern border of Brazil and Uruguay. The flower petals are white or light blue and have yellow florets at the centers of the blooms, which are star-shaped and generally made up of six lobes.

Ipomoea - This term describes the genus which is made up of Moonflowers, Morning Glories and Sweet Potatoes (which are not a nightshade like potatoes, but a morning glory with edible tubers). There are over 500 species and many thousands of cultivars in this genus, with flowers which range in size from large to small. They are generally available in every color, and there are also some multicolored species.

Iris Flower - There are 300 species of Iris. Iris have stunningly-beautiful flowers which grow from a rhizome. An Iris' "petals" are called Falls. The Falls of an Iris can be multi-colored, variegated, veiny, and the colors can be contrasting to one another.


Ixia - Ixia is a member of the Lily family. These beauties grow long green leaves and long stems which are covered in clusters of star-shaped flowers. Ixia can grow yellow, white, blue, red, pink or purple flowers, with various shades of cream and orange also available.

Ixora - With over 562 species, Ixora comes in every color of the rainbow. Ixora has clusters of tiny, four-petaled flowers which grow in short mounds atop a mass of green, leathery foliage. Ixora flowers year-round in Tropical climates and is evergreen in sub-tropical regions.

Perennial Flowers: J

Jaborosa Plant - A nightshade from the mountains of Peru and Argentina, Jaborosa is a perennial with white, pointed, five-petaled flowers. The flowers are poisonous and inhibit the growth of competing plants at the root zone. Furthermore, toxic compounds found in Jaborosa prevent it from being eaten by various insects.

Jacob’s Ladder - Named for its foliage which grows long leaflets along a stem, Jacob's ladder grows bell-shaped flowers in blue, white and yellow, and are best cultivated in an area with partial shade and indirect sun.

Jasmine - There are over 200 species of Jasmine. Jasmine is generally cultivated for it's uniquely scented flowers, which are fragrant enough to fill a garden with its delicious aroma. Jasmines grow delicate white flowers with between four and nine petals. This perennial flower is also used as a flavoring agent in Jasmine Tea, where it's dried and added to a base of tea leaves.


Jerusalem Sage - Jerusalem Sage is an aromatic shrub with matte yellow flowers that is native to the Mediterranean. It is not used like culinary sage but is cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens. The tubular flowers are small, hairy and unusually shaped, but large clusters of them grow together in stunning beauty on a shrub that grows up to five feet in diameter.

Jonquil - This perennial is a member of the Daisy family. Jonquil grows yellow or white flowers with five or six rounded petals, which are both beautiful and fragrant. Jonquil is native to the Mediterranean.

Perennial Flowers: K

Kaffir Lily - Kaffir Lilies have six ovate petals, which are generally crimson-colored, though white and pink variants can also be observed. A member of the Iris family, Kaffir Lilies are also known as River Lilies or "Crimson Flags."

Kangaroo Paw - Noted for their ability to attract birds and insects, the Kangaroo Paw is named for its fuzzy red and green flowers with yellow "claws" which emerge from their ends, somewhat reminiscent of a Kangaroo's paw. This flower is, as you might have guessed, indigenous to Australia.

Kniphofia - Kniphofia are real show stoppers. Tall, spike-like stems grow high above its foliage, which are crowned by clusters of tubular flowers, which may be many shades of yellow, red or pink. The Kniphofia resembles a flaming torch, thus it gets the nickname "Torch Lily."


Kolkwitzia - Kolkwitzia is also known as the Beauty Bush. It is a deciduous shrub which grows long, weeping branches that can extend beyond eight feet in height. Its small pink flowers grow in pairs all along the arching branches, covering much of this shrub in delicate color during the late Spring.

Perennial Flowers: L

Lady’s Slipper Orchid - Lady's Slippers grow slipper-shaped "pouches" which the plant uses to trap insects and forces the insects to pollinate it in order to escape. This Orchid sub-species can grow in all colors and variegated patterns, though all cultivars of this variety share the "pouch" trait.

Lantana - There are over 150 species of Lantana, which are often described as shrub verbenas. Lantanas are aromatic and grow in a mixture of all colors. The tiny flowers cluster together to form small inflorescences of two-toned, brightly colored flowers.


Lavatera - This herbaceous perennial can grow to form a large shrub covered in large white or pink flowers with five ovate or rounded petals. Lavatera's unique blooms are some of the most strikingly colored, brightest-pink flowers of any perennial.

Lavender - There are 47 different species of Lavandula. Lavender is an herbaceous perennial, prized for its aromatic flowers which are used in cooking, medicine, dried arrangements, and in the production of essential oils. Lavender grows many small whorls of florets which are various shades of lavender in color, with some species leaning toward silver and other cultivars leaning toward blue.

Lechenaultia - These are unusual perennials. The foliage is needle-like and the flowers grow very close to the ground. The flowers are brightly colored and can be yellow, blue, purple or red.

Lemon Balm - Lemon balm is a member of the mint family whose foliage is valued in traditional and alternative medicine. Lemon balm grows small white to purple flowers along each internode, which are four-lobed and tubular in shape.

Leucanthemum - These are perennial daisies whose stem can grow over eight feet in height. Leucanthemum's 13-34 white florets surround a cluster of yellow disc florets in the center. This gigantic daisy fades to pink as it ages.

Lilac - Lilacs are trees which produce showy, colorful clusters of flowers in the spring. The flowers may be purple, white, cream, yellow or red in color, and are heavily perfumed. The wood of this tree is used in arts and crafts and general woodworking.

Lily - True Lilies are herbaceous perennials which all grow from bulbs and all have large, showy flowers. Lilies grow all over the world and grow in every color and variegated pattern. There are countless cultivars. Lilies are an important symbolic flower in many cultures, and have been cultivated for their showy blossoming flowers for centuries.

Lily of the Valley - This herbaceous perennial is not a true Lily. Lily of the Valley is characterized by its long stem, along which grow many bell-shaped, small white to pink flowers with six petals each. Lily of the Valley is poisonous, despite its benign appearance.

Linaria Japonica - A member of the plantain family, Linaria Japonica is native to Japan. These low-growers are light yellow in color and grow in small clusters of 3-6 flowers along a vining branch on the ground.

Lobelia - There are several species of Lobelia, and Lobelia can be in any shade of blue, yellow, red or pink. Lobelia is used in herbal medicine to treat the lungs and to help smokers reduce their dependency on nicotine-containing products. These medicinal perennial flowers are also used to help thin mucus in the lungs, which aids in productive coughing.

Lonicera Heckrottii - Lonicera Heckrottii is a long-blooming cultivar of Honeysuckle, which also has showy red or pink flowers. Like other honeysuckle varieties, this is a fragrant flower that is also attractive to bees and other pollinators.

Lotus - The lotus is most obviously distinguished from other perennial flowers in that it grows in the water. Lotus flowers will raise from the water each morning between the large, pad-like leaves that float on the surface. The flowers are large and striking, and bloom all day before sinking again in the evening. A Lotus flower can live for over a thousand years.

Lunaria Redviva - Lunaria Redviva is also known as Honesty. Perennial Honesty grows in damp wooded conditions in its native Europe. It is characterized by its clusters of four-petaled white flowers above serrated, oval leaves.

To continue reading this list of perennial flowers, visit the following pages:
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