37 Types Of Purple Flowers (With Photos)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

When I first got into botany, I was shocked at how many flowers are purple. It seems like purple is just the go-to color for most wildflowers, not to mention many herbs that we take for granted. Are you a fan of the color purple? Well, we have a bunch of types of purple flowers you can look at in this article.

The most recognizable types of purple flowers are lavender, lilacs, violets, violas, and pansies. However, almost any type of popular flowering plant can be purple, including roses, tulips, geraniums, and gladioluses.

Alright, enough with the hemming and hawing. It’s time to get our purple on.

Types Of Purple Flowers

Purple is a color that seems to go with all floral arrangements. Wouldn’t you want to see one of these gorgeous flowers in your bouquet?

1. Violets

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You can’t get more purple-y than having a bunch of violets in your hand. This flower remains one of the most popular in the world as far as purple flowers go. Violets are actually a fairly massive family of flowers that include several other major genera of flowers…many of which are purple.

The two most common types of violets are African violets as well as common wild violets. These are great for people who want to have a pop of color. Some types of violets are also edible, which means that you can get them covered in sugar for a nice cake topping.

2. Lavender

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Lavender is the other major flower that is named after its color. Or vice versa. It’s hard to tell. Either way, lavender is an amazing group of plants. Most people tend to love these because they can repel fleas, ticks, and other pests in your garden. Or, it could be because they have an amazing fragrance that is used regularly in aromatherapy.

Like violets, lavender is technically edible. You can often find lavender included as an herbal additive in sodas, cakes, and cookies. This is a particularly popular additive in France, where it’s a part of the mix known as herbes de Provence.

3. Lilac

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Lilacs are the third most common flower type associated with the color purple. They’re flowering trees, shrubs, and plants that have tall cones of tons of tiny purple flowers. These flowers, much like the other three so far, are highly fragrant. In fact, they are cornerstones of the perfume industry because of their scent.

Most members of the lilac family tend to do best in high sun and temperate environments. However, you can occasionally find one that can deal with partial shade.

4. Violas

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Violas are in the same family as violets, and surprise! They are purple too. (I know, kind of insane, right?) In a lot of ways, they are almost identical in terms of flowering. They can do well in sun to partial shade, and have a very mild fragrance that people like.

There are over 550 different types of violas in the world, with some plant breeders going to the extra mile to ensure that there are more. Yep! People sure love breeding these beautiful posies. It makes sense, since they look amazing on cakes and in garden layouts.

5. Pansies

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Pansies are yet another cousin to violets and violas. They all belong to the same family, and yep, they look strikingly similar to violas on more than one way. However, there are a couple of differences that make them a little different. These tend to have multiple colors with small stripes near the center of the flowers.

If you like purple flowers, but also want to have other colors alongside them, they’re worth a look. They are simply gorgeous and are easy enough to grow, even if you don’t have a green thumb.

6. Allium

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Allium is a flower genus that’s known for being pungent, and not in a perfume-y way. This is the family of flowering plants that include garlic, scallions, and other oniony items. They also have flowering bulbs called alliums which don’t involve that much of of a heavy odor.

Most of this genus have cute “puff balls” of miniature flowers that are all colored purple. They can range from really tiny to noticeably large. If you have a sensitive nose, avoid them as they smell like raw onion. If you have pests, though? You might find that they get repelled by the scent.

7. Verbena

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Don’t ask me why, but I always felt like verbena would just be a giant leafy green because of the way the name sounded. But, it’s not. It’s a gorgeous flowering plant that boasts a spa-like, herbal scent with gorgeous, deep purple blossoms. They tend to be fairly popular among perfume and luxury candle designers for their aroma.

Of course, you don’t have to be a perfume house to approve of these flowers. They are also fairly popular in bouquets as well as in dried forms.

8. Irises

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Irises of all kinds have the potential to be purple…and blue, and pink, and white. Actually, they can be almost any color. This family of flowers is ideal for gardeners who love a tropical look but want to have a flower that can withstand cold. They love full sun and are just easy to care for.

If you want to get purple irises, I’d suggest a type like “Stairway to Heaven” irises. Florentine Silk Bearded Iris is going to be another good option, if you want to have a more rose-based purple in your garden. Regardless, you can always rely on irises to add a touch of class to your garden.

9. Tulips

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Tulips are another flower that’s famous for having a wide range of color options, with purple being one of the top choices. Like irises, the type of tulip that you get will determine the color and appearance of the flower. There are several hundred different types, so it’s going to be easy to find one with the perfect shade of purple for you.

Some of the prettier (and more popular) purple tulip varietals include Purple Prince, Flaming Flag Purple, and Negrita tulips. Of course, it’s worth noting that some of these are rarer and more demanding than others.

10. Clematis

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If you are a fan of tiny purple flowers that look exotic but can handle surprisingly cold climates, you’re going to love the Clematis genus of plants. Clematis is a name that describes around 300 different species of flowers, all of which are technically related to buttercups.

This climbing plant genus can grow up to 30 feet high and will be able to bloom year after year. They adore full sun but can take a while to grow to full maturity. These can have deep purple, light purple, or white flowers.

11. Bellflowers

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Bellflowers are a group of flowers that got their name from the fact that they are shaped like elegant little bells. As a favorite among gardeners and a natural wildflower, these pretty purple flowers never really seem to go out of style.n In terms of ease of gardening goes, you can’t get better than this group.

Most people have seen bellflowers in that classic deep purple hue, however, that’s not the only color they can have. This is also a plant that can come with delicate white flowers, too.

12. Salvia

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Salvia is a flowering plant genus that carries a bit of a stigma with it, primarily because certain species are used as a smokable drug. However, these flowers aren’t all bad. In fact, many of the other species are used in herbal remedies as well as high-end bouquets.

In a lot of ways, salvia flowers tend to look similar to lavender—at least from afar. If you get close to them, though, you’ll notice they don’t have much of a fragrance. If you want these in your garden, be careful. Salvia spreads very fast, and in many cases, can become a somewhat invasive weed.

13. Hyacinths

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Hyacinths are those tall potted plants that have cones of medium-sized flowers like the ones above. These beautiful flowers are classic spring and summer picks, though most types tend to bloom earlier on in the spring. If you’ve ever walked through a Whole Foods at springtime, you’ve probably seen pots of this plant lining the entryway.

Like many other spring plants, hyacinths are often (but not always) purple and they have an incredibly powerful fragrance that can fill up a whole room. They love sun and partial shade, too. Oh, and if you want to stick to purple? Pick out wild hyacinths or standard hyacinths.

14. Butterrfly Bushes

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Butterfly bushes sound a lot like what you would expect them to be. These are gorgeous, flowering shrubs that have cones of small purple flowers with a gentle fragrance. The reason they’re called butterfly bushes should be pretty easy to see: they attract butterflies insanely well.

This is a classic wildflowering bush in Sichuan province, China. When it came over to the West, it became known as summer lilac in many circles. Though purple is the default color of this bush, you can also find it in orange and pink.

15. Sweet Pea

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Sweet pea is one of the many members of the pea plant family, but that doesn’t mean you should eat the pods that come from this flowering beauty. This is one of the few pea plants that’s actually poisonous and non-edible. Even so, it’s a very beautiful climbing flower that people adore having in their gardens.

This is a great plant to choose if you want to have a deeply fragrant pathway in your garden. However, we don’t suggest this if you have kids who tend to put things in their mouths.

16. Moonflowers

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Moonflowers are very unique when it comes to their blooming style. At first glance, these flowers look and behave almost exactly like morning glories. This makes sense, since they are very close relatives. However, there’s a major difference when it comes to blooming times.

Moonflowers are famous for blooming at night, near sunset. Ergo, they only bloom under the light of the moon. These can be both white and purple, though purple is the more common color in nature. (What’s up with that? Did you notice how many wildflowers are purple?!)

17. Morning Glories

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So, we might as well talk about the morning glory family since we discussed moonflowers. Morning glories are the most common climbing flower that people recognize. Like moonflowers, they have pretty bell-shaped flowers that unfurl beautifully. They open up right as the morning sun rises and will stay open during the day.

Like moonflowers, morning glories are a family of plants that can take a number of different colors. The most common are pinkish purple and purple-blue. However, it’s possible to see pink flowers and white flowers, too. These flowers tend to grow in most parts of the country, so they’re fairly hardy.

18. Zinnia

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Zinnias offer up a lot of “zing” for your garden, primarily because this flower genus is home to hundreds of different blooms. They are a relative of the daisy family, and that means that they tend to look like daisies that were painted. Purple is one of the many colors that you might find in a patch of zinnias.

Because they can live in both warm and cold areas, they are found throughout the US. They’re easy to grow, and also make for beautiful casual use flower bouquets. If you like flowers that have a very daisy-like look, you are going to find these to be your favorite type of purple flowers.

19. Rhododendron

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Rhododendrons are flowering bushes (or trees) that are members of the heath family. Since this is a particularly large genus of flowers with over 1,000 different species, you have a huge variety of options here. Most rhododendrons are used as decorative bushes and shrubs, though you can occasionally find a bonsai tree with them.

These plants are native to Central Asia, with many forests in Nepal and China boasting wild rhododendrons. These are gorgeous flowers that offer a lot of color. While you can occasionally find species that have pink or peachy blossoms, most are some shade of purple.

20. Petunias

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Petunias are one of the more popular options for beginner gardens, and it’s easy to see why. They are fairly easy to grow, offer a delicate floral burst of color, and don’t require too much fertilizer, either. They tend to grow somewhat low to the ground, which is why they are often used in layouts that are somewhat layered in appearance.

Because there are a lot of different species and cultivars of petunia, you have to make sure that you pick the right type for you. There are literally dozens of different shades of purple that you can choose from. Sadly, their stems don’t always work well for bouquets since they can be too short.

21. Heliotrope

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Heliotrope is a massive genus of flowers that adore the sun, often to the point that they almost exclusively grow in hyper-sunny areas. Known for being incredibly heavily scented, heliotropes are a clear choice for people who want to get hit with a strong punch of perfume every time they open the door.

While heliotropes are great for bouquets, we want to point something out about these flowers. They may look good, but they are not for everyone. Heliotropes are very poisonous for both dogs and cats. So pet owners? Beware, and try to get another flower.

22. Foxgloves

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Foxgloves are famously purple, purple-pink, pink, and white. They are favorites of bees and butterflies, and are pretty easy to spot. All you have to do is look for long plant stalks and bell-like flowers that would work perfectly well as little caps for your fingers.

Along with being classic flower additions for both bouquets and gardens, these flowers have an added perk. They are known as “magical plants” among Wiccans, and are also said to attract faeries. Don’t eat them though! They are quite poisonous.

23. Cat Mint

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Cat mint is one of the better options for pet owners to consider, if they’re in the market for types of purple flowers that are pet-friendly. As the name suggests, cats love this petite flower. They use it as a way to calm down and also improve digestion. This is typically a wildflower.

As the name suggests, cat mint has a very minty aroma that almost has an undertone of lavender. It’s a great pick for gardens that need low coverage and cat-friendly plants. However, they are almost impossible to include in bouquets because they are so petite.

24. Gladiolus

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Gladiolus is both the Latin term for “sword” and the name of a genus of tropical flowers that are famous for their beauty. These are flowering plants that have a stream of large blossoms that shoot up from the ground in long stalks. They are truly massive flowers, with some species capable of reaching up to six feet tall.

Getting a bouquet of gladioluses is a great way to add drama to your home, in the best way possible. With that said, they tend to prefer hot weather and humid soil. They have sword-like foliage, which is why they presumably got their names. Some are purple, others are white, pink, red, or orange. Take your pick.

25. Geraniums

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Geraniums are a massive family of flowers that range from the annual to the perennial, and can come in virtually any color in the rainbow. While they can be almost every color, the truth is that purple is their go-to in nature. If you want to see a beautiful pick for these, check out perennial geranium species.

This genus is a remarkably hardy family that’s easy enough for beginners to grow, but pretty enough to work well in advanced gardens again. They are great for people who want to have a little color but don’t want to go for classic tulips or roses.

26. Fuchsia

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Fuchsia is both the name of a color and one of the more exotic types of purple flowers you can see in gardens. These are a small genus of flowering plants that tend to have pinkish-purple blossoms. Most flowers in this genus are a bright “Barbie pink” type of color. The purple here tends to be more of an accent.

With that said, some people also see fucshia as a pinkish color. The writer of this article occasionally has a hard time telling colors, so I’ll let you figure out what they’re like.

27. Columbine

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Columbine is one of the more popular perennial flowers that you can find in temperate regions throughout the United States. Honestly? They’re gorgeous and look like a mix between clematis, orchids, and daisies. They’re most commonly recognized for their spurred petals and almost all of them have a pop of purple.

This is a great pick for people who want something that looks exotic but is actually pretty native to your region. Columbine originally was discovered throughout the Northern Hemisphere, as a meadow wildflower. It’s nice to know it’s not just a school name, right?

28. Monkshood + Wolfsbane

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Monkshood looks a lot like foxglove. The same can be said about wolfsbane, and since they are basically in the same family, I decided to make this entry a twofer. I personally have a hard time distinguishing the two. They happen to be loosely related to foxglove. These flowers are notorious among Wiccan users because they are tied to magic.

Both monkshood and wolfsbane are said to be protective against negative spirits, just by being planted in a garden. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re good for everyone. They are both extremely poisonous towards pets and peopel alike. Eating them can kill you, so don’t plant these in gardens that kids like to play in.

29. Crocus

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Crocus is one of the most recognizable types of purple flowers you’ll see in very early spring. They are some of the first flowers to push through the snow when spring starts to kick in. Spring crocuses are wildflowers that often grow in climates near narcisscus.

These petite petaled beauties are the most popular option for small gardens or for people who want to add some wildflowers to their lawns. With that said, they work well as potted plants because they never grow beyond six inches in height. Bouquets, of course, don’t really jive with that petite height.

30. Lupines

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The term “lupine” refers to well over 190 different species of tall wildflowers that look remarkably similar to foxglove and catmint. Unlike foxglove and catmint, this flower family became a major darling of plant breeders, which is why they’ve been bred in almost every color. Purple, though, is still the most popular color for lupine species.

Unlike the vast majority of purple flowers on this list, lupines tend to do better in cooler temperatures. While they need to be planted in cold areas, don’t be fooled. They still need moisture and humidity too. This is why they tend to work well in areas like Seattle.

31. Orchids

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The genus Orchidaceae is one of the largest flower genera in the world, and part of that is due to the sheer amount of cultivation that people have done with them. Originally, orchids grew on trees in tropical forests throughout the world. There are over 1,000 different types and many of them are entirely purple or at least streaked in purple.

Orchids are edible and have amazing perfumes associated with them. If you are willing to get up to the challenge of trying to cultivate them, by all means, do. However, we want to point out that these are pretty difficult to grow and that you will need to give them extra love.

32. China Aster

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The entire Aster genus is one of the largest families of flowers that you can find, and they’re mostly known for being daisy-like. They have starburst-looking radial flowers that have a very “spring” look. Chinese Asters are some of the most popular types of aster in the world, and yes, they come in a beautiful range of purple hues.

Chinese Asters are great if you want to grow some flowers in a cool climate, or if you want to have a bouquet of daisy-like flowers with a punch of purple. You can always get a good flower bunch together with them. Oh, and they don’t have much of a scent.

33. Carnations

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Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat since this is a list about types of purple flowers, but I’m going to stay at it because it’s worth mentioning. Carnations are one of the largest families of decorative, bouquet-ready flowers regularly sold in florist shops.

Though purple is not the most common color, they still do exist. Most purple carnations are more of a crimson than anything else. Even so, they’re a good (albeit rare-ish) choice for people who want to add a violet touch to bouquets. Oh, and they’re easier to grow than roses. So, that’s a bonus.

34. Lavender Roses

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Lavender roses are not lavender, but they are roses. This is the nickname given to an entire category of roses (both wild and cultivated) that are purple in color. Sometimes, you might also hear them called “amethyst roses,” or just plain purple roses. They are popular and are often seen as an exotic take on roses.

Despite them being found in the wild from time to time, they’re often assumed to all be dyed. Not true! Oh, and if you want to give your sweetie a gift, purple roses are where it’s at. They stand for elegant love, mystical love, and lasting love. So, despite them not being red, they still have that romance-filled vibe.

35. Cosmos

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Cosmos are not just a delicious drink. They are also a family of flowers that are famous for long (but brittle) stalks. They look like a more delicate version of daisies, and honestly, it’s a good way to describe them. They are pretty gorgeous and are most commonly pink, pinkish purple, white, or a light lilac color.

If you want to make sure that your cosmos stay looking fresh, make sure to plant them against a wall they can lean on. Otherwise, they may fall over due to the weak nature of their stalks. Due to their sensitivities, they are best for people who have a little bit of experience in the world of gardening.

36. Lotuses

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There are few flowers that you’ll ever hear of that grow well in water, but that’s exactly what water lotuses are all about. Often considered to be one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, lotuses are famous for both their unique scent and their striking petal layouts.

These are difficult to find in gardens, unless you have an actual pond and live in an area they’re okay with. Even so, if you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by lotuses, I gotta envy you. They’re truly beautiful flowers and earned their association with longevity and good luck.

37. Santa Rita Prickly Pear

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If you live in a hot, arid area like Las Vegas, then you probably won’t be able to grow most types of purple flowers on this list. That’s why I decided to add one of the nicest flowering cacti to this list—so that you can find a flower that ads that purple power you want to your garden without having to terraform.

One of the best choices for people who want to have purple flowers in the desert is the Santa Rita Prickly Pear. It’s a fruit-bearing cactus with flowers that are a striking pinkish-purple. There are a lot of areas that make this pear cactus an easy grow, so if you are looking for a quick and easy solution, it’s an amazing pick.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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