A List of Common Flowers

Gardening is a popular pastime for Americans, and depending on the region of the United States that you live in, there are a variety of plants and flowers that thrive particularly well in that area. Still, regardless of geography, there are a number of flowers that are beloved and popular all across the country because of their beauty and fragrance.

A porch with colorful flowers
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A List of Common Flowers

What is the Most Popular Type of Flower?

The most popular type of flower in the entire world is the rose. Renowned and adored for its fragrance and beauty, there are over 150 species of different roses in the world. Roses come in colors such as red, pink, peach, white and yellow. There are even specific roses that have been bred to honor particular individuals. Other popular flowers the world over are tulips, chrysanthemums, lilies, poinsettias and narcissus.

Certain flowers are popular in certain parts of the world, either because of their proliferation, rarity or relationship to the cultural traits of the region. Tulips are very popular in Holland and grow wildly there. In fact, they were so popular in Holland during the 1930s that prices got out of control and caused a small economic crash when prices finally normalized. At their peak, they could fetch hundreds of dollars for a single bulb.

Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas because they're so prominent in that state. Succulent plants like cactus, jade and hemp are popular in the southwest, and although they're not technically flowers, they're often treated as such.

Orchids are unique plants that have provoked a fascination because of their strange beauty and mystery. It's an exotic flower with a variety of different species, each of which generally has a tall stem and a large, dramatic blossom at the top that sits at an angle as if facing a person rather than blooming off the top of the stem like so many other flowers do.

What Are the Different Kinds of Flowers?

There are more than 400,000 plant species spread all across the world. While many of these plants do not technically flower or produce blossoms that are mostly associated with flowers, they're each compelling in their own way. Many flowers grow naturally in the wild in areas where they thrive due to the climate. Other flowers are planted by gardeners or landscapers and maintained carefully to create the climate that most allows them the chance to thrive.

There are more than 120 different flower families. Families are made up of groups of flowers that, even if they don't look alike, are classified in the same family according to the classification of plants and animals developed by Carl Linnaeus. He was a Swedish botanist who developed both the system of classification and the nomenclature for discussing plants.

Common Flower Families in North America

There are many common wildflower families in North America. The continent's diverse and varied topography and climate mean that a whole host of flowers can grow while being served by the different weather, soil and moisture conditions in different regions. Plants that grow in New Mexico, for example, couldn't exist in Maine, and vice versa.

The acanthus family of flowers is very similar to the snapdragon family but with several important differences. The acanthus seeds are attached to a two-cavity capsule. Most of the flowers from the acanthus family, including the wild petunia, can be found in wooded areas with a good degree of moisture.

The buttercup family is a family of flowers with over 1,700 species. Each of these species is differentiated by small differences in pistils and stamens, which form a circle in the center of the flower. While the common buttercup is a member of the family, other more elaborate flowers like delphiniums and columbines are also technically classified as a kind of buttercup.

Largest Flower Families in North America

A list of flowers that proliferate in North America wouldn't be complete without identifying the names of some of the most prominent plants on the continent. The composite family is the largest of the flowering plant families. Botanists believe that this flower family is also the most recent family to develop on the planet. Part of the reason for these plants proliferation is the fact that the plants generate lots of seeds and these help with spreading the plants around.

The parsley family is also called the carrot family, and members of this family include common flowers like Queen Anne's lace and parsley itself. The plants in this family are categorized by umbrella-shaped flower clusters with leaves that appear to be finely cut. While many common and innocuous plants exist in the parsley family, this family also gives us some of the deadliest plants known to man, including the poison hemlock, which is famous for being the plant that killed Socrates.

Members of the poppy family are among the most popular and widely spread wildflowers. They typically have four petals and leaves that appear either lobed or cut. These flowers are beautiful and among some of the most popular wildflowers in the world. The red poppy is considered to be the most popular wildflower of all time. The opium poppy is known for its milky secretion that's used in opiates as an intoxicant or painkilling drug.

Flowers That Exist Only in the United States

While North America has many common species of wildflowers, there are some flowers that grow and exist only in the United States. These native plants are relatively rare and exist only due to the special conditions of the climate where they thrive. The Tennessee coneflower has pink and lavender petals. It is a member of the sunflower family and thrives in dry, rocky soil.

The living rock cactus exists in only a few areas of the United States. The cactus is unique because, unlike most of the other members of its species, the cactus doesn't grow up toward the sky but rather spreads out remaining flush with the ground. They also have lavender flowers that distinguish it from other varieties of cactus. Hawaii's koki'o flower was believed to be extinct when the last extant tree was killed in a fire, but one of the branches was grafted onto a similar tree, and now there are 23 of these unique plants in Hawaii.

One of the other types of flowers that exists only in the United States is the four-petal pawpaw. This unusual-looking bloom is a relative of the papaya plant. It's only found in two counties in southeast Florida and is highly aromatic and bears an edible fruit. The desert Sunflower grows in desert dunes and needs very little water. It's populous but threatened by increased off-roading and the commercial development of desert land.

Edible Flowers in North America

There are many edible wild plants aside from the common fruits and vegetables that most people are familiar with. If you're in North America, there are very likely many edible plants in your area. If you're curious, you need only consult with a book about your area to find which edible plants are growing near you. It's always a good idea to make sure that you're able to correctly identify a plant before you try to eat it.

The mallow plant – known for its presence in marshmallows – is a common and very pleasant-tasting flowering plant. Cattails, which proliferate in a variety of climates and regions in the United States, are also edible and have many uses for cooking and flavoring. Elderberry plants are edible and the flowering fruit is a popular wellness remedy that's used to boost the immune system and ward off illness. Chicory is a type of flower that's edible and is known for its bitter taste.

While dandelion is considered a weed by many, the leaves of the flower are a popular salad green and the entire flower is technically edible. Sorrel is another popular flower that's edible and known for its unique sharp flavor. It can be used as a green or ground into a pesto with a mortar and pestle and other herbs and spices. Mustard plants are another common edible plant in North America, with both seeds and leaves that can be added to cooking.

What are the Most Beautiful Roses in the World?

Roses have been beloved for hundreds of years, and their reputation as the most popular flower in the world is well earned. They have a stunning and immediately identifiable fragrance. Rose's scent is so popular that its petals were the inspiration and source for the very first perfume. But aside from its fragrance, roses are beautiful to behold as well.

Joseph's Coat rose is one of the most beautiful and unique climbing roses in the entire species. It can grow up to 10 feet high and is free of diseases. It's a popular rose to grow up against fences and trellises. The Michelangelo rose has a buttery yellow color and soft petals that look like the platonic idea of a traditional rose. Its soft fragrance and warm color make it a very popular choice for home gardeners.

The Winchester Cathedral rose is an English rose with multiple blooms and a soft white color to its petals. It has a very strong fragrance, and it blooms throughout the summer months and into the fall. The Albrecht Durer rose, named for the artist, has a peachy orange hue and grows up to 90 centimeters in height. It's known for its fragrance, which is both light and fruity.

Other Popular Flowers

For gardeners and people who keep flowers in their home for decoration, tulips are an ever-popular favorite. Their fluted blooms and long stems, which add a rich pop of green to a bouquet, make them a beautiful choice for any sort of decor, regardless of your style. Peonies are another popular flower. With a variety of colors and a petal structure that looks similar to cut paper, these flowers are popular with rose lovers.

Carnations are a very popular flower, particularly for Valentine's Day and other holidays. With the same rich colors as roses, carnations are a popular choice because they're less expensive but still very pretty. The carnation bloom is a crinkly petal. Daisies are among the most iconic flower and beloved for their white petals and sunny yellow center. They smell sweet and light and have the air of springtime about them.

The zinnia is an easy flower to grow and doesn't require much maintenance or attention. It's orange, red and yellow blooms stay into the fall and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The violet is another popular perennial that's not difficult to maintain or cultivate. It blooms beautifully in colors that include violet, blue, white, yellow and cream. These flowers generally bloom once in the springtime, again in the summer and once more in the fall.


Ashley Friedman

Ashley Friedman

Ashley Friedman is a freelance writer with experience working in the home, design and interiors space.