Selecting flowers for the garden landscape can be one of the most fun yet most challenging parts of completeing the landscape design. Creating a theme can be one way of narrowing down the overwhelming number of flower choices, and the inclusion of star-shaped flowers can tie different elements of the garden together.
Pentas, known as the star cluster and the star flower, are so named for the shape of their clusters of five-petaled flowers. Native to Africa and hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture Zones 8 through 11, pentas are small flowers with a height of about 3 inches. Flowers bloom throughout the summer months, covered in heavy clusters that can be red, white, pink or purple, or combinations of these colors.
Thriving in full sun or partial shade, the flowers of any pentas attract butterflies to the garden while the red and pink varieties also attract hummingbirds. Flowers grow on long stalks that will deadhead themselves as they die off, then continue to bloom. Needing fertile, moist soil to reach their full potential, these flowers can be used in flower gardens or container gardens.
The star jasmine, also known as confederate jasmine or angelwing jasmine, is a cold-sensitive evergreen vine with dark green foliage and showy white flowers. The buds of the flowers start out as a pale purple, turning white when they open. About 2 inches across, they have long, slender petals that give the vine its name.
Like their namesake, star jasmine flowers show themselves at night beginning in the late spring throughout the summer months. When left to grow as a vine, it can reach lengths of up to 20 feet, but when pruned it can be easily trained to grow into a small shrub between 2 and 4 feet tall. The star jasmine requires full sunlight in order to thrive, and does well when planted as ground cover, in hedges, along foundations, and can even be grown in containers.
Scarlet Rosemallow Hibiscus
The scarlet rosemallow hibiscus has bright, star-shaped flowers with five distinct petals. Each flower is between 3 and 5 inches across, and the bloom between mid-summer and late fall.
Hardy to USDA Zones 6 through 9, the scarlet rosemallow is a perennial with a mature height between 3 to 6 feet tall. This native to the southeastern United States thrives in full sun; shady conditions effect the plant's ability to flower. The showy, dark red flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other insects to the garden, the scarlet rosemallow also is known as the swamp hibiscus because of its ability to thrive in wet conditions. It also makes it an excellent choice for a water garden.
Debra Durkee has been writing professionally since 2005. She has been both a columnist and reporter, with her work appearing in print publications from the Metro Group, Inc in New York to the "Casa Grande Dispatch" in Arizona. Now a freelance writer, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from West Virginia University.