Selecting flowers for the garden landscape can be one of the most fun yet most challenging parts of your 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. Explore three star-shaped flowers, each with a different take on the shape, to add color, texture, and unique design elements to your flower garden.
1. Pentas or Star Flowers
Pentas (Pentas lanceolata), 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 plant hardiness 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, purple, or combinations of these colors.
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Thriving in full sun or partial shade, the flowers of 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.
2. Star Jasmine
The star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), also known as the 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 to thrive, and does well when planted as ground cover, in hedges, along foundations, and can even be grown in containers.
3. Scarlet Rosemallow Hibiscus
The scarlet rosemallow hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) has bright, star-shaped flowers with five distinct petals. Each flower is between 3 and 5 inches across, and the plants bloom between mid-summer and late fall.
Hardy to USDA Zones 6 through 9, the scarlet rosemallow is a perennial plant with a mature height between 4 and 8 feet tall. This native to the southeastern United States thrives in full sun; shady conditions affect 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.