Many flowers look like trumpets. Some are large, some are small, and they come in many colors. Trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies into the garden, especially when they are grown en masse. Trumpet-shaped flowers attach to the stem of the plant with a narrow, tubular base, and then flare into a widened mouth that often has curved petals that fold back onto themselves. The length of the flower will vary according to species.
Trees and Shrubs
Brugmansia (Brugmansia spp.), desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), desert honeysuckle (Anisacanthus wrightii) and yellow bells (Tacoma stans) are just a few of the trees and shrubs with flowers that look like trumpets. Brugmansia, hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, is a tropical shrub whose dramatic trumpet-shaped blooms open after dark and are heavily fragrant. The flower colors include yellow, white and pink. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Desert willow is a multistemmed tree that is also cold hardy. Its flower colors include white, burgundy and pink. Desert honeysuckle is a bush that produces bright red flowers. Yellow bells grows as a small tropical tree or large shrub with bright yellow trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in clusters. All three of these plants are hardy in USDA zones 7 through 11.
Tender perennials with trumpet-shaped blooms, often grown as annuals, include datura (Datura spp.) and nicotiana (Nicotiana spp.), also known as flowerring tobacco. Hardy in USDA zones 9 and 10, datura has large, trumpet-shaped blooms that face the sky. The night-blooming flowers are either single, double or triple and are typically white or purple. All parts of the datura plant are poisonous. Nicotiana, or flowering tobacco, has flowers that open during the day, but the fragrance is not noticeable until after dark. Hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11, nicotiana's trumpet-shaped blooms come in many colors including green, yellow, white, red, pink and purple.
Perennials with flowers that look like trumpets include California fuschia (Epilobium canum) and hostas (Hosta spp.), as well as true lilies (Lilium spp.). California fuschia, hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10, is a perennial herb native to California with orange-red trumpet-shaped blooms. Hostas, hardy from USDA zones 3 through 9, have lilylike, trumpet-shaped flowers in white and purple. The flowers are often fragrant. Numerous true lilies, hardy from USDA zones 3 through 9, produce trumpet-shaped blooms in an array of colors from white and pink to blazing orange and red.
Cross vine (Bignonia capreolata), cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) and moonflower (Ipomoea alba) all have trumpet-shaped flowers. Vines add a vertical dimension to the garden. Hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, the cross vine has orange-red, slightly fragrant trumpet-shaped blooms. In the fall, the foliage changes from green to purple. Cypress vine, hardy in USDA zones 11 and 12, is easy to grow from seed in the spring once all danger of frost is past. The trumpet-shaped flowers come in red, white and pink. Hardy in USDA zones 10 through 12, moonflower vine blooms at night. The large white or pink trumpet-shaped flowers are highly fragrant.
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension; Easter Lily; Bob Polomski, et al.; May 1999
- North Carolina State University Extension: Cross Vine
- University of Arizona Pima County Extension; Chilopsis Linearis; July 2001
- Colorado State University Denver County Extension; The Night Shift; Judy Sedbrook
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder
- Floridata: Tecoma Stans
Sheri Ann Richerson
Sheri Ann Richerson is a nationally acclaimed bestselling author who has been writing professionally since 1981. Her bestselling books include "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Year-Round Gardening," "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Seed Saving & Starting" and "101 Self-Sufficiency Gardening Tips." Richerson attended Ball State University and Huntington University, where she majored in communications and minored in theatrical arts.