Green Flowers

Flowering Tobacco – Nicotiana langsdorffii

Flowering Tobacco – Nicotiana langsdorffii

Green flowers are unusual in the garden, although breeders have added many new cultivars in the past few years. Lime green compliments any color in the garden, but my favorite pairings are with hot pink, orange or lavender purple.

The above Flowering Tobacco is a naturally occurring color and not the product of breeding. Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’ is a cultivar, possibly the result of crossing with N. langsdorffii. Other naturally green flowers are Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) and Helleborus viridis, H. odorus and H. foetidis.

Garden flowers with green cultivars include Gladiolus ‘Green Star,’ Zinnia ‘Envy,’ Dianthus ‘Green Trick,’ Lilium ‘Trebbiano,’ Chrysanthemum ‘Anastasia’ and C. ‘Green Kermit.’ When planning your garden for next year, consider adding some pizzazz with green cultivars. Do I dare say that your friends will be green with envy?

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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27 Responses to Green Flowers

  1. mk says:

    Why would Nature create so few green flowers? Do bees and butterflies visit green flowers? Are green flowers the blossoms of plants that are noxious (like nicotine)?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Good questions! Flowers from an evolutionary perspective are a means of propagation of the species, so whatever works best continues. Scent and color are attractants, but bees see UV, blue and green. (Check flowers out under a black light to see what bees see.) I don’t think green flowers indicate a poisonous plant per se. I wonder if Michael Pollen’s theory of ‘the botany of desire’ is at work here. The gaudier flowers were selected over the blander ones and the green were too similar to foliage to be noted.

  2. I’m enjoying a volunteer nicotiana– a surprise from last year’s garden

    • Eliza Waters says:

      I haven’t purchased nicotiana in years as they readily self sow. Interestingly, through the years they have reverted to plain white. I love best their honey-scented perfume that fills the garden every evening.

  3. I, too, enjoy these green flowers. I have limelight hydrangea and some of my hellebores bloom in lovely shades of green. Lovely photos, Eliza.

  4. dorannrule says:

    Interesting! I will be looking for them now.

  5. So beautiful. Love that Lime Green.

  6. Trini says:

    Green is special! 🙂 It is the color of the heart chakra! 🙂 ❤

  7. You couldn’t resist that last line, could you?:)

  8. Very pretty. They usually do well for me, but never self-sow. They are annuals for me 😦

    • Eliza Waters says:

      I think the trick is to know what they look like when they germinate. The seeds are very tiny and the seedlings are easy to mistake as weeds. Perhaps you could set aside a bit of garden soil, smooth it and shake out a few seed pods from this year’s crop. Then next spring, you’ll know to watch for them as they sprout. So much of my garden is now self-sown that all I have to do in spring is thin them to about a foot apart.

  9. Eva PoeteX says:

    I’ve never seen a green flower before!! You see/learn something new every day. 🙂

  10. ladyfi says:

    What lovely flowers – a great shot.

  11. Robbie says:

    I love the combinations you suggested…really beautiful:-) I grew zinnia envy one year but a lot of people did not like the green flower in my garden…I like them like you:-)

  12. That shade of Limey green is so fresh and happy, love the zinnia!

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