« Back to Tips and Plant Lists

True Blue in the Garden

One of my pet peeves as a designer is when horticultural professionals and catalogs misname the color of a flower. It is not uncommon to find "red" poppies that are orange, "white" daylilies that are yellow, and "red" peonies that are magenta. However, by far the most egregious are flowers labeled as blue, which are really purple. To me, blue means the color of the sky at mid-day on a sunny day. These plants really are blue -I have grown them (and many others that were not).

  • Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla Nikko Blue), shrub
  • Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), perennial
  • Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchum angustifolium), perennial
  • Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana), perennial
  • Borage, (Boragio officinalis) annual herb
  • Camas Lily (Camassia cusickii) bulb
  • Cantab Dwarf Iris (Iris reticulata Cantab) bulb
  • Colorado Blue Spruce foliage (Picea pungens selections)
  • Firewitch Cheddar Pink foliage (Dianthus gratinopolis Firewitch)
  • Glory of the Snow (Chinodoxia sardensis) bulb
  • Highbush Blueberry berries (Vaccinium angustifolium)
  • Love in a Mist (Nigella Miss Jekyl Blue), annual
  • Heavenly Blue Morning Glory (Ipomoea Heavenly Blue) annual vine
  • Plumbago/Leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides), perennial
  • Spring Beauty (Scilla siberica) bulb
  • Swamp Sage (Salvia uglinosa) perennial
  • Valerie Finnis Grape Hyacinth (Muscari Valerie Finnis) bulb
  • Withrod & Smooth Withrod Viburnum berries (Viburnum cassiniodes, V. nudum)

Additional images

Blue-eyed Grass has true blue flowers. The named

varieties do not.

Bluestar also has beautiful yellow fall foliage


Camas Lily is a bulb native to the American midwest

Cantab Dwarf Iris

Colorado Blue Spruce, this dwarf is called Montgomery

Firewitch Cheddar Pink has finely textured blue foliage

Spring Beauty

Glory of the Snow

Love-in-a-Mist Miss Jekyl Blue, an annual that self seeds

Plumbago or Leadwort is one of the few blues for summer

Valerie Finnis is a true blue selection of Grape Hyacinth

Smooth Withrod Viburnum berries