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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects

Native Plants with Blue, Purple, Violet, or Lavender Flowers

Asarum caudatum
Wild Ginger
Low-growing evergreen perennial that smells strongly of lemon-ginger when crushed.
Height: Can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall.
The solitary purplish-brown to greenish-yellow flowers occur on 1-3 cm long stalks near ground level and have 3 flaring sepal-like lobes that taper to long points and are fused at the base. Note: flowers are often concealed by leaves. Size: up to 5 cm across; shape: bell-shaped.
Aster chilensis
Common California Aster
A slender, sprawling perennial that produces light purple flowers.
Height: Can grow up to 3 ft. (100 cm.)
Each flower has 15-40 lavender to white ray flowers that range from 5-15 mm long with numerous small yellow disk flowers in the center. Each composite flower head is cupped by a green involucral of bracts that are 5-7 mm high and mostly blunt at the tip. The ray flowers of this plant are often mistaken for petals. The center of the flower contains tiny, tubular disk flowers.
Aster modestus
Great Northern Aster
A tall, much-branched perennial with numerous heads of purplish flowers.
Height: Grows up to 40 inches (100 cm).
Each flowerhead contains 20-45 very narrow ray flowers surrounding a center of numerous disk flowers. Ray flowers are violet or purple; disk flowers are yellow to greenish. Beneath the flowers are the involucres - narrowly lance-shaped, spotted bracts that range between 7-11 mm high. Note: The bracts have small glands.
Aster subspicatus
Douglas Aster
Rhizomatous perennial wildflower with much-branched stems and light purple aster-like flower heads.
Height: Grows up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Ray flowers are blue to purple and disk flowers are yellow. Size: ray flowers are 1-2 cm long. A distinguishing characterisitic of Douglas aster is its thick overlapping bracts beneath each flower head. Also, outer margins of thegracts have a thin, transparent (waxy/papery) look.
Brodiaea congesta
Harvest Lily
Long slender stems to 3 feet (1 meter) in length topped by a dense cluster of deep purple flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall.
Flowers appearing tight clusters at stem tips after the leave have withered. Primary color is deep purple; size: 4 cm (1.5 in).
Camassia leitchlinii
Great Camas
Stately perennial from a deep bulb, producing spikes of large blue flowers in early spring.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
5 or more deep blue (rarely white) flowers in a long terminal spike; the tepals (petals) of the great camas eventually twist together to cover and protect the fruit which distinguishes it from the common camas; anthers are dull yellow/violet; size: 3.5 cm (1.4 in) long.
Camassia quamash
Common Camas
Bulbous perennial producing a spike of large blue flowers.
Height: Up to 28 inches (70 cm).
5 or more pale to deep blue (rarely white) flowers in terminal spike, the common camas has five tepals curved upwards and the 6th curved downward; anthers are bright yellow. Size: 3.5 cm (1.4 in) across.
Campanula rotundifolia
Delicate stems topped by large, nodding bell-shaped blue flowers.
Height: 4-32 inches (10-80 cm).
Large, nodding bell-shaped blue or purplish-blue flowers (rarely white); sepals hairy at fused base with awl-shaped lobes; 5 fused petals. Flowers single several on thin, wiry stalks atop stem. Size: 1.5-3 cm (.6-1 in) long.
Festuca rubra
Red Fescue
Perennial grass with thread-like leaves forming small patches.
Height: Can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall.
Violet-colored panicles on purple stems; each spikelet 3/8-1/2" long.
Fritillaria lanceolata
Chocolate Lily, Rice Root
Rare herb to 80 cm tall from bulb with numerous rice-like bulblets; flowers are mottled maroon and yellow.
Height: Up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Flowers dark purple or maroon with greenish-yellow mottled spots giving a brown appearance overall, nodding, single or in clusters of 2-5, terminal; size: 4 cm (1.5 in) long; shape: bell shaped.
Gilia capitata
Globe Gilia
Upright taprooted annual with large ball-like heads of blue flowers.
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 meter).
Small, stalkless, and numerous in dense, bractless, ball-shaped heads at tips of stems and branches; primary color: light-blue; each flower is 6-10 mm long.
Iris tenax
Oregon Iris
Clumped, perennial iris with large purple flowers.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm).
Sepals and petals to 6 cm (2.5 in) long; 1-2 flowers on each flowering stems; primary color: blue to purple with yellow/white highlights.
Lonicera hispidula
Hairy Honeysuckle
Clamboring vine with clusters of light purple tubular flowers.
Height: Up to 33 feet (10 meters) in trees.
Tubular flowers 1-2 cm long, pinkish-purple or rarely almost white.
Lupinus polyphyllus
Large-leaved Lupine
A large perennial native forb with spikes of blue flowers from one to many hairy stems.
Height: 3-6 feet (1-2 meters).
Shaped like a pea flower; flower stalks are short; primary color: bluish-purple, brown with age; vary from pale blue to dark violet or purple; occasionally all-white; arranged in spikes 12-28 inches long along upper section of main stem.
Mentha arvensis
Field Mint
A wild mint with small groups of light purple flowers in the leaf axils.
Flower color: purple.
Nothochelone nemorosa
Woodland Penstemon
Flower color: pink,purple.
Olsynium douglasii
Satin Flower, Grass Widow
Showy tufted perennial resembling a miniature iris topped with large pink to purple flowers.
Height: Up to 12 inches (30 cm).
Satiny in appearance, usually 2 terminal flowers above leaf-like bracts; primary color: pinkish-purple; size: 4 cm (1.5 in); shape: 6 large oval petals.
Penstemon davidsonii
Davidson's Penstemon
Low mat-forming perennial with small evergreen leaves and large blue-purple tubular flowers.
Height: 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) tall.
Large blue-purple tubular flowers 1-3 cm long.
Penstemon fruticosus
Lowbush Penstemon
Spreading shrub with numerous tubular purple flowers.
Height: Up to 40 cm (1.5 ft) tall.
Large tubular purple flowers are produced in late spring or early summer, in spikes of 3-10 at tops of stems.
Penstemon serrulatus
Coast Penstemon
Perennial, sprawling sub-shrub from a woody stem base, with large purple tubular flowers at stem tips.
Height: 8-28 inches (20-70 cm).
Hairless, deep blue to dark purple tubular flowers on short stalks in 1 to several compact clusters at stem tips; 4 fertile stamens; size: 17-25 mm long.
Polemonium pulcherrimum
Showy Jacob's-ladder
Taprooted perennial with mostly basal leaves and blue bell-shaped flowers.
Height: Up to 14 inches (35 cm).
Blue with yellow centers, showy, bell-shaped, 7-13 mm long and as wide; petals rounded at tip; in crowded clusters at top of stems.
Potentilla palustris
Marsh Cinquefoil
Perennial from long, creeping, often floating, somewhat woody rhizomes, with small maroon flowers.
Height: Ip to 3 feet (1 meter).
Strikingly reddish-purple, bowl-shaped, about 2 cm across; sepals and petals 5; stamens and ovaries numerous; few to several in loose terminal clusters.
Prunella vulgaris ssp. lanceolata
Self Heal
Fibrous-rooted perennial from short rhizome or stem-base with small purple flowers.
Height: Up to 20 inches (50 cm).
1 cm long; sepals in 2-lipped, spine-tipped tube; petals a 2-lipped tube, upper lip hooded, bonnet-like, lower lip 3 lobed, center lobe fringed, 4 stamens; primary color: Purplish to pink, occasionally white; shape: snapdragon-like, in cluster.
Sisyrinchium idahoense
Blue-eyed Grass
A small clump-forming iris-like plant with small blue flowers.
Height: 28 inches (40 cm).
Terminal cluster of 1-5 flowers above a pair of sheathing, leaf-like bracts, petals wilt and shrivel shortly after picking; primary color: blue to bluish-purple with a yellow "eye"; size: 2 cm; shape: 6 symmetrical petals, circular.
Trillium ovatum
Western Trillium
Short stout stems topped with a whorl of three leaves and a single large white flower.
Height: 12-18 inches (30-45 cm).
The solitary flower has three white petals 2.5-5 cm long by 1.8-4.5 cm wide, with 6 fuzzy yellow stamens and three green sepals beneath. The petals turn pink to purple with age.
Viola adunca
Early-blue Violet
A blue flowered violet that grows from slender rhizomes and is stemless in the early season, later grow upright stem.
Height: Up to 4 inches (10 cm).
Flowers have slender spur which is half as long as lowest petal; the lower 3 petals often have a whitish base or whitish highlights, the lateral pair of petals are white-bearded; primary color: blue to deep violet; size: 1.5 cm long.

The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.