Sure, big, showy flowers tend to take center stage and steal the spotlight, but don’t overlook plants with tiny flowers.
Delicate and petite, tiny flowers are more than just adorable. They are miniature works of art, designed by Mother Nature, the greatest artist of all.
Tiny flowers call to mind fairies and elves from storybooks. You can capture some of that fairytale magic for yourself by adding some of these 10 plants with adorable tiny flowers to your gardens.
1. Lily Of The Valley
Lilys of the valley are shade-loving perennials that pack a lot of beauty, fragrance, and potential danger into a tiny package.
The small plant, that only grows about four or five inches tall, produces a stalk on which a line of bell-shaped white flowers hangs. Each little bell measures between one-quarter and one-third of an inch in size.
The scent produced by lilys of the valley is sweet and surprisingly strong for such a diminutive flower. In fact, the fragrance is so pleasing that perfume makers often use it as inspiration for their products.
The classic lily of the valley is native to the forests of North America but is also popular in gardens and for creating a naturalized area. It may be little, but the lily of the valley packs a punch.
The plant emits a poisonous substance called cardiac glycosides which can be harmful to animals and humans.
2. Baby’s Breath
Baby’s breath is a delicate-looking plant that is a member of the carnation family. Because of its tiny white flowers and lacy appearance, baby’s breath is often used as a filler in floral arrangements and bouquets.
As an addition to your garden, baby’s breath can add more visual appeal than its teensy blooms let on.
As a perennial plant, baby’s breath can grow to about three feet tall. It has a light, airy, and cloud-like look when viewed from afar. That’s because its spindly stems are loaded with a profusion of miniscule blooms.
Each individual flower is less than a quarter inch in size, but when clustered together in a group, the little blooms make their presence known.
A tiny, alpine perennial, forget-me-nots are hard to forget. The hardy, low-growing plants with small, blue blooms are popular among gardeners because they can be used as ground cover or as a border plant.
And in case you didn’t remember, the forget-me-not is the official state flower of Alaska.
The flowers of the forget-me-nots are smaller than one-third of an inch in diameter. The five-petaled blooms are blue with a vibrant yellow center. They are also star-shaped, so they look a bit like twinkling stars in the night sky.
Forget-me-nots grow in clumps and spread quickly. Shade-lovers, they work well when planted around trees, as ground cover in spots that don’t get much direct sunlight, and along walkways and paths.
There are more than 500 species of violets, but they all share similar traits, including their wee size.
The flowers of violets are no bigger than three-quarters of an inch in diameter, but when the violets are in bloom, in early spring, they show us why these tiny flowers are big on charm.
Violets grow naturally in wooded areas, but gardeners love them for their ornamental quality. They work well in flower beds and in container pots. The perennial plants grow to a height of about four inches tall and have lovely heart-shaped leaves.
Don’t let the name fool you. Although the classic violet is purple in color, violet flowers can also be pink, lavender, white, or yellow.
The petals are usually symmetrical and have a distinctive shape with five petals – two upper and two lower ones – with a fifth petal that forms a spur.
Did you know that the violet is so proud of its delicate scent that it doesn’t want you to smell another flower?
Some varieties of violets release a compound called ionone mixed with its fragrance. This compound temporarily desensitizes the scent receptors in our noses, meaning we cannot smell any other scents until the receptors recover.
5. Butterfly Bush
Although the flowers of the butterfly bush are so tightly clustered together in long, cylindrical clumps that they look large and showy, the individual flowers are actually quite tiny.
The butterfly bush is a prime example of the power of numbers. Individually, the tiny blooms are easy to miss, but grouped together, they are impressive.
How tiny are the blooms of the butterfly bush? So tiny that they measure only about 0.12 to 0.16 inches across… about three or four millimeters. Yet when grouped together on cylindrical clusters, the mass of blooms appears to be about twelve inches long.
The adorable little flowers have a sweet, honey-like smell. As the name suggests, butterfly bushes attract pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Although they are commonly found in purple, butterfly bushes can also have white, pink, or yellow blooms.
6. Snow In Summer
Snow in summer is a low-growing perennial plant that is named for its abundant white flowers that bloom in early summer and look like a blanket of snow on the ground.
Each flower is tiny – less than a half inch in diameter – with five petals arranged in a star pattern. The flowers grow in dense clusters at the tips of the stems.
Snow in summer typically grows to a height of eight to ten inches and has a spreading, mat-like habit. The leaves are grayish-green in color and covered in fine, silvery fuzz.
The charming little snow in summer flowers are easy to grow and perfect for use as ground cover or as edging plants in flower beds.
7. Fairy Foxglove
Fairy foxglove blooms with small, delicate, bell-shaped flowers that hang in clusters at the tips of the stems and, according to folklore, they make ideal umbrellas for fairies.
There is another interesting legend about fairy foxglove that comes from the British Isles. This story states that fairy foxgloves only grow where Roman soldiers once trod.
This diminutive perennial only tops about four inches in height and the foliage is evergreen. The plants spread to form a mat, making them a great choice for ground cover or as an edging plant. Fairy foxglove also performs well in rock gardens.
The flowers of fairy foxglove come in a range of colors, such as pink, white, and lavender. They are quite tiny on their own… roughly one-half inch in diameter, but the plants produce an abundance of blooms for a swath of color.
The flowers bloom in late spring or early summer and create a carpet of color.
8. Yellow Wood Sorrel
Like little drops of sunlight, the yellow wood sorrel blooms from spring through fall. The tiny flowers are less than a half inch in diameter and grow in clusters on the plant’s stems. Each bloom has five petals arranged in a circle.
A member of the clover family, yellow wood sorrel leaves are divided into three leaflets … a distinct clover shape. The leaves are green with a tinge of purplish red. Traditionally, yellow wood sorrel has been used for culinary purposes as the foliage has a citrusy aroma and taste.
9. Egyptian Starflowers
The Egyptian starflower plant is rather large, reaching about three feet in height. However, the flowers are minute. They are made to seem larger because the tiny blooms are clustered in groups on the stems.
The flowers of the Egyptian starflowers are small and star-shaped, hence the name. Each bloom has five petals arranged in a pinwheel pattern and measures about one-third of an inch in diameter.
The flowers can be red, white, pink, or lavender in color and bloom continuously from spring to fall.
The plants are upright and bushy, with evergreen foliage in dark green. Egyptian starflowers are a popular choice for gardeners who are looking for easy-to-grow plants that bring months’ worth of color to their flower beds. It even thrives in container pots.
10. Virginia Bluebells
Virginia bluebells are spring-blooming perennials that are perfect for woodland gardens, shade gardens, and naturalized areas. The plants are about two feet tall and grow in clumps.
In the spring and early summer, the foliage is bright green, but the leaves die back in summer, leaving behind dormant roots that will grow next spring.
The flowers of Virginia bluebells are tiny yet striking. They are shaped like a bell or trumpet, with five small petals that are fused to form a tube-like base. Each individual bloom measures only one-half to three-quarters of an inch long.
With a name like Virginia bluebells, you may think that all the flowers are blue. While they are most commonly found with blue flowers, the plants can also produce white or pink blooms. The flowers hang in clusters from an arching stem to form a whimsical, fairy-like scene.
Tiny flowers can often make a big statement. When planning your garden design, remember to add variety and texture to give the space more visual appeal. What better way to do that than with plants with adorable tiny flowers?