Flowers are usually planted or gifted for their bright and bold colors but don’t skip white flowers. They are a symbol of purity and innocence. They can be a statement piece or added to a bright bouquet to round it off. Here are some of the most popular white flowers.
Why Flowers Have Color
Believe it or not, flowers aren’t colorful just to be beautiful and enjoyed by humans in their gardens. Being white is actually a very crucial survival tactic.
Bugs see colors very differently from us. They can see ultraviolet light too, and just like shining UV light onto different colors makes them seem brighter, the same is true for flowers.
Flowers have bright colors to make them more attractive to bees and other pollinators so they can reproduce by creating fruits or seeds once pollinated. It is the different chemicals in the flowers’ petals that enable them to have color.
What Makes White Flowers White
Some flowers are white because they have little to no chemicals present in their petals to make them colorful. The lack of chemicals such as anthocyanidin which is responsible for color is either not present or only present in very low concentrations throughout the petals of the flower.
White flowers are very rare due to a mutation of the petals being white in either the entire flower or specific petals, which can be called albinoism or variegation in some plants.
20 Types of White Flowers
White flowers are a statement in any garden, and they stand out between the more common red, pink, and oranges of other flowers. Here are some of the most common and favorite white flower plants.
Small White Flower Plants
White flowers are often seen in bouquets at weddings and events, and often in the form of small white flowers as a complementing flower to more colorful pieces in the bouquet.
1. Baby’s Breath
Baby’s Breath, or Gypsophila paniculata, as they’re known scientifically is more often grown for use in flower arrangements than in gardens. However, when they are grown in home gardens, they require very little maintenance and can add a whimsical vibe to any cottage garden.
The Spruce has a great care guide for these delicate white flowers.
2. Lily of the Valley
Almanac has a comprehensive care and grow guide on how to look after these dainty bell-shaped flowers of the Convallaria majalis plant. They are not ideal to have if you have small children or pets, as they are toxic.
3. White Lilac
Syringa vulgaris are commonly known as lilacs. Lilacs are flowers that come in a range of colors from purple to white varieties.
These flowers grow on shrubs that become rather large over time and bloom for about 3-4 weeks with clusters of fragrant white flowers. Gardenia has an expert overview of Lilacs.
Polianthes tuberosa or Tuberose, are well-known for their use as bases for fragrances and perfumes. Learn how to grow these showy and fragrant flowers from Gardening Know How.
These flowers are toxic to humans and dogs when consumed. However, these hardy, evergreen white flowers are popular for a reason.
They are very low maintenance and beautiful to add to any small or large garden. The Spruce has some care tips for Oenothera.
White Flowers On Trees
White flowers don’t only decorate plants and shrubs. They can be seen in full bloom on trees as well.
Dogwood comes in an array of different varieties. But the white dogwood, or Cornus florida, is one of the most common white flowering trees.
They are native to North America and northern Mexico and grow fairly easily. You can find out more about how to care for and grow these trees over at SF Gate.
7. Southern Magnolia
Southern Magnolias, or Magnolia grandiflora, is a showcase flower that will give any garden a charming fragrance. Typically meaning endurance and perseverance, Plant Me Green shows you how to keep your Magnolia in tiptop shape.
8. White Hibiscus
Hibiscus trees are often adored for their brightly colored flowers. However, there is a rare white flower of the Abelmoschus rosa-sinensis that anyone living in a more tropical humid environment can nurture for themselves.
Just follow the guide on Plantophiles to care for these blooming evergreens.
9. Natchez Crape Myrtle
The Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ is known for having a big canopy and showy white flowers throughout summer. But these flowers are also very resistant to powdery mildew and drought. More info on these stunning trees can be found at Gardenia.
10. Cleveland Pear Tree
The fruit of the Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ tree is not edible to humans. Luckily, they make beautiful ornamental trees with their stunning show of white flowers when in bloom.
The Tree Centre has a comprehensive guide on growing these trees in your garden.
White Flowering Medicinal and Edible Plants
White flowers aren’t always just a sign of beauty or to give off a pleasant fragrance. They can oftentimes be found on plants that are used for medicinal purposes or even on plants that can be eaten.
11. Tea Tree
Tea tree has white or pink flowers, and their leaves are used to make tea tree oil. The oil is known to have a wide variety of medicinal uses and benefits.
Gordlinia grandiflora can be grown at home simply from a seed if you follow the guide on Master Class.
From alleviating the common cold to breaking a fever, Achillea’s above-ground parts can be used to make a wide variety of valuable medicines.
These plants also bear a crown of flat white small flowers. You can learn more about them at Gardener’s World.
Some call it Arugula, while others call it Rocket. But interestingly, the flowers on the Eruca vesicaria ssp. Sativa are just as edible and good for you as the tart and peppery leaves of the herb.
If you want to find out more about how to care for this plant, read the guide on RHS for growing your own Arugula.
If you have ever had a sleepless night, chances are you’ve heard of chamomile tea. You can grow them quite easily in your own garden if you follow the guide on Bonnie Plants for growing Matricaria chamomilla.
Impatiens are annual plants that come in a variety of beautiful colors. But most people don’t know their flowers are edible and taste surprisingly sweet.
According to Gardenia, these plants are very easy to grow, tolerant to heat, and like shade and moisture.
Large White Flowers
If you are looking for statement white flowers for your garden or as a centerpiece, these are the top large white flowers you can grow or source.
16. Trumpet Flower
They have gotten a bad reputation due to them looking very similar to nightshade, but the Datura flowers are large and fragrant. They make a great addition to any garden.
Just ensure you keep kids and dogs away from them as they can be poisonous. Wisconsin Horticulture has a complete overview of these large white flowers.
Paeonia is a low shrub with stunning bright colored flowers, including pure white peonies. Fine Gardening has a summary of these plants and a simple guide on how to care for them.
Dahlias are a very common and widely loved flower due to their large and spiky flower heads. These perennial plants go by their botanical name, and if you want to grow them in your own garden, read Almanac’s guide to growing Dahlias from pink to white in color.
19. Water Lily
Nyphaea hollandia requires you to have a pond in your garden if you’d like to enjoy them daily. However, according to The Spruce, if you take special care of them, you can grow them in indoor containers.
Some people call them Ranunculus, while others sometimes call these showstopper flowers buttercups. But you might not have considered growing them yourself, and with Truly Experiences in-depth guide, you will have no trouble getting these plants to propagate.
White flowers are more considered simple beauty than luck. On the other hand, since hydrangeas of all colors symbolize good luck, you might get away by giving someone a bouquet of white hydrangeas as good luck.
There are a large variety of white flowers that bloom throughout spring. The following are some of the most common spring blooms that are white:
In order for flowers to bloom all year long, they usually have to be perennials, and of course, be grown in ideal conditions. Some of the best all-year flowering plants are:
White flowers are very often used in bridal bouquets and represent innocence and purity. If you need to send them to a grieving friend, they do also symbolize sympathy for a bereavement.
The Youtan Poluo is said to only bloom every 3,000 years, thus, making it one of the rarest white flowers in the world. Another rare white flower would be the Franklin Tea Flower since it is extinct in the wild and only exists as a cultivated flower.
There are a handful of spiritual meanings for white flowers. They can represent innocence, purity, humility, and even messages from angels. Some people also believe white flowers mean new beginnings, and they are often used at events such as weddings, births, and memorials.
Many flowers come in different colors, and white flowers are often overlooked. However, they are not only stunning but will make a unique addition to any garden or collection of houseplants.
Some of the most fragrant flowers are white and symbolize new beginnings. So take a step towards a new color in your garden if you haven’t already added white flowers in your flowerbeds.