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Yellow Flowers: Brightening Up Your House

A popular addition to gardens and borders is yellow flowers. No matter what season you’re growing in, there are yellow flowers you can add to your landscaping design. Yellow flowers are often beneficial for garden pollinators, too. 

Hypericum perforatum

Why Are Flowers Yellow?

Flowers are yellow as a result of certain chemicals called carotenoids. These pigments are responsible for warmer colors in flower blossoms such as red, orange, and yellow. 

Yellow is one of the most common colors found in flowers because it reflects light easily and helps insect pollinators find the blooms. 

Yellow Flowers That Bloom in Spring and Summer

  • Daylilies: Daylilies are a popular flower grown in summer gardens, but a major advantage of daylilies is that every part of the plant is edible. Daylilies also come in a large variety of different colors and styles. 
  • Marigolds: Marigolds are a popular garden flower because they help to deter noxious insects like mosquitoes and cabbage moths. Yellow marigolds are also a major flower used in the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico as a way to honor dead ancestors.
  • Lantana: Lantana is a fast-growing plant with bountiful blooms and a sprawling habit. This flower comes in many different shades, including yellow. Lantana leaves have been shown to have various medicinal benefits.
  • Sunflowers: Sunflowers are large flowers with a dark center and a crown of yellow petals. Many sunflowers are yellow, but sunflowers also come in other colors such as cream and brown.
  • Tulips: In the language of flowers, yellow tulips can either mean friendship or unrequited love. Tulips are grown from bulbs that are planted in the fall and overwintered before blooming in the spring. 

Yellow Flowers That Bloom in Autumn and Winter

  • Winter aconite: Winter aconite is one of the earliest blooms that can be seen in the transition from late winter to spring. The plants showcase bright yellow cup-shaped flowers that have a collar of green leaves. Winter aconite is poisonous but works as a beautiful ground cover.
  • Winter jasmine: Winter jasmine has the same pretty blossoms as other species of jasmine, but this version of the plant does not have a strong fragrance. Winter jasmine can be used as a climbing plant to help hide unsightly structures in the garden. 
  • Witch hazel: Witch hazel, also known as winterbloom, is a winter flowering plant that is used as an astringent agent in herbal remedies. The plant is applied directly to the skin to reduce itching, pain, and inflammation.
  • Mahonia: Mahonia is a winter-blooming shrub that is covered with bunches of small yellow flowers. Mahonia is an environmentally friendly landscaping plant since its fragrant blossoms are popular with pollinators and birds like to eat its bluish-black berries.
  • Daffodils: Daffodils may be known as one of the first signs of spring, but these cheerful bulb flowers start growing in the winter. Like tulips, daffodil bulbs should be planted in the autumn for blossoms in the following spring. 

20 Yellow Flowers

Common Types of Yellow Flowers

1. “Charlotte” Yellow Roses (Rosa “Charlotte”)

Charlotte Yellow Roses

The Charlotte rose is an English shrub rose cultivated for its beautiful, creamy yellow blossoms. Charlotte roses give off a light to medium tea scent and do best in a location that gets full sun. 

2. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Hypericum perforatum

St. John’s Wort is a flowering herb that is named for John the Baptist. The yellow flowers of St. John’s Wort are commonly ingested as a natural antidepressant in tea or tincture form. 

3. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Chrysanthemum morifolium
North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox

Yellow chrysanthemums are used to symbolize positivity and happiness and are often paired with other flowers in bouquets and flower arrangements. Mums are perennials, which makes them a good choice for landscaping borders and gardens. 

Groundcover with Yellow Flowers

4. Yellow Alyssum (Alyssum alyssoides)

Alyssum alyssoides

Yellow alyssum is also known as basket-of-gold. Alyssum is a groundcover flower that requires full sun to thrive. Yellow alyssum is a good filler plant to use in rockscapes or gardening landscapes that contain paving. 

5. Golden Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia aurea)

Lysimachia nummularia aurea

Golden jenny is a low groundcover plant with round coin-like leaves and bright yellow flowers. The sprawling habit of golden jenny makes it a dramatic addition to container flower gardens or controlled borders. Golden jenny can be invasive and should be kept contained. 

6. Hardy Yellow Ice Plant (Delosperma nubigenum)

Delosperma nubigenum

Ice plant is a low-lying succulent that produces large yellow daisy-like flowers. Hardy yellow ice plant is a good landscaping option for areas that have deer since it is deer resistant but still attractive to pollinators. 

Yellow Perennial Flowers

7. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed Susans are a native wildflower that is found growing across much of North America. These hardy yellow flowers can grow over three feet tall and are easy to keep in perennial flower beds since they seed readily. Blackeyed Susans outcompete other flowers and should be grown in their own borders. 

8. Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata)

Coreopsis lanceolata

Tickseed, also known as coreopsis, is a frilly yellow wildflower that is deer resistant, but popular with bees and butterflies. Tickseed grows best in full sun and can be encouraged to put forth more blossoms by aggressively deadheading the plant in the latter part of the summer season. 

Trees with Yellow Flowers

9. Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

Koelreuteria paniculata

Golden rain tree is a tree that is native to Asia and is often used as an urban flowering tree in landscaping for its weeping plumes of yellow flowers. Despite their delicate appearance, golden rain trees are hardy against pollution, heat, wind, and drought. 

10. Yellow Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia chrysotricha)

Tabebuia chrysotricha

Yellow trumpet tree is a winter-blooming tree that erupts in a show of bright yellow trumpet-shaped flowers before it begins putting on new leaf growth in the spring. Yellow trumpet trees are a popular tree for shading patios or for use as a focal point in front yard landscaping. 

Bushes with Yellow Flowers

11. Forsythia (Forsythia viridissima)

Forsythia viridissima

Forsythia are fast-growing shrubs that display showy yellow flowers in early spring. An advantage of growing forsythia for its flowers is that it displays flowers before its foliage, giving you colorful spots in your early spring landscaping that will attract bees and butterflies. 

12. Azalea (Rhododendron luteum)

Rhododendron luteum

Azalea comes in many colors, including cultivars that produce yellow flowers. The blooms on azalea bushes give off a strong perfume, and it has bright green shining foliage that makes it an attractive bush for landscaping borders. 

Small Yellow Flowers

13. Goldenrod (Solidago altissima)

Solidago altissima

Goldenrod is a tall wildflower with sprays of bright yellow flowers that can be found in pastures across the United States and Canada. While goldenrod is considered a weed by many gardeners, others nurture it as a valuable resource for garden pollinators. 

14. Lydian Broom (Genista lydia)

Genista lydia
Oregon State University

Lydian broom is a garden plant with a sprawling habit and sprays of small yellow flowers. Lydian broom is a good garden option for poor soils and areas that are vulnerable to drought and can be used as a spillover plant for rock borders. 

15. Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)

Corydalis lutea
Rotary Botanical Gardens

Corydalis is a herbaceous perennial plant that comes in yellow and blue varieties. Corydalis is also known as fumewort and is best grown in partial to full shade. Because it is shade-loving, it is a good addition to shaded gardens that still need a little color. 

Succulents with Yellow Flowers

16. Sedum (Sedum stenopetalum)

Sedum stenopetalum
World of Succulents

Sedum is a low groundcover plant that blooms a carpet of yellow flowers. Sedum is a low-growing succulent that should be well-watered in the first year of growth to make sure that it establishes itself and continues to thrive in future seasons. 

17. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)

Aloe barbadensis miller

Aloe vera is a common houseplant that doesn’t often bloom indoors but can produce yellow flowers if kept outdoors in appropriately warm climates. The gel-like substance found in aloe vera leaves can be used to treat shallow cuts, burns, and insect bites. 

Weeds with Yellow Flowers

18. Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)

Taraxacum officinale
Natural Herbs

While dandelions are considered a weed by many gardeners, others grow this yellow wildflower deliberately for its roots, leaves, stems, and delicate seed puffs. The flowers can be used to make dandelion wine and are also a popular edible flower in fresh salads. 

19. Buttercups (Ranunculus bulbosus)

Ranunculus bulbosus

Buttercups are a popular addition to flower arrangements for their dainty, cup-shaped yellow flowers. Buttercups are a heavy flowering plant and are a good choice to add to both container gardens and flower-cutting gardens. 

20. Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

Oxalis stricta

Yellow woodsorrel is a wildflower and a weed that is considered highly invasive in some areas of North America. Despite its invasive habit, yellow wood sorrel is completely edible and is a popular foraged plant for native salads. The foliage of woodsorrel has a mildly sour flavor.  

How to Get Rid of Weeds With Yellow Flowers

While many weeds with yellow flowers might be pretty to look at, many of them have an invasive growing habit that can spread quickly to areas of your yard where you don’t want to see them. Luckily, there are some surefire ways to get rid of weeds with yellow flowers. 

  • Use a homemade weed killer: Most weeds can be destroyed with a combination of baking soda, Epsom salts, and diluted dish soap. Combine these ingredients in an empty spray bottle and spray on weeds to shrivel them without stronger herbicides.
  • Pull weeds up by the roots: If weeds are only pulled up by the foliage and the roots remain, many weeds are able to quickly regrow their top half and survive. Dig weeds out at the root with a small trowel to remove them completely.
  • Pull weeds up before flowers appear: Once flowering weeds have blossomed, they are almost ready to spread their seeds into the environment. Pull weeds young to prevent them from reproducing and spreading.
  • Cover in boiling water: Using hot water is a way to kill weeds without introducing harmful chemical herbicides into the environment. Pour boiling hot water at the base of the plant and across its foliage to quickly kill it while leaving other plants untouched. 


How Do Yellow Flowers Attract Bees?

Yellow flowers attract bees through their coloration. Bees use the colors in flower blossoms to help them distinguish the blossoms from grass and other non-flowering plants in the field. 
Many flowers bloom in yellow because yellow is one of the easiest colors for bees to perceive with their vision. 
Bees base their visual colors on blue, green, and ultraviolet lights. Bees can’t perceive the color red, which means that plants with red blossoms rarely depend on bees for pollination in nature. In comparison, many plants with yellow blooms depend on bees to reproduce. 

What Are the Yellow Flowers in Farmer’s Fields?

If you drive through a country landscape, you might have wondered why farmers have fields full of yellow flowers during certain parts of the year. These flowers can usually be identified as butterweed, a weed that grows commonly across much of North America. 
Butterweed is encouraged in many areas because it is a beneficial weed for bees. During the earliest parts of the year, butterweed forms a major food source for these pollinators. Farmers often remove butterweed in grazing paddocks since it is considered toxic for livestock to eat. 

What Do Yellow Flowers Mean?

In floral arrangements, yellow flowers are associated with several meanings in the language of flowers. They can be used to denote happiness, optimism, positivity, and loyalty. 
When gifted to a friend, yellow flowers can be a blessing for strength in hard times

What Do Yellow Flowers Symbolize?

Yellow flowers have been used symbolically for thousands of years, with recorded examples of the practice going all the way back to the Mayan civilization. 
In Southeast Asia and the Middle East, yellow flowers are used as a symbol of prosperity, wealth, and even royalty. In Buddhist philosophy, the yellow lotus flower is seen as the primary symbol of enlightenment, representing generosity and spiritual growth. 
In Mexico and Egypt, yellow flowers are used symbolically in rituals that involve honoring dead relatives and ancestors. 

Yellow flowers range from common weeds to some of the most carefully cultivated flowers in the world. Whether it’s a field of dandelions or a manicured border of tulips, these bright blossoms are sure to bring some good cheer to your yard.