Garden Photo of the Day

Favorite White Flowers

Same color, very different flowers

close up of large white moon flowers

Hi GPODers,

This is your editor, Joseph. GPOD submissions are very slow this time of year, with most of us settling in to wait out the winter, so I’m taking a moment today to share some of my favorite white flowers.

White flowers are versatile in the garden, going with every other color and looking elegant and sophisticated when grown together. And, of course, they are wonderful for brightening shady areas and for gardens mostly viewed in the low light of the evening.

close up of white Anemone flowersAnemone nemorosa ‘Vestal’ (Zones 5–8) is a little anemone that loves shade, slowly spreading by rhizomes and blooming heavily in the spring with these elegant double white flowers.

mass planting of white Trillium flowersWhen it comes to white flowers, it’s hard to beat the great white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum, Zones 3–8), which is native to wooded areas across much of the eastern half of North America. The big white flowers are an iconic symbol of spring and thrive happily in a shaded garden.

close up of white peonies with bits of pinkThese peonies (Paeonia hybrid, Zones 3–8) aren’t quite pure white, but they are incredibly beautiful. Peonies of any color are wonderful, but whites are hard to beat.

mass planting of white daffodilsDaffodils are usually yellow, but I think I like the white forms even better. This is the variety ‘Thalia’ (Narcissus ‘Thalia’, Zones 3–8), which is pretty hard to beat for vigor, fragrance, and sheer profusion of elegant white flowers.

close up of large white moon flowersMoon flowers (Ipomoea alba, Zones 10–12 or as an annual) grow and look like an oversize morning glory, but the huge, powerfully fragrant flowers open in the evenings to attract the moths that pollinate them. I grew moon flowers several years ago on my back deck, and they made sitting out there in the evening magical.

close up of white anemone with green centersAnemone coronaria (Zones 7–10 or as a tender bulb) is a great spring-blooming bulb. The blues and reds are striking, but they look extra intense mixed with some pure whites.

close up of oakleaf hydrangea with white flowersOakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5–9) is native to the southeastern United States and makes summertime magic with its huge spikes of white flowers.

White crocus growing in a stone potI love crocuses, but so do squirrels, so I grew these white crocus (Crocus ‘Joan of Arc’, Zones 3–8) in a big pot covered with a thick layer of sharp-edge gravel to discourage their digging.

close up of large white cosmos flower with yellow centerCosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus, annual) are one of my favorite annuals. I love the white form of the cupcake variety, which makes these cool bowls of fused petals.

What are your favorite white flowers? Send them in to the GPOD! We’d love to see.


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View Comments


  1. foxglove12 01/12/2023

    Joseph, thank you for this. Beautiful photos. White flowers are my favorite.

  2. gardendevas 01/12/2023

    Thanks for sharing, Joseph! White flowers are a particular favorite of mine. For many years I would only see my garden in the evenings due to a long commute, so I include many white flowers to enhance my experience. Especially magical by moonlight! And moonflowers are a must! I start the seeds inside in March to be sure I have that marvelous fragrance!

  3. fromvirginia 01/12/2023

    Thanks for sharing. Love white flowers, especially when offset with silver foliage like stachys or artemisia.

  4. user-7392754 01/12/2023

    Beautiful selection of white flowers! And I’ve never grown moonflowers. It sounds like I need to!!!

  5. cheryl_c 01/12/2023

    Joseph, thank you for highlighting (pun intended) these beautiful flowers. The photos of the thalia and the crocus are especially compelling.

  6. jos29803 01/12/2023

    Joseph your white flowers are beautiful, and you've just inspired me to create another area in my garden. Thanks for sharing.

  7. User avater
    simplesue 01/13/2023

    Great presentation of white in the garden....and oh yeah, Moon flowers are magical in the garden- sudden unfolding before one's eyes and then all the scent...only wish I could have seen a night moth go to mine when I grew them.

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