Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by Grow with Bovees
From world-famous artwork to super-fast cars, Italy is home to some of the most innovative creations, but did you know that the country also boasts stunning scenic landscapes, highlighted by beautiful plants and flowers.
Without further ado, here’s the lowdown on a few noteworthy Italian flowers, some of which you can grow easily in your garden.
Special Occasion Flowers in Italy
Mimosa — La Festa Della Donna — International Women’s Day 8th March
International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March in Italy, and with a traditional gift of colorful yellow mimosas presented to Italian women.
Mimosa flowers belong to the Acadia family, and are perhaps the most popular varieties of flowers grown in Italy.
There are two main reasons why mimosa is symbolic in Italy on this special day.
Firstly because it blossoms at the same time of year, and secondly, owing to its bright yellow color — a symbol of joy and vitality.
Mimosa may appear to be a delicate flower, with its small fluffy balls, but it is in fact resilient and can grow literally anywhere including the harshest of environments.
Apart from being a symbol for International Women’s Day in Italy, Mimosas have several other uses; such as in traditional medicine where it is considered useful as a mild sedative in times of stress and anxiety. It is also believed to be effective in the relief of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and for muscle pain.
Peonies — Valentine’s Day
While you can give your spouse, partner, or loved ones various types or colors or flowers on Valentine’s Day, apart from traditional red roses or pink roses, the Italians adorn their flower displays and posies a bit differently, with peonies, aka ‘roses without thorns’.
Today, there are over 250,000 different varieties of peonies that are available in myriad beautiful color variants, and are regarded as one of the world’s most loved perfumed perennials.
The colors of peonies represent different emotions such as white for a reserved sort of appeal, light pink associated with romance, luck, and prosperity, and red for passion, fury, intensity, and drama.
You can grow these Italian roses easily in your garden, as long as you choose the right variety for your climate zone.
There are four main types of peonies, namely tree peonies, woodland peonies, intersectional peonies, and herbaceous peonies, where the latter two grow well in USDA zones 3 – 7, and the former in zones 3 – 9.
The best time to plant Italian peonies is in the fall. They should be planted in areas that receive at least 6 – 8 hours of sunlight each day and with good air circulation to prevent fungal disease.
Which is the National Flower of Italy?
The white lily, Lilium Candidum aka the Madonna Lily is generally regarded as the national flower of Italy, representing purity and refined beauty.
However, some regard the Rose as the national flower of Italy, which is understandable as it represents love and passion, the latter of which the Italians certainly have in bundles!
Daisies are also of National importance since they were the favorite flower of Margherita of Savoy-Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy.
Top Places in Italy to See Flowers
Campo De Fiori, Rome
Campo De Fiori literally means field of flowers and is located in the south of Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy. It was once the most massive of Italian Flower Fields and still today is home to many varieties of colorful annual flowers and a stage for many flower events.
The Italian flower plants most noted for this region include;
The Narcissus genus includes daffodils and jonquils in 49 different species and over 400 varieties in varying shades from white, through cream, to bright yellow with hints of orange. The different varieties can also have quite different scents.
A narcissus flower has a distinctive appearance which is often used as a symbol of cancer charities in several countries.
Narcissus flowers should not be mixed with other flowers in a vase, as they secrete a sap that can be poisonous to others.
However, you can, and it’s a good practice to, mix these flowers from Italy with other bulbs in your home garden.
An excellent garden plant, Narcissus can be grown easily in containers, borders, and grass, and bloom year after year with little care.
These Italian flowers should be planted in September to flower the following spring. They love well-drained soil, and bloom nicely when planted in locations that receive sun or light shade.
Geranium is billed as a popular bedding plant and is an easy to care for abundant bloomer whose flowers bloom from spring until fall. Ideal for patio pots and hanging baskets.
These annual, upright Italian flowers are easy to plant and grow, as long as you fulfill their needs.
The needs for geranium flowers vary depending on where you grow them.
When grown indoors they need a good amount of light, and temperatures ranging from 65-70 F.
Geraniums also grow well outdoors in moist, well-drained soil, and in areas that receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight.
Some larger varieties, such as geranium a grandi fiori, produce particularly large flower heads and are quite easy to grow from seed.
3. Margherita Daisy
Margherita daisies belong to the asteraceae family, and are a great addition to flower beds in your garden.
Margherita or daisy in Italian is a small shrub-like perennial that is available in a plethora of different color varieties and is excellent for attracting; bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Margherita daisies are one of the few types of Italian flowers that grow well in cooler temperatures and bloom to their full potential in the fall and spring months.
Margherita daisy flowers grow between two and three feet tall, and spread roughly three feet. They don’t necessarily prefer full sunlight and are pretty straightforward to care for.
Dahlias are gorgeous, colorful flowers that are native to Mexico and Central America. They have been used in Italian gardens for centuries as fine-cut flowers, and as part of many renaissance landscape designs.
You can plant garden dahlia in the spring and grow them as annuals, or dig them up and store them for winter.
The color-rich flowers of the dahlia family will grow well in low-moist, moderate climates, and can brighten up your garden for at least three months.
Chrysanthemums often dubbed as mums or chrysanths are regarded as some of the most popular garden flowers, and feature a single layer of petals that are placed strategically around their center, generally a different color than the petals.
These bright flowers bloom extremely well in the fall, and to about two to three inches in diameter. There are hundreds of varieties of mums to choose from, where some varieties have several layers of petals for a ruffled effect.
Chrysanthemums are often associated with death in Italy, and are often given as a token of comfort, grief, or bereavement.
This Italian flower can be grown in your garden, as long as it is planted in early spring, and in rich, well-drained soil.
Chrysanths bloom from September up until the first frost and can be grown directly in your garden or in containers.
The different flower color varieties include; white, yellow, orange, lavender, purple, and red.
Orchids are stunning, long-blooming, and long-lived flowers, and there’s something truly special about having any one of the many species available, on display in your window as an ornamental plant and watching the buds open up one by one. They are also common wedding bouquet flowers.
They are available in an exciting vast color variety including the much sought-after orange tree flower that symbolizes enthusiasm and boldness.
Other great colors include purple, blue, red, pink, white, yellow, and green. There are over 100 different species available in Italy including elder-flowered orchids, and green-winged orchids.
Every orchid has its own unique characteristic, making them a bit of a challenge to grow as a garden flower, even in a Mediterranean climate, due to the varying care needs of each variety.
However, If you want to grow orchids at home, they are relatively straight forward so long as you use the right potting medium and are careful over their watering needs.
They also make the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and other special occasions.
La Fiorita Di Castellucio
La Fiorita di Castellucio is truly a magical town located at an altitude of 1452 meters and offers a panoramic view of three plains, divided into three sections.
Thousands of different varieties of flowers bloom in and around La Fiorita Di Castellucio, forming flower carpets in every color of the rainbow.
1. Spring Gentians
Spring gentians are one of the most widespread wild flowers found in Italy, and what they lack in size, is made up for in the beauty of their iconic, deep blue flowers. Indeed, gentian blue is the name given to a particular shade of blue.
These evergreen perennial Italian flowers rarely grow taller than five to ten cm, and feature flowers that measure 15 – 20 mm in width.
Spring gentian flowers bloom from April to June, and can be grown in your garden in light, humus-rich, moist soil.
Bougainvillea is a highly resilient, fast-growing flower that puts on an amazing display of color year-round. This vibrant blooming vine is basically a flowering machine and the bougainvillea blossoms come in a plethora of great colors, including pink, purple, red, white, yellow, and orange.
Having said this, they are similar to Poinsettia in that it is the top leaves that provide the bright colors, the actual flower part is very small and white.
You should plant bougainvillea in an area of your garden that gets lots of sun, and in well-drained soil. A word of warning, be careful when transporting new plants as the roots of bougainvillea are fairly delicate.
Oleander, or Oleandro in Italian, is a very attractive flower in several contexts, most notably its delicious fragrance and pretty flower colors.
These extremely versatile shrubs are often seen in many towns in Italy, along the side of the road.
Oleanders are long-flowering, ornamental shrubs with long, narrow leaves and produce large bunches of pink, red, yellow, or white flowers.
Their flowers bloom from spring until the end of summer when placed in areas that get full sunlight.
Some gardeners suggest oleander can be toxic to humans & pets if you eat the flowers or chew the leaves.
For that reason, growing oleander flowers in your garden should be done with caution, and in areas away from where kids and pets play.
4. The Dolomites
The Dolomites, also referred to as the Dolomitic Alps, are a mountain range located in Northeastern Italy, and home to several species of flowers, plants and herbs. Its carpets of flowers, enhance the beauty of the region and delight travelers.
Buttercups are cute cup – shaped flowers and a highly beneficial addition to your garden for several reasons. Most notably, due to their great yellow reflective properties that will encourage many pollinators to your yard; including bees and butterflies.
Members of the Ranunculus genus (like the Alpine Pasque Flower), buttercups are five-petaled yellow flowers that are great summer bloomers.
Even though you can grow buttercups from seed, most people grow them from the division of the roots, because seeds often take longer to germinate.
Buttercup flowers love sunlight and should be grown in areas in your garden that drain well. You can apply rich soil to accelerate the growth of buttercups, and add a layer of mulch in cool weather to protect the roots during the colder months.
Forget-me-nots are some of the rarest Italian flowers and are grown for their delicate eye-catching blue petals and yellow centers. Each stem produces 5-6 or more tiny flowers.
These tiny cute flowers belong to the borage family, and bloom the following year after being planted. Forget-me-not flowers are grown from seed and can be invasive, as they reseed readily, and survive for years.
Forget-me-nots grow well in full sun areas, and in well-drained soil. You can fertilize forget-me-nots with compost or general-purpose fertilizer.
3. Vanilla Orchids
Vanilla orchids are truly a fantastic flower species.
Sometimes they are simply referred to as ‘Vanilla’, because their flower head produces seed pods that are used to make a natural vanilla flavoring to add to desserts and beverages.
Where would we be without vanilla Ice Cream?!
While it may be challenging to encourage vanilla orchids to flower and produce seeds to harvest vanilla, they do feature glossy green vines that are a sight to behold on their own.
Vanilla orchids are generally grown as houseplants and bear one to two dozen creamy blooms on each branch.
Vanilla orchids should ideally be grown under carefully controlled conditions such as in a greenhouse for prolific blooms.
Gentians are indigenous flowers hailed for their pretty trumpet-shaped, cobalt-blue flowers that sit atop their short green stems and green leaves.
There are a plethora of species of gentians available including willow gentians and grow well in temperate climates across the United States.
Some species of gentians are hard to propagate in areas outside their native habitat, while others may adapt well.
You can start by experimenting with different species of gentians such as the Spring Gentian mentioned earlier, in areas such as a rock garden or woodland garden.
5. Yellow alpine poppies
Yellow alpine poppies are typically found in high-elevation areas in Italy, and around the globe. They are regarded as the world’s most north-growing flowers and also go by names such as Arctic poppies or rooted poppies.
Yellow alpine poppies should be planted directly in your flowerbeds in early spring, and in well-drained soil, and under full sunlight.
Alpine poppies may not live that long, but on a brighter note do reseed themselves generously.
Make sure you loosen the soil and remove any weeds from the area before planting yellow alpine poppy seeds.
Edelweiss is a legendary flower that was called the wool flower. Edelweiss plants are characterized by their little alpine flowers and wooly leaves, and are short-lived perennials that grow in several harsh environments.
These flowers adorn the alpine mountains in Italy and can be grown easily from seed, or you can purchase mature plants at your local nursery.
Tuscany is stunning on its own, and the colorful blooms of many gorgeous flowers during the spring enhance this region’s beauty quotient.
Indeed, Florence, the regional capital of Tuscany, is known as the City of Flowers.
The beauty of sunflower fields is a sight to behold and sunflowers are particularly noteworthy in this region.
Their season in Tuscany usually begins in July and lasts through until the first week of August. Sunflowers produce spectacular bright blooms and are an annual plant topped with a large flower, some reaching the size of a dinner plate.
There are many varieties of the sunflower family, ranging through shades of yellow, red, orange & brown and in a multitude of sizes and heights too.
Flower heads range from 3 inches to 24 inches across and the tallest ever recorded at a height of 9.17 m (30 ft 1 in) in Germany in 2014.
It’s best to plant sunflower seeds directly in your garden or in containers, and in locations that receive a good amount of sunlight — they’re sunflowers after all!
So, go and plant some of these Italian flowers in your garden today!