Direct hot sun can wilt many flowers, but, on the other hand, there are plants that will not produce flowers unless they get all the sun they need. Small sun-loving plants can be used in containers, window boxes and as edging for a sunny front lawn. Taller varieties provide a bit of shade to garden plants that cannot take the sun. Sun plants can be found in almost every part of the country.
Dutch hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) is also known as the Roman hyacinth and is a member of the lily family. The plant produces four to six narrow leaves and a single 12-inch tall flower stalk with funnel-shaped red, orange, pink, yellow, white, lavender or blue flowers growing in a long cluster. Plant Dutch hyacinth in full sun from USDA hardiness zone 6 northward. The flower is hardy in all but zones 10 and 11.
Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora) is also known as moss rose, rose moss and the sun plant. The plant reaches 6 inches tall with spread of 12 inches and produces thick, bright green leaves about 1 inch long and pink, red, yellow, white, or orange flowers that measure about 1 inch across and resemble a rose. The flowers will only open in bright sunlight, close up and night and do not open at all on cloudy days. Plant portulaca in full sun and moist soil. The plant is hardy in zones 5 to 11.
Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is a member of the cabbage family that grows less than 9 inches tall and features narrow, 1-inch long leaves that are covered with white hairs and fragrant white, pink or purple flowers that grow in clusters at the top of the stems. Plant sweet alyssum in full sun and in a light, fertilized soil that is allowed to go dry between waterings. The plant is hardy in zones 4 through 9.
Strawflower (Bracteantha bracteata) is also known as everlasting daisy and golden everlasting. The plant grows from 3 to 4 feet tall and produces lance-shaped gray-green leaves that grow up to 5 inches long. The yellow, pink, bronze, cream, purple or white flowers bloom from late spring through fall, growing singly or in small clusters at the ends of the branches. Plant strawflower in full sun and in a moist but well-drained soil that is not allowed to go too dry. The plant is hardy in zones 8 to 11.