With its pleasant temperatures, new foliage and awakening of nature--especially in areas recently blanketed by snow--May is a highly anticipated month for people who like viewing spring flowers and enjoying the outdoors. Depending on the region of the country, several types of flowers proliferate in the landscape in May.
Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is native to the southeastern U.S. and is hardy to zone 5 of the USDA cold hardiness map. Coral honeysuckle is a climbing, semi-evergreen vine with variable size, depending on what it grows on. Its blue-green leaves are 3 inches long, opposite each other on the stem and oblong in shape. This honeysuckle has orange-red flowers with yellow interiors and a narrow funnel-form up to 2 inches long in clusters of two to four. This species is not fragrant. Grow white-flowered Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) for aromatic blooms in summer. Honeysuckle prefers full sun or partial shade and nutrient-rich, well-drained soils but will tolerate most soils.
Grow a bed of daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids and cultivars) to see blooms May and throughout the summer, depending on the cultivar. Daylilies are clumping perennials that reach a height of 3 feet or less, with grassy, strap-like leaves up to 2 feet long. Daylily flowers vary in their flower shapes--triangular, circular, double, spider-shaped and star-shaped. Daylily colors range from red to purple and yellow to orange, in funnel shapes up to 5 inches wide. Grow daylilies in full sun or partial shade in a wide range of soils. Daylily is hardy to USDA zone 3.
Kurume azalea (Rhododendron X obtusum) is a dense evergreen shrub that grows 4 to 6 feet tall with equal spread. This species has deep green leaves and funnel-shaped, 1-½-inch-long flowers that vary in color, from pink, red, rose, white, lavender and salmon. Kurume azalea is hardy to zone 6. Bloom time for this azalea is mid-spring but varies by cultivar and hybrid, with early-flower, mid-season and late-flowering types. Grow kurume azalea in partial shade, on nutrient-rich, well-drained acidic (pH 4.5 to 5.5) soils.
Tulip (Tulipa) is a genus consisting of around 100 species of bulbs. Tulip leaves are gray-green to blue-gray and grassy or broad-shaped. Flower color and shape vary between species but are beloved for their striking color, especially when planted in mass groupings. Tulips are hardy in zones 5 through 9 and grow in sunny area or in partial shade in well-drained soil.