Scientific Names for Annual Plants

Annual flowers and plants are often a gardener's favorites for filling in spots that need more color or foliage.They are used in vegetable gardens and window boxes, and anywhere that can accomodate one season of growth. Knowing the scientific names for annual plants helps gardeners ensure that the plant or flower they are acquiring is the one they want. While many common names are different, there is generally only one scientific, or botanical, name for a plant.

Love Lies Bleeding

Love lies bleeding,or Amaranthus caudatus, is from the amaranth family. It is an annual that has tassel-like flowers 2 feet long in a purplish red color. The entire plant gets 3 to 5 feet tall and 18 to 30 inches wide with pale green foliage. Plant it in full sun in dry, nutrient poor soil. Propagate via seed and grow in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11.


Orach, or Atriplex hortensis, is from the goosefoot family. It is an annual that has 2 to 6 foot tall flower stalks and triangular leaves 5 to 7 inches long. Leaves are red, purple, green or yellow-green. Its leaves are edible and similar to spinach. Plant this one in poor sandy soil in full sun. Propagate via seed.

Horn of Plenty

Horn of plenty, or Datura metel, is from the nightshade family and is an annual that attracts songbirds. It will get 3 to 5 feet tall with funnel shaped flowers and oval leaves up to 8 inches long. Flowers are white, blue, purple or yellow and 7 inches long. Plant in full sun in any average soil. Propagate via seed and grow in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10.


Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa, is from the mallow family and is a fast growing annual that gets 4 to 7 feet tall with dark green leaves 6 inches wide and yellow October flowers that are 3 inches wide. Calyx of the roselle is 1 inch wide and can be made into pie, juice, jam or wine. Plant this in full sun with mulched soil. Propagate via seed and grow in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11.

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Keywords: annuals, annual plants, Scientific names for annual plants, vegetable gardens, Window boxes, Annual flowers and plants

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years (in health and gardening topics) and a writer for 20 years. She has one book, "A Georgia Native Plant Guide," offered through Mercer University Press. She is happy to be a LIVESTRONG writer.