The change of season from winter to spring brings a welcome sight--the vibrant burst of color of blooming spring flowers. Gardeners wishing to cultivate spring flowers have many kinds to choose from, each with its own unique contribution to the landscape.
Fairy fanflower (Scaevola aemula) is a herbaceous evergreen native to coastal regions of eastern Australia. The demure plant has a sprawling growth pattern, and has toothed oval leaves and fan-shaped blooms in shades ranging from deep purple to white, depending on the cultivar. Fairy fanflower will bloom throughout the spring and well into summer. Ideal for a hanging basket or container, fairy fanflower does best in USDA zones 9 to 11. In subtropical regions, the flower is suitable for a bed or border. The plant is fairly drought-tolerant, and as a coastal plant, fairy fanflower does extremely well in loose, sandy soils with high levels of salt. Cultivate fairy fanflower in full sun or filtered sun, and water when needed.
Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), also called trumpet-flower, blooms in late winter and early spring. It is a fast-growing vine notable for bright red tubular flowers. Ideal for gardeners who are looking for early spring color, crossvine will also bring out the hummingbirds in droves. The hardy vine, a native of the southeastern United States, is best cultivated in filtered sunlight in USDA zones 6 to 9. The vine should be planted where it can climb--next to a tall tree or trellis is suitable. Crossvine is quite drought-tolerant and requires little maintenance once established.
A native of the southeastern United States, Florida anise (Illicium floridanum) is a bushy flowering shrub that boasts dense green foliage and daisy-like blooms in colors ranging from deep purple to red and pink. The plant flowers in the spring, and will likely flower throughout the whole season. Florida anise will grow in a range of light conditions, from full sunlight to complete shade and everything in between. The hardy plant is best suited for cultivation in USDA zones 6B to 10A. The plant is adaptable to many different soil types as long as it is moist, and will even grow in wet or water-logged conditions. The lush flowers are lovely as cut flowers in a colorful spring bouquet.