Late winter is the time that most gardens are beginning to wake up from their early winter dormancy. Some flowers enjoy the colder temperatures of February and March and bloom earlier than their spring counterparts. These blooms can be found all across the country--even in colder regions--and will provide food for the first bees and insects that emerge.
The iris is a perennial herb that grows up to 3 feet in height. The flowers bloom in February and come in a variety of colors from blue, purple, white, yellow, pink, red and orange. According to Clark University, the word iris comes from the Greek word meaning rainbow. They can be found in a variety of climates but thrive in the northern temperate zones. They prefer to grow in well-drained soils in partial shade.
Orchids are perennials that grow best in well drained bark or moss. They adapt well to their environments but prefer a south or east facing window location. They have a reputation of being hard to grow but orchids generally require only a small amount of care. Orchids make up one of the largest classes of flowers with over 20,000 varieties. Some orchids can reach heights of up to 9 feet tall, but the average houseplant is around 2 feet. Orchids come in a variety of colors, including purple, blue, white and pink.
Rhododendrons are perennial shrubs that bloom in late winter and early spring. Rhododendrons can grow up to 100 feet tall and also contain the family of flowers that are called azaleas. The flowers are large clusters from white, pink, red and purple. The rhododendron is toxic to grazing animals, especially horses, and can cause death. They prefer moist soil and full sunlight and are frequently used as a border shrub in landscaping.
The snowdrop is a flowering perennial herb that blooms in winter and belongs to the Amaryllis family. The plants only have white blooms that resemble drops of milk hanging from the ends of the stems. It is native to Europe but can be found in locations across the world. Snowdrops are a small plant that reaches a height of a foot tall. They are easy to grow and are usually planted together in clusters to form ground cover.