The cold month of December is typically a time of desolate and barren landscapes. While most plants bloom in the warmer months, there are a handful of flowers that blossom in December, adding a touch of color during an otherwise bleak vegetative season. December flowers often start blooming in the fall and continue to produce flowers into the winter months, while others start flowering in December and bloom into the spring.
Sasanqua camellia (Camellia sasanqua) begins to bloom in October and continues to produce flowers until early January, according to the Swanson's Nursery website. This shrub's large, ruffled flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, pink and red. Sasanqua shrubs can grow to over 12 feet in height, with flowers as large as 4 inches in diameter, according to the website Absolute Wonder. This cold-hardy shrub prefers moist, well-drained soil with partial shade. The more water the shrub receives, the more sun it can tolerate, but over-watering causes root rot. Sasanqua camellias are hardy to USDA planting zones 7 to 9.
Chaparral currant (ribes malvaceum) is a deciduous shrub most commonly found in California. Beginning in December and continuing throughout January, this shrub produces hanging fragrant clusters of rose colored flowers, according to the Native Sons website. In the spring, dark blue berries appear. Chaparral currant typically grows to between 4 to 6 feet and thrives in full sun or light shade conditions. Moist, well-drained soil is optimal. Chaparral currant is hardy to USDA planting zones 9 and 10.
Manzanita (Arctostaphylos), also referred to as bearberry, is an evergreen shrub that begins to bloom in December and continues to blossom throughout March, according to the Plants of California website. In the spring, the shrub produces brownish-red berries. Manzanita is known for its dark mahogany bark which creates a pretty contrast with the shrub's pink or white flowers. The small flowers, which are shaped like tiny bottles, form in clusters on the ends of the shrub's branches. Manzanita requires full sun and loose, moist soil. Manzanita is hardy in zones 7 to 9.
Fragrant sarcococca (Sarcococca confusa), commonly known as sweetbox, is in full bloom by mid-winter. This shrub first begins to blossom in December and continues to produce flowers until March. The small white flowers bloom in clusters of five and create a nice contrast against the shrub's dark green leaves. Small glossy black berries grow following the flowers, according to the Rainy Side Gardeners website. Fragrant sarcococca does best in deep to partial shade, as it tends to sunburn easily, and prefers moist, well-drained soil. Fragrant sarcococca is hardy in USDA planting zones 7 to 9.