Information About Winter Flowers

Overview

Most winter flowers classify as perennials or deciduous and evergreen shrubs. These hardy angiosperms will bring color and cheer to your garden during the colder months of the year. Some plants begin blooming as early as October and will produce winter blooms up through the end of March.

Types

The Christmas rose (Helleboros) is a popular winter flower that can grow in the shade. Other favorites include pink dawn (Vibernum) with its almond floral scent and winter jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum).

Features

Winter flowers have long-lasting blooms and a lingering, sweet fragrance. The enhanced fragrance encourages insects to come forth for pollination during the colder temperatures.

Effects

Spring bulbs can be forced into bloom. Bulb forcing encourages the plant to produce ahead of its normal schedule. Many gardeners practice bulb forcing to enjoy colorful blooms during cold winter months.

Uses

Winter flowers provide more than colorful winter blooms. The leaves of the camellia flower (Camellia sinensis) are used to make tea. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is used in medicine and cosmetics. Nasturtium blooms (Tropaeolum majus), rich in nutrients and vitamin C, are used in salads.

Tradition

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania display a massive variety of colorful plants during its annual winter flower show.

References

  • Absolute Astronomy
  • Extension Garden Hints
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service

Who Can Help

  • One Straw: Be the Change
  • Phipps Conservatory
  • Learn 2 Grow
Keywords: winter flowers, edible blooms, Christmas rose

About this Author

Loraine Degraff has been a writer and educator since 1999. She recently began focusing on topics pertaining to health and environmental issues. She is published in "Healthy Life Place" and "Humdinger" and also writes for Suite101. Degraff holds a Master's degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.