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List of Ornamental Plants

By T.M. Samuels ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ornamental plants are defined as those planted for their flowers or showy nature. They can be grown for interesting bark, flowers, fruits or other attributes. Selections can include personal favorites as well as those that have more show than function.

Piedmont Azalea

The piedmont azalea, Rhododendron canescens, is a fragrant butterfly attracting shrub. It will get 6 to 15 feet tall with 1 to 3 inch leaves and pink fragrant flowers 2 to 3 inches long. Plant a piedmont azalea in acidic moist soil in partial to near full shade or full sun. More sun equals more bushiness. Propagate via clump division or summer root cuttings.

Carolina Yellow Jasmine

The Carolina yellow jasmine plant, Gelsemium sempervirens, is a fragrant evergreen that is fast growing and drought tolerant. Leaves are narrow and a rich green in color, 2 to 3 inches long. Yellow tubular flowers are fragrant, in clusters, and showy from winter to spring. Plant a Carolina yellow jasmine in sun to part shade and with good moisture. Propagate via layering, seed or by softwood cuttings.


The oleander plant, Nerium oleander, is a fragrant evergreen that is fast growing. It can get to 20 feet tall with white, red, pink, yellow or salmon colored flowers. Lance shaped leaves are 4 to 10 inches long. Plant an oleander in bright sun in any soil. Propagate via seed or summer semi-ride cuttings.

American Wistera

The American wisteria plant, Wisteria frutescens, is a fragrant vine with 1 to 3 inch leaves and a length of up to 50 feet. Purple-blue flowers are in racemes. Plant an American wisteria in full sun or partial shade with regular watering. Propagate via side-shoot cuttings.

Pruneleaf Azalea

The pruneleaf azalea, Rhododendron prunifolium, will flower in pink, red, or orange. Flowers are funnel shaped in clusters. The shrub itself gets 10 to 15 feet tall with a width of 6 to 8 feet. Leaves are 2 to 4 inches long. Plant a pruneleaf azalea in moist acidic soil with morning sun and afternoon shade. Propagate via seed, spring stem tip cuttings and autumn semi-ripe cuttings.


About the Author


T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.