Flowers will never go out of style, and these timeless flowers that start with T are no exception! However ephemeral their individual blossoms may be, flowering plants will always have a prominent place in our outdoor spaces, whether we choose new annuals every spring or nurture the same perennials year after year.
Annual Flowers that Start with T
1. Thunbergia (Thunbergia sp.)
Native to Africa and India, thunbergia is often grown as an annual in the U.S. but will remain evergreen in USDA zones 10 and 11. This tropical vine typically blooms in the summer, with the color of its showy blossoms varying based on the cultivar. Most often, the flowers have contrasting petals and throats.
Thunbergia grows best in rich, well-draining soil and partial shade.
2. Tobacco plant (Nicotiana sp.)
Also referred to as flowering tobacco, this popular cottage garden plant comes in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors, from compact types ideal for containers to soaring, 10-foot plants perfect for back borders. Its scented flowers bloom in clouds or spires in the summer and are often shaped like trumpets or stars.
Tobacco plant thrives in fertile, well-draining soil and full sun, though many varieties tolerate some shade.
3. Torenia (Torenia sp.)
Characterized by two-lipped, trumpet-shaped flowers with prominent markings, torenia is also descriptively called wishbone flower, bluewings, or clown flower. Colors include blue, purple, pink, yellow, and white, and the blossoms are often two-toned with a yellow mark in the throat.
This easygoing flower does well in containers or beds and partial to full shade, though it prefers rich, moist, well-draining soil.
4. Trachelium (Trachelium sp.)
Although technically a perennial, trachelium is frequently grown as a half-hardy annual. Its mass of tiny blue flowers and equally small leaves fit well in rock gardens, and it typically blooms in summer and fall.
Native to the Mediterranean, trachelium is easy to grow in moist, fertile soil with excellent drainage and partial to full shade.
Perennial Flowers that Start with T
5. Tea rose (Rosa ‘Gloire de Dijon’)
This popular cut flower can be a bit finicky to grow, but its classic shape, variety of colors, and wonderful fragrance are worth it! Tea roses have sparse foliage and usually just one bud on each stem, so you may want to surround them with other perennials for a fuller appearance.
For the best blooms, plant tea roses in full sun and well-draining soil.
6. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
In addition to adding flavor in the kitchen, thyme contributes beauty to the garden in the form of petite foliage and tiny pink, white, or red flowers. Creeping varieties also serve as a wonderful groundcover, and all types work equally well in rock, container, and herb gardens.
This Mediterranean herb requires dry conditions and excellent drainage in full sun.
7. Tiger flower (Tigridia pavonia)
These cup-shaped summer flowers bloom in two-toned shades of pink, red, orange, yellow, or white with speckled centers. The slender stems of tiger flower reach 18 to 24 inches tall and are surrounded by upright, blade-shaped leaves. Although each blossom lasts only one day, the plants continue blooming for several weeks.
Plant tiger flower bulbs in well-draining soil in full sun or, in hotter regions, light shade.
8. Tiger lily (Lilium lancifolium)
It’s easy to see where the tiger lily got its name with its dark-spotted orange petals curling back from prominent stamens. Unlike most lilies, this prolific bloomer produces up to ten flowers per stem during the summer blooming period. It can often be seen growing beside roads in New England, though it’s native to Asia.
Tiger lilies require little care once established, but they should be planted in a sunny location with excellent drainage.
9. Toadflax (Linaria sp.)
The plants in this mostly Mediterranean genus produce flaxlike foliage and spires of two-lipped blossoms resembling snapdragons. Available in a variety of colors, the flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators and make lovely additions to fresh bouquets.
Toadflax appreciates moist, well-draining soil and full sun, though light afternoon shade may be beneficial in hot summers.
10. Toad lily (Tricyrtis sp.)
This speckled beauty adds color and interest to the garden in late summer and autumn, around the time when most other plants begin fading. In addition to showy white, yellow, pink, or purple blossoms, toad lily also often has variegated or spotted leaves.
An Asian woodland native, toad lily thrives in rich, moist, well-draining soil and partial shade.
11. Trillium (Trillium sp.)
Native to woodlands of the eastern U.S. and Canada, trillium blooms on forest floors in the spring with characteristic three-petaled, white to pink flowers. It also has three sepals and leaves in groups of three. Plant trillium in a shade garden with other perennials like ferns, hostas, and Virginia bluebells.
Trillium thrives in moist, rich, well-draining soil and partial to full shade. Make sure to purchase plants from reputable sellers who propagate trillium from cultivated stock rather than wild plants, as the latter threatens native populations.
12. Triplet lily (Triteleia laxa)
Also called wild hyacinth, triplet lily blooms in late spring through early summer. Its lavender, light blue, or white flowers blossom in clusters atop 15- to 20-inch stalks rising from grass-like clumps of foliage. Native to the northwestern U.S., it easy to grow in almost any part of the country.
Triplet lily grows best in full to part sun and well-draining soil.
13. Tulip (Tulipa sp.)
This classic flower has a place in almost any landscape, from well-manicured beds to charming cottage gardens. They even grow well in rock gardens and containers. Available in nearly every color, including bicolors, tulips also vary in shape and size (see my favorite tulip varieties).
Plant tulip bulbs in a location with full sun and excellent drainage; though they tolerate drought, tulips do not appreciate wet soil.
And there you have it: 13 flowers that start with T to add timeless beauty to your garden. Happy planting!
Serena Manickam is a freelance editor and writer and sustainable market gardener in rural Virginia. She holds a BA in environmental science and runs Fairydiddle Farm, a small market garden in which she grows no-spray produce and herbs to sell at a local farmer’s market.