Plants with Blue or Purple Flowers

Blue and purple flowers form the smallest group within the colour sections, but there are still some important groups, including a number of spring bulbs, violets, bellflowers, forget-me-nots, speedwells and the borage family.

As well as flower colour, it is important to take careful note of the exact petal shape - are the petals rounded, or do they came to a sharp point, for example; are there gaps between the petals or do they overlap; are the flowers solitary, or arranged in spikes or bunches.

Within the colour sections, the pictures are grouped so that similar-looking (though not necessarily closely-related) plants will be near each other. This should help to reduce your search time. To keep things concise, not all species are shown in the colour keys, so you may have to go for a 'best match' to get you through to the next stage of the identification process. Particularly in large families where there are a number of very similar species, a representative species is shown here, but clicking on it will take you to a page that tells you how to tell the more difficult species apart.

Many plants will be obviously one colour or another, obviously five petalled, or obviously a woody shrub, etcetera. But many will be debatable. In such cases, I have tried to imagine how a flower might be perceived by others, especially beginners to plant identification. Generally this results in a plant appearing in more than one place on these pages, but some still remain problematic. In particular, the section labelled 'tubular flowers' contains a variety of flowers that might be considered to fall into that category and these generally have petals that are fused together to fully surround the sexual parts of the flower. But these tubes might be elongate like a pencil, or broad and bell-like. Flowers of two colours are entered under the colour that covers most of the flower, but truly bicoloured flowers may be entered under both colours. Woody plants with green stems that might not be considered woody, are entered under their flower colour or shape, as well as under the woody plants sections.

If you still can't find your plant, you either have something very interesting that you may wish to tell me about, or I just haven't got a picture of it yet - I'm still working on the latter!!

Click on the pictures below to go to the species pages.

Three Petals
Siberian Iris Common Milkwort
Irises

Milkworts

Four Petals
Germander Speedwell Field Gentian
Speedwells

Gentians

Five Petals
Common Flax Meadow Crane's-bill Green Alkanet Greater Periwinkle
Flaxes

Crane's-bills

Alkanets

Periwinkles

Water Forget-me-not Love-in-a-mist Duke of Argyll's Teaplant Greater Periwinkle
Forget-me-nots

Love-in-a-mist

Teaplants

Periwinkles

Common Venus's-looking-glass Clustered Bellflower Trailing Bellflower Borage
Venus's-looking-glasses

Bellflowers

Bellflowers

Borage

Small Forget-me-not Common Cornsalad Field Bugloss Confused Eyebright
Forget-me-nots

Common Cornsalad

Buglosses

Eyebrights

Fairy Lobelia Common Butterwort American Dog Violet Breckland Pansy
Lobelias

Butterworts

Violets

Pansies

Marsh Gentian Apple-of-Peru Common Larkspur Hybrid Monk's-hood
Gentians

Apple-of-Peru

Larkspurs

Monk's-hoods

Abraham-Isaac-Jacob Bittersweet Common Columbine Common Columbine
Abraham-Isaac-Jacob

Bittersweet

Columbines

Columbines

Six Petals
Siberian Iris Common Bluebell Common Hyacinth Alpine Squill
Irises

Bluebells

Common Hyacinth

Squills

Siberian Squill Common Pasqueflower Spring Crocus
Siberian Squill

Common
Pasqueflower

Crocuses

More Than Six Petals
Blue Anemone Love-in-a-mist Common Cornflower Chicory
Anemones

Love-in-a-mist

Common Cornflower

Chicory

Blue Passionflower Common Knapweed Common Columbine Common Columbine
Passionflowers

Knapweeds

Columbines

Columbines

Many-rayed Flowers
Sea Aster Globe Artichoke Greater Burdock
Asters

Cardoons

Burdocks

Tubular Flowers (petals fused into a tube-like form)
Spring Crocus Triplet Lily Marsh Gentian Viper's Bugloss
Crocuses

Triplet Lily

Gentians

Buglosses

Purple Milk-vetch Purple Toothwort Yarrow Broomrape Common Skullcap
Milk-vetches

Toothworts

Broomrapes

Skullcaps

Peach-leaved Bellflower Apple-of-Peru Confused Eyebright Cape-jewels
Bellflowers

Apple-of-Peru

Eyebrights

Cape-jewels

Basil-thyme Ivy-leaved Toadflax Rough Comfrey Greater Honeywort
Mints &
Dead-nettles

Toadflaxes &
allies

Comfreys

Honeyworts

Wild Clary Common Grape-hyacinth
Sages

Grape-hyacinths

Many-flowered Heads
African Lily Common Hyacinth Common Bluebell Common Grape-hyacinth
African Lily

Common Hyacinth

Bluebells

Grape-hyacinths

Lupin Hybrids Tufted Vetch Hybrid Monk's-hood Tansy-leaved Phacelia
Lupins

Vetches

Monk's-hoods

Phacelias

Viper's Bugloss Abraham-Isaac-Jacob Matted Sea-lavender Common Bugle
Buglosses

Abraham-Isaac-Jacob

Sea-lavenders

Common Bugle

Common Cornflower Common Teasel Sea-holly Sheep's-bit
Common Cornflower

Teasels

Eryngos

Sheep's-bit

Field Scabious Narrow-leaved Lavender Purple Toadflax Yarrow Broomrape
Scabiouses

Lavenders

Toadflaxes

Broomrapes

Common Cornsalad Argentinian Vervain Long-leaved Speedwell
Common Cornsalad

Vervains

Speedwells

Woody Trees, Shrubs & Climbers
Blue Passionflower Duke of Argyll's Teaplant European Rhododendron Narrow-leaved Lavender
Passionflowers

Teaplants

Rhododendrons

Lavenders

Rosemary Common Lilac Hedge Veronica Common Butterfly-bush
Rosemary & allies

Lilacs

Hebes

Butterfly-bushes