15 Native Flowers of France To Grow in Your Garden

  • By: SFUAA
  • Date: April 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Do you want to add more variety, color, and sweetness to your garden? Well, you’ve come to the right place! If you’re looking for ideas about what kinds of flowers would fit in your landscape, why not take a look at the motherland of flowers, France, for inspiration. 

If you’re looking for native French flowers to grow in your garden, some of the best options to choose from are French Lavender, English Iris, Red Poppy, Lily of the Valley, Rosemary, Anemone, Pansy, French Rose, and Jonquil. Blue Pimpernel, Cornflower, Crocus, and French Peony are also good options. 

Let’s look at these fantastic french flowers and discuss them. I’ll tell you about how you can incorporate colorful flora from France into your garden, and I’ll also talk about their requirements, the best places to plant them, their bloom times, and how to keep them healthy.

1. French Lavender

French Lavender Flowers | Photo 2603684 / Blue © Ivan Tihelka | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full Sun

USDA Zones: 8 to 11

Blooms: June to August

Have you ever dreamed of wandering the vibrant lavender fields in France? Well, you can bring those hearty evergreen flowers home to you, and luckily, it won’t take much work to develop large bushes of fragrant french lavender

French lavender tolerates abuse well, so it’s difficult to kill. It prefers rocky soils with plenty of drainage, and it tolerates drought very well. It grows best in full sun, but it’ll only grow more slowly when planted in partial sun. 

Still, this flower isn’t just a sweet-smelling ornamental, which is why it won the number one spot on this list.

Lavender comes from the Latin word “lavare,” which means to wash. This is because lavender was historically used as a perfume for clothing, skin, soaps, sachets, potpourris, and much more.

2. English Iris

English Iris | Photo 195590678 / Blue © Philip Bird | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full to Partial Sun

USDA Zones: 4 to 9

Blooms: Early Spring to June

Irises are the national flower of France, and they’re everywhere, from roadsides to doorsteps. The Fleur-de-Lis is a golden iris representing purity, freedom, prosperity, and wisdom. 

These bulb-growing flowers are the iconic and beautiful iris that we all know, and they can reach heights of 3 feet (0.91 m) tall. They have light lavender-colored petals with golden stripes that fade into darker purple as they extend outwards, giving the flower an ombre-like effect. 

English irises prefer well-draining soil with a bit of sand in it, and they can thrive in partial to full sun, though they prefer more sun exposure. 

3. Red Poppy

Red Poppy Flowers | Photo 46454690 © Chris Dorney | Dreamstime.com

Annual (self-seeding)

Light: Full Sun

USDA Zones: 3 to 10

Blooms: April to June

Red poppies are so widespread in France that they’re often considered weeds, and their resilience makes them the perfect garden flower for people who haven’t earned their green thumb yet. These stunning bright red to orange flowers grow best in full sun, and they can thrive in even the poorest quality soil. 

When growing poppies from seed, sow them in the fall or winter. Rake up a patch of soil, toss the seeds about, then cover them with a thin layer of soil or rake them in. Over winter, allow them to freeze, which will help them germinate. Then, come spring, you should see brilliant red poppies popping up everywhere without any care or watering from your side. 

4. Lily of the Valley

Lilly of the Valley Flowers | Photo 139752409 © Larysa Lyundovska | Dreamstime.com


Light: Partial Sun

USDA Zones: 2 to 9

Blooms: March to May

The lily of the valley, an ancient and traditional French flower, has some of the most fragrant blossoms of the flowers on this list. These fragrant blooms are picked and worn in buttonholes to celebrate Mayday in France.

The bell-shaped, tiny, white blooms of the lily of the valley and their tall, spiking leaves make quite a lovely display come spring. They’re the perfect flower to ring in the new gardening year!

These flowers adapt to change well, and they can survive in full sun, shade, poor soil quality, and high-quality soil. So, no matter where you plant it, you can expect to see the beautiful lily of the valley popping up. 

5. Rosemary

Rosemary Flowers | Photo 39675595 / Blue © Lyudmylagromova | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full Sun

USDA Zones: 6 to 10

Blooms: February to September (blooms irregularly)

Rosemary, widely beloved for its culinary uses, also produces stunning lavender-colored flowers that attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Rosemary bushes are evergreens that can survive cold weather, and they have an intensely sweet smell, which can make your garden smell fresh year-round. 

This shrub prefers rocky or well-aerated soils and a moderate amount of water, though it’s very hearty and drought-resistant once it has made it past its first year of growth. 

6. Anemone

Yellow Anemone Flower | Photo 236741653 © RukiMedia | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full to Partial Sun

USDA Zones: 4 to 8

Blooms: March to May

Anemones, also known as pale pasque flowers, are wildflowers found in the Alps. They grow from corms, much like bulbs, making them perennial flowers that’ll return every year. 

Anemones are short, clumping flowers with fuzzy petals, stems, and leaves that bloom nicely when planted underneath the taller flowers included on this list. Their many colors and varieties also make a lovely border edging. They grow best in well-draining soil with some sand contents, and they prefer open spaces with total sun exposure. 

7. Pansy

Field of Pansy Flowers | Photo 3100861 © Ferenc Ungor | Dreamstime.com


Light: Partial Sun

USDA Zones: 2 to 9

Blooms: September to April

Bright, youthful pansies are another fantastic french flower that grows well in gardens. These colorful flowers withstand cold temperatures very well. Depending on where you live, they could stay fresh and beautiful into December. 

However, they don’t tolerate the summer heat, so they’ll probably only last through either spring or fall. Pansies grow best in moist soil, making them perfect for withstanding November rains and April showers. 

8. French Rose

French Rose AKA Gallic Rose AKA Rosa Galica | Photo 208930492 © Travelpeter | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full to Partial Sun

USDA Zones: 3 to 8

Blooms: May to June 

The French rose, also known as the rosa gallica or apothecary’s rose, has been a popular garden plant in France since medieval times. These brilliant pink to rich red flowers have an intensely sweet smell that’ll fill your garden with a lovely fragrance. 

Rosa gallica grows on low, dense shrubs that make the perfect borders or edging for your garden. These rose bushes prefer very fertile soil, which can help them produce many vibrant flowers. 

9. Jonquil

Rush Daffodil (Narcissus Jonquilla) | Photo 216037210 © Studiobarcelona | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full Sun

USDA Zones: 4 to 8

Blooms: April to May

The jonquil is a variety of narcissus, and it has several small blooms that look just like the brilliant yellow and white daffodils we all know and love. They grow best in well-draining, fertile soil, and in my experience, they usually respond well to some mulch and regular fertilization. 

These flowers need plenty of water, although they usually get enough from early spring rains. That said, it’s usually best to water jonquils heavily once a week during the warmer months to help them store enough energy for next year’s bloom. 

10. Blue Pimpernel

Blue Pimpernel | Photo 33176956 / Blue © Mauro Rodrigues | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full Sun

USDA Zones: 8 to 10

Blooms: February to May 

Blue flowers can be hard to come by, and that’s what makes the small yet stunning blue pimpernel so popular. These flowers grow in the French plains near the Alps, where they form blankets of vibrant blue all over the ground. 

This plant is prone to developing root rot, so you should ensure that your soil drains well before planting them. Generally, these flowers can withstand drought very well, so it’s always better to let them dry out than to keep watering them if they look healthy. 

11. Cornflower

Cornflower | Photo 14235315 / Blue © Jolanta Dabrowska | Dreamstime.com

Annual (self-sowing)

Light: Full to Partial Sun 

USDA Zones: 2 to 11

Blooms: May to July

In France, the cornflower, also known as the bachelor’s button, is a traditional lapel flower worn on November 11 in remembrance of the fallen soldiers of World War I. This small blue flower, which once grew wild in the French courtyard, is a beautiful addition to any garden. 

Cornflowers are tall, and they have tiny multi-faceted flowers that come in a wide range of colors, though the most popular color is blue. 

They’re highly resilient and self-sow efficiently, so they can be challenging to control once they’re established in your yard. However, using a flower bed or other containment method can help you keep your flowers where you want them. 

12. Crocus

Crocus Flowers | Photo 51345531 © Viorel Dudau | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full to Partial Sun 

USDA Zones: 3 to 8

Blooms: March to April

Crocuses are french wildflowers that have made their way into gardens worldwide due to their beauty and blooming times. 

Like anemones, crocuses have corms that function much like bulbs. The crocus returns in the earliest spring every year, bursting forth in lilac and bright yellow shades. These flowers grow very close to the ground in small mounds, making them a perfect companion to taller plants and shrubs. 

13. Fringed Pink

Fringed Pink (Dianthus Superbus) | Photo 97434171 © Jinfeng Zhang | Dreamstime.com

Annual/Perennial (depending on the variety)

Light: Full Sun 

USDA Zones: 4 to 9

Blooms: May to July

Fringed Pinks, which come in shades of light blush to crimson red, grow in France’s mountainous, rocky regions where they nestle in small mounds on hills. 

These are some of the cutest flowers out there, and they grow in clumps with short, waxy leaves that look a bit like moss or grass. Their blooms vary depending on the variety you have, and they can come in carnation-like, fluffy blossoms or thin-petaled, smaller flowers. 

Since they naturally grow on rocky cliffs, they usually do best in rocky soil with gravel surrounding them. They’re pretty tolerant of drought and prefer plenty of drainage, so you should be careful not to overwater them. Usually, they’ll get along just fine without any watering.

14. Narcissus

Daffodil Hill in Ohio | Photo 40150773 © Stephen Kinosh | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full to Partial Sun 

USDA Zones: 3 to 9

Blooms: February to June

Narcissus flowers, better known as daffodils, are hardy bulb-growing perennials that come back every spring. In France, they grow wild in the mountainous regions, where they take over wide, flat, sunny fields and border the edges of forests. 

These flowers do best in full sun, although they can also survive in partial sun. They generally need plenty of water to grow, and you’ll see them sprouting as soon as the first spring showers arrive after the frost melts. 

15. French Peony

French Peony (Ranunculus) | Photo 2149454 © Mimi66 | Dreamstime.com


Light: Full to Partial Sun 

USDA Zones: 3 to 8

Blooms: April to August

Peonies grow in small perennial bushes, where their large, round, fluffy-looking petals pop out. Peonies come in many magnificent colors, from pinks to reds to oranges and yellows. They also last for many weeks, making excellent cut flowers. 

They need plenty of water and fertilization to produce their large flowers, so they need a bit of care to flourish. They generally do best in well-draining soil, and they need a thorough watering every two or three days during warm weather for best results. 

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