Perennial flowers are plants that come back year after year without replanting. This type of plant grows again from the roots each spring. Most varieties of perennials survive for several years, but some varieties are short-lived, growing and flowering for only 3 to 4 years. Small perennial flowers can be used for erosion control, flowerbeds, borders and containers. Mixing small perennial flowers with short-lived annuals provides a summer's worth of colour and blossoms.
Dwarf Crested Iris
Dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata) grows miniature iris leaves that last all summer long. The 6-inch-tall plant yields purple flowers that appear in May. Dwarf crested iris flowers prefer areas of sun with light afternoon shade. This variety of iris works well in flower garden borders.
Moss pink (Phlox subulata) is also known as creeping phlox. Moss pink grows best in areas with full sun exposure. The pink, lavender, white and red blooms reach 6 to 12 inches tall in May through June. Moss pink is a spreading plant that grows prostrate along the ground. This phlox variety is used in rock gardens and borders.
Tiny Rubies Carnation
Tiny rubies carnation (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) is a dwarf carnation that produces 1-inch-tall grasslike leaves. This type of carnation grows well in full sun with 6 inch pink blossoms towering over the leaf mat. The flowers grow from spring throughout summer. Tiny rubies carnations are planted around walls and steps.
Tunic Flower (Tunica saxifraga) is a sun-loving flower the reaches 6 to 8 inches tall. Pink and white flowers are produced during the second half of the summer. This hardy flower is grown in flower borders and rock gardens. Tunic flowers are available in single and double blossom varieties.
Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) grows 3 inches tall in areas of sun with some shade in the summer. Yellow flowers appear in March and April. Winter aconite is one of the first flowers to appear in the spring. This flower is commonly planted in rock gardens.