30 Native French Flowers and Wildflowers to Admire

Known for its beautiful cities and famous works of art, you might not realize that France is also home to several stunning native flowers. What’s more, many of these native flowers can make wonderful additions to your garden. In this article, you’ll discover 30 fabulous native French flowers.

30 Native French Flowers

France Native Range and Growing Zones

France is situated in Western Europe with coastlines along both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. You can explore various habitats in France, ranging from fields and forests to the breathtaking mountains of the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Most of France experiences a temperate climate, while Southern France enjoys a warmer Mediterranean climate. France’s climate zones correlate to USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 10.

How Are France’s Native Flowers Defined?

France’s native flowers are defined as plants that naturally occur in France. Many native flowers have been present in France since at least the end of the last ice age. However, you should note that many non-native plants introduced by humans are now widespread in France.


30 Stunning Native French Flowers: 


1) Alpine Aster

Purple Alpine Aster flowers in bloom

Alpine asters are wonderful herbaceous perennials from the aster or daisy family (Asteraceae). These asters grow in clumps of dark green lanceolate leaves and blue, pink, or purple daisy-like flowers. As their name suggests, these flowers are native to the Alps.

I love Alpine asters because they’re incredibly versatile. They work exceptionally well in rock gardens, but you can also grow them in borders and containers.

Scientific Name:Aster alpinus
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Up to 1 foot

2) Alpine Forget-me-not

White, pink, and blue Alpine Forget-me-not flowers

Dazzling drifts of tiny pale blue flowers with yellow centers define the Alpine forget-me-not. Emerging from clumps of lance-shaped leaves covered in fine hairs, these beauties are members of the borage family (Boraginaceae).

As short-lived herbaceous perennials, they possess a unique trait: they self-seed easily. This makes them a favorite for garden borders and rock gardens. For optimal growth, ensure they’re planted in moist, well-draining soils. The Alpine forget-me-nots enhance garden beauty and thrive with minimal fuss.

Scientific Name:Myosotis alpestris
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun or partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 feet

3) Alpine Sea Holly

Alpine Sea Holly are beautiful types of native French flowers

Known as the queen-of-the-Alps, the Alpine sea holly boasts large, vibrant flowers. The Eryngium alpinum plants showcase dense umbels of minuscule blooms encased in feathery blue or purple bracts.

Complementing their striking appearance are their glossy, heart-shaped leaves. They’re not just visually pleasing; the Alpine sea holly is a magnet for bees and butterflies, making them perfect for alpine or wildlife borders. A true garden royalty that not only beautifies but also supports local wildlife.

Scientific Name:Eryngium alpinum
Growing Zones:2 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 3 feet

4) Bee Orchid

Bee Orchids in a field of green

Bee orchids are beautiful but unusual types of orchids with a clever trick up their sleeve. Bee orchid flowers have three purple sepals and an intricate labellum that resembles a bee. These fascinating flowers even produce pheromones that replicate the scent of female bees.

Lured in by these pheromones, male bees mistake the labellum for a female bee. This tricks them into landing on the flower and pollinating it.

Scientific Name:Ophrys apifera
Growing Zones:6 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 feet

5) Broomrape

A single Broomrape flower in bloom

Broomrapes are a group of approximately 200 unusual plants. What makes them unique? They lack the ability to produce chlorophyll. This deficiency causes them to act as parasites, latching onto the roots of neighboring plants to siphon off essential nutrients and water.

Instead of the typical green foliage, broomrape plants showcase yellow stems adorned with triangular scales, taking the role of leaves. Additionally, they flaunt tubular flowers in shades of yellow, purple, or white, all of which are delicately covered in short hairs. A genuinely intriguing specimen in the plant world!

Scientific Name:Orobanche spp.
Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Up to 2 feet

6) Carnivorous Sundew

Red Carnivorous Sundew flowers

Carnivorous sundews are fascinating plants that form rosettes of reddish-green rounded leaves. These evergreen perennials are covered in sticky hairs that trap insects. Once an unfortunate insect is trapped, the leaf curls in on itself and digests the insect using enzymes.

Carnivorous sundews inhabit moist, acidic soils in boggy or marshy areas. However, you can also grow them indoors.

Scientific Name:Drosera rotundifolia
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 10 inches

7) Common Poppy

Red Common Poppy flowers in bloom

Common poppies are beautiful annuals that have large, scarlet flowers with papery petals and black central florets. The flowers are accompanied by hairy stems and deeply divided pinnate leaves.

I love growing these poppies as annuals in a bed or wildflower meadow. Common poppies are also a poignant symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers, especially those who died in World War One.

Scientific Name:Papaver rhoeas
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:1 to 2 feet

8) Crocus neapolitanus

Purple Crocus neapolitanus

Are you a fan of spring blooms? If so, Crocus flowers might just become a cherished addition to your garden, especially the Crocus neapolitanus variety.

Originating from regions of France, Austria, and Italy, this crocus species is truly captivating. Each flower presents with lovely purple petals, numbering six in total, and stands out vividly with its bright yellow stamens. Complementing its bloom are the slender green leaves marked with distinctive white central stripes.

For them to flourish, you’ll need to ensure they’re nestled in moist, well-draining soils. Add some Crocus neapolitanus to your garden, and revel in the beauty they bring each spring!

Scientific Name:Crocus neapolitanus
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 6 inches

9) European Pasqueflower

Purple European Pasqueflowers

Belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), these herbaceous perennials are renowned for their beauty. For optimal growth, plant them in chalky, loamy, or sandy soils.

You’ll be captivated as they form rosettes of soft, grayish-green leaves, each delicately covered in hairs. And when spring rolls around? Expect your European pasqueflowers to showcase nodding bell-shaped blossoms with pink or purple petals, beautifully highlighted by bright yellow central florets.

Scientific Name:Pulsatilla vulgaris
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 1 foot

10) European Sea Rocket

European Sea Rocket growing near a sandy shore

European sea rocket is an annual succulent that belongs to the cabbage or mustard family (Brassicaceae). These plants thrive in coastal areas and require sandy soils and full sun. However, they can be invasive.

European sea rocket has prostrate branched stems covered in succulent obovate or oblong leaves. During the summer, these plants produce small white or purple flowers that have four petals.

Scientific Name:Cakile maritima
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 1 foot

11) European Water Lily

A white European Water Lily

European water lilies are aquatic perennials that work well as pond plants. These water lilies are known for their large white flowers, bright yellow stamens, and subtle, delicate fragrance.

These water lilies also have large, rounded lily pads that can grow up to 12 inches wide. When growing these plants in ponds, use aquatic fertilizers to provide extra nutrients.

Scientific Name:Nymphaea alba
Growing Zones:4 to 11
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 4 feet

12) French Honeysuckle

French Honeysuckle flowers in bloom are popular types of native French flowers

Although widely grown as animal fodder, French honeysuckle can also be a lovely ornamental plant. These short-lived herbaceous perennials belong to the legume or pea family (Fabaceae).

French honeysuckles have pinnate, compound leaves consisting of up to 15 grayish-green oblong leaflets. During the summer, these plants have dense racemes of pea-like red flowers. These flowers emit a strong, sweet scent.

Scientific Name:Hedysarum coronarium
Growing Zones:3 to 7
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 4 feet

13) French Lavender

Purple French Lavender blooming in a field

Also known as Spanish lavender, French lavender is one of France’s most famous native flowers. These early-blooming lavender shrubs have aromatic grayish-green leaves that have several uses. French lavender also has dark purple flowers that are topped with light purple bracts.

French lavender thrives in loose, well-draining soils, so it works really well in Mediterranean or herb gardens. You can also grow it in containers.

Scientific Name:Lavandula stoechas
Growing Zones:6 to 11
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 3 feet

14) French Sorrel

Green leafed French Sorrel

Planning to add a zesty touch to your garden? Consider French sorrel.

This herbaceous perennial, hailing from the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), boasts spreading clumps of arrow-shaped leaves complemented by spikes of dainty pink or white flowers.

Not just a visual treat, the young leaves of the French sorrel are edible, delivering a tart, lemony burst of flavor. They shine brightest when incorporated into soups and salads. But, a word of caution: these leaves contain oxalic acid. To enjoy their tang without any downside, ensure you don’t consume them in large quantities. Add a touch of French culinary flair to your garden and dishes with French sorrel!

Scientific Name:Rumex scutatus
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun or partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 2 feet

15) Globe Daisy

Globe Daisies in bloom

Considering a striking addition to your garden? Meet the Globe daisies.

Originating from the plantain family (Plantaginaceae), these captivating flowering shrubs stand out with their blue or purple globe-like flower heads, true to their name. Complementing these blooms are their small oblong leaves.

In their native French habitats, Globe daisies showcase their vibrant blooms from winter through spring. Given their preference for dry, alpine environments, they’re a top pick for rock gardens. If you’re after an eye-catching and resilient plant, Globe daisies could be your next garden favorite.

Scientific Name:Globularia alypum
Growing Zones:7 to 10
Flowering Season:Winter to spring
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 2.5 feet

16) Lily of the Valley

Brilliant white Lily of the Valley flowers

In France, lily of the valley flowers are known as muguet. These elegant flowers take center stage in a public holiday known as La Fete du Muguet. During the festival, held on May 1st, sprigs of lily of the valley are exchanged as gifts to promote good luck.

These herbaceous perennials have nodding racemes of delicate, bell-shaped white flowers. Plus, you’ll love their sweet fragrance. 

Scientific Name:Convallaria majalis
Growing Zones:2 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:Approximately 1 foot

17) Marsh Gentian

Marsh Gentian flowers in tall green grass

Marsh gentian is a member of the Gentianaceae family that thrives in marshy habitats. These wildflowers have large, bell-shaped blue flowers with white stamens. The flowers emerge on upright stems amid clumps of narrow green leaves.

These native French flowers bloom from late spring until early summer. These wildflowers are native to parts of Europe, including France, Britain, and Spain.

Scientific Name:Gentiana pneumonanthe
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 1 foot

18) Meadow Clary

Purple Meadow Clary flowers in bloom

Also known as meadow sage, meadow clary works well in borders or wildflower meadows. These beautiful native French wildflowers have dark blue flowers that are great at attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.

These herbaceous perennials belong to the mint or sage family (Lamiaceae). Meadow clary grows in clumps of hairy stems and grayish-green oblong or lanceolate leaves.

Scientific Name:Salvia pratensis
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:1 to 3 feet

19) Meadow Saffron

Pink Meadow Saffron with yellow stamens

Also known as the autumn crocus, meadow saffron is a herbaceous perennial from the Colchicaceae family. These plants grow from underground corms and have long, lance-shaped leaves.

During the summer, meadow saffron has pale purple or pink flowers that resemble crocus flowers. However, these plants aren’t actually related to true crocus flowers. These plants are also extremely toxic.

Scientific Name:Colchicum autumnale
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 6 inches

20) Mountain Arnica

Bright yellow Mountain Arnica flowers in bloom

Mountain arnica is a herbaceous perennial that grows in meadows and woodlands. These wildflowers belong to the daisy family. Although often used in traditional medicine, mountain arnica is actually toxic, especially when applied to the skin.

These French native flowers have ovate, hairy basal leaves, and lance-shaped upper leaves. During the summer, these plants have golden-yellow daisy-like flowers with yellow central florets.

Scientific Name:Arnica montana
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 2 feet

21) Purple Toothwort

Purple Toothwort plants

The purple toothwort is an unusual plant that doesn’t have leaves and can’t produce chlorophyll. Instead, it siphons nutrients from host plants by attaching itself to their roots. Strangely, the host plants aren’t adversely affected.

Interestingly, you won’t find any green parts on purple toothwort plants. Instead, these parasitic plants have long, purple flowers. In France, purple toothwort is also known as clandestine.

Scientific Name:Lathraea clandestina
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 8 inches

22) Pyrenean Buttercup

White Pyrenean Buttercup

Pyrenean buttercups are attractive members of the buttercup family. These deciduous perennials are also popular as bedding plants. I love planting these buttercups in spring borders because of their elegant flowers.

These native French flowers grow in clumps of bluish-green lanceolate leaves. During the spring and summer, these perennials have beautiful white flowers with golden-yellow central florets.

Scientific Name:Ranunculus pyrenaeus
Growing Zones:6 to 11
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:Approximately 8 inches

23) Pyrenean Lily

Yellow Pyrenean Lily

Also known as yellow Turk’s-cap lilies, Pyrenean lilies are vibrant flowers that thrive throughout the Pyrenees. These bulbous perennials work beautifully as cut flowers, although they do have an odd, musky fragrance.

Pyrenean lilies have upright stems that bear whorls of grayish-green lance-shaped leaves. These lilies produce approximately 12 yellow flowers with recurved petals and reddish-orange stamens.

Scientific Name:Lilium pyrenaicum
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 4 feet

24) Pyrenean Saxifrage

Pyrenean Saxifrage

Also known as encrusted saxifrage, Pyrenean saxifrage is an evergreen perennial that works well in alpine or rock gardens. I love that these plants form dense rosettes of glossy green leaves with silvery edges.

After several years, Pyrenean saxifrage produces a stem topped with a spike of tiny white flowers. These perennials are native to the Pyrenees.

Scientific Name:Saxifraga longifolia
Growing Zones:6 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 2 feet

25) Pyrenean Scabious

Pyrenean Scabious in bloom

Commonly known as field scabious, Pyrenean scabious is one of my favorite native French flowers. I love adding these beautiful flowers to my wildflower borders and containers.

Pyrenean scabious forms clumps of upright stems and pinnate leaves. During the summer, these wildflowers have pale blue flowers with pincushion-like central florets. The stems, leaves, and flowers are all covered in stiff hairs.

Scientific Name:Knautia arvensis
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 3 feet

26) Pyrenean Violet

Pyrenean Violet flowers in bloom on rocky terrain

Pyrenean violets are tough but beautiful members of the Gesneriaceae family. These evergreen perennials thrive in dry soils and can even survive severe droughts. As such, Pyrenean violets are perfect for adding some color to rock gardens.

These native French flowers grow in rosettes of oval-shaped leaves with wavy margins. During the spring, these plants have stunning purple flowers with five petals and bright yellow centers.

Scientific Name:Ramonda myconi
Growing Zones:5 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 4 feet

27) Round-headed Leek

Round-headed Leek

Most alliums make excellent ornamental plants, and the round-headed leek is no exception. These alliums have tall stems topped with small, densely packed globes of tiny reddish-purple flowers. As such, this species is also known as the drumstick allium.

Round-headed leeks grow from egg-shaped underground bulbs. Plant the bulbs in the fall to enjoy a fabulous display from late spring to early summer.

Scientific Name:Allium sphaerocephalon
Growing Zones:4 to 11
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 3 feet

28) Sea Lavender

Sea Lavender flowers in bloom

Sea lavender is a herbaceous perennial from the leadwort family (Plumbaginaceae). Despite its common name, sea lavender isn’t actually related to true lavenders. These plants thrive in sandy or salty soils.

Sea lavender has basal rosettes of dark green, oval-shaped leaves and upright stems. From summer until fall, sea lavender has light purple flowers protected by white bracts.

Scientific Name:Limonium binervosum
Growing Zones:9 to 11
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 2 feet

29) Wild Pansy

Colorful Wild Pansy flowers in bloom

Wild pansies are some of the world’s most popular bedding plants. These cheery little annuals or short-lived perennials work well in garden borders. The flowers are also edible and work best in salads.

Wild pansies have deeply lobed oval-shaped leaves and tricolor flowers. The upper petals are purple, and the middle ones are light purple. What’s more, the yellow lower petals also have purple markings.

Scientific Name:Viola tricolor
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 1 foot

30) Wood Anemone

White Wood Anemone flowers in bloom

Wood anemones are some of my favorite spring flowers to grow in partial shade. These elegant flowers are native throughout Europe and parts of Western Asia. Wood anemones often grow in ancient woodland habitats.

These native French herbaceous perennials grow in clumps of compound palmate leaves with three lobes. Throughout the spring, wood anemones produce wonderful white flowers with several sepals and yellow centers.

Wood anemones spread via underground rhizomes and should be planted in the fall. These woodland wildflowers thrive in fertile, moist soils that still provide good drainage.

Scientific Name:Anemone nemorosa
Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 1 foot

Native French Flowers FAQs:

What is the National Flower of France?

The national floral symbol of France is the Fleur-de-lis. The Fleur-de-lis is commonly associated with the monarchy that held power before the French Revolution. This famous symbol is widely believed to depict a lily flower such as the Pyrenean lily (Lilium pyrenaicum).

What Plants Are Native to France?

Several beautiful flowers and plants are native to France. French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is one of France’s most famous native plants. Others include common poppies, French honeysuckles, and wild pansies.

What is the Lucky Flower in France?

Since the 16th Century, the lily of the valley has been a symbol of happiness and good luck in France. Lily of the Valley is known as muguet in France. It even has a public holiday named after it, La Fete du Muguet, which is held on May 1st.


Wrapping Up

France is blessed with several fabulous native flowers that also work well in most gardens. Some of my personal favorites are French lavender bushes, Pyrenean scabious flowers, and wild pansies. Most of France’s native flowers thrive in USDA Zones 6 to 10. Many of them can also be grown in containers.


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