30 Beautiful Native Italian Flowers to Admire

Italy is a beautiful country that’s also rich in biodiversity. This richness also includes thousands of gorgeous native Italian flowers and plants. Some of Italy’s most popular flowers include Italian bluebells and snowbell bushes. In this article, I’ll discover 30 impressive native Italian flowers.

Stunning native Italian flowers

Italy Native Range and Growing Zones

Italy has a variable climate that corresponds to USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 11. Northern Italy has a cooler temperate climate. Southern Italy experiences a warm, Mediterranean climate. Most of central Italy falls within Zones 8 and 9.

Italy’s biodiversity reflects the country’s different climates. Beech and pine forests thrive in the north, along with alpine plants. Olive and citrus groves grow in the south, especially along the coast.

How Are Italy’s Native Flowers Defined?

Italy’s native flowers are species that have grown in the country for thousands of years. These native flowers were around before humans began cultivating plants. However, due to human activity, many non-native or naturalized species are now present across Italy.

30 Native Italian Flowers

1) Alpine Edelweiss

Alpine Edelweiss flowers growing natively in Italy

Alpine edelweiss is an elegant mountain wildflower from the aster or daisy family (Asteraceae). These perennials are native to mountainous regions throughout Europe, including the Italian Alps.

Leontopodium nivale plants grow in clumps of hairy, lance-shaped leaves. These alpine perennials can have two flushes of flowers from spring until fall. The blooms are a cluster of central florets surrounded by furry white bracts.

Scientific Name:Leontopodium nivale
Growing Zones:4 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:6 to 12 inches

2) Alpine Pasqueflower

White and yellow native Italian Alpine Pasqueflowers

Pulsatilla alpina flowers inhabit the mountains of central and southern Europe. These lovely wildflowers thrive in the Italian Alps and work well in alpine or rock gardens.

These native Italian flowers come from the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). These herbaceous perennials have hairy fern-like leaves. Alpine pasqueflowers also have white cup-shaped flowers with silky petals. The flowers can even bloom from underneath a layer of snow.

Scientific Name:Pulsatilla alpina
Growing Zones:5 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:6 to 12 inches

3) Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Few orchids are as charismatic or as fascinating as bee orchids. These colorful orchids have three purple sepals with a labellum that resembles a bumblebee. Bee orchids also have lanceolate to ovate leaves.

Bee orchids produce chemicals that copy the pheromones of female bees. Male bees looking for a mate latch onto the orchids, transferring pollen between the reproductive parts of the flower.

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

4) Common Thyme

Pink Common Thyme flowers growing natively in Italy

Common thyme is a popular herb native to Italy and southern Europe. These shrubs have grayish-green leaves with a pungent scent. Throughout spring and summer, common thyme shrubs also have whorls of tiny pink or white flowers.

Common thyme comes from the mint or sage family (Lamiaceae). These native Italian flowers are ideal for kitchen or Mediterranean gardens but also work well as ground cover plants.

Scientific Name:Thymus vulgaris
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 1 foot

5) Field Poppy

Field Poppy

Field poppies are stunning wildflowers that are widespread throughout Asia, Europe, and North Africa. These vibrant annuals have large cup-shaped flowers with red, papery petals. Field poppies are excellent additions to wildflower borders.

Papaver rhoeas flowers also have grayish-green fern-like leaves. These wildflowers belong to the Papaveraceae family. Field poppies are a poignant symbol of remembrance, especially for soldiers who died during 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

6) Florentine Iris

White Florentine Iris flowers growing natively in Italy

The Florentine iris is a stunning bearded iris cultivar from Italy and parts of France. The showy white flowers have yellow beard markings and a strong fragrance. These blooms emerge during the summer.

Florentine irises also have grayish-green lance-shaped leaves. These native Italian flowers thrive in full sun but also like moist, well-draining soils. The rhizomes can be ground into potpourri powder.

Scientific Name:Iris florentina
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 2.5 feet

7) Garland Chrysanthemum

A cluster of yellow Garland Chrysanthemum flowers growing natively in Italy

Also known as crown daisies, garland chrysanthemums are herbaceous annuals from the daisy family. These gorgeous flowers are native to Italy and other parts of Mediterranean Europe.

Garland chrysanthemums have charming flowers with white and yellow petals. The flowers bloom from spring until fall. The fern-like aromatic leaves are edible and are often added to soups. These flowers work well in ornamental borders.

Scientific Name:Glebionis coronaria
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 4 feet

8) Genovese Basil

Genovese Basil

Basil is a staple of Italian cooking despite being native to Asia, India, and Australia. However, Genovese basil is a cultivar that was developed in Italy. It is still grown in northern Italy and is usually used to make pesto.

Genovese basil is an annual herb with glossy oval-shaped leaves. These leaves have a strong aroma. From spring until fall, basil also produces spikes of tiny white flowers.

Scientific Name:Ocimum basilicum
Growing Zones:2 to 11
Flowering Season:Spring to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 3 feet

9) Great Yellow Gentian

Great Yellow Gentian flowers growing in an open clearing in Italy

The great yellow gentian is a herbaceous perennial from the Gentianaceae family. These tall wildflowers are native throughout Europe. The bitter roots have been used in traditional medicine or to flavor drinks.

Gentiana lutea plants have upright stems covered in elliptical or lanceolate leaves. From summer until fall, the stems also have densely packed whorls of bright yellow flowers.

Scientific Name:Gentiana lutea
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:3 to 6 feet

10) Italian Arum

Italian Arum

The Italian arum is a vigorous herbaceous perennial from the arum family (Araceae). These plants can spread quickly via underground rhizomes and may be invasive in some areas.

These native Italian plants grow in clumps of glossy arrow-shaped leaves with creamy-white veins. During the spring, these arums have a large hooded spathe that protects a spadix of tiny greenish-white flowers.

Scientific Name:Arum italicum
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1 to 2 feet

11) Italian Aster

Purple Italian Aster flowers in bloom

The Italian aster is also known as the European Michaelmas daisy. These herbaceous perennials are prized for their bluish-purple daisy-like flowers. These daisies have a more compact growth habit than other asters.

Aster amellus plants grow in clumps of dark green lance-shaped leaves. The flowers bloom from summer until fall and have bright yellow central florets. Italian asters are ideal for wildflower borders.

Scientific Name:Aster amellus
Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:1 to 3 feet

12) Italian Bellflower

Star-shaped Italian Bellflowers in bloom

To add some Italian style to trellises, use Italian bellflowers. These perennials are trailing vines from the Campanulaceae family. These bellflowers are native to northwestern Italy.

Native talian bellflowers have heart-shaped leaves with toothed edges. These vines can grow up to 12 inches wide. Italian bellflowers also have masses of star-shaped white or blue flowers from summer until fall.

Scientific Name:Campanula isophylla
Growing Zones:7 to 10
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:6 to 8 inches

13) Italian Bluebell

A cluster of purple Italian Bluebells in bloom

Italian bluebells are ideal spring centerpieces in Mediterranean gardens. These bulbous perennials are native to parts of Italy and France. Hyacinthoides italica is a member of the asparagus family (Asparagaceae).

These attractive bluebells grow in clumps of slender, lance-shaped leaves. During the spring, Italian bluebells produce dense clusters of blue star-shaped flowers. They grow best in dry, stony soils.

Scientific Name:Hyacinthoides italica
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to full shade
Mature Height:Approximately 2 feet

14) Italian Buckthorn

Italian Buckthorn with red and black berries

Also known as Mediterranean buckthorn, Italian buckthorn grows throughout the Mediterranean Basin. These evergreen shrubs have glossy oval-shaped leaves with yellowish-green undersides. Italian buckthorn also has reddish-brown bark.

Italian buckthorn shrubs can flower as early as February. When in bloom, these shrubs produce clusters of tiny, fragrant yellowish-green flowers. As such, it’s a good ornamental shrub for spring borders.

Scientific Name:Rhamnus alaternus
Growing Zones:6 to 9
Flowering Season:Late winter to spring
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 16.5 feet

15) Italian Bugloss

Purple Italian Bugloss flowers in bloom

Anchusa azurea is also known as the Italian alkanet. These herbaceous perennials are some of my favorite Italian wildflowers. They grow best in spring borders or wildflower beds.

Italian bugloss leaves and stems are covered in stiff hairs. The leaves are lance-shaped. From spring until summer, these perennials have clusters of small blue star-shaped flowers. These flowers are popular with pollinating insects.

Scientific Name:Anchusa azurea
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 5 feet

16) Italian Clematis

Deep purple Italian Clematis flowers in bloom

One of the most popular types of clematis is the Italian clematis (Clematis viticella). This variety has a long flowering season and is best grown as a climbing vine. It can also be grown in containers.

Native Italian clematis vines have pinnate leaves and large bell-shaped flowers. The flowers come in shades of blue, pink, and purple.

Scientific Name:Clematis viticella
Growing Zones:4 to 11
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 10 to 15 feet

17) Italian Lavender

A field of Italian Lavender in bloom

Italian lavender is also known as Spanish lavender and grows throughout the Mediterranean. Lavandula stoechas plants have a bushy habit and fuzzy grayish-green leaves. The flower spikes consist of tiny dark purple flowers with papery pinkish-purple bracts on top.

These attractive lavender shrubs thrive in full sun and prefer dry, sandy soils. As such, Italian lavender is ideal for Mediterranean herb gardens. This variety also grows well 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

18) Italian Thistle

A cluster of pink blooming Italian Thistle

Carduus pycnocephalus is a herbaceous annual that’s native to the Mediterranean. It’s also found in parts of Asia, India, and North Africa. However, it is classed as an invasive species in many parts of the United States.

Native Italian thistles have spiky stems with woolly hairs. The leaves are also spiky. From late winter until summer, Italian thistles also have clusters of purple flowers.

Scientific Name:Carduus pycnocephalus
Growing Zones:6 to 9
Flowering Season:Winter to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 6.5 feet

19) Lesser Celandine

Bright yellow Lesser Celandine flowers growing natively in Italy

The lesser celandine is a herbaceous perennial from the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). It’s a low-growing plant native throughout Europe. Unfortunately, it has also been introduced to North America, where it has rapidly become invasive.

These native Italian flowers grow in clumps of glossy heart-shaped leaves. During the spring, bright yellow flowers bloom atop leafless stems. The flowers can have up to 12 tepals.

Scientific Name:Ficaria verna
Growing Zones:4 to 11
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 10 inches

20) Lily of the Valley

Bright white Lily of the Valley flowers growing natively in Italy

Lily of the Valley is one of my favorite spring wildflowers. These elegant perennials are native throughout Europe. Plant them in shady borders for the best display.

Convallaria majalis plants have pairs of elliptical leaves. During the spring, these perennials have arching stems laden with nodding bell-shaped white flowers. These lovely flowers also have a strong floral scent.

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

21) Mediterranean Spurge

Mediterranean Spurge

As its name suggests, Mediterranean spurge is widespread across the Mediterranean Basin. These adaptable, drought-tolerant plants thrive in Zones 7 to 10. However, Mediterranean spurge may struggle in hot, humid conditions.

Mediterranean spurge shrubs have hairy evergreen leaves that provide year-round interest. These shrubs also have dense clusters of small yellowish-green flowers. The flowers bloom from early spring until early summer.

Scientific Name:Euphorbia characias
Growing Zones:7 to 10
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 4 feet

22) Purple Cyclamen

Purple Cyclamen flowers growing natively in Italy

The purple cyclamen is a dramatic low-growing evergreen perennial. This cyclamen species is native to Italy and other parts of Central Europe. I love growing purple cyclamen flowers in shady summer borders.

Purple cyclamen plants form clumps of heart-shaped leaves decorated with mottled patterns. During the summer, these perennials produce gorgeous purple flowers with vertical petals.

Scientific Name:Cyclamen purpurascens
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to full shade
Mature Height:2 to 3 inches

23) Rosemary

Rosemary plants in bloom with tiny blue flowers

Rosemary is another classic culinary herb. These aromatic evergreen shrubs are native to the Mediterranean. As such, rosemary thrives in full sun and likes dry, sandy soils.

Rosemary shrubs have needle-like leaves and woody stems. From late winter to spring, these shrubs have clusters of tiny blue or white flowers. The ‘Tuscan Blue’ cultivar is particularly beautiful.

Scientific Name:Salvia rosmarinus
Growing Zones:8 to 11
Flowering Season:Winter to spring
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 6 feet

24) Sardinian Hellebore

Green Sardinian Hellebore flowers in Italy

The Sardinian hellebore is also known as the Corsican hellebore. These evergreen perennials are prized for their long flowering season, which runs from late winter until early summer.

Sardinian hellebores have large leaves divided into three leathery leaflets with spiky margins. When in bloom, these hellebores have dense racemes of nodding bowl-shaped green flowers. These plants thrive in partial shade.

Scientific Name:Helleborus argutifolius
Growing Zones:6 to 9
Flowering Season:Winter to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 3 feet

25) Sicilian Chamomile

Sicilian Chamomile flowers in bloom with white petals and yellow centers

Anthemis cupiana is a wonderful chamomile variety that’s native to the island of Sicily. These low-growing evergreen perennials form mats of feathery leaves. From summer until fall, Sicilian chamomile plants have white daisy-like blooms with yellow central florets.

This chamomile species is usually available as Anthemis punctata subsp. Cupaniana. It thrives in full sun and prefers fertile, well-draining soils.

Scientific Name:Anthemis cupaniana
Growing Zones:7 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Approximately 1 foot

26) Sicilian Honey Garlic

Sicilian Honey Garlic in bloom

Sicilian honey garlic is one of the most graceful Allium varieties. It’s native to Italy, France, and Turkey. These alliums work well as ornamentals in Mediterranean borders.

Allium siculum plants have triangular bluish-green leaves and long green stems. The leaves emit a garlic-like scent when crushed. These alliums also have large clusters of nodding greenish-pink bell-shaped flowers.

Scientific Name:Allium siculum
Growing Zones:5 to 10
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 4 feet

27) Snowbell Bush

Snowbell Bush in bloom

Styrax officinalis is a large deciduous shrub from the Styracaceae family. These shrubs have a dense canopy of elliptical or oval-shaped leaves. During spring and summer, snowbell bushes have fragrant bell-shaped white flowers.

Snowbell bushes are native to Italy, Southern Europe, and Turkey. These shrubs produce a fragrant sap which was traditionally used to make incense or perfume.

Scientific Name:Styrax officinalis
Growing Zones:8 to 11
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Up to 16.5 feet

28) Tree Heather

Tree Heather in full bloom

Tree heathers are evergreen shrubs that are widespread throughout the Mediterranean and East Africa. The hardwood of these shrubs has traditionally been used to make tobacco pipes. Tree heathers also work well as ornamentals in spring borders.

Erica arborea shrubs have needle-like dark green foliage. During the spring, these shrubs are covered in masses of fluffy white flowers. The blooms emit a honey-like fragrance.

Scientific Name:Erica arborea
Growing Zones:7 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 12 feet

29) Tuscan Crocus

Bright purple Tuscan Crocus flowers in bloom with yellow to orange stamens

The Tuscan crocus is a vibrant Crocus species native to northwestern Italy. This variety thrives in deciduous woodlands. Crocus etruscus ‘Zwanenburg’ is a popular cultivar that grows well in spring borders.

Tuscan crocuses are low-growing bulbous perennials. During early spring, the underground corms produce large light purple flowers with dark veins. Inside each flower is a cluster of reddish-orange stamens.

Scientific Name:Crocus etruscus
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 4 inches

30) White Lily

White Lily flowers growing natively in Italy

Also known as Madonna lilies, white lilies are elegant perennials native to Southern Europe. The white lily has become the unofficial national flower of Italy. I like growing these breathtaking lilies in containers and using them as cut flowers.

White lilies have upright stems with whorls of elliptical leaves. During spring and summer, these lilies produce several large, pure white flowers with swept-back petals. These intoxicating flowers have a strong, sweet fragrance.

Scientific Name:Lilium candidum
Growing Zones:6 to 9
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:Approximately 6 feet

Italian Native Flowers FAQs

What is the National Flower of Italy?

The white lily (Lilium candidum) is Italy’s unofficial national flower. The strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) is also associated with Italy. Its green leaves, white flowers, and red fruits reflect the colors of the Italian flag.

What Plants Are Originally from Italy?

Italy is home to several stunning flowers and plants, including olive trees. Species like the Sicilian chamomile (Anthemis cupaniana) and Tuscan crocus (Crocus etruscus) are endemic to Italy and Sicily.

What Are the Blue Flowers from Italy?

Several beautiful blue flowers are native to Italy. Italian bugloss flowers (Anchusa azurea) and Italian bluebells (Hyacinthoides italica) are two of the most common.

Wrapping Up

Many of Italy’s native flowers are brilliant additions to garden borders and containers. Species like the Italian bluebell (Hyacinthoides italica) and Tuscan crocus (Crocus etruscus) provide a colorful spring display. Meanwhile, Italian bugloss (Anchusa azurea) adds impact to wildflower borders. Italy’s native flowers grow comfortably in USDA Zones 5 to 11.

Contributing Editor | edd@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

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