Special Collections

NCBG - Garden of Flowering Plant Families

The Garden of Flowering Plant Families is a place where visitors find a visual representation of the evolutionary relationships between plant groups. Collections such as this were historically more prominent in botanical gardens. Here, familiar and exotic representatives of various plant families grow side by side. Did you know that tomatoes, peppers, tobacco, and petunias are all in the same family? There's a lot to learn in the Garden of Flowering Plant Families, and the area is complemented by interesting works of sculpture by NC artists.

Last Update: 2020-01-01

Print Options: Plant list only | Plant list with images
scientific common duration habit height thumb detail
Acer leucoderme Chalk Maple Perennial Tree, Shrub to 30 ft. detail
Actaea racemosa Early Black-cohosh Perennial Forb/herb 3-8 ft. detail
Agapanthus africanus African Lily detail
Alisma subcordatum American Water-plantain Perennial Forb/herb to 3 ft. above water detail
Allium cernuum Nodding Onion Perennial Forb/herb 12-15 in. detail
Allium cuthbertii Striped Garlic Perennial Forb/herb 8-24 in. detail
Althaea officinalis Marsh-mallow Perennial Forb/herb detail
Andropogon capillipes Chalky Bluestem Perennial Graminoid detail
Andropogon glomeratus Bushy Bluestem Perennial Graminoid detail
Andropogon virginicus Broomstraw Perennial Graminoid detail
Anemone virginiana Tall Thimbleweed Perennial Forb/herb 1-3 ft. detail
Antennaria solitaria Singlehead Pussytoes Perennial Forb/herb 7-11 in. detail
Arisaema dracontium Green Dragon Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Arisaema triphyllum Jack-in-the-pulpit Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Arnoglossum atriplicifolium Pale Indian-plantain Perennial Forb/herb 3-8 ft. detail
Arum italicum Italian Arum Perennial Forb/herb detail
Aruncus dioicus Goats-beard Perennial Forb/herb 3-6 ft. detail
Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Milkweed Perennial Forb/herb 1-3 ft. detail
Asimina triloba Common Pawpaw Perennial Tree, Shrub height and spread 15-30 feet detail
Asparagus officinalis Asparagus Perennial Forb/herb 2 1/2-6 ft. detail
Baptisia alba White Wild Indigo Perennial Forb/herb 2-3 ft. detail
Bletilla striata Urn Orchid Perennial Forb/herb detail
Camassia cusickii Cusicks Camas Perennial Forb/herb detail
Camellia sasanqua Sasanqua Camellia Perennial Tree, Shrub detail
Canna flaccida Golden Canna Perennial Forb/herb 3-6 ft. detail
Capsicum chinense Habanero detail
Carex annectens Yellow-fruited Sedge Perennial Graminoid detail
Carex cristatella Crested Sedge Perennial Graminoid detail
Carex flaccosperma Thinfruit Sedge Perennial Graminoid 8-12 in. detail
Ceanothus americanus New Jersey Tea Perennial Subshrub, Shrub 3-4 ft. detail
Celosia argentea Celosia Annual Forb/herb detail
Celtis sinensis Chinese Hackberry Perennial Tree detail
Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush Perennial Tree, Shrub 4-8 ft. detail
Chelone glabra White Turtlehead Perennial Forb/herb 2-5 ft. detail
Chenopodium album Lamb’s-quarters Annual Forb/herb 1-10 ft. detail
Chionanthus virginicus Fringe-tree Perennial Tree, Shrub to 25 ft. detail
Chrysanthemum ×morifolium Florists Daisy Perennial Shrub, Subshrub detail
Clematis ochroleuca Curlyheads Perennial Subshrub, Forb/herb 3 ft. detail
Cleome hassleriana Spiderflower Annual Forb/herb, Subshrub 3-5 ft. detail
Clethra alnifolia Coastal Sweet-pepperbush Perennial Shrub 3-5 ft. detail
Colchicum autumnale Autumn Crocus Perennial Forb/herb detail
Colocasia esculenta Dasheen Perennial Forb/herb detail
Conradina canescens False Rosemary Perennial Shrub detail
Conradina verticillata Cumberland False Rosemary Perennial Shrub detail
Convallaria majalis European Lily-of-the-Valley Perennial Forb/herb detail
Cooperia pedunculata Prairie Lily Perennial Forb/herb detail
Coreopsis verticillata Whorled Tickseed Perennial Forb/herb 2-3 ft. detail
Crocosmia ×crocosmiiflora Montbretia Perennial Forb/herb detail
Croton alabamensis Alabama Croton Perennial Subshrub, Shrub detail
Cunila origanoides American-dittany Perennial Subshrub, Forb/herb 8-16 in. detail
Cuthbertia graminea Grassleaf Roseling 4-16 in. detail
Cyperus echinatus Globe Flatsedge Perennial Graminoid detail
Dianthus barbatus ssp. barbatus Sweet William detail
Dicentra eximia Wild Bleeding-heart Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Dichanthelium scoparium Velvet Witchgrass Perennial Graminoid detail
Dichondra carolinensis Carolina Ponyfoot Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 in. detail
Diervilla rivularis Mountain Bush Honeysuckle Perennial Shrub detail
Dysphania ambrosioides Epazote Annual, Perennial Forb/herb, Subshrub 1-4 1/2 ft. detail
Echinacea laevigata Smooth Purple Coneflower Perennial Forb/herb 1 1/2-4 ft. detail
Echinacea purpurea Eastern Purple Coneflower Perennial Forb/herb 1.5-4 ft. detail
Echinodorus cordifolius Creeping Burhead Perennial Forb/herb to 3 ft. above water detail
Endodeca serpentaria Virginia Snakeroot 4-24 in. detail
Epimedium ×youngianum Barrenwort Perennial Forb/herb detail
Eragrostis spectabilis Purple Lovegrass Perennial Graminoid to 20 inches detail
Eryngium prostratum Creeping Eryngo Perennial Forb/herb 2-3 in.; stems to 16 in. long detail
Eryngium yuccifolium Northern Rattlesnake-master Perennial Forb/herb 2-4 ft. detail
Erythrina herbacea Coral Bean Perennial Tree, Subshrub, Shrub to 5 ft. detail
Euphorbia cyparissias Graveyard Spurge Perennial Forb/herb 6-12 in. detail
Fothergilla gardenii Dwarf Witchalder Perennial Shrub 3 ft. detail
Fothergilla major Mountain Witchalder Perennial Shrub detail
Frangula caroliniana Carolina Buckthorn Perennial Tree, Shrub 10-15 feet (30 feet) detail
Franklinia alatamaha Franklinia Perennial Tree, Shrub 10-20 ft. detail
Gelsemium sempervirens Carolina Jessamine Perennial Vine, Shrub Climbs 8-10 feet or more detail
Geranium maculatum Wild Geranium Perennial Forb/herb 8-24 in. detail
Geranium sanguineum Blood-red Crane’s-bill Perennial Forb/herb detail
Geum canadense White Avens Perennial Forb/herb 1 1/2-2 1/2 ft. detail
Gillenia trifoliata Mountain Indian-physic Perennial Forb/herb, Subshrub 2-3 ft. detail
Gladiolus murielae Peacock Gladiolus detail
Gloriosa superba Glory-lily Perennial Vine, Forb/herb detail
Gordonia lasianthus Loblolly Bay Perennial Tree, Shrub detail
Habranthus robustus Brazilian Copper-Lily Perennial Forb/herb detail
Habranthus tubispathus Rio Grande Copperlily Perennial Forb/herb detail
Halesia tetraptera Common Silverbell Perennial Tree detail
Hedychium coronarium White Ginger-lily Perennial Forb/herb detail
Hesperaloe parviflora Red-flower False Yucca Perennial Subshrub, Forb/herb detail
Heuchera americana American Alumroot Perennial Forb/herb 6-10 in. detail
Hexastylis arifolia Little Brown Jug Perennial Forb/herb 2-6 in. detail
Hibiscus dasycalyx Neches River Rosemallow Perennial Forb/herb detail
Hydrangea quercifolia Oakleaf Hydrangea Perennial Shrub 6-8 ft.; width 6-8 ft. detail
Hydrangea radiata Silverleaf Perennial Shrub detail
Hydrastis canadensis Golden-seal Perennial Forb/herb 10-15 in. detail
Hypericum frondosum Cedar-glade St. John's-wort Perennial Subshrub, Shrub 4 ft. detail
Hypoxis hirsuta Common Goldstar Perennial Forb/herb 4-8 in. detail
Ilex opaca American Holly Perennial Tree, Shrub 15-30 ft. tall, spread 10-20 ft. detail
Illicium floridanum Florida Anise Tree Perennial Tree, Shrub 6-10 ft. tall detail
Iris Iris detail
Iris brevicaulis Zigzag Iris Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Iris ensata Japanese Iris Perennial Forb/herb detail
Iris fulva Copper Iris Perennial Forb/herb detail
Iris prismatica Slender Blue Flag Perennial Forb/herb detail
Iris sibirica Siberian Iris Perennial Forb/herb detail
Itea virginica Virginia Sweetspire Perennial Shrub 3-4 ft.; width 3-4 ft. detail
Juncus effusus ssp. solutus Soft Rush detail
Juncus inflexus European Meadow Rush Perennial Graminoid detail
Juncus patens Spreading Rush Perennial Graminoid detail
Kalimeris mongolica Kalimeris detail
Kerria japonica Japanese Rose Perennial Shrub detail
Kniphofia uvaria Redhot Poker Perennial Forb/herb detail
Laurus nobilis Bay Laurel Perennial Tree detail
Leonotis leonurus Lions-ear Perennial Shrub detail
Lindera benzoin Smooth Northern Spicebush Perennial Tree, Shrub 6-9 ft. detail
Lobelia siphilitica Great Blue Lobelia Perennial Forb/herb 1.5-4 ft. detail
Lonicera sempervirens Coral Honeysuckle Perennial Vine Climbs 8-10 ft. or more detail
Lycoris radiata Red Spider Lily Perennial Forb/herb 1 - 2' detail
Magnolia grandiflora Southern Magnolia Perennial Tree 60-80 ft. detail
Manfreda virginica Eastern False-aloe Perennial Subshrub, Forb/herb 3-6 ft. detail
Mazus miquelii Mazus Perennial Forb/herb detail
Melissa officinalis Lemon Balm Perennial Forb/herb detail
Mimosa pudica Shameplant Annual, Perennial Forb/herb detail
Mirabilis jalapa Garden Four-o’clock Perennial Forb/herb, Subshrub detail
Muhlenbergia capillaris Hairgrass Perennial Graminoid 3 ft. detail
Neviusia alabamensis Alabama Snow-wreath Perennial Shrub 3-6 ft. detail
Opuntia engelmannii Cactus Apple Perennial Shrub detail
Osmanthus americanus Devilwood Perennial Tree, Shrub 10-20 ft detail
Panicum virgatum Switchgrass Perennial Graminoid 4-5 ft. detail
Passiflora lutea Yellow Passionflower Perennial Vine, Forb/herb to 15 ft. long detail
Peltandra virginica Green Arrow Arum Perennial Forb/herb 8-22 in. detail
Penstemon canescens Eastern Gray Beardtongue Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 1/2 ft. detail
Persea borbonia Red Bay Perennial Tree, Shrub Usually to 40 ft. detail
Phacelia bipinnatifida Fern-leaf Scorpion-weed Biennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Phlox nivalis Pineland Phlox Perennial Subshrub, Forb/herb 4-12 in. detail
Physocarpus opulifolius Atlantic Ninebark Perennial Shrub to 8 ft. detail
Phytolacca americana American Pokeweed Perennial Forb/herb 3-10 ft. detail
Plantago cordata Heartleaf Plantain Perennial Forb/herb detail
Platycodon grandiflorum Balloonflower detail
Pogonia ophioglossoides Rose Pogonia Perennial Forb/herb 4-20 in. detail
Polemonium reptans var. reptans Spreading Jacob’s-ladder Perennial Subshrub, Forb/herb detail
Potentilla canadensis Dwarf Cinquefoil Perennial Forb/herb 2-4 in. detail
Quercus prinoides Dwarf Chinquapin Oak Perennial Tree, Shrub detail
Rhapidophyllum hystrix Needle Palm Perennial Shrub detail
Rhododendron austrinum Florida Flame Azalea Perennial Shrub 6-10 feet Spread 4-6 feet detail
Rhus aromatica Fragrant Sumac Perennial Shrub 2 feet up-8 feet spread detail
Rhynchospora latifolia Broadleaf Whitetop Sedge Perennial Graminoid 12-18 in. detail
Rosa chinensis Chinese Rose Perennial Vine, Subshrub detail
Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary Perennial Subshrub, Shrub detail
Rudbeckia fulgida Orange Coneflower Perennial Forb/herb 2-3 ft. detail
Rudbeckia maxima Giant Coneflower Perennial Forb/herb detail
Sagittaria fasciculata Bunched Arrowhead Perennial Forb/herb detail
Sagittaria lancifolia Bulltongue Arrowhead Perennial Forb/herb 2-3 ft. detail
Sagittaria latifolia var. pubescens Broadleaf Arrowhead detail
Salvia lyrata Lyreleaf Sage Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Saxifraga stolonifera Strawberry-begonia Perennial Forb/herb detail
Schizachyrium scoparium Little Bluestem Perennial Graminoid 2-3 ft. detail
Scutellaria integrifolia Large-flower Skullcap Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Scutellaria ovata Heartleaf Skullcap Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Sedum nevii Nevius’ Stonecrop Perennial Forb/herb detail
Silene virginica Fire Pink Perennial Forb/herb 12-18 in. detail
Silphium perfoliatum Common Cup-plant Perennial Forb/herb 4-8 ft. detail
Silphium terebinthinaceum Prairie Rosinweed Perennial Forb/herb detail
Sisyrinchium atlanticum Atlantic Blue-eyed-grass Perennial Forb/herb 8-18 in. detail
Solanum pseudocapsicum Jerusalem Cherry Perennial Subshrub, Shrub detail
Solidago plumosa Plumed Goldenrod Perennial Forb/herb detail
Sorghastrum elliottii Long-bristle Indiangrass Perennial Graminoid 6 ft. detail
Sorghastrum nutans Yellow Indiangrass Perennial Graminoid 6 ft. detail
Spartina bakeri Sand Cordgrass Perennial Graminoid detail
Spartina pectinata Prairie Cordgrass Perennial Graminoid detail
Spigelia marilandica Pinkroot Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Spiraea tomentosa Hardhack Perennial Shrub 2-4 ft.: width 3-6 ft. detail
Sporobolus heterolepis Prairie Dropseed Perennial Graminoid detail
Stachys byzantina Lamb’s-ear Perennial Forb/herb detail
Staphylea trifolia American Bladdernut Perennial Tree, Shrub 10-15 ft. detail
Stokesia laevis Stokes’ Aster Perennial Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Symphyotrichum concolor Eastern Silvery Aster Perennial Forb/herb 1 1/2-4 ft. detail
Thalia dealbata Powdery Alligator-flag Perennial Forb/herb detail
Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Creeping Thyme Perennial Subshrub, Forb/herb detail
Tillandsia usneoides Spanish Moss Perennial Forb/herb, Vine to 10 ft. detail
Trachycarpus fortunei Windmill Palm detail
Tradescantia hirsuticaulis Hairy Spiderwort Perennial Forb/herb 18-24 in. detail
Tradescantia pallida Purpleheart Perennial Forb/herb detail
Tradescantia virginiana Virginia Spiderwort Perennial Forb/herb 6-20 in. detail
Trichostema dichotomum Forked Bluecurls Annual Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Tridens flavus Tall Redtop Perennial Graminoid detail
Ulmus alata Winged Elm Perennial Tree (5–)10–20(–35) m tall detail
Vaccinium pallidum Early Lowbush Blueberry Perennial Subshrub, Shrub detail
Veratrum viride American False Hellebore Perennial Forb/herb 1-5 ft. detail
Vernonia angustifolia Carolina Sandhill Ironweed Perennial Forb/herb 2-4 ft. detail
Vernonia noveboracensis New York Ironweed Perennial Forb/herb 3-7 ft. detail
Veronicastrum virginicum Culver’s-root Perennial Forb/herb 2-4 ft. detail
Viburnum dentatum Southern Arrowwood Perennial Tree, Shrub 6-8 ft. detail
Viburnum nudum Possumhaw Perennial Tree, Shrub to 15 feet detail
Viburnum plicatum Japanese Snowball Perennial Shrub detail
Viburnum prunifolium Smooth Blackhaw Perennial Tree, Shrub to 25 ft. detail
Vitex agnus-castus Chaste-tree Perennial Tree, Shrub 10-20 ft. detail
Wisteria frutescens American Wisteria Perennial Vine to 25-30 feet detail
Xanthorhiza simplicissima Yellowroot Perennial Subshrub, Forb/herb 1-2 ft. detail
Yucca gloriosa Mound-lily Yucca Perennial Tree, Shrub, Forb/herb detail
Zanthoxylum clava-herculis Southern Toothache Tree Perennial Tree, Shrub detail
Zenobia pulverulenta Honeycup Perennial Shrub 4-6 ft. detail
Zephyranthes atamasca Atamasco Lily Perennial Forb/herb 6-8 in. detail
Zephyranthes citrina Citron Rain-lily Perennial Forb/herb detail
Zizia aurea Common Golden Alexanders Perennial Forb/herb 1-2.5 ft. detail