20 Gorgeous Flowers That Start With Y

mustard white butterfly sits on a yarrow
Elisabeth B/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kellianne Matthews

Updated: November 6, 2023

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Common flowers that start with the letter Y include Yucca, Yellow Bells, Yarrow, Yellow Archangel, Yellow Wild Indigo, Yellow Ginger, Yellow Poppy, Yellow Foxglove, Yellow Trillium, Yellow Cosmos, Yellow Flame, and Yellow-Eyed Grass!

Many of these botanical wonders are exclusively yellow, shining bright with their sunny and cheerful hues.

But don’t worry if yellow isn’t your thing — there are plenty of other fantastic flowers on our list as well that offer a splash of color to compliment the other beautiful blossoms in your garden.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at 20 gorgeous flowers that start with Y!

1. Yucca (Yucca aloifolia)

First on our list is the beautiful yucca plant. It commonly grows in sandy soils and sand dunes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Yucca also thrives in Mexico along the Yucatán Coast to Bermuda and in some parts of the Caribbean. 

The yucca plant has a tall trunk that grows 5 to 20 feet and is covered in sharp pointy leaves that can be about 2 feet long. Its flowers bloom on a long spike in the center of the plant, with beautiful bell-shaped white blossoms tinged with purple. Both the flowers and fruit are edible, and the plant’s roots are common in shampoo and soap.

Sydney Australia, flowering yucca aloifolia in garden

Yucca is sometimes also called the dagger plant, aloe yucca, or Spanish bayonet.

2. Yellow Bells (Tecoma Stans)

The charming trumpet-shaped clusters of yellow bells are brightly colored and slightly fragrant, attracting pollinators like birds and butterflies. Grown as small trees or shrubs, these beautiful flowers prefer full sun and are popular for their drought and heat tolerance. 

Yellow bells can bloom all the way from spring to the first frost. However, in warmer climates they can bloom all year round, providing your garden with bright colors of yellow, orange, and red.  They are native to the Americas and can grow up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide. However, they are popular ornamental plants that can also be kept closer to 6 to 8 feet tall and wide instead.

Esperanza, yellow bells (Tecoma stans)

Yellow bells go by many different names, including trumpet flowers, yellow elder, and yellow bignonia.

3. Yarrow (Achillea

The daisy-like flowers of the yarrow plant are typically white, but some varieties can also be yellow, red, or pink. Yarrow is a very common flower native to North America, Europe, and Asia. It prefers full sun and blooms in the springtime. The flowers of the yarrow are tiny but packed together tightly to form unique clusters that rise up above the rest of the plant’s foliage. They are also very fragrant and attract butterflies. Yarrow are hearty and versatile plants, and for centuries have been used for their many healing properties. Some people also include them in perfumes, teas, and essential oils.

The flowers of the common yarrow are ray- or disc-type flowers organized in a cluster.

The flowers of the common yarrow are organized in a ray- or disc-type cluster.

4. Yellow Archangel (Lamium galeobdolon)

Native to Europe and Asia, the yellow archangel is a wildflower in the mint family (Lamiaceae). It grows low to the ground, reaching only 1 to 2 feet in height. The leaves are covered in fine hairs, and it produces pretty light-yellow flowers with unique shapes. The flowers are around 0.75 to 1 inch long and grow in groups of four to 10 at the top of the plant. They are fragrant and bloom from late spring to early summer, attracting pollinators like butterflies and bees

Yellow archangels are common as ground cover, as they spread very easily. However, these creeping plants can also be invasive to other native species, so you’ll have to be careful when including them in your garden. In fact, the yellow archangel is listed as a noxious weed in Washington State.

Lamium galeobdolon

Some people call the yellow archangel plant yellow weasel-snout, golden dead-nettle, or artillery plant.

5. Yellow Wild Indigo (Baptisia sphaerocarpa)

Known as yellow wild indigo or false indigo, these gorgeous flowers that start with Y are native to the south-central United States where they grow in full sun to partial shade. Yellow wild indigo can grow 2 to 3 feet tall and wide and do best in full sun. They have small, pea-like flowers that grow in conical clusters high above their mounded foliage. These beautiful flowers are attractive to butterflies and bloom from May to June. Once the flowers are gone, the plants produce rounded seed pods that are often commonly used in dried floral arrangements.

yellow wild indigo

The yellow wild indigo is often called wild indigo, yellow false indigo, and

horsefly

weed.

6. Yellow Ginger (Hedychium flavescens)

An herbaceous perennial, yellow ginger can grow over 8 feet tall with thick, fleshy rhizomes and lofty stems. When it blooms, it produces long, oblong-shaped spikes about 6 to 8 inches long. Each spike has four to five creamy white or pale-yellow flowers that grow together in a cone shape. These beautiful flowers have a lovely smell and thrive in many types of soils. 

Yellow ginger is also very shade tolerant and can regrow from even a small piece of its rhizome. In fact, the rhizomes can survive being crushed, immersed in seawater, or spending time outside the soil for many years. Because of its impressive hardiness, yellow ginger can be difficult to get rid of. In New Zealand, it’s an invasive weed because it takes over other native species. 

Hedychium flavescens, Cream garland-lily, Yellow ginger

Yellow ginger is native to northern Vietnam, Sichuan, and the Himalayas.

7. Yellow Poppy (Glaucium flavum)

Also known as yellow hornpoppies, yellow horned poppies, and sea poppies, yellow poppies are coastal plants that only grow along the seashore. Their sunny flowers have a similar appearance to red poppies but with bright yellow or orange petals. Yellow poppies bloom between June and October and have bluish-gray leaves that are thick and wavy. Once the flowers are gone, the plant produces a thin, 6 to 12-inch capsule shaped like a horn. 

Yellow poppies are native to Northern Africa, Europe, Macaronesia, and some areas of Western Asia. They have been introduced in some regions of North America as well, but are classified as noxious weeds.

 European bee (Apis mellifera) hovering around yellow poppy (Glaucium flavum)

Although beautiful, all parts of the yellow poppy are toxic, including its seeds.

8. Yellow Foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora)

Native to Asia and southern Europe, yellow foxglove flowers are short-lived perennial plants with tall spikes of gorgeous yellow flowers. These tall clusters of blossoms can grow up to 3 feet, packed with tubular flowers that look like the cut-off fingertips of a glove.

Measuring 2 inches long, the creamy yellow flowers have brown spotted insides and are attractive to hummingbirds and bees. They bloom in the middle of the summer and are popular, easy-to-grow garden plants. However, yellow foxglove is poisonous, so you’ll have to be careful around pets and children. These plants are not as common as other types of foxglove flowers, but many specialty nurseries often grow them.

Large yellow foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora) - persistent and extremely poisonous plant

Yellow foxglove plants are toxic, so you should always wear gloves and wash your hands after handing.

9. Yellow Trillium (Trillium luteum)

Endemic to the Southwestern United States, yellow trillium is a beautiful herbaceous perennial in the lily family (Liliaceae). Growing from an underground rhizome, these gorgeous flowers that start with Y have three green and silver mottled leaves. There is a single yellow flower in the center that produces a sweet lemony smell. Yellow trillium flowers are a threatened species in some areas and are fairly rare in the wild. They love the shade and prefer well-drained but moist soil. The flowers bloom from April to May and are sometimes called yellow wakerobins.

A group of Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum, on the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail in the Smoky Mountains.

Yellow trillium flowers are native to the Great Smoky Mountains in the U.S.

10. Yellow Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus)

A member of the sunflower and daisy family (Asteraceae), yellow cosmos flowers are native to northern South America, Central America, and Mexico. In the United States, however, they are listed as invasive by the United States Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.  Yellow cosmos have cheerful and bright flowers that bloom from summer to fall, growing 1 to 4 feet tall. They are excellent for attracting butterflies and bees and thrive in full sun. In Japan and Korea, these cheerful flowers are quite popular as well and often grow along roadsides. In addition, various cultures use yellow cosmos to produce dye and edible dishes. 

yellow cosmos flowers with sky in the background

Some people also call yellow cosmos flowers sulfur cosmos.

11. Yellow Flame (Peltophorum pterocarpum)

There are many different names for this beautiful flowering tree, including yellow flame, yellow flamboyant, copperpod, yellow poinciana, and yellow flametree. Yellow flame flowers have a sweet honey-like scent and bloom on a deciduous tree that is native to tropical southeastern Asia. These trees grow 50 to 85 feet tall, with small fragrant flowers growing together in long clusters. Yellow flame trees are easy to care for and grow quickly in full sun and well-drained soil.

Yellow flame tree

Yellow flame flowers are attractive to butterflies and bees and serve as hosts for

tiger

butterfly larvae.

12. Yellow-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium californicum)

Despite its name, yellow-eyed grass is not actually a type of grass at all! It is a member of the iris family (Iridaceae) and gets its name from its long slender leaves, which look like blades of grass up to 10 inches long. Yellow-eyed grass is a beautiful flowering plant native to western North America. It typically grows along lakeshores, ponds, marshes, bogs, and moist grasslands. Its small yellow flowers are shaped like stars, with six slender petals. They’re attractive to butterflies and bees and bloom from spring to summer. Yellow-eyed grass prefers full sun to partial shade and is also deer resistant. Its flowers open each morning, but close again in the afternoon. 

yellow eyed grass on black background

Yellow-eyed grass is deer-resistant.

13. Yellow Wax Bells (Kirengeshoma palmata)

Native to Korea and Japan, yellow wax bells are herbaceous perennials that grow about 3 to 4 feet tall. Their large, maple-like leaves are a beautiful green hue and transform into a stunning red-gold color in the fall. Yellow wax bells love the shade and bloom in the late summer to early fall. They grow in a mounded, shrub-like manner, typically in mountainous areas, and bloom in late summer to early fall. Their beautiful waxy flowers are shaped like little yellow bells and droop down in clusters along the plant’s slender stems. Although they are deer resistant, these plants can be taken over by slugs early on. 

Kirengeshoma palmata

Many people choose yellow wax bells for their delicate flowers, lush leaves, and deep green foliage.

14. Yama-Shakuyaku (Paeonia japonica)

A member of the peony family (Paeoniaceae), the Yama-Shakuyaku or Japanese woodland peony is a perennial herb native to Japan. It blooms with single flowers in June to July, each with large and beautiful white petals and yellow centers. These beautiful blossoms are fragrant and are highlighted by the thick and shrubby dark green foliage of the plant. 

Yama-Shakuyaku plants grow about 8 inches tall and wide and prefer moist well-drained soil. They do well in shady gardens and are deer resistant. In addition to their beautiful appearance, these flowers have also been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of different conditions. 

Paeonia japonica

The genus name of the Yama-Shakuyaku flower,

Paeonia

, refers to the ancient Greek god Paeon.

15. Yellow Daylily (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus)

Growing in Europe and across China, yellow daylilies are beautiful flowers that start with Y that begin blooming in late spring to early summer. These herbaceous perennials grow 2 to 3 feet tall, with 4-inch-wide yellow flowers. Shaped like small trumpets, each of these stunning flowers only lasts for one to two days. However, new flowers continue to emerge for several weeks. They produce a sweet lemony scent, and some people use them in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Yellow day lilies prefer well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. They are deer resistant, drought tolerant, and can handle humidity and heat fairly well. There are many varieties of yellow daylilies, from solid yellow blossoms to ones with yellow and red or pink painted petals. 

Yellow daylily garden flowers growing under sunlight.

Some call the yellow daylily a lemon lily, due to its bright yellow color and sweet lemon scent.

16. Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus)

The yellow flag, also known as the water flag or yellow iris, is native to Northwest Africa, Western Asia, and Europe. These beautiful flowers that start with Y prefer wet to boggy soils with full sun and do well in wetland-type areas. In fact, they can even survive being submerged in water up to 10 inches deep! 

The yellow flag is an herbaceous perennial with bright yellow iris flowers, that are usually 3 to 4 inches across. These plants are fairly hardy and can spread both through water-dispersed seeds as well as rhizomes. They are invasive species in some regions, altering the ecosystem by displacing other native plants. Yellow flags are poisonous to both humans and animals.

The Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)

The yellow flag iris is an easy-growing plant that grows in shallow water and boggy areas.

17. Young’s Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine var. youngiana)

Endemic to Great Britain, Young’s helleborine is a type of orchid that grows 6 to 16 inches tall. This perennial herb is protected as an endangered species in the United Kingdom. It produces a single tall stem with four to six silky leaves and beautiful pink flowers. The flowers have a fragrant honey-like scent and sometimes have a darker purple smear on the lip. Young’s helleborine flowers grow in many different types of habitats, including meadows, heathlands, and woodlands, but they are relatively rare. 

Epipactis helleborine bloom with greenish-brown flowers in a natural habitat

Young’s helleborine is categorized as a variety of the broad leaf helleborine (

Epipactis helleborine

).

18. Yellow Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia flava)

One of the most popular carnivorous plants in horticulture is the yellow pitcher plant. Native to the New World, these unique flowers that start with Y range from southern Alabama through Florida, Georgia, Southern Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. They produce large flowers up to 3 feet tall with long yellow petals. 

As carnivores, the flowers of the yellow pitcher plant are uniquely adapted to help them to catch insects. They have a rolled-up leaf, with the top part of the leaf acting like a lid to stop too much rain from getting inside the flower. The upper parts of the leaf also have short hairs that point downwards to help insects find their way into the opening, which has nectar-secreting glands. The nectar is sweet, but it also has a special toxin that makes the insects feel dizzy. The inside of the tube is also slippery, causing the insects to fall to the bottom where they cannot escape.

Pitcher Plants

Many types of pitcher plants are endangered or vulnerable as their habitats are continually destroyed.

19. Yellow Coneflower (Echinacea paradoxa)

The only species in the genus Echinacea without purple flowers is the unique yellow coneflower.  Like its name, the flowers are a beautiful yellow or yellow-orange hue, with daisy-like petals that droop down from the center. The center cones of the blossoms are large and tall, with tiny chocolate brown or copper brown spines. Yellow coneflowers are herbaceous perennials native to Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas. They prefer full sun, growing 2 to 3 feet tall and blooming in June to August. 

Yellow Coneflower Echinacea Paradoxa with a field of Yellow Coneflowers blurred in the background

The yellow coneflower’s genus name,

Echinacea

, comes from a Greek word that means sea-urchin.

20. Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

Our last gorgeous flower that starts with Y is the yellow wood sorrel, an herbaceous plant that is native to parts of Eurasia and North America. It grows as both a perennial and an annual in disturbed areas, meadows, and woodlands. Although beautiful, many consider it to be a weed when it grows in lawns, fields, and gardens. Yellow wood sorrels grow well in full sun or shade and have beautiful, clover-like leaves with heart-shaped leaflets. At night the leaves curl up for bed and unroll themselves in the morning in order to absorb the sunlight. 

Yellow wood sorrels have adorable little yellow flowers, each with five petals that grow on long stalks and produce a sweet clover-like scent. They bloom from mid-spring to fall and produce small brown seeds. Yellow wood sorrel flowers and leaves are edible and have a sour or tangy flavor. However, they should only be eaten in small amounts because they contain oxalic acid.

Yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

Some people use yellow wood sorrel leaves in salads or to make a lemonade-like drink.

Summary of 20 Gorgeous Flowers That Start With Y

NumberCommon NameScientific Name
1YuccaYucca aloifolia
2Yellow BellsTecoma Stans
3YarrowAchillea
4Yellow ArchangelLamium galeobdolon
5Yellow Wild IndigoBaptisia sphaerocarpa
6Yellow GingerHedychium flavescens
7Yellow PoppyGlaucium flavum
8Yellow FoxgloveDigitalis grandiflora
9Yellow TrilliumTrillium luteum
10Yellow CosmosCosmos sulphureus
11Yellow FlamePeltophorum pterocarpum
12Yellow-Eyed GrassSisyrinchium californicum
13Yellow Wax BellsKirengeshoma palmata
14Yama-ShakuyakuPaeonia japonica
15Yellow DaylilyHemerocallis lilioasphodelus
16Yellow FlagIris pseudacorus
17Young’s HelleborineEpipactis helleborine var. youngiana
18Yellow Pitcher PlantSarracenia flava
19Yellow ConeflowerEchinacea paradoxa
20Yellow Wood SorrelOxalis stricta


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About the Author

Kellianne Matthews is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on anthrozoology, conservation, human-animal relationships, and animal behavior. Kellianne has been writing and researching animals for over ten years and has decades of hands-on experience working with a variety of different animals. She holds a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, which she earned in 2017. A resident of Utah, Kellianne enjoys creating, exploring and learning new things, analyzing movies, caring for animals, and playing with her cats.

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