Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Bravado’). Photo: Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks.

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Bravado’). Photo: Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks.

Threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’). Photo: Rick Peterson, Great Plant Picks.

Threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’). Photo: Rick Peterson, Great Plant Picks.

Many gardens look spent and tired in August. The early perennials have bloomed and faded, and many annuals have died back. But late summer and fall can be a great time for vibrant, colorful flowers.

Here are some ideas for flowers that will bloom from now into fall. These perennials will give you pleasure now, and will look even lovelier next year as they grow and fill out. The flowers on the list come from Sunset and OSU Extension.

  • Aster. Many varieties grow blue or lavender blue; others are pink or salmon pink. Height varies from two to four feet.
  • Blanket flower (Gaillardia): A member of the sunflower family, with gray-green foliage and brilliant yellow flowers, banded with red, maroon or orange. Easy to sow from seed, they often self-sow. Blooms summer into fall.
  • Chrysanthemum. Flowers in many colors, from rust and wine red to orange and golden yellow. Grows one to six feet, depending on variety.
  • Coreopsis. Another relative of the sunflower, with yellow blooms. They grow one to three feet tall, depending on variety.
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis hybrids). Comes in various colors; look for reblooming or late varieties.
  • Evening primrose (Oenothera). Native to desert regions, these plants produce fragrant white, yellow or pink evening-blooming flowers which die back after blooming. They need little care.
  • False dragonhead (Physostegia virginiana). Flower spikes are 10 inches tall, densely set with funnel-shaped, bluish pink blooms.
  • Flowering sage (Salvia). Hundreds of varieties in all colors of the rainbow. Can be great for pots and sunny hot spots. May not overwinter in our climate unless protected, with excellent drainage.
  • Globe thistle (Echinops). Flowers are golf-ball size globes that resemble blue pincushions. Leaves are deeply cut gray blue; grows two to four feet tall. Makes excellent cut flowers.
  • Goldenrod (Solidago). Bears feathery yellow bloom clusters atop two- to three-foot plants.
  • Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum). Bears big domes of pale purple or mauve flowers on plants that range from three to nine feet.
  • Purple coneflower (Echinacea). Purple or lavender pink, daisy-like blooms with bristly, mounding centers. Clumps of coneflowers grow from four to five feet high and flower from late summer into early autumn.
  • Penstemon. Native to dry rocky areas in the high mountain meadows of the west, there are many types of penstemons with showy tubular blossoms in red, purples to blues. Species range from sprawling mats to uprights to shrubs.
  • Rudbeckia. Golden yellow blooms on plants that are three to four feet tall.
  • Russian sage (Perovskia). Velvety, lavender blue flowers grow on three- to four-foot-tall plants.
  • Sedum. S. spectabile and S. telephium ‘Autumn Joy’ bear flowers in shades of rust to pink on plants one to two feet tall.
  • Sneezeweed (Helenium hybrids). Red-orange flowers; grows three to five feet tall.
  • Wine cups (Callirhoe involucrata). A profusion of purplish red, mallow-type flowers on spreading plants to six inches tall.
  • Yarrow (Achillea). These hardy plants have flat-topped clusters of white, pink, red or yellow flowers and finely divided fern-like leaves. They may grow four inches to five feet tall, depending on species.
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