Fascinating fall flowers look amazing in those gorgeous autumn colors, but they also may have a little something extra-special about them -- something unexpected. For example, autumn crocuses provide pretty springlike colors in the fall. Planted in late August to early fall, they provide light, fresh colors when your summer blooms have faded, and their light shades add dimension to gatherings of your favorite fall-colored flowers. The editors of the gardening blog American Meadows point to saffron crocus blooms, which allow you to pick your own grown saffron, avoiding the high cost of organic saffron in stores or ordered online.
The Dalmatian bellflower is a favorite of David Wilson's, marketing director for Garden Splendor. This bright purple short groundcover plant brings to life this fall's trendy purple, first adding masses of tiny lilac blue bell-shaped flowers in the summer and then hearty new bursts of stronger purple florals in fall.
Alicia Schwede Siedlik, editor of Flirty Fleurs magazine and creator of the blog Flirty Fleurs, says that "peonies are back" for fall, especially in rich autumn colors of merlot and pink, and again with light-colored blooms adding depth and contrast to fall-hue flowers.
Mukgenia Nova "Flame" is often mentioned on lists of the top flowers for fall, as a blend of the little-known mukdenia (a perennial known for its reddish-green foliage) and bergenia (a glossy-leaf perennial with pink flower spikes in spring). This flower's glossy, feathery leaves have a rich red tinting that starts deep in the summer and grows deeper and more dramatic in the fall.
Salvia nemorosa "Blue Marvel" provides deep blue flower spikes and, unlike traditional salvia, which has a short blooming life, develops wave after wave of big, bright blue flowers into fall, making for a terrific container plant or edging plant.
Digitalis Foxlight, also known as foxglove, shows off tall spikes of pendulous purple or pink flowers, as well as new plum, red or rose varieties for a gorgeous fall color appearance. Reaching 20 to 24 inches high, this flower adds mightily to cut flower arrangements, adding height and structure for your fall centerpieces and home floral decor.
Digiplexis "Berry Canary" has taken the flower appreciation world by storm as a variety of Digiplexis that grows eye-catching spikes of trumpet-shaped rose-pink blooms well into October. As you may know, hummingbirds love trumpet-shaped flowers, and this choice will bring those lovely little birds -- and butterflies -- to your garden or planters, helping summer last just a little longer.
Speaking of flowers that attract butterflies, you are still able to attract these colorful little winged beauties into the fall with the following flowers known for attracting monarchs and other butterflies: sedums, pink and purple asters, salvia, lantana (tubular flowers that last well into fall), penta (star-shaped flowers often seen in rich red colors) and "Dark Knight" bluebeard, a shrub that produces clusters of deep-blue flowers set in silvery-green foliage.
Talk to your local garden center's flower expert to discover even more fascinating fall flowers that are known to thrive in your region and climate and to get help planning for differing heights and unique foliage to help you cut and design your own centerpieces without paying those pricey costs at the supermarket.