The dark, steel-grey days of midwinter belie a wonderfully diverse array of flowers that traditionally bloom during the year’s final month. As the year draws to a close, the landscape transforms, but it doesn’t become barren. In the UK, there are many in season flowers December has to offer that relish the frosty conditions, appearing as joyful declarations of life amidst the rain and snow.
These floral wonders, including the world’s most popular Christmas bloom, add a wonderful splash of colour to the year’s darkest months, and there’s lots to look forward to in December. In season flowers include some of the most delicate blooms of the year and there are some truly stunning blue flowers available in December.
December - In Season Flowers To Get Excited About
While it’s hard to associate the stern British winter with the fragility of blossoming flowers, many flowers that are in season in December in the UK possess a surprising resilience!
Native to China, lonicera fragrantissima, known as winter-flowering honeysuckle as well as the wonderfully-named kiss-me-at-the-gate or sweet breath of spring, is virtually leafless and bears beautifully fragrant cream-white flowers.
Eranthis hyemalis, or the winter aconite, is one of the in season flowers December is famous for. It’s part of the buttercup family and although it’s native to Italy, France and the Balkans, it’s abundant in the UK and one of winter’s most beautiful wildflowers, growing happily in deciduous woodland.
Daphne is a delightfully colourful shrub and there are a few varieties that regularly bloom in late winter and early spring. It’s perfect for small gardens, containers and even window boxes. You can also enjoy the creams and whites of a few types of evergreen clematis such as the seasonally-appropriate Jingle Bells and Winter Beauty!
If you’re looking for flowers in season in December that are guaranteed to make you smile, look no further than the bubblegum-pink cyclamen. They are mostly grown indoors in pots. In the sixteenth century they were used as love charms!
Pretty Poinsettia - Perfect at Christmas
One of the UK’s favourite flowers in season in December is the poinsettia. Technically it’s either a small tree or a shrub rather than a flower, but it’s the plant that says in no uncertain terms that Christmas is coming! Something like eight million are sold in the UK and around 70 million in the US every winter. Interestingly, the red parts are leaves, not petals. The flowers look like small yellow berries at the heart of the plant.
Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are native from Mexico to the southern tip of Guatemala and they’re named after the first US Minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who’s said to have brought them back to the US in the 1820s. In Mexico and Guatemala it is known as flor de nochebuena, or Christmas Eve flower. One of the world’s most popular December in season flowers became a perennial yuletide favourite as far back as the seventeenth century, when Franciscan monks in Mexico began to include poinsettias in their Christmas displays. They believed the star-shaped pattern of the leaves represented the Star of Bethlehem.
Are there Blue Flowers Available in December?
One of the most beautiful of all the flowers in season in December is Viburnum tinus, otherwise known as laurestine. Named Laurus because the leaves look very similar to bay leaves, the small white and light pink flowers are incredibly delicate. After they flower a shock of metallic blue berries appear.
Perhaps the most famous of all the blue flowers available in December is Viola × wittrockiana, or as most people know it, the pansy. It’s one of the most instantly recognisable flowers in the garden and its name is derived from the French word pensée, meaning ‘thought’, as it was considered a flower associated with remembrance.
One of the most striking blue flowers available in December is Iris unguicularis, or Algerian iris. It’s among a few varieties of iris that can bloom in the northern winter and the beautiful pale – often translucent – blue flowers will keep going until spring arrives.
A Long (but Colourful) December
As can be seen, the darker days of December don’t have to be devoid of colour or the delight of blooming flowers. From the delicate petals of the winter aconite to the festive allure of the poinsettia, nature’s resilience is a sight to behold even in the depth of winter. So, while winter is often associated with a barren landscape, the truth is that a multitude of flowers are ready to surprise us during this season.