In this edition of our alphabet-based plant list, we’re looking at the letter ‘N’. Here are the best plants that start with N.
There are plenty of botanical varieties for this letter, ranging from flowers to berries to whole trees.
Without further ado, let’s get into them!
1. Nandina, Heavenly Bamboo
Alphabetically, the first ‘N’ plant on our list is the nandina, a deciduous plant that can often be found growing in run-down, overgrown areas of China and Japan.
This plant can actually grow in pretty much any condition. Whether it’s left to live in full sunlight, partial shade, or full shade, the nandina will happily sit and flower for many years.
Technically, it belongs to the barberry family, though it appears almost like bamboo canes, thanks to its stems and large growth patterns.
Interestingly, if the plant is left to grow for enough time, its flowers can give way to bright red berries forming on the stalk, making for tasty treats for any passing wildlife.
This is a flower of the annual variety and can grow in a wide range of conditions across the world.
They are fairly easy to grow and will feel right at home in a flower box, just as much as they will along a wire fence!
Interestingly, they can be categorized into two distinct groups: mounding types and climbing types.
The former refers to a small, bushy variety of the flower, whilst the latter describes a much more distinctive, tall flower that can grow as high as 6 feet!
Nasturtiums are said to have a very pleasant fragrance and a wonderful array of colors to display.
In fact, the petals can grow into yellow, orange, red, white, or maroon, depending on the variety and climate conditions.
This makes them a very popular selection for gardeners with a wildflower patch.
3. Natal Plum
Despite being native to Southern Africa, this tropical shrub is just as easily found in parts of the United States such as Florida.
In terms of the plant’s conservation status, there is little concern because these things can be found growing in all sorts of treacherous conditions.
Its shiny green leaves make it stand out among most other shrubs you’d find in the US and its beautiful, snow-white flowers provide it with a gorgeous aesthetic.
The shrub produces a plump, round fruit at certain times in the year, which are often made into pies and sauces by the people of Southern Africa.
It was previously believed that the fruit was poisonous, thanks to its resemblance to other toxic plants which had a similarly milky sap.
However, it is now a staple of some Southern African cuisines, due to it being very convenient to grow and thus readily available to use for meals.
4. Natal Ruby Grass
Another plant that is native to Africa, this variety of grass boasts some impressively long and colorful branches.
The stems often culminate in appropriately ruby or pink-colored flowers at their tip, making for an overall bushy and fluffy aesthetic.
Some varieties, such as Melinis Nerviglumis, can grow as tall as 22 feet, towering the wild foliage above any passers-by.
The great thing about this plant is just how easy it is to grow. It doesn’t require a great deal of attention and can adapt to a wide variety of soil conditions, making them perfect for the lazy gardener!
5. Needle Palm
This tree is known for being one of the toughest and most resilient of its kind in the world.
It can withstand extremely cold temperatures, as low as 0°F, just as easily as it can be found in hot regions of the southern United States.
It gets its name for the sharply pointed leaves that surround the center of the tree, protecting its core from prey.
Given the dramatic appearance of this tree and the fantastic growing qualities it possesses, it’s pretty hard to come by even in most US-based garden centers!
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Another gorgeous annual flower, the Nemesia is also native to Southern parts of Africa.
They can bloom with fantastic petals of purple and pink, making them commonplace in many peoples’ hanging flower baskets, as well as throughout their flower patches.
Unlike some of the other plants we’ve looked at, these flowers do require some care and attention to keep them growing healthily. Particularly, they have to grow in well-drained soil or they risk becoming oversaturated and wilting.
This does lend them well to a hanging basket but even so, this means they will still require a great deal of care.
Like the previous plant we looked at, the Nemophila is also an annual flower but is part of the Boraginaceae family.
Their cool, light blue and white-tinged petals give them a soothing appearance for a more muted flower patch.
There are a couple of varieties of this flower, distinguishing them based mainly on the color of their petals being blue or white.
Regardless of the variety, these flowers are native to California in the United States and are pretty commonly seen in parks, meadows, and decorating peoples’ backyards.
The Neomarica flower is a perennial that is often native to Brazil, with one variety also growing naturally in Mexico.
The beautiful blue and white petals make for a very relaxing aesthetic and the flowers will lend well with many others in a home garden.
Sadly, the flowers on this plant only last around a day each, making them beautiful, yet fleeting. However, it’s not all doom and gloom as other flowers often follow deceased ones for a fairly long period afterward.
These South American perennials boast a unique and interesting plumage of leaves and petals at their peak.
The dark brown and green exterior leaves make way for a flash of red at the center of the plant as smaller flowers bloom through.
You can grow these plants just as easily in loose soil in your garden as you can in a sufficiently large plant pot.
The only thing you’ll need to be wary of is using fertilizer and watering the plant at the correctly frequent intervals to ensure maximum health.
This magnificent plant can often be found in large clusters in natural parks and fields all over Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The beautifully bright purple petals create a striking aesthetic that is certainly difficult to ignore.
Similarly, the flower is said to give off a very pleasant aroma, making it the perfect addition to any home garden or public park.
These flowers will require some routine maintenance and cutting back at certain points of the year but they are otherwise unhindered by wildlife and will enjoy a long lifespan.
This South African flower boasts some delicate and wonderfully bright pink petals.
Similarly, the long trumpet-like shape of the flowers makes them stand out among a crowd and draws plenty of attention from any passers-by.
Regardless of where these flowers grow, they will require some regular attention and specific types of soil to enjoy a healthy lifespan.
12. New Zealand Flax
The long, thin, sword-like shape of this plant’s leaves almost gives it a similar appearance to a peacock.
For that reason, the New Zealand Flax plant is commonly seen in luxurious gardens to provide a striking natural aesthetic.
They can withstand a decent variety of climates and adapt to plenty of different conditions.
This, combined with the fact that they grow fairly quickly, makes this plant a popular choice among landscapers.
This plant generally hails from South America but can also be spotted around the coastal regions of the Southern United States.
They are commonly referred to as tobacco plants or flowering tobacco as the leaves are often used for the production of tobacco products such as cigarettes.
Aside from their commercial uses, the plant blooms a charming whitish-pink flower that takes center stage among a sea of bright green leaves.
14. Night-Blooming Cereus, Queen Of The Night
This cactus plant makes for a striking centerpiece to any home garden, thanks to its huge, open flower which encapsulates a series of long yellow prongs at its center.
They can grow to be very large and will often attach themselves to trees for added support.
In general, these are very aesthetically striking and fragrant plants that attract many advanced gardeners.
However, they do require plenty of care and attention to grow healthily.
15. Nodding Ladies’ Tresses
We’re almost at the end of our list but we certainly haven’t run out of N plants with unique and interesting structures.
The Nodding Ladies’ Tress is a plant with tiny white flowers, almost resembling bluebells.
Instead of blue or purple petals, this flower has white ones which appear in spikes on either side of the stalk.
They will only grow around 2 feet tall under good conditions but they provide a lovely splash of brightness to a garden and are fairly easy to maintain.
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The final plant we’re looking at is another perennial, sometimes known as beargrass.
It’s native to Mexico and parts of Texas and can grow in some pretty desolate desert-like conditions with little water.
They will often culminate at full growth into a large mass of grass-like leaves which give them a lovely bushy appearance.
They might not be the most colorful plants because their blossoms are very small compared to their leaves but they certainly create a large impression in the garden.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two today about some N-named plants that you’d never heard of before.
Check out some of our similar lists to learn more about the wonderful world of plants!
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