perennial plants

Perennial plants are herbaceous plants which die back to the ground during winter and grow back in spring. Some can be left undisturbed for years while others need to be divided every few years to maintain their vigour. You can find a perennial plant for any situation, whether it's a stone wall or a shady corner. Some are grown for their flower displays, others for their beautiful foliage. Evergreen perennials and half-shrubs are included in this category.

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Lamium - Dead nettles
 

Lamium is a genus of around  50 species in the Lamiaceae family, native to Europe, Asia and Africa. Many are ground covering and shade tolerant, and make good ground covers in shady spots in the garden. 

 

 
Lathyrus
 

Lathyrus is a genus of around 160 species in the family, Fabaceae, native to Europe, Asia, E-Africa and America. The genus includes both species grown for food and garden plants. 

 

Leucanthemum
 

Leucanthemum is a genus in the aster family, Asteraceae, with the greatest distribution in Central- and S-Europe. 

 

Leuzea
 

Leuzea is a small genus in the aster family, Asteraceae, very similar to corn flowers. The accepted name of the genus is now Rhaponticum.

 

Lewisia
 

Lewisia, is a small genus of 19 species in the family Montiaceae. They are alpine plants, all native to mountains in NW-America.

 

Ligularia - Leopard plants
 

Ligularia is a genus of over 120 species in the aster family, Asteraceae. Most species are native to Central- and E-Asia, but a few are native to Europe. They are generally very large plants with clumps of large leaves and long spikes of yellow flowers. Many grow on stream banks and on shores of lakes and prefer moist, fertile soil. 

 

Lilium - Lilies
 

Lilium is a large genus in the lily family, Liliaceae, native to temperate regions, the majority in Asia and N-America and a few in Europe. They are usually tall plants with large, colourful flowers in all colours apart from blue. A great number of garden cultivars are grown in gardens. 

 

Linaria - Toadflax
 

Linaria is a genus of around 150 species in the family Plantaginaceae. It's distribution is temperate regions in Europe, Asia and N-Africa, the majority centered around the Mediterranean.

 

Linum - Flax

Linum, is a genus of 200 species in the flax family, Linaceae. Common flax belongs to this genus, which is the source of linen and linseed oil. It is widely cultivated, but not found growing wild. Linum species need full sun. 

 

Lithophragma - Woodland stars
 

Lithophragma is a small genus of 8 species in the Saxifragaceae family. They are woodland plants, all native to the western part of N-America. 

 

Lotus
 

Lotus is a genus of over 100 species in the legume family, Fabaceae, with a wide distribution around the world, infrom shores to mountains. Most species have yellow flowers, but there are some that bear orange or red flowers. They are nitrogen fixing as many other species of the legume family.

 

Lupinus - Lupines
 

Lupinus is a genus in the legume family, Fabaceae.  It is a large genus of around 300 species native to N- and S-America. Smaller distribution areas are found around the Mediterranean. They are nitrogen fixing and some can grow in poor, dry soil. 

 

Lychnis - Catchfly
 

Lychnis is a small genus in the Caryophyllaceae family, native to Eurasia and N-Africa. It is closely related to the genus Silene,  one of the differentiating characteristics being that species in the Lychnis genus have sticky flower stalks. The flowers are fairly large and often in bright shades of red or pink.  

 

Lysimachia - Loosestrifes
 

Lysimachia is a genus of around 100 species in the primrose family, Primulaceae, native to Eurasia. Most species native to Europe have yellow flowers, while species native to Asia often have white flowers. They prefer fairly moist soil. 

 

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Malva - Mallows
 

Malva is a genus of around 30 species in the mallow family, Malvaceae, with a distribution around Europe, Asia and Africa. Leaves and flowers of many species are used for cooking, especially in Asia. 

 

 
Meconopsis
 

Meconopsis, is a genus of around 40 species in the poppy family, Papaveraceae. All except one are native to the Himalayas. The Welsh poppy is native to Britain and it's placement in this genus is debated. The Himalayan species grow at high altitudes in moist meadows along with Himalayan primroses. These species are compatible in gardens as they thrive in moist, fertile soil and part shade. 

 

Meum
 

Baldmoney (Meum athamanticum) is the only species in the genus Meum  which belongs to the family Apiaceae and is native to Europe. 

 

Mimulus - Monkeyflowers
 

Mimulus, is a fairly large genus of around 150 species belonging to the Phrymaceae family. The genus has two separate distribution areas, one in western N-America and the other in Australia, although a few species are found in other regions. Many species grow in moist, even wet soil. 

 

Minuartia - Sandworts
 

Minuartia is a genus of small, alpine plants in the carnation family, Caryophyllaceae, native to N-Europe, Asia and N-America. 

 

Myosotis - Forget-me-nots
 

Myosotis is a genus in the family Boraginaceae. The number of species is a bit unclear, but there are at least 74 recognized species. Most are found in two distinct areas. Species in Eurasia have sky blue flowers and species in New-Zealand often white or yellow flowers. There are also a few species in N- and S-America. Most species prefer sun and well-drained soil.

 

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Ononis - Restharrows
 

Ononis is a genus of 30 species of perennials and shrubs in the legume family, Fabaceae. They are all native to Europe. The English common name is a reference to the tough stems of some plants that could stop a harrow. 

Oxalis
 

Oxalis, is the largest genus of the family, Oxalidaceae, with around 800 out of 900 species in the family. They are distributed around the globe, apart from arctic areas, most species are found in Brazil, Mexico and S-Africa. Few species are hardy enough to grow here in iceland. One species,  Oxalis acetocella, is native to Iceland and is a protected species. 

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Paeonia - Paeonies
 

Paeonia is the only genus of the family Paeoniaceae.  They are native to Asia, S-Europe and western N-America. Most are perennials, but a few are shrubs that can reach 3 m in height. Their flowers are large and colourful and a great number of cultivars are grown in gardens. 

Papaver - Poppies
 

Papaver is a genus of around 100 species in the poppy family, Papaveraceae, native to Eurasia and a few native to N-America. They are drought tolerant plants with a long taproot that prefer full sun.  ​

 

Paradisea
 

Paradisea, is a genus of two species in the family Asparagaceae, which are both native to S-Europe. 

 

Penstemon - Beardtongues
 

Penstemon is a genus in the family Plantaginaceae.  It is a large genus native to N-America. They are usually low growing herbaceous plants or sub-shrubs with irregularly shaped flowers. They prefer full sun and many are well suited to rock gardens. 

 

Phlox 
 

Phlox is a genus in the family Polemoniaceae.  All species except one are native to N-America and grow in various habitats. 

 

Phyteuma - Rampion
 

Phyteuma is a genus in the bluebell family, Campanulaceae, native to mountains in Central-Europe, many in the Alps. 

 

Polemonium - Jacob's ladder

Polemonium is a genus in the Polemoniaceae family. All species are native to temperate regions in the northern hemisphere, except one species that grows in the southern Andes. 

 

Polygonatum - Solomon's seal
 

Polygonatum is a genus in the family Asparagaceae. Species of the genus are distributed around temperate regions in the northern hemisphere, the majority in Asia. They are woodland plants that grow best in shade. 

 

Potentilla - Cinquefoils
 

Potentilla is a large genus in the rose family, Rosaceae, distributed around the northern hemisphere. Most species have yellow flowers, but a few bloom white, pink or red flowers. They grow best in full sun if fairly dry, poor soil. 

 

Primula - Primroses

Primula, is a very large genus of around 500 species in the primrose family, Primulaceae. The genus has a wide distribution, but the majority, about half the species, are native to the Himalayas. They grow in varied habitats, some are excellent rock garden plants, while others thrive in deep, fertile soil in semi-shade. The majority is not drought tolerant. 

Pulmonaria - Lungwort
 

Pulmonaria is a genus in the family Boraginaceae, native to Europe and western Asia. They are spring flowering, shade tolerant woodland plants. 

Pulsatilla - Pasqueflowers
 

Pulsatilla is a genus in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, native to meadows and prairies in N-America, Europe and Asia. They are toxic, like many other plants in the buttercup family  

 

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