11 Varieties of Yellow Perennial Flowers

By definition, perennial plants are those that live for more than two years. They grow and bloom during spring and summer, then the foliage dies over the autumn and winter, but the roots stay alive. The following spring and summer, the plant will regenerate. 

Perennials with yellow flowers are popular with both people and animals alike. Not only do they add a splash of vibrancy to your garden, but bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to their sunshine-coloured flowers as they look very appealing in the ultraviolet light they see. 

With such a vast array of varieties from fruits to vegetables to herbs to flowers, their diversity makes them difficult to choose a favourite. 

This article covers 11 yellow perennial flowers, highlighting their ideal positioning, ease of maintenance and toxicity, to help you decide which to plant in your garden. 

Types of Yellow Perennial Flowers

When choosing flowers, the first thing you notice is how attractive they are. I have categorized yellow perennial flowers into different groups regarding their physical appearances. 

Upright Yellow Perennial Flowers

Upright Yellow Perennial Flowers

Some yellow perennials are capable of growing quite tall, as much as a few feet in some species. They tend to exhibit a singular or small cluster of flowers that bloom on the end of a long, thin stem. 

Upright flowers are good for adding height and dimension to spaces and work well as either stand-alone focal points or as filler or border plants.

Shrubby Yellow Perennial Flowers

Shrubby Yellow Perennial Flowers

Other yellow perennials are shrubby in appearance, growing much wider than they do tall. They boast yellow flowers dotted throughout a dense bush of green leaves. 

Shrubby plants are the backbone of any garden providing texture and substance.

11 Varieties of Yellow Perennial Flowers 

The list I have compiled below contains 11 different species of yellow perennial flowers, all of which boast unique and attractive appearances. To help you decide which plant is best suited to you and your garden, I have included important characteristics for each, such as the USDA zones and the ideal conditions. 

1. American Gold Rush, Black-Eyed Susan

Vibrant yellow petals and foliage of black-eyed Susan
Credit: Acabashi by CC: 4.0

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta 

  • Ideal Position: Full or partial sun
  • Difficulty: Relatively low maintenance 
  • Toxicity: Minor toxicity in animals if consumed 

American gold rush, commonly known as the black-eyed Susan, produces vibrant yellow petals around a raised, dark brown centre. Its flowers sit around 24 inches in height and contrast with its hairy, green leaves.  

American gold rush is very easy to care for and is adored by many insect pollinators. It is a hardy plant that can be grown in almost any garden location. It thrives in zones 4 to 9 and does best in full or partial sun. 

Despite containing minor toxicity, this plant is not dangerous to humans though may cause mild discomfort in pets and livestock if consumed in large quantities.  

2. Going Bananas

Beautiful Yellow Flowering Perennial 'Going Bananas'

Scientific Name: Hemerocallis spp. 

  • Ideal Position: Full sun
  • Difficulty: Relatively low maintenance 
  • Toxicity: Toxic to cats if consumed  

Going bananas is so-called due to its banana-like leaves that grow 4 inches in length. The flowers have 6 petals in total, some of which are ruffled to add texture. The flowers bloom for around 2 days before dying. 

Going bananas thrives in a variety of soils and is fairly low maintenance, blooming from June through to late September. This plant favours zones 3 to 9 and should be planted in full sun. they are heat and humidity tolerant but should be deeply watered in arid climates. 

Like all varieties of Day lilies as well as true lilies, going bananas is poisonous to cats. If ingested it can cause lethargy, vomiting kidney failure and even death. However, it’s not dangerous to dogs or people. 

3. Yellow Brick Road

Yellow Brick Road flowering perennial
Credit: Averater by CC: 3.0

Scientific Name: Sedum spp.

  • Ideal Position: Full sun
  • Difficulty: Easy to care for  
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic  

Delicate, bright yellow flowers sit atop thick, red stems that protrude from the green foliage below. Yellow brick road flowers are later than most perennials, lasting from late spring right through to early winter, allowing you to maintain colour in your garden for longer. 

This low growing perennial is dense and compact, making it an ideal filler or border plant. They reach only 8 inches in height and are easy to maintain. They do best in full sun with well-drained soil in zones 3 to 9. It’s also popular with bees and butterflies.

4. Bottle Rocket, Leopard Plant

Bottle Rocket/Leopard Plant
Credit: Salicyna by CC: 4.0

Scientific Name: Ligularia stenocephala 

  • Ideal Position: Full sun with midday shade 
  • Difficulty: Easy to care for  
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic  

Bottle rocket or the leopard plant is so called for its tubular-shaped bloom of yellow and brown flowers. The cluster of fine flowers sits upon long, thin stems that can grow up to 36 inches in height. Large and broad green leaves sit at the base of the plant. 

Bottle rockets like full sun but must be protected from the harsh, midday rays. Additionally, they require constant moisture. Consider potting these plants in a container so you can move them around and monitor the moisture content more easily. Zones 4 to 9 are best for this plant.

5. Tuscan Gold, False Sunflower

Tuscan Gold/False Sunflower
Credit: Alvesgaspar by CC: 3.0

Scientific Name: Heliopsis helianthodies

  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Difficulty: Easy to care for  
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic  

The false sunflower, also known as the Tuscan gold, gets its name due to its resemblance to a true sunflower. They have a mottled orange-brown centre surrounded by slender, vivid yellow leaves. 

The flowers sit upright on stems surrounded by green foliage. They can grow to heights of 32 inches and are fairly compact that stay neatly in their planted area. Tuscan gold is very popular with birds, bees, and butterflies. 

Described as a well-mannered flower, this plant is easy to care for and favours the full sun. They grow best in zones 4 to 9 and bloom from mid to late summer. 

6. Solar Flare, Red Hot Poker (Torch Lily)

Solar Flare/Red Hot Poker/Torch Lily
Credit: James Petts by CC: 2.0

Scientific Name: Kniphofia spp.

  • Ideal Position: Full sun to partial shade  
  • Difficulty: Hardy and easy to care for  
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic  

A solar flare is a unique looking perennial that makes for an eye-catching addition to any garden. They also go by the names red hot poker and torch lily. As well as yellow, they are also available in orange and red perennial flowers. The spiky, tubular flowers sit on upright stems and reach 42 inches in height. 

Native to South Africa Solar Flare is a tropical plant that thrives in sunlight. They require at least 6 hours of sunlight every day and do best in zones 5 to 9.  Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to these flowers.

7. Coreopsis, Lanceleaf Tickseed

Coreopsis/Lanceleaf Tickseed
Credit: Andre by CC: 1.0 

Scientific Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Difficulty: Low maintenance   
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic  

Coreopsis, or laceleaf tickseed, is a very delicate-looking perennial. Eight, yellow, fringed petals surround a yellow centre. They can grow around 24 inches in height and are adored by pollinators such as butterflies and bees. 

Coreopsis is easy to grow and care for and favours full sun with soil that drains well. They tend to grow in small clusters but under optimal conditions, they can easily spread and add a pop of colour to any garden. Species of this plant are native to the Americas and are common sights in wild meadows. 

8. Golf Beauty, Billy Buttons

Golf Beauty/Billy Buttons

Scientific Name: Craspedia globosa 

  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Difficulty: Easy to care for  
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic  

Golf beauty, sometimes called billy buttons, is arguably the most unique-looking flower on this list. A bloom of globular, bright yellow flowers that resemble a golf ball sits on top of a slender, green-silver stem. They can reach 35 inches in height. 

Golf beauty is native to the Australian outback meaning they thrive in the full sun. During summer they require deep and thorough watering. Once established they are easy to care for and are hardy to many diseases. They grow best in zones 8 to 11. 

Golf beauty blooms from May through to September. Additionally, they make interesting additions to both fresh and dried bouquets. 

9. Golden Calla Lily

Golden Calla Lily
Credit: HQ by CC: 2.0 

Scientific Name: Zantedeschia elliottiana 

  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Difficulty: Relatively easy to maintain   
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic  

Golden calla lily boasts brilliant yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. They have green leaves covered in white speckles. This flower can reach up to 35 inches in height. 

The tropical golden calla lily is native to South Africa. As such, they favour full sun although partial sun is also suitable. Despite their delicate appearance, these flowers are relatively easy to care for. 

They bloom during summer and fall and make excellent focal points in gardens or as part of a flower arrangement. It’s best grown in zones 8 to 10.

10. Yarrow 

Yarrow
Credit: Evelyn Simak by CC: 2.0

Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium 

  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Difficulty: Easy to care for  
  • Toxicity: Toxic to cats, dogs, and horses if ingested   

As well as yellow, yarrow flowers can also be white, pink, purple, red, and orange. Tiny flowers bloom in large clusters on top of long, thin stems that can grow up to 40 inches in length. Many birds and pollinating insects are attracted to yarrow. 

Yarrow is native to Eurasia and is in arid and hot conditions. They are fairly drought and pest resistant although require regular pruning after flowering to avoid drooping and to reduce the overall height of the plant. 

Ingesting large amounts of yarrow can harm dogs, cats and horses. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and frequent urination. Yarrow will do best in zones 3 to 9.

11. Lemon Meringue

Lemon Meringue
Credit: F. D. Richards by CC: 2.0

Scientific Name: Baptisia spp. 

  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Difficulty: Hardy and easy to care for  
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic  

Lemon meringue is a tall yellow perennial with an upright appearance. Dark grey stems reaching 36 inches in height stand out from the green foliage. Small, lemon-yellow flowers run along the length of the stems. They bloom over the spring and summer months whilst seed pods form in the fall. 

Due to its height and contrasting colouration, lemon meringue creates a great focal point in any garden. It requires little maintenance and is hard to drought, making it a great option for beginner gardeners. 

Lemon meringue is native to North America and can be grown in both the sun and the shade. It does best in zones 4 to 9. 

Yellow Perennial Flower Care

To enjoy the beautiful blooms of your perennials and ensure they come back year after year, it is important you provide them with the correct care. Follow these tips to keep your perennials happy and healthy. 

Watering Requirements

Perennials should be watered deeply, especially for the first growing season. The soil should be well-draining to avoid waterlogging. It’s important to avoid getting the foliage wet as it can increase disease susceptibility. 

Frequent watering during the spring and summer months will prevent your perennial drying out. Once the colder months or frost hits, you can abstain from watering until the following spring when the flower begins to bloom again. 

Positioning 

The optimum position for your yellow perennial flower will depend on the species. Some plants will require full sun whilst others will thrive in partial shade. 

Temperature and Humidity

Perennials are best planted in spring or fall when the ground is moist, and conditions are not too hot. The optimum temperature and humidity are specific to every plant, but generally, perennials do best between 60oF and 80oF with a humidity of 60% or more. 

Soil pH

Generally, most plants, including perennials, grow best in soil that is neutral to slightly acidic, as this aids the absorption of essential minerals and nutrients. Adding fertilizer will reduce the pH of the soil. 

Fertilizer

Most perennials do not require heavy fertilization and a single application in spring is usually enough. A low-nitrogen, high-phosphorous fertilizer will encourage more blooms and less foliage. 

Propagation

Most perennials can be easily propagated by either division, cuttings, or seed. Propagation by cutting is the easiest. You should snip a stem just below a root node and remove any leaves near the base. 

Plant the cutting in moist, gritty soil and new roots should grow in a month or so. 

You might also like to read 17 Beautiful Flowers That Look Like Roses

Frequently Asked Questions

Which yellow perennial flower blooms the longest?

Despite being a short-lived perennial, the black-eyed Susan has a long-lasting bloom. They will flower from June right through to September. 

Citations

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Ben's horticultural interest grew when graduating from Hertfordshire University in 1997. Having contributed to numerous publications including Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design Magazine, and The English Garden. He is also the author of Propagating Houseplants Made Easy.