University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Plants for Historic Gardens              OH 51

Leonard Perry, Extension Professor

The following plants are representative of some of the more common ones found in Victorian (c. 1850-1900) New England gardens. These are emphasized because most of our homes date from this period.

* = plant also used earlier
** = plants most popular in mid-nineteenth century
[date] = one of the first mentions of plant being used

Perennial flowers
Yarrow* Golden Marguerite Thrift*
New England Aster [1710] Heart Saxafrage Lance Coreopsis*
Foxglove* [1748] Eryngium* Gentian*,**
Sunflower (double)* Bluets* Loosestrife*
Mullein* Yucca*,** Bee Balm* [1744]
Pinks** Poppy* [1714] Ground Phlox*
Buttercup Hens-and-chicks [1868] Thyme
Spiderwort Speedwell** Carpet Bugle
Columbine*,** [1640] Goat's Beard* False Spirea
Bellflower* [1760] Delphinium*,** [1827] Gas Plant*, ** [1722]
Ferns Blood-red Geranium Day-lily (orange)*,**
Iris*,** [1732] Mallow Feverfew
Evening Primrose Fountain Grass Balloon Flower [1855]
Golden Glow Fire Pink* Meadow-rue
Globe Flower Violet (bird's foot)*, ** Hollyhock*
Rock Cress Butterfly-weed* [1690] Blue False Indigo* [1758]
Shasta Daisy Bleeding-heart [1846] Barrenwort (white)*
Meadowsweet Baby's Breath [1759] Plantain Lily
Liatris* Lupine* Miscanthus grass
Water lilies Peony (blood red)*,** Summer Phlox** [1732]
Primrose*,** Cone-flower Goldenrod
Vinca* Lily* (Meadow, Madonna, Turks Cap oldest)

Annual Flowers
Alyssum Snapdragon Gaillardia
Maltese Cross*,** Ivy Geranium Stokes Aster*
Corn (ornament) Celosia** Four o'clock**
Convolvulus** Portulaca** Caccalia**
Thunbergia** Anemone Sweet-William* [1700s]
Statice Flw. Tobacco* Scabious
Verbena Gomphrena** Helichrysum**
Mimulus** Petunia** Schizanthus**
Sweet Pea** Amaranth (Tricolor)* Dahlia
Flax* [1838] Lotus Petunia
Nasturtium* Ageratum** Clarkia**
Balsam** Nemophila** Viscaria**
Phlox, Drummonds**

Glory-of-the-snow Daffodil* Snowdrop*
Lily-of-the-Valley* Tulips* Hyacinth*
Narcissus* Crocus* Scilla*

Arbor Vitae** White Fir Horse Chestnut*,**
American Chestnut* Yellow-wood* European Ash*,**
Larch** Crabapple White Spruce*
Austrian Pine* Red Oak* English Oak
Mountain Ash*,** Balsam Fir** Norway Maple*
Birch* Katsura Tree Hawthorne (Cockspur)*,**
Ginkgo*,** Elms*,** Blue Spruce
Oriental Spruce* White Pine** Pin Oak
Fragrant Sumac*,** Jap. Tree Lilac [1876] Red Cedar*,**
Red Maple*,** Hornbeam* Fringe Tree
Beech*,** Honey Locust* Hemlock**
Norway Spruce Jap. Red Pine White Oak*
Scarlet Oak* Willows (Weeping)*,** Linden (American)*

Jap. Barberry Flw. Quince*
Sweet Pepperbush* Cotoneaster, Rockspray**
Daphne*,** Deutzia**
Russian Olive* Winged Euonymus**
Forsythia (Chinese)** Witchhazel*
Peegee Hydrangea Juniper
Privet** Honeysuckle*,**
Saucer Magnolia* Star Magnolia
Bayberry* Sweet Mockorange*,**
Mugo Pine* Deciduous Azaleas (Flame)*
Tamarack Snowberry*,**
Weigela Spireas
Yew Persian Lilac*
Rugosa and shrub roses* Viburnum
Chinese Lilac Rhododendron (Catawba, Rosebay)*,**

Vines and groundcovers
Dutchman's Pipe* Boston Ivy Trumpet-creeper*,**
Bittersweet*,** Sweet Peas Thunbergia
Jackman's Clematis** Honeysuckle*,** Jap. Spurge
Virginia creeper*

Return to Perry's Perennial Consumer Page

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. Lawrence Forcier, Director, UVM Extension System, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension System and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital or familial status.

Last reviewed 2003