Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by Clarisse Walters
There are hundreds of thousands of different plants on our wonderful planet and they come in all shapes and sizes. They can inspire the most beautiful pieces of art or they can help provide healthcare to millions of people.
Some people have dedicated their whole lives to studying these incredible features on Earth, whereas others only know the ones they see in their garden or the neighborhood. We’ve made a guide for plants beginning with the letter ‘C’.
Garden plants beginning with C
Here is a list of the plants that start with C featured in this article:
- California Poppy (Golden Poppy)
The cactus plant is possibly the most well-known on our list and crops up in all sorts of places. Belonging to the Cactaceae family, this green and prickly plant originated in the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in South America, all the way up to parts of western Canada.
There are many different types of cacti, with the Rhipsalis baccifera also being found on the African continent and the island of Sri Lanka in Asia.
Another well-known plant beginning with the letter ‘C’ is the cabbage. Used frequently as a side in meals and as a key component in a salad, this vegetable is believed to have originated in Europe before 1000 BC, with some recordings dating back to China in 4000 BC.
With different types of cabbage grown in areas of the globe, the first cabbage came to America between 1541 and 1542 by Jacques Cartier, who planted the vegetable in Canada on his third voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Cabbage belongs to the Brassicaceae family and has a lot of benefits for health when eaten.
Like cabbage, carrots are a vegetable that was originally grown outside of the US before being introduced. The orange plant originated from Iran and was domesticated in Asia during the 10th Century. Wild carrots, the orange ones that we eat today, actually started off as white or pale yellow.
This was changed to purple and yellow when the vegetable was domesticated around 5000 years ago in the Persian Plateau area. Some scholars and scientists wonder if carrots were even orange before the 16th Century. After Colombus’ first visit to the Caribbean in 1492, the islands became a center point for explorers worldwide, meaning these once foreign plants soon found their way to the US.
California Poppy (Golden Poppy)
Eschscholzia californica, or commonly known as the California Poppy belongs to the Papaveraceae family. Found throughout California, the plant became the official flower of the state in 1903. On top of the western state, the flower can also be found in Oregon, southern Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico in Sonora and northwest Baja California.
Despite what some people may think, it is not illegal to pick California poppies, however, it’s best to leave them alone if they are on top of private land. The flower can be used for medicinal purposes, being useful to those with trouble sleeping, aches, and even bed-wetting with children.
This colorful flower originated from Eurasia and has been cultivated for over 2000 years, ranking them high on the list of the world’s oldest cultivated flowers. The University of Vermont states that this plant was used in garlands by the ancient Romans and Greeks throughout history.
Native to the Mediterranean area of the world, carnations possess a spicy fragrance and are used substantially throughout the floral industry. The name ‘carnation’ comes from the Latin word ‘corono-ae’, which is a form of wreath, garland, chaplet, or crown.
The carnation is seen by many people as a symbol of love, whether that be familial, romantic, or platonic love. Carnations are often used as gifts for occasions such as Mother’s Day, anniversaries, and birthdays because of this reason.
Coming in a range of bright colors like white, pink, crimson, lavender, and purple, cosmos flowers are often used in day-to-day flower decorating and gift-giving. After planting, the plant usually flowers in as little as 12 weeks, making them a great option for people who are looking to use them as decorations around the house and gardens.
It’s recommended that the seeds are sowed indoors around March and April for the maximum life expectancy of the flower. Belonging to the Asteraceae family, the cosmos flower is typically native to Mexico, but they can be found as far north and as the Olympic Penninsula in Washington and as far south as Paraguay.
Potentially poisonous when ingested by mammals, this beautiful flower is often used for decorations and is associated with death in some cultures.
In Europe, the plant is often symbolized as a plant commonly associated with death because of its extensive use at gravesites and memorials. Native to East Asia and northeastern Europe, this flower is displayed in Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, and New York Botanic Gardens annually because of its bright colors and large petals.
Much like the chrysanthemum, the camellia is also native to Southern and Eastern Asia, most recognizably in Japan, China, India, Korea, and Indonesia. The camellia is a small tree, or shrub, that belongs to the Theaceae family, more commonly known as the tea family.
The camellia plant can be used when making tea by taking advantage of the plant’s leaves. Notable types of tea that come from this plant are green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and many others. Coming in a variety of colors, the camellia usually blooms in autumn, winter, and spring.
There is an abundance of plants worldwide that begin with the letter ‘C’, and they all have their benefits and their personalities. From the prickly cactus to the glamorous chrysanthemum, all of them come from all corners of the globe and mean different things to so many different people.
For example, the chrysanthemum symbolizing death in European cultures contrasts massively to camellia which is seen as a plant used for making tea using the leaves. It’s interesting to see how these plants came to the US and how long they’ve been around. The carnation dates back around 2000 years and the cabbage dates back to Asia even further. It’s interesting to see what other species of plants will be discovered in the future.