11 of the most stunning autumn flowers

Hold onto your knitwear and get the pumpkin carving kit out. Autumn is almost here, with its gorgeous colour palette of deep reds, burnt oranges and mustard yellows.

There’s the enticing scent of pumpkin spice to look forward to – give us all the flavoured syrup in our coffee – plus the joy of being able to snuggle under a blanket on cooler evenings or wrap up in your favourite cosy jumper.

It's safe to say, we love autumn here at Interflora, as it offers up a whole new world of opportunity when it comes to flowers!

Check out our list of favourite autumn flowers below and why they're the best choice to enjoy in an arrangement or gift to friends and family during this season.

  • Sunflower
  • Dahlia
  • Celosia
  • Chinese lantern
  • Aster
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Anemones
  • Ornamental cabbages
  • Kniphofia
  • Carthamus
  • Protea

Sunflower

Sunflowers make a statement in any setting and, while they are synonymous with sunshine and those hazy summer days, they bloom late enough in the season to be considered autumn flowers.

These cheery blooms unfurl their gorgeous yellow petals between July and September and their bright faces and vibrant colours make them the perfect choice for a vase in your living space or wrapped and ready to give to someone who needs cheering up.

Sunflowers originated in North America and were grown originally as a source of food. Their name is, as you've likely guessed, inspired by the sun and the flower's incredible ability to turn its face towards the warmth and light throughout the day.

Looking for another way to enjoy sunflowers? For many people – especially those looking to update their Instagram feed – a visit to a sunflower field is a must in August and you'll find lots of recommendations out there for the best ones to visit in the UK.

Dahlia

The sweet, and near-symmetrical, dahlia makes a statement in any floral display with its many rows of delicate petals and an incredible array of colours to choose from.

Some would say that dahlias are purely summer flowers – but not us! We're here to confirm that dahlias can bloom anytime between late June and early December, so you can enjoy these beauties much later in the year than most flowers.

Look for dahlias in vibrant shades of red, that are said to symbolise love and passion – the perfect date night bouquet – or opt for a dusky pink flower whose colour is meant to represent kindness and grace.

Dahlias come in a range of shapes and sizes - from the fun, ball shaped flowers that stand proud atop their stems to those with layer upon layer of fanned out petals. Whatever species you choose – and there are 42 to take your pick from – this autumn flower always steals the show.

Did you know? The dahlia is the national flower of Mexico, where it thrives in the mountainous regions of the country but it can also be grown here in the UK.

Celosia

Vibrant in colour and enticingly fluffy in appearance – hey, we don't blame you for wanting to touch those soft, curly flower heads – celosia is a truly striking autumn flower. Celosias symbolise the bold and beautiful, wherever they're featured they'll create an eye-catching focal point.

Celosias bloom in late summer and early autumn and are a popular choice in many seasonal floral arrangements in August and September. In fact, they're the star of these seasonal arrangements – the other flowers are the entourage.

Their shape reminds us of brains (that makes them the perfect choice for a classy floral Halloween arrangement) and you'll find them in a range of autumnal shades, from fiery oranges to bold maroons that could easily compete with the colours of the changing leaves.

Chinese Lantern

These unusual autumn plants are firm favourites once the season changes, with delicate orange fruit cases that resemble tiny hanging pumpkins. They're the perfect choice if you're looking for a chic way to incorporate a Halloween theme in your home in late October.

Once Chinese lantern plants have bloomed they can be cut and featured in a vase on the mantelpiece or – if you're feeling crafty – even woven into an autumnal wreath to hang on your front door. Plus, they won't lose their colouring, so they could be used to add a permanent pop of colour to your home.

Chinese lanterns typically flower between July and October – just in time for spooky celebrations!

Aster

Sweet, star-shaped asters are early autumn bloomers, showing off their gorgeous purple petals and bright yellow centres in the months of August and September.

Asters have ties to Greek mythology, as they are said to have been created with the tears of the Greek goddess Astraea who was upset with how few stars there were in the sky. Her tears fell to the earth and in their place, aster flowers grew.

Now, these violet blooms are cultivated for another reason altogether – to simply look wonderful, of course – and are particularly stunning when paired with the early autumn sunflower, in a large vase plumped with green foliage.

Asters are also the birth month flower for those born in September, making them the ideal gift for those born during the early autumn months.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums are a year-round staple but in autumn the flower really comes into its own with stunning shades of orange, burgundy and yellow to enjoy in your seasonal bouquets.

But this flower isn't just a beautiful bloom, it also boasts medicinal purposes and when drunk in tea form is believed to reduce high blood pressure and acts as an anti-inflammatory. We'll pop the kettle on then!

Chrysanthemums can flower throughout September and October, ensuring you get to enjoy their stunning colours and display during this season.

Did you know? In Australia, chrysanthemums are the official flower of choice for Mother's Day bouquets, due to their nickname of 'mums' – feel free to use that reasoning when March rolls around again.

Anemones

Anemones offer an eye-catching display, whether you're enjoying them in a delicate autumnal floral arrangement or growing them in your front garden.

These flowers are similar in shape and size to poppies and come in a wide variety of stunning colours from vibrant whites to soft pretty pinks. Anemones bloom in late summer and early autumn, making them the perfect choice for stunning September floral arrangements.

Like daisies, anemones close their petals at night and open them again in the morning and, because of this, they are said to reflect the anticipation and the passing of time. This makes them the ideal flower to give to someone waiting for important news.

Ornamental cabbages

If you've never been a fan of cabbage with your Sunday roast, then you can finally enjoy your veg in flower form! The idea of featuring cabbages in a bouquet may sound strange but these aren't your typical leafy greens.

Ornamental cabbages are truly unique and always eye-catching, typically with pink or cream centres and green surrounding leaves. It's worth noting that they're late autumn bloomers so you should be able to enjoy them and give them as gifts throughout this season and into early winter - or even include them in an autumn bridal bouquet!

They grow on long stalks, making them ideal for bouquets on their own, gathered in a bunch, or supported by dark green foliage and delicate blooms such as gypsophila.

Did you know? Ornamental cabbages aren't edible when fully grown but some varieties can be eaten before they mature – although they are said to have a very strong taste.

Kniphofia

Things are hotting up now, with the fiery colours of the kniphofia – also known as red hot poker or Torch Lily.

Kniphofia are native to Africa, where this vibrant plant thrives. However, you'll get to enjoy these flame-like blooms between June and October in the UK, making them the perfect early autumn flower as they mimic the shades of the falling leaves.

These unusual pointed blooms feature rows of flowers that grow in ombre shades of red then orange and yellow. They make a statement in any floral display and it's a good idea to cut the flowers regularly to encourage more to grow on the main plant. That means more colour for the vases in your home!

The flower is said to represent good fortune and is the ideal choice for a good luck bouquet for someone close to you. The cuttings look stunning on their own or can be paired with flowers in complementary shades such as purple and yellow.

Carthamus

The carthamus reminds us of a thistle, with a bold, spiky head of yellow petals and a long stem featuring dark green leaves. You can also find orange and purple safflowers – it's like this flower was made for autumn!

The oil from its seeds is usually used for cooking but it still makes for a stunning bloom to feature in autumn bouquets. The catharmus’ petals were also once used to create vibrant dyes – its name does come from the Arabic word 'to paint' – and the flower can also be featured in cooking, as a replacement for the expensive spice saffron.

Wondering when you'll get to enjoy these spiky beauties? The flowers are at their best mid to late summer but the seeds can be harvested in autumn when most people wish to make use of this stunning bloom.

Protea

This unusual flower (also known as the sugarbush) hails from South Africa and is considered to be from one of the oldest living families of flowers on the planet – dating back an incredible 300 million years!

The flower has a unique cone-like head with petals that envelope its centre but it's not just a pretty face. In fact, it's so hardy its young buds have been known to survive wildfires!

Proteas' colour makes them the perfect autumn flower, as they grow in shades of red, orange and yellow. They start to flower in autumn and peak in winter, brightening up those grey days with ease.

There are 1,500 species of protea and their name is believed to have come from the Greek god Poseidon's son Proteus, who had the power to shapeshift, reflecting the wide variety of shapes and sizes that this flower comes in.

Feeling ready for autumn and all the floral goodness it has to offer? Whether you're looking for a colourful bloom to feature in your home or a flower with the perfect meaning for a loved one, consider these stunning flowers during this later season.

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