Yellow flowering herbs, with their beautiful bright colors and fragrant scents, are my favorite plants to incorporate into my garden. There’s something about yellow herbs that makes you feel warm and sunny, and eating the plants they came from usually makes you feel fantastic, too. They simply radiate goodness, which is why I wanted to share some of my favorites with you today.
Even though yellow is my favorite color and I love to decorate my home with bright flowers, yellow flowering herbs have a lot more to offer than beauty. You can make tea with them, use them as fragrances and seasonings, and take advantage of their medicinal benefits.
Still, you can’t just go around eating every herb with yellow flowers, you need to make sure you know, without a doubt, which plant it is. Foraging is wonderful and one of the most rewarding things you can do, but proper plant identification is paramount.
Table of contents
- Yellow Flowering Herbs – 18 Beautiful Herbs With Yellow Flowers
- 1. Evening Primrose (Oenothera sp.)
- 2. Sunflower (Helianthus sp.)
- 3. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
- 4. California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
- 5. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum sp.)
- 6. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
- 7. Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
- 8. Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
- 9. Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)
- 10. Toothache Plant/Paracress (Acmella oleracea)
- 11. Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
- 12. Tansy (Tanecetum vulgare)
- 13. Yacon (Sweet Fruit) (Polymnia sonchifolia)
- 14. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- 15. Wild Mustard (Sinapis arvensis)
- 16. Dill (Anethum graveolens)
- 17. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- 18. Yellow Echinacea (Echinacea paradoxa)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yellow Flowering Herbs – 18 Beautiful Herbs With Yellow Flowers
However, you can grow your own yellow garden – a garden full of yellow flowering plants! Amongst greenery and neutral tones, your yellow flowers will look amazing.
In this article, we’ll look at the best yellow flowering herbs you should grow. Most photos are from either True Leaf Market or Eden Brothers Seeds. These companies have a great range of seeds and awesome customer reviews! You’ll find many of their seeds in my garden.
So, here are the 18 most beautiful herbs with yellow flowers:
- Evening Primrose
- California Poppy
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Paracress/Toothache Plant
- Greater Celandine
- Sweet Fruit/Yacon
- St. John’s Wort
- Wild Mustard
- Yellow Echinacea
So, let’s look at each of these yellow flowering herbs together and discuss what makes each one unique. I’ll share recommendations based on how hardy the plants are, how easy they are to grow, how many other benefits they have, and how beautiful they are.
1. Evening Primrose (Oenothera sp.)
Hardy in: Zones 4-8
Evening primrose is a bushy yellow flowering herb that blooms into fragrant yellow flowers. Not only are the flowers pretty, but the seeds can be used to make evening primrose oil, which is both soothing to the skin and high in essential fatty acids.
This herb will branch outwards into whatever area you plant it in, but you can grow it in a pot with good results. These yellow flowers prefer full sun.
Evening primrose sends out an incredibly sweet, sophisticated scent from its brilliant yellow flowers.
2. Sunflower (Helianthus sp.)
Hardy in: Zones 4-9
Sunflowers are surprisingly easy to grow and can truly be a flower that keeps on giving. There are a few different varieties that you can grow based on what you’d like. There are dwarf sunflowers, and then there are “wild” sunflowers that may grow as tall as corn!
One thing is for sure, though — these yellow flowering herbs will grow almost as well as a weed. The large variety can even be grown in a certain area to create a garden “wall,” and you’ll often see birds munching on the seeds.
Sunflowers are self-seeding, which means that when they poop out the seeds into the soil – up comes another sunflower. So, it’s the perfect plant if you don’t want to keep buying seeds year after year.
You and your family can also harvest the seeds this wonderful yellow flowering herb produces and use them as snacks – or plant more sunflowers!
If you want to learn more about how you can use seeds to keep your garden growing practically for free, check out my article on seed-saving practices here.
3. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Hardy in: Zones 2-11
Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is a wonderful yellow flowering herb that is a beautiful addition to every garden, and it is very useful. The flowers are usually pruned and dried. Then, you can use them to make teas or topical balms. Traditionally, this herb has been used to relieve and treat mild pain, burns, and scars.
Fun fact – it also makes a great, bright saffron-colored dye!
Calendula is also useful in your garden because, while it attracts pest bugs like aphids, it will also attract ladybugs (who feed on aphids), butterflies, and bees. It is also considered a “trap plant” because pests will preferentially eat this plant versus your actual crop.
That said, calendula is one of the yellow flowering herbs you’d want in your garden! It is hardy to zones 2-11 but does best in warmer climates.
4. California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
California poppies do just what their name suggests. They add a well-needed pop of color to any spot. Still, when most people think of poppies, a bright red hue comes to mind, but did you know there’s a stunning yellow variety, too?
California poppies are my favorite yellow flowering herb to see every year. Their yellow-orange flowers welcome us into spring and remind us to be happy, filling our outdoor spaces with golden blossoms!
They are a wildflower and, because of this, are very easy to grow. Seeds can merely be sewn into the soil and they will naturally germinate when the weather warms up.
Some people also use this flower as an herb for relaxation, digestion, mild pain, and even allergies.
These herbs with yellow flowers are hardy from zones 5-10 but prefer zone 8.
5. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum sp.)
Hardy in: Zones 9-11
Nasturtiums are beautiful, low spreading, yellow flowering herbs that do best next to your cucumbers and pumpkins. Like calendula, they can also act like a trap crop, drawing pests like aphids to it rather than your crop.
These yellow herbs can grow in the poorest soil conditions and only need to be watered when they dry out. The leaves are also full of vitamin C and may contain some antibiotic properties. These herbs do best in full sun.
Nasturtiums are very common in wildflower mixes, and they make a lovely addition to any space.
6. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Hardy in: Zones 3-10
Dandelion has been called a pest and a weed for a long time, but it is actually one of the top yellow flowering herbs you should have in your garden. Not only are the “puffs” that they produce before flowering a fun way to make a wish, but the yellow flowers are some of the most beautiful.
Dandelions have been used to make medicine for thousands of years, and they are still beneficial flowering herbs that we can use for many purposes (even if that’s just to enjoy their beauty).
One great way to use them is to dry the dandelion leaves and roots to make tea, which is high in potassium and works as a mild diuretic.
The leaves are also used in salads because of their rich taste. However, I must warn you, the leaves can taste quite bitter if you eat them raw.
I usually blanch mine in some cooking wine or veggie broth before I eat them since it softens them and sweetens the taste.
These self-seeding herbs will spread if planted in the ground and are hardy from zones 3-10. So, you can grow dandelions almost anywhere!
Recommended: Wild Lettuce vs Dandelion – What’s the Difference Between Dandelions and Wild Lettuce
7. Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
Hardy in: Zones 5-12
Tarragon, whose flowers resemble miniature California poppies, is a yellow flowering herb many of us know well. Tarragon itself is used as a culinary herb and for its sweet fragrance across the world, but it is also high in many vitamins and minerals, making it medicinal, too.
It is similar to cloves in that it can be used to numb gum and tooth pain. It is a weedy herb, so many choose to cultivate this herb in a pot to prevent it from running into other plants. However, that also means that it’s very difficult to kill. If you have a “brown thumb,” this herb is an excellent choice.
8. Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Hardy in: Zones 3-8
Jerusalem artichokes are related to sunflowers and produce miniature versions of those flowers. This plant is a tuber, meaning the “fruit” it produces is a root much like a potato, except the Jerusalem artichoke is higher in fiber!
This plant can grow between 4-8 feet tall. If you don’t trim the shoots back, they will send up beautiful flowers in late spring.
The tubers are usually harvested in the fall. Jerusalem artichokes are also somewhat cold tolerant.
9. Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)
Hardy in: Zones 4-9
Goldenrod flowers, also known as solidago, are both full of benefits and are a lovely addition to your garden. This yellow flowering herb blooms through the summer and into fall, going dormant in the winter. It is a great pollinator, so it will easily attract butterflies and bees into your garden.
The leaves and flowers can be used to make goldenrod tea, a mild diuretic that relieves inflammation.
Still, this plant can spread like a weed, so using pots may be a good idea. It can also get very tall, so I recommend using it around your garden’s borders as a natural fence.
10. Toothache Plant/Paracress (Acmella oleracea)
Hardy in: Zones 9-11
If you’ve ever chewed some Sichuan peppers before, you may know what this yellow flowering herb tastes like. The leaves and flowers of this plant can be chewed to create tingling and pain relief in the mouth and throat. You can even drink them as tea. This herb is low-growing and loves full sun.
Still, in my opinion, the best thing about this yellow flowering herb is that the blooms have a unique appearance, which can add quite a bit of variety to your garden. Of all my yellow herbs, everyone asks about these the most.
11. Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
Hardy in: Zones 5-8
Greater Celandine, also known as Eye Herb, Wart Weed, and Tetter Wort, is another yellow flowering herb that some may already be familiar with. It is a perennial herb with a thick, fleshy taproot.
The flowers are small but stand out with their gorgeously bright yellow petals.
Greater Celandine needs a well-draining position. It is hardy in many climates, from extreme cold and snow to tropical and subtropical areas. However, it’ll prefer having cover from the hottest midday sun during the summer months.
A distinctive feature of this yellow flowering herb is its bright orange latex sap. When you pick the flowers or leaves, or the herb gets damaged, it will ooze this sap out, which has an unusual smell and tastes rather bad.
12. Tansy (Tanecetum vulgare)
Hardy in: Zones 3-8
Tansy is a spectacular yellow flowering herb that everyone would be happy to see in their garden every year. The oil from this plant has been used to create topical oils in recent years, and traditionally it is used for ringworm, lice, and as a sedative.
You can also buy tansy as an aromatherapy oil since it gives off a soothing scent.
These herbs with yellow flowers are great for those who live in dry environments because Tansy is drought tolerant and will tolerate partial to full sun.
People also grow tansy around entrances to their houses or gardens because it is said to repel mosquitoes, mice, and cockroaches. So, it makes a perfect flower for a pest-infested garden!
13. Yacon (Sweet Fruit) (Polymnia sonchifolia)
Hardy in: Zones 5-8
Yacon, also called the pear of the earth, is another member of the sunflower family. The flowers look just like sunflowers, but they are much smaller.
It is a yellow flowering herb that produces fiber-rich tubers, which have the same consistency as apples. These tubers can aid digestion and are used commercially to make syrups and other low-glycemic sweeteners.
It has gained popularity recently because it is an acceptable sweetener for the Keto diet due to its high-fiber, low sugar, but sweet-tasting content.
I love this stuff since it makes a vegan alternative to honey and is healthier than sugar and maple syrup. I usually use mine to make my favorite home-grown honey mustard recipe, but you can use it for anything that calls for a sweetener!
The yacon plant produces large leaves with little yellow flowers. Although this plant can grow in colder climates, it does best with little to no frost.
14. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Hardy in: Zones 5-9
St. John’s wort is an herbaceous shrub with fluffy, star-shaped flowers. This plant has some incredible benefits – part of which is its beauty.
This flower has five bright yellow, slightly waxy petals, which makes each of the hundreds of blossoms on the shrub look like a little star in the night sky. Above all other flowers, I find this one to be the most uplifting – which makes sense considering this plant’s medicinal benefits.
St. John’s Wort is best known as a natural antidepressant, but it’s also an excellent topical treatment for burns, inflammation, and scrapes.
Despite its sunny blooms, St, John’s Wort needs shade during the daytime since its flowers and leaves are susceptible to sunburn. However, it’s a perennial that can weather almost anything, so once you’ve found a good spot for it, you can just sit back and enjoy this herb’s yellow flowers for years to come.
15. Wild Mustard (Sinapis arvensis)
Hardy in: Zones 5-9
Wild mustard, sometimes called charlock, is a common weed, but its adorable little yellow flowers make it an attractive plant to keep around. It can grow practically anywhere, which is great for gardeners with a brown thumb.
It’s also a wonderful addition to salads, potatoes, and anything that needs a bit of flavor. Any dish you’d add bottled mustard to tastes 10 times better with this gorgeous herb.
16. Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Hardy in: Zones 3-11
I think dill is one of those garden herbs everyone should have. Its refined, kind of stringy-looking flowers don’t make a huge visual impact, but it sure is a tasty and aromatic yellow flowering plant!
Dill also grows in almost any climate but won’t survive frost. So, bring your dill inside for the winter if you want perennial blooms.
If you want an herb to use in the kitchen, dill is a great choice. It’s my favorite herb to put in my home-grown mashed potatoes for a fresh, unique, seasonal flavor straight from the garden. However, it is also excellent on almost anything savory, from steak to salad to pasta – and everything in between.
17. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Hardy in: Zones 4-9
Every summer, fennel sends out fragrant, bright yellow star-shaped clusters of yellow flowers. These little yellow buds grow on long, thin stems, appearing as a halo around the plant.
One of my favorite parts of growing fennel is that it usually blooms right about when the spring flowers all wither up, adding a bit of cheer to spring’s departure.
It’s a perennial, but it usually dies out within a few years of planting. In addition, it doesn’t like the cold, so you’ll have to bring it inside for the winter if you want it to survive until next year’s thaw.
Aside from its timely flowers, fennel is a versatile kitchen herb that can easily adapt to sweet or savory dishes. It’s also great for stomach upsets, which is why it’s the perfect addition to heavy dishes or sweet desserts.
18. Yellow Echinacea (Echinacea paradoxa)
Hardy in: Zones 3-9
Yellow echinacea, also called yellow coneflower, is a stunning little daisy-like flower with rich golden petals.
It’s a beautiful ornamental and a common medicinal herb many people use to boost their immune system. You’ll find it in teas like this Traditional Medicinals Echinacea Plus Elderberry, which I always drink when I get a cold.
Aside from its soothing taste, it’s truly a stunning flower. It is a perennial that blooms in late summer and a hands-off kind of plant that is difficult to kill. So, if you want to do no work and reap all the glorious golden benefits, yellow echinacea might be your cup of tea.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Now that you know some of the best yellow flowering herbs to grow in your garden, I thought it might help you to know the answers to some questions I’ve asked myself while writing this and while experimenting with my own herb-growing practices.
An herb is a plant that people use for food or medicine, although the specific definition given by botanists is any plant that dies after flowering. However, few people use the botanical definition and prefer to use the common one, which allows evergreen shrubs like rosemary and lavender to remain “herbs.”
You can tell what color a flower’s herbs will be by the scientific name, but not by the common name. For example, echinacea comes in many colors. Echinacea purpurea is purple, while echinacea paradoxa is the yellow variety.
If you love useful herbs and pretty yellow flowers, hopefully, this article about the best yellow flowering herbs gives you a place to start. There’s nothing wrong with beautifying your garden just for the heck of it, either!
If you choose to plant any of these flowers or want to recommend another one for the list, let us know in the comments below! And I heartily invite you to share pictures of your gorgeous yellow flowering herbs with us.
Thursday 14th of May 2020
I am glad that I found this article well documented and very informative.
Thank you and keep going, you do a great job!!
Thursday 14th of May 2020
Thank you Kathaleen! Hoping to do an article on all the flower colors of herbs, they're beautiful and useful!