Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale) have huge crepe-paper flowers in fiesta colors that seem to usher in the vacation months. After flowering, however, the plants quietly fold up and remain dormant until autumn, when a fresh rosette of foliage appears.'Patty's Plum', has enormous dusty purple flowers. Photo: (cc) Daryl Mitchell/Flickr
10 Unusual Spring Flowers: Pasque flower (Pulsatilla) have gorgeous purplish blue flowers and demand a well-drained spot with sandy or gravelly soil and a neutral pH. For areas with wetter and warmer winters, try European pasque flower. Pasque flowers do not grow well in regions with hot, humid summers.
European wood anemone (Anemone) form solid drifts of white or blue flowers. Try the white and green 'Bracteata Pleniflora', the late-blooming white 'Vestal', the green-flowered 'Monstrosa', and the yellow-flowered buttercup anemone. *Photo: (cc) L.C. Nottaasen
Leopard's Bane (Doronicum) opens its yellow daisylike flowers with the daffodils. 'Little Leo' is a showstopper with double glowing golden flowers. Leopard's bane does well as far south as Virginia but wilts miserably farther south where spring days are hot. Plants produce fresh foliage in autumn after spending the summer underground.