19 Grass-Like Plants with Purple Flowers

19 Grass-Like Plants with Purple Flowers

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a field of purple flowers? Just seeing them makes you want to stay in that lavender haze.

Now there might already be purple flowers growing in your backyard and you’re thinking of keeping them so you’ll have your own field of purple flowers.

Well, we’d recommend that you first take a few steps back because some might not be real flowering plants but actually weeds. 

To help you decide if you’ll keep them or not, here’s a list of grass-like plants with purple flowers. Hopefully, yours will fall into the flowering plant category!

19 Grass-Like Plants with Purple Flowers

1. Purple Moor Grass (Molinia caerulea)

Purple Moor Grass (Molinia caerulea)
Image: Freshwater Habitats
Scientific NameMolinia caerulea
Common NamePurple Moor Grass
Tall Purple Moor Grass
FamilyPoaceae
Height2 to 4 feet
Growth RateSlow
MaintenanceMedium
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeClayLoam (Silt)Sand
Good Drainage
Moist
Landscape UseMeadow
Pond
Border
Mass Planting
ToxicityNon-Toxic

The Purple Moor is a species of grass native to Europe. We’ve added it to this list because although it is real grass, it has invasive potential when present in your garden. 

This plant grows best in acidic soils and is commonly found in swamps or open landscapes. 

One indicator that it’s Purple Moor is when you see long, pointy, slightly hair leaves growing in mounded tufts of closely crowded 35-inch stems. 

During the blooming season, this plant grows narrow purple spikelets of flowers. 

You can use the Purple Moor as ornamental grass in your garden. Just make sure all the surrounding plants also get enough nutrients to fight off their weedy nature.

2. Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica)

Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica)
Image: Florgeous
Scientific NameMyosotis sylvatica
Common NameBugloss
Cape Forget-Me Not
Summer Forget-Me Not
FamilyBoraginaceae
Height8 inches to 1 feet and 6 inches
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceHigh
LightFull Sun
Life CycleAnnual
Soil TypeGood Drainage
Landscape UseContainer
Accent
Border
Mass Planting
ToxicityNon-Toxic

Its name definitely fits its nature because once Forget-Me-Not enters your garden, it will make sure you won’t forget it. 

Expect this plant to take over your entire backyard and even kill some plants along the way. This plant thrives in moist well-drained soil and doesn’t need much water to survive. 

During spring, the well-known Forget-Me-Nots bloom in a cyme inflorescence with 5 purple petals.

Forget-Me-Nots are also edible and are typically used in salads and teas to add sweetness. 

To keep other plants safe while keeping the beautiful Forget-Me-Nots, you can use it as a border or container plant. 

3. Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)

Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)
Image: The Spruce
Scientific NameSisyrinchium angustifolium
Common NameBermuda Blue-eyed Grass
Blue-eyed Grass
Blue Eyes
Grass Flower
Narrowleaf Blue-eyed Grass
Sassy Grass
Stout blue-eyed grass
FamilyIridaceae
Height1 to 2 feet
Growth RateMedium
MaintenanceMedium
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeClay
High Organic Matter
Loam (Silt)
Sand
Good Drainage
Moist
Landscape UseMeadow
Naturalized Area
Slope/Bank
Walkways
Border
Mass Planting
ToxicityNon-Toxic

They may have long thin leaves, but Blue-Eyed Grass is actually another grass-like plant. 

It’s a flowering plant from the Iris family that thrives in moist soil and damp areas like marshes, low woods, stream banks, and slopes. 

The Blue-Eyed Grass propagates through its rhizomes and it usually grows in clumps of grass-like leaves. During spring, it blooms purple star-shaped flowers with a yellow center. 

You can plant them in groups in your walkway to improve your garden’s curb appeal. 

Another perk of keeping the Blue-Eyed Grass is that you can use it as a medicinal plant. Native American have long cooked their leaves as it helps regulate bowel movement. 

4. Doveweed (Murdannia nudiflora)

Doveweed (Murdannia nudiflora)
Image: Tallahassee
Scientific NameMurdannia nudiflora
Common NameDove weed
FamilyCommelinaceae
Height12 inches
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceHigh
LightFull Sun
Life CycleAnnual
Soil TypeClay
Loam (Silt)
Sand
Shallow Rocky
Good Drainage
Occasionally Wet
Landscape UseContainer
Border
Mass Planting
ToxicityNon-Toxic

You’ll know you have Doveweed in your garden when you see them forming a dense mat on the floor, especially during summer. This plant also thrives in overly-irrigated or damp soil. 

It’s commonly confused with regular grass because of its narrow short leaves and parallel veins. But when it blooms, it surely stands out with its 3-petaled purple flowers. 

The Doveweed spreads quickly through its stolons and if left untouched, it might get a hold of the existing grass and plants in your garden. 

It’s a tough weed to remove because it can quickly propagate through its stolon and can resist herbicides.

5. Monkey Grass (Liriope)

Monkey Grass (Liriope)
Image: Martha Stewart
Scientific NameLiriope
Common NameLilyturf
Lily Turf
Monkey Grass
Spider Grass
FamilyAsparagaceae
Height9 inches to 1 feet and 6 inches
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceLow
LightDeep Shade
Partial Shade
Full Sun
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeGood Drainage
Landscape UseContainer
Lawn
Drought Tolerant Garden
Border
Mass Planting
ToxicityToxic

Monkey Grass may be ornamental for your yard because of its narrow, long, pointy and variegated green leaves but it’s not a true grass. It’s a herbaceous perennial plant that’s indigenous to Asia. 

You’ll commonly see it growing in clumps with its 18-inch leaves naturally arching to the ground. 

Every summer, the Monkey Grass produces small 6-petalled flowers that grow on its elongated stem. Later on, these flowers turn into black berries. 

When the Monkey Grass is left untouched, it can multiply aggressively and become a threat to other wildlife in your garden. So, always keep them in check to keep the peach in your yard. 

6. Spiderwort (Tradescantia)

Spiderwort (Tradescantia)
Image: Gardeners Path
Scientific NameTradescantia
Common NameHairy Stem Spiderwort
Indian Paint
Purple-heart
Spiderwort
Tradescantia
Wandering Jew
Spider lily
FamilyCommelinaceae
Height1 to 3 feet
Growth RateMedium
MaintenanceMedium
LightDappled Sunlight
Full Sun
Partial Shade
Perennial
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeClay
Loam (Silt)
Sand
Good Drainage
Moist
Landscape UseHanging Baskets
Houseplants
Lawn
Slope/Bank
Small Space
Walkways
Accent
Border
Mass Planting
ToxicityToxic

No, it doesn’t bring spiders in your garden. Spiderworts are actually perennial wildflowers commonly found in North America and Europe. 

It got its name from the thick sticky secretion from the inside of its stem. This substance is like thready resembling a spider’s web, thus its name. 

They have long thin and blade-like leaves that’s why they’re commonly mistaken for grass. And when it blooms, Spiderworts produce 3-petalled purple flowers. 

Spiderworts are climbing and trailing species which makes them perfect as hanging basket plants for patios and home gardens. It’s also a safe choice so you won’t have to deal with its weedy features.

7. Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)
Image: University of Maryland
Scientific NameGlechoma hederacea
Common NameAlehoffsCat’s Foot
Creeping Charlie
Field Balm
Gill-over-the-hill
Ground ivy
Hay Maids
Runaway Robin
FamilyLamiaceae
Height8 inches
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceHigh
LightDappled Sunlight
Deep Shade
Full Sun
Partial Shade
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypePerennial
Clay
High Organic Matter
Loam (Silt)
Sand
Shallow Rocky
Landscape UseMass Planting
Border
ToxicityNon-Toxic

The Creeping Charlie is one of the toughest weeds to kill. 

It has stems that are creepers spreading like a mat all over your lawn and competes with nutrients from other plants. It’s so tough that it can even withstand herbicides or the blades of a lawnmower. 

This perennial plant comes from the mint family and is native to Europe and Asia. It’s commonly found in lawns, roadsides, and waste areas.

During the blooming season, upright stems emerge and produce 5 petalled tubular-shaped flowers. 

On the brighter side, the spinach-like leaves of the Creeping Charlie are edible. It’s actually used to add a minty touch to salads.

8. Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
Image: Totally Wild UK
Scientific NameCirsium vulgare
Common NameBull Thistle
Common Thistle
FamilyAsteraceae
Height7 feet
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceHigh
LightFull Sun
Life CycleBiennial
Soil TypeClayLoam (Silt)
Sand
Landscape UseMeadow
Naturalized Area
Pollinator Garden
ToxicityNon-Toxic

You can easily recognize the Spear Thistle for its fluffy purple flowers that grow on top of a spiny green ball. Resembling a cactus, its leaves, and stems are long but covered in barbs.

Although they’re exotic-looking, we’d recommend you mow this weed out as early as possible. 

Preferably, before its flowers pop out or else you’ll have to dig out the plants individually and that’s a lot of work. 

On a positive note, the flower buds of the Spear Thistle are edible like an artichoke heart. After removing the spines, you can also add their leaves and stems to your salad.

9. Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Scientific NameSolanum dulcamara
Common NameBitter Nightshade
Bittersweet
Bittersweet Nightshade
Blue Blindweed
Blue Nightshade
Climbing Nightshade
Devil’s Apple
European Bittersweet
Fellonwort
Felonwood
Poisonous Nightshade
Scarlet Berry
Snakeberry
Soda Apple
Violet Bloom
Wolfgrape
Woody Nightshade
FamilySolanaceae
Height2 to 10 feet
Growth RateMedium
MaintenanceLow
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CycleAnnual
Soil TypeClayLoam (Silt)Sand
Landscape UseContainer
Drought Tolerant Garden
Pollinator Garden
Accent
Specimen
ToxicityToxic

The Bittersweet Nightshade produces beautiful purple flowers yet invasive and highly toxic – bittersweet indeed. 

This is a perennial scrambling shrub native to Europe and Asia. It’s commonly found in swamps, riverbanks, roadsides, and other disturbed areas. 

It got its name from its sweet leaves and bitter roots, thus, the Bittersweet Nightshade.

This plant has a multi-branched vine where its ovate green leaves and purple flowers with yellow stamens grow. 

It’s widely reported as an invasive plant in the United States. Small infestations may be controlled manually but you may resort to using herbicides when things go out of hand. 

Fair warning, all parts of the Bittersweet Nightshade are toxic. It causes diarrhea, vomiting, skin irritation, dermatitis, and nausea when ingested.

So, it’s best if you wear protective gear when dealing with this plant. 

10. Nodding Thistle (Carduus nutans)

Nodding Thistle (Carduus nutans)
Image: Plants of the World Online
Scientific NameCarduus nutans
Common NameMusk thistle
Nodding plumeless thistle
Bristle thistle
FamilyAsteraceae
Height1 to 6 feet
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceHigh
LightFull Sun
Life CycleBiennial
Soil TypeClay
Chalky
Sandy
Loam
Landscape UseMass planting
Border
ToxicityNon-Toxic

The heads of the flowers of this plant tend to nod down, that’s why it’s named the Nodding Thistle. It’s a biennial plant from the daisy family and native to Europe and Asia. 

The most prominent part of this plant is its flower head, which is actually a large globose with tiny individual flowers. As it matures, the flower heads drop to 90 to 120 degrees as if it’s nodding. 

The leaves of the Nodding Thistle are unique in themselves – 15 inches long with barbs on their wavy edges.

Unfortunately, it’s declared as a noxious weed in many countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States, and Canada.

They have a vast root system so it’s better if you get rid of them as early as possible.

11. Sweet Violet (Viola odorata)

Sweet Violet (Viola odorata)
Image: My Garden
Scientific NameViola odorata
Common NameCommon Violet
Devon Violet
English Violet
Florist’s Violet
Fragrant Garden Violet
Garden Violet
Sweet Blue Violet
Sweet Violet
Violet
Violets
Wood Violet
FamilyViolaceae
Height4 to 6 inches
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceLow
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeClayLoam (Silt)
Sand
Landscape UseContainer
Patio
Border
Mass Planting
ToxicityNon-Toxic

Having vibrant purple flowers like the Sweet Violet is really a pleasing view. But sooner or later, you’ll realize that they’re multiplying faster than you can count them.

The Sweet Violet is a perennial weed native to Europe. It flourishes in neglected gardens and other unattended locations. 

The leaves of the Sweet Violet are heart-shaped with rounded lobes at the base and teeth around the edges. 

Sweet Violets have purple heart-shaped petals. It’s actually one of the most aromatic plants making it a common ingredient in perfumes.

But they’re more than ornaments since they’re also used in cakes, cookies, salads, and teas. 

They have underground rhizomes that enable them to spread throughout your garden. So as beautiful as they may be, it’s better to control this weed before it creeps over your whole backyard.

12. Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
Image: Missouri Plants
Scientific NameLamium amplexicaule
Common NameDeadnettle
Greater Henbit
Henbit
Henbit Dead-Nettle
FamilyLamiaceae
Height16 inches
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceMedium
LightPartial Shade
Deep Shade
Annual
Life CycleAnnual
Soil TypeOccasionally Dry
Landscape UseLawn
ToxicityNon-Toxic

Henbit, as its name suggests, is a favorite food for chickens. But chickens are not the only ones who like this plant. 

You can consider adding this weed to your backyard given its unique two-lipped, tubular, and hairy purple flowers. Its leaves are also hairy and shaped like a kidney with scalloped edges. 

The Henbit thrives in partial shade and moist environmental conditions like streams and ponds. 

Henbits are edible being popular additions to salads and tea. They’re also used medicinally as a laxative, to relieve pain from arthritis and even to reduce fever. 

The good thing about this weed is that it’s manageable. So as long as you keep it on its side of the lawn, you won’t have to worry about its noxious features. 

13. Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
Image: Plant of the World Online
Scientific NameCirsium arvense
Common NameCanada thistle
Creeping Thistle
Field Thistle
Swamp Thistle
Thistle
FamilyAsteraceae
Height2 to 5 feet
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceHigh
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeClay
High Organic Matter
Loam (Silt)
Sand
Landscape UseMass planting
Border
ToxicityNon-Toxic

The Creeping Thistle definitely lives up to its name as a notorious perennial weed. 

This plant has spear-shaped leaves with sharp spines. It later blooms with pompom-shaped purple flowers that grow in clumps at the top of the plant. 

The flowers turn into fluffy white seed balls resembling dandelions and it propagates vigorously with the help of the wind. 

Once they spread, they develop an extensive root system that’s hard to remove. It entails constant pulling and mowing of your garden just to eradicate them.

The good thing is that the Creeping Thistle thrives in poor soil. 

So, you can hit two birds with one stone by keeping your soil fertilized and healthy. This way, you’ll prevent this weed from growing while helping your plants grow.

14 . Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)

Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)
Image: Gardeners World
Scientific NamePrunella vulgaris
Common NameHeal All
Selfheal
FamilyLamiaceae
Height2 to 12 inches
Growth RateSlow
MaintenanceLow
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeClayLoam (Silt)
Sand
Landscape UseButterfly Garden
Pollinator Garden
ToxicityNon-Toxic

Although it’s named Selfheal for being a herbal remedy for throat ailments, it does the opposite where it grows – it restricts grass’s growth. 

Selfheal is actually a perennial wildflower that’s easily recognizable for its scalloped leaves, purple flowering spikes, and hairy stems.

It thrives in moist fields, pastures, woodlands, and even roadsides. It adapts to different light and soil conditions.

The plant contains tannins which are sought after for their anti-inflammatory properties. They’re used to heal burns, soothe a sore throat, relieve pain from arthritis, and even as a remedy for heart disease.

Unfortunately, this plant grows only from 2 to 12 inches so it can survive mowing. The more effective but tiring way is manually pulling them out of the ground. 

15. Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)
Image: Wikipedia
Scientific NameCentaurea maculosa
Common NameSpotted Knapweed
FamilyAsteraceae
Height2 to 4 feet
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceHigh
LightFull Sun
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeSand
Shallow Rocky
Landscape UseMass planting
Border
ToxicityNon-Toxic

The Spotted Knapweed is another grass-looking plant that you should look out for. 

This is a herbaceous perennial weed native to Western Asia and Europe. It commonly grows on roadsides, pastures, stream banks, ponds, and other disturbed areas.

The Spotted Knapweed blooms vibrant spotted purple flower head with black margins on the bract tips.

At least 6 tall erect stems emerge from the ground in its every growing season. Each stem would hold as many as 40,000 seeds distributed by wind. 

It’s also considered an invasive weed within the United States. It’s a major source of headache for farmers and gardeners because it tends to crowd out plants and potential food for livestock. 

Unfortunately, it’s resistant to herbicides. You can either manually pull out the Spotted Knotweed or mow it before it begins to flower. 

It may take years of repeatedly doing this or until there are no more of its seeds left in your garden soil. 

16. Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum)

Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum)
Image: Grow Forage Cook Ferment
Scientific NameLamium purpureum
Common NameDead Nettle
Purple Archangel
Purple Dead Nettle
Red Dead Nettle
Velikdenche
FamilyLamiaceae
Height16 to 18 inches
Growth RateSlow
MaintenanceLow
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CycleAnnual
Soil TypeLoamSandy
Landscape UseLawn
Mass planting
ToxicityNon-Toxic

You can easily spot the Purple Dead Nettle with its whorls of purple flowers. These flowers have a top hooded petal with 2 lower-lip petals placed on the top of their leaves. 

This is an annual weed originating from Europe and Asia. It’s usually found on lawns, roads, meadows, and gardens. 

The Purple Dead Nettle prefers full sun to partial shade and moist fertile soil. It grows fast during cool weather seasons. 

However, it’s easily mistaken for Henbit. But to end the confusion, take note that Henbit has stemless leaves and short leaf stalks while the Purple Dead Nettle grows from 16 to 18 inches. 

17. Dove’s Foot Crane’s Bill (Geranium molle)

Dove’s Foot Crane’s Bill (Geranium molle)
Image: Wikipedia
Scientific NameGeranium molle
Common NameDove’s-foot Crane’s-bill
Dovesfoot Geranium
FamilyGeraniaceae
Height2 to 12 inches
Growth RateSlow
MaintenanceLow
LightFull Sun
Life CycleAnnual
Soil TypeSandy
Loam
Clay
Landscape UseLawn
Mass planting
ToxicityNon-Toxic

The Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill is another annual herbaceous plant the grows small purple flowers with jagged petals. This plant is native to the Mediterranean and naturalized in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. 

It’s usually found in meadows, pastures, lawns, hedges, banks, forest edges, and waste grounds. It grows best with full sun and dry soil. 

The Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill spreads in clumps of stems with a basal rosette of hairy, distinctly lobed leaves. 

Apart from being an ornamental garden plant, the leaves of the Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill are also used to treat gout, joint pains, and other external injuries.

18. Purpletop Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

Purpletop Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)
Image: Wikipedia
Scientific NameVerbena bonariensis
Common NameArgentinian Vervain
Brazilian Verbena
Brazilian Vervain
Clustertop Verbena
Purple Top
Tall Verbena
Tall Vervain
Vervain
FamilyVerbenaceae
Height2 to 5 feet
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceLow
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeClay
Loam (Silt)
Sand
Shallow Rocky
Landscape UseMeadow
Walkways
Border
Mass Planting
ToxicityNon-Toxic

The Purpletop Verbena stands out when it blooms cluster of tiny lavender flowers on top of a  field of green leaves and long wispy stems. 

Rightfully so, it’s the winner of the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society.

It’s a perennial upright plant native to South America and was later naturalized in the United States. 

The Purpletop Verbena can tolerate different soil types but grows best with full sun.

They’re best used as an ornamental border to fill up vertical spaces in your garden.

Or, you can turn them into ornamental grass to achieve a picturesque field of purple flowers. 

19. Violet Woodsorrel (Oxalis violacea)

Violet Woodsorrel (Oxalis violacea)
Image: Missouri Plants
Scientific NameOxalis violacea
Common NameViolet Woodsorrel
FamilyOxalidaceae
Height4 to 8 inches
Growth RateRapid
MaintenanceLow
LightFull Sun
Partial Shade
Life CyclePerennial
Soil TypeDry
Shallow Rocky
Sandy
Loam
Clay
Landscape UseMass planting
Border
ToxicityToxic

The final plant on our list is the Violet Woodsorrel, a perennial herb native to North America.

The Violet Woodsorrel is known for its lavender-colored flowers with pale green centers that bloom from spring to summer. 

They grow slender stems that are 4 to 8 inches tall. It also has three-part leaves shaped like a heart that fold downward at night.

The Violet Woodsorrel is instrumental in prairie restorations and woodland gardens. Now, you can incorporate the Violet Woodsorrel in your lawns as an ornamental plant or a ground cover. 

You should know that this plant is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. So, make sure they’re out of reach from these animals as you use them in your backyard.

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