25 Pretty Plants That Start With Y

Plants that start with Y are rarer than most other letters but there are still some weird and wonderful contributions from the botanical world to check out starting with this letter.

From the picturesque Yew Tree to the healthy Yellow Ginger, well take a look at 25 plants starting with Y. When you are done here make sure you check out our list of 27 Lovely Flowers That Start With Y.

Plants that Start With Y – Quick Look

  1. Yew Tree
  2. Yellowroot
  3. Yellow Poinciana
  4. Yarrow
  5. Yucca
  6. Yam Plant
  7. Yellow Mariposa Lily
  8. Yautia
  9. Yaupon Holly
  10. Yellow Wax Bells
  11. Yellow Coneflower
  12. Yerba Mate
  13. Yukon White Birch
  14. Yellowwood Tree
  15. Yerba Buena
  16. Yellow Alyssum
  17. Yellow Watercress
  18. Yellow Chamomile
  19. Yam Bean
  20. Yacca
  21. Yellow Daylily
  22. Yellow Ginger
  23. Yuzuri-Ha Tree
  24. Yellow-Eyed Grass
  25. Yellow Archangel

1. Yew Tree

Yew Tree

  • Common Name(s): Yews
  • Scientific Name: Taxus
  • Native to: Temperate regions worldwide

Yew wood is springy making it a traditional material to make bows from. 

English parishes were required to grow yew trees but, as they are poisonous, they had to be in the only enclosed part of the village, the church graveyard. They are now often found in graveyards and can be a symbol of sadness. 

2. Yellowroot

yellow root
Image: Plant Image Library
  • Common Name(s): Yellowroot
  • Scientific Name: Xanthorhiza simplicissima
  • Native to: United States

As you would expect by the name, the roots of this plant are very yellow. These roots were once used to make dye. 

3. Yellow Poinciana

Yellow Poinciana

  • Common Name(s): Yellow poinciana, Yellow flame tree, Copperpod, Yellow-flame
  • Scientific Name: Peltophorum pterocarpum (
  • Native to: Tropical southeastern Asia

This is a popular ornamental tree in the United States, as well as India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. It has a wide variety of uses, the leaves can be made into a fodder crop, and the timber in cabinet-making. 

4. Yarrow


  • Common Name(s): Yarrow, Common yarrow
  • Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium
  • Native to: Temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere

These little white-flowered plants are known by a lovely name in New Mexico and parts of Colorado. They are called plumajillo, the diminutive form of feather, or “little feather.”

5. Yucca


  • Common Name(s): Yucca
  • Scientific Name: Yucca
  • Native to: Arid regions of the Americas and the Caribbean

This plant has an interesting pollination system, it is a mutualized system that uses only yucca moths. They transfer the pollen and lay their eggs in the flower. 

6. Yam Plant

yam plant

  • Common Name(s): Yams
  • Scientific Name: Dioscorea
  • Native to: Temperate and tropical regions worldwide

In some West African languages, yam means “to eat.” They have become a part of North American cuisine, and are an essential part of Thanksgiving dinner. 

7. Yellow Mariposa Lily

yellow mariposa lily
Image: Joe Decruyenaere
  • Common Name(s): Yellow Mariposa Lily
  • Scientific Name: Calochortus luteus
  • Native to: California

These brightly-colored yellow flowers are used in gardens for ornamental and restorative purposes. 

8. Yautia


  • Common Name(s): Yautia
  • Scientific Name: Xanthosoma
  • Native to: Tropical South America

This plant is edible but must be cooked before consumption. Eating any of the plants raw can cause side effects such as burning and swelling. 

9. Yaupon Holly

yaupon holly tree

  • Common Name(s): Yaupon holly, Yaupon
  • Scientific Name: Ilex vomitoria
  • Native to: The United States and Mexico

The scientific Latin name for this plant is derived from the false belief that this plant causes vomiting. This stems from Native American rituals that included herbal tea made from the plant but also included vomiting. 

10. Yellow Wax Bells

Yellow Wax Bells plant

  • Common Name(s): Yellow wax bells
  • Scientific Name: Kirengeshoma palmata
  • Native to: Japan and China

This flowering plant forms in clumps and produces fleshy, pale yellow flowers. 

11. Yellow Coneflower

Yellow Coneflower

  • Common Name(s): Yellow Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan
  • Scientific Name: Pisium sativum
  • Native to: Eastern and central North America

These lovely yellow plants that look similar to the popular sunflower are the designated state flower of Maryland. It’s used in gardens and ceremonies to appreciate the people of Maryland. 

12. Yerba Mate

yerba mate

  • Common Name(s): Yerba Mate
  • Scientific Name: Ilex paraguariensis
  • Native to: South America

This plant contains caffeine. The leaves of this can be steeped in hot water to make a beverage called mate, or brewed cold to make a drink called tereré.

13. Yukon White Birch

Yukon White Birch

  • Common Name(s): Yukon white birch, Canoe birch, American birch, Paper birch
  • Scientific Name: Betula papyrifera
  • Native to: Northern North America

The bark of this tree has a distinctive papery appearance. It is widely cultivated and makes excellent firewood. 

14. Yellowwood Tree

yellow wood tree

  • Common Name(s): Yellowwood tree, Kentucky yellowwood, American yellowwood 
  • Scientific Name: Cladrastis kentukea
  • Native to: North America

This tree has a yellow-colored hardwood center which is used in small amounts for specialist furniture and decorative woodturning.

15. Yerba Buena

Yerba Buena

  • Common Name(s): Yerba buena, Hierba buena
  • Scientific Name: Mentha spicata
  • Native to: Various

This name does not correspond to a particular herb, but is a Spanish term for a range of different plants in the mint family. The name implies a good herb and most frequently means spearmint. 

16. Yellow Alyssum

yellow flowers aurinia saxatilis ornamental

  • Common Name(s): Yellow Alyssum, Pale madwort
  • Scientific Name: Alyssum alyssoides
  • Native to: Eurasia

This plant is in the mustard family. Although originated in Eurasia it has since entered the United States where it is considered a weed. 

17. Yellow Watercress

Yellow Watercress

  • Common Name(s): Yellow watercress, Marsh yellowcress
  • Scientific Name: Rorippa palustris
  • Native to: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. 

This plant is a common weed around the world. It grows in many different damp or aquatic environments. 

18. Yellow Chamomile

Yellow Chamomile

  • Common Name(s): Yellow chamomile, Oxeye chamomile, Golden marguerite, Dyer's chamomile, Boston daisy, Paris daisy
  • Scientific Name: Cota tinctoria
  • Native to: Europe, the Mediterranean, and Western Asia

This flower hasn’t got a culinary or commercial use, but in the past has been used to make yellow and golden-orange dyes. 

19. Yam Bean


  • Common Name(s): Yam bean
  • Scientific Name: Pachyrhizus erosus
  • Native to: Mexico

The common name for this Mexican vine is based on its edible tuberous roots. The taste reminds some of apples and others of raw green beans. 

20. Yacca

yacca tree
Image: Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble
  • Common Name(s): Yacca, St. Ann yaca
  • Scientific Name: Podocarpus purdieanus
  • Native to: Jamaica

This tree is valued for lumber but overharvesting has resulted in a low population confined only to Jamaica. The trees are especially used to build ship masts. 

21. Yellow Daylily

yellow daylily

  • Common Name(s): Yellow daylily, Daylily
  • Scientific Name: Hemerocallis
  • Native to: Asia

Despite its name, this plant is not a lily. However, they look alike and are bred for their attractive flowers. It has been nicknamed “the perfect perennial” by gardeners for its beauty which can thrive in harsh and varied conditions. 

22. Yellow Ginger

yellow ginger

  • Common Name(s): Yellow ginger, Cream garland-lily
  • Scientific Name: Hedychium flavescens
  • Native to: The Himalayas, Sichuan, and northern Vietnam

This plant has a pretty, lily-like appearance. It thrives in a range of soils and is remarkably shade-tolerant. It can grow over 8 feet tall (2.5 meters). 

23. Yuzuri-Ha Tree


  • Common Name(s): Yuzuri-Ha tree
  • Scientific Name: Daphniphyllum macropodum
  • Native to: China, Japan, and Korea

This tree is grown ornamentally for its beautiful foliage, and the timber is used in China for construction and furniture making. 

24. Yellow-Eyed Grass

Yellow-Eyed Grass

  • Common Name(s): Yellow-Eyed Grass
  • Scientific Name: Xyridaceae
  • Native to: Tropical and subtropical regions worldwide

There are over 400 different species known as yellow-eyed grass. The yellow flowers appear as the temperature gets warmer. 

25. Yellow Archangel


  • Common Name(s): Yellow archangel, Artillery plant, Aluminium plant, Yellow weasel-snout
  • Scientific Name: Lamium galeobdolon
  • Native to: Europe

This plant has been introduced around the world as a garden plant. Although admired ornamentally, care needs to be taken as it can be invasive.