The final letter of the alphabet definitely makes the start of far fewer words than others, but there are still plenty of fun plants starting with Z.
Here are 25 interesting plants starting with “Z” for you to discover. Make sure you also check out our list of 25 Unique Flowers That Start With Z!
Plants Starting with Z – Quick Look
- Zebra Plant
- ZZ Plant
- Zostera Marina
- Zingiber Mioga
- Zea Mays Indentata
- Zigadenus Elegans
- Ziziphus Lotus
- Zoysia Matrella
- Zygocactus Truncatus
- Zoysia Tenuifolia
- Zigzag Goldenrod
- Zebra Orchid
- Zea Mays Amylacea
- Zauschneria Orange Carpet
- Zannichellia Palustris
- Zanthoxylum Fraxineum
- Zoysia Japonica
- Zantedeschia Aethiopica
- Zephyr Lily
- Zabel's Cherry Laurel
- Common Name(s): Zamia
- Scientific Name: Zamia
- Native to: North America, West Indies, Central America, and South America
This plant is a great garden choice in warm, humid climates. It produces large foliage that forms in dense clumps, adding leafy beauty to any garden.
- Common Name(s): Zinnia
- Scientific Name: Zinnia
- Native to: North and Central America
This plant has been sent into space! As part of an experiment aboard the International Space Station, zinnias were shown to grow and blossom in a weightless environment.
3. Zebra Plant
- Common Name(s): Zebra Plant
- Scientific Name: Alacosia Zebrina
- Native to: The islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Leyte, Samar, Biliran, and Alabat in the Philippines
The zebra plant is an extremely common houseplant worldwide. However, it is struggling in the wild and is technically endangered, making it an imprisonable offense to harvest wild specimens.
4. ZZ Plant
- Common Name(s): Zebra Plant, Zanzibar gem, Zuzu plant, Aroid palm, Eternity plant
- Scientific Name: Zamioculcas
- Native to: Eastern Africa
This plant combines vibrant, glossy foliage with easy care, meaning it is frequently used as an ornamental potted plant.
5. Zostera Marina
- Common Name(s): Eelgrass, Seawrack
- Scientific Name: Zostera Marina
- Native to: North America and Eurasia
This marine plant loves cool and calm ocean waters. It helps collect debris around the coast to build up sea beds.
6. Zingiber Mioga
- Common Name(s): Myoga ginger, Japanese ginger
- Scientific Name: Zingiber mioga
- Native to: Japan, China, and Korea
The flower buds of this plant are finely shredded to use as a tasty garnish for meals such as miso soup and roasted eggplant.
7. Zea Mays Indentata
- Common Name(s): Dent corn, Grain corn
- Scientific Name: Zea Mays Indentata
- Native to: United States
This variety of corn can be recognized by the dent in each kernel. It was specifically developed by Illinois farmer John Reid and most of today's hybrid corn varieties are derived from it.
- Common Name(s): Zebrawood, Glassywood
- Scientific Name: Astronium graveolens
- Native to: Central and South America
The term zebrawood was applied to the timber of this tree because after it is cut and exposed to air stripes of the wood darken while the rest remains light.
The term now applies to the lumber of a few different trees with this quality.
9. Zigadenus Elegans
- Common Name(s): Mountain deathcamas, Elegant camas, Alkali grass
- Scientific Name: Zigadenus elegans
- Native to: North America
This plant is not a grass, despite a grass-like appearance. It has lily-like flowers that are beautiful.
However, the plant needs caution as it is extremely poisonous.
10. Ziziphus Lotus
- Common Name(s): Ziziphus lotus, Jujube
- Scientific Name: Ziziphus lotus
- Native to: The Mediterranean region
This tree is believed to be the lotus tree mentioned in Greek mythology. In Homer’s Odyssey, it bears a fruit that causes peaceful drowsiness.
11. Zoysia Matrella
- Common Name(s): Manila grass, Korean grass, Manila templegrass, Siglap grass, Temple grass, Mascarene grass, Harishiba, Hierba Manila, Japanese carpet
- Scientific Name: Zoysia matrella
- Native to: Temperate coastal southeastern Asia and northern Australasia
This is an ornamental grass that’s commonly found as the grass used for turf in golf courses across Asia, Europe, and the United States.
12. Zygocactus Truncatus
- Common Name(s): Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, Crab's claw cactus
- Scientific Name: Zygocactus Truncatus
- Native to: Brazil
These cacti were cultivated for their colorful flowers long ago and traditionally sold in Europe leading up to Christmas.
In the United States, they have shifted to being sold in the run-up to Thanksgiving Day.
13. Zoysia Tenuifolia
- Common Name(s): Mascarene grass
- Scientific Name: Zoysia Tenuifolia
- Native to: Mascerene islands
Although this plant can be a handsome lawn grass, it isn’t commonly used as it grows incredibly slowly.
14. Zigzag Goldenrod
- Common Name(s): Zigzag goldenrod, Broadleaved goldenrod
- Scientific Name: Solidago flexicaulis
- Native to: Eastern and Central North America
This plant gets its name from the wiry stem that changes direction at each node and bears small, bright yellow flowers.
15. Zebra Orchid
- Common Name(s): Zebra orchid
- Scientific Name: Caladenia cairnsiana
- Native to: Western Australia
In the southwest of Western Australia, this orchid is common to find. It can be distinguished by the bright red stripe down the petals.
16. Zea Mays Amylacea
- Common Name(s): Flour corn
- Scientific Name: Zea Mays Amylacea
- Native to: Mexico
This staple food is primarily used to make corn flour. It has many ritual uses too, and has been found in Aztec graves.
17. Zauschneria Orange Carpet
- Common Name(s): Zauschneria Orange Carpet, California fuschia
- Scientific Name: Epilobium canum
- Native to: Western North America
This plant is most commonly found in California on dry slopes. In late summer and fall, it grows striking red-orange flowers that cover the ground.
18. Zannichellia Palustris
- Common Name(s): Horned pondweed
- Scientific Name: Zannichellia Palustris
- Native to: United States, Europe, Asia, Australasia, and South America
This plant is long and stringy with tendril-like roots. The seeds are horned-shaped, giving the plant its common name.
It prefers brackish waters, meaning water that is saltier than fresh water but not as salty as seawater.
19. Zanthoxylum Fraxineum
- Common Name(s): Common prickly-ash, Common pricklyash, Common prickly ash, Northern prickly-ash, Toothache tree, Yellow wood, Suterberry
- Scientific Name: Zanthoxylum Fraxineum
- Native to: Eastern and central North America
The wood of this tree isn’t valuable, but the oil extracted from it has many uses in herbal medicine. Modern studies have discovered antifungal and cytotoxic properties in the plant.
20. Zoysia Japonica
- Common Name(s): Korean lawngrass, Zoysia grass, Japanese lawngrass
- Scientific Name: Zoysia Japonica
- Native to: Southeast Asia and Indonesia
This is the most widely used species of turfgrass used in the United States, serving as a cheaper alternative to bermudagrass.
21. Zantedeschia Aethiopica
- Common Name(s): Calla lily, Arum lily
- Scientific Name: Zantedeschia Aethiopica
- Native to: Southern Africa
This plant grows widely in Saint Helena and is the national flower of the island nation. The flower is also used as a symbol of remembrance for combatants who dies in the 1916 Easter Rising and is known as the Easter lily there.
- Common Name(s): Honeycup
- Scientific Name: Zenobia
- Native to: North America
This is a waxy small shrub that grows small little bell-shaped flowers all over. The flower shape and beautiful fragrance give the plant the common name of honeycup.
23. Zephyr Lily
- Common Name(s): Zephyr Lily, Fairy lily, Rainflower, Magic lily, Atamasco lily, Rain lily
- Scientific Name: Zephyranthes
- Native to: The Western Hemisphere
Most parts of this plant are considered toxic, but it has been used in traditional medicine nonetheless.
In Peru, it was used to treat tumors, in China against breast cancer, and in Africa, it’s used for diabetes.
- Common Name(s): Zygopetalum
- Scientific Name: Zygopetalum
- Native to: South America
These flowers are most commonly found natively growing in Brazil. However, they are easy to cultivate and very popular to grow for the cut flower trade.
25. Zabel's Cherry Laurel
- Common Name(s): Zabel's Cherry Laurel, English laurel
- Scientific Name: Prunus laurocerasus ‘Zabeliana'
- Native to: Southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia
This is a popular garden plant for its dark glossy evergreen foliage covered with small white fragrant flowers.