Flowers That Look Like a Ball

Top 10 Flowers That Look Like a Ball! (Updated)

Are you considering revamping a part of your garden or indoor plants this year with something novel? A surefire way to achieve a unique look is to get some flowers that look like a ball.

There are many genera of plants that have flowers that look like a ball. Alliums and hydrangeas are some of the most common that you will find, but they are not the only.

From vibrant and eye-catching to subtle and calming, round-shaped flowers come in an array of colors, sizes and species. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of the unexpected to your garden or to create a focal point indoors, these round-shaped beauties are the perfect choice.

In the rest of the article, we are going to look at 10 of these plants and the wide variety of colors and textures that they offer, preparing you for picking the ones that are just right for your home.

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10 Flowers That Look Like a Ball

1. Alliums

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Alliums are the genus of plants that include such foods as onions, garlic, leeks, and chives. Although many people may not realize how significant the overlap between foods and decorative plants can be, alliums do produce stunning flowers and are often used for this exact purpose.

Alliums grown for decoration are colloquially known as ornamental onions. These ornamental onions have beautiful flowers that grow in the shape of balls and span the pinkish purple hue, ranging from white to a very deep purple.

Some species of Alliums used for decorative purposes include the Globemaster cultivar of Allium giganteum, which is slightly shorter than its base species but has been cultivated to produce the largest balls of flowers, about the size of volleyballs.

On the other extreme is Allium sphaerocephalon. If that is too much of a mouthful, these are also known as Bristol onions or drumstick alliums. Their flowers are about the size of quarters, and they tend to stand less than 2 feet tall, making them ideal for smaller spaces.

2. Hydrangeas

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If you have ever been to a wedding, you have probably seen hydrangeas even if you do not recognize the name. Also known as hortensias, most of the genus’ species are native to East Asia with a smaller number from the Americas.

The flowers of the hydrangea plants grow into a ball shape when they mature. One big reason for their popularity in decorative bouquets is the broad range of colors that these occur in.

Although white hydrangeas are the classic look, the flowers can be blue, pink, red, green, or purple as well. Whether in your garden or in a floral arrangement, these colors can be mixed together for vivid beauty.

Because many hydrangea species are native to the Americas, they are an ideal plant to use as decorative shrubs in American gardens since they are already suited to the climate and will require less special attention than many more exotic genera in this list.

3. Chrysanthemums

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Chrysanthemums, often just called mums, are another East Asian genus of plants that produces decorative flowers that have a long cultural history. Most mums produce flowers in a vivid range of colors but with a more traditional shape, like the mum on the Imperial Standard of the Emperor of Japan.

Some hybrids and cultivars of mums do, however, produce flowers shaped like a ball. Pompom chrysanthemums will give you these types of flowers and come in a broad range of sizes to fit a variety of needs.

4. Geraniums

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Geraniums are not often associated with flowers that look like balls, but there are some cultivars of the genus that achieve this effect with groups of flowers that grow very close to one another and spread outward from the center.

One such cultivar is the Great Balls of Fire geranium, which both has flowers that grow in the shape of a ball as well as a suitability for higher temperatures and lower levels of water, making it ideal for parts of the world that are normally too hot and dry for most decorative flowers.

5. Craspedia and Pycnosorus

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The craspedia and pycnosorus genera produce some of the most distinctly ball-like flowers in this list. They are grouped together in this article not only because they are closely related and very similar in appearance, but also because they are often confused with one another.

This confusion is to the point where a lot of the colloquial names for them are used for both. The two genera are native to New Zealand and Australia and are both known commonly by the shared names billy balls, billy buttons, and drumsticks.

When referred to as drumsticks, these should not be confused with the Allium sphaerocephalon plant we learned about earlier, which shares the name as well but is otherwise of no relation.

The main difference between the two genera is that the craspedia’s flower heads are attached by tiny stalks, whereas with pycnosorus plants, the flowers are directly attached to the capitula.

6. Echinops

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Echinops are a genus of flowering plants commonly referred to as globe thistles. The flowers of globe thistles grow outward from a central point, forming into the distinctive ball shape.

These flowers can be white but also span multiple shades of vivid blues, sometimes with an almost purple hue. The combination of these eye-catching flowers and the silver tinted green leaves make the globe thistle a great decorative plant.

7. Dahlias

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Dahlias, like hydrangeas, are a great genus of decorative plants for both gardens and bouquets due to the broad range of colors that the flowers bloom in.

Warm shades make up some of the most common ones that you will see on the ball-shaped flowers of dahlias, but they can exist in just about any hue other than shades of blue.

8. Armerias

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The armeria genus, and most specifically the Armeria maritima species, include flowers that bloom in a ball shape.

Known as thrift flowers, this species grows in a much more oceanic climate compared to the others in the genus, which has made it ideal for rock gardens. Thrift flowers occur in various shades of pink, from white to more vivid purples, depending on the cultivar.

Other species of armeria plants that have flowers shaped like a ball include the Atlantic Armeria berlengensis, the Mediterranean Armeria alpina, and the largely island-based Armeria pungens.

9. Marigolds

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Marigolds refers to plants from a wide variety of genera, but the ones that form flowers that are in the shape of a ball are members of the Tagetes erecta species. These plants are most commonly known as Aztec marigolds, Inca marigolds, or incorrectly as African marigolds in spite of being native to the Americas.

The bright yellow and orange colors of the Marigold flowers make them ideal for a warm, summary aesthetic.

10. Agapanthus

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The last entry on the list is the agapanthus genus. The ball-shaped flowers of these plants occur in a variety of fresh and cool colors spanning blue and indigo hues.

Florists and stores often call these plants lilies of the Nile, though botanically they are neither lilies, nor are they native to Egypt, hailing from Southern Africa instead.


We have looked at a variety of flowers that look like a ball. You can see the broad range of textures, colors, and preferred climates that this diverse selection of genera have, and you are now ready to pick out whichever ones are best suited to your garden or floral arrangements.

From the tiny billy balls that make for an ideal countertop decoration even after they have been cut to the hydrangeas that are so well suited to American gardens, there is a ball-shaped flower that is perfectly suited for just about any use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Flower Looks Like a Ball?

Craspedia plants have yellow flowers that are firmly shaped like balls with no foliage to hide their appearance. Although we learned about multiple flowers that look like a ball, these ones are some of the most ball-like.

What Are the Round Ball Flowers Called?

People most often associate Hydrangeas with round ball flowers. Specifically, the Japanese Hydrangea macrophylla, known colloquially as the French Hydrangea for the country where it is often cultivated, produces round ball flowers that have become very popular due to their shape.

What Kind of Flower Looks Like a Cotton Ball?

Eriophorum angustifolium is a species of plant with flowers that strongly resemble cotton balls. This has led to it being colloquially known as common cotton sedge, common cottongrass, and bog cotton. The last name is derived from the plant’s suitability to grow in wetlands.

The seed-heads of the flower are what resemble cotton balls due to their long, bristly texture, white color, and density.

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