Sunday, October 19, 2014

Flannel Flowers: A Symbol of Purity

Did you know Flannel Flowers, a popular Australian native wildflower, has became sought after as a symbol of purity in many festival and religious ceremonies?

These dainty flowers have a daisy-like appearance with a raised textured center.  Each bloom has 10 or more floppy petals that are soft and feel just like 'flannel'.  Some varieties of flannel flowers have petals with light grey-green tips, but for the most part, the flowers are white.  The leaves are silver-grey and velvety in texture as well. 

When these fabulous flowers are mixed into bouquets or designs along with protea, grevillea, fillers flowers, leucadendron or eucalyptus they add a unique touch of sophistication, elegance and purity.

What to look for:
  • Buy when flowers are half to fully open and have a fluffy appearance.
  • Avoid bunches with droopy brown tips.

Flower Care:
  1. Keep cool at all times.
  2. Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem and wash thoroughly.
  3. Re-cut at lest 1/4" off each stem and place in cold water.
  4. Always use a preservative as this will help the buds to open.
  5. Replace water every 1 to 2 days.
  6. To dry, hang upside down in a well ventilated room.

Interesting Facts: 

The 'flannel-like' texture of this flower is due to a film of fine hairs that cover the whole plant. The hairs reduce the loss of water from the plant, protecting it during times of drought.

The Flannel Flower has been chosen as Australia's national symbol to promote mental health awareness because of its inherent beauty and strength.  Several varieties are commonly found growing wild in the bush throughout Australia.  The Flannel Flower, as with all native Australian plants, needs to be adaptable and enduring in order to survive.

The flowering heads can be cut off and placed in a bowl of water.  Treated in this way these 'floaters' will last considerably longer.

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