When it comes to summer accent flowers, we have happily entered into an era of the Callistemon - it seems like every other month or so there’s a new batch of Reeves Pink blooms opening up that we just have to harvest. This abundance of delicate, petite flowers got us thinking how fun would it be to mix them with some of our favorite protea - so we can show our friends how wonderful they are when mixed in bouquets.
Callistemon are the true Bottlebrushes, though the name is often confused with Banksia, Melaleuca, Calothamnus and even Grevillea. This Australian genus of about 38 species is a member of the myrtle family. The soft flower spikes are made up of a large number of individual flowers and the foliage when crushed has a citrus scent. Bottlebrush is also easily recognized by the textural seed clusters that are produced after each flowering period.
What to look for:
- Buy when at least half the flowers in a spike are open and brightly colored.
- Avoid bunches with drooping tips, yellow leaves or where all flowers are in a tight bud stage.
- Keep in a cool location.
- Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem and wash stems thoroughly.
- Re-cut at least 1/2" off each stem and place in cold water.
- Always use a preservative as this will help keep open flowers looking fresh.
- Replace vase water every day.