Sunday, June 22, 2014

Christmas Bush

Christmas Bush or also called Festival Bush is a spectacular Australian shrub or small tree which can easily grow up to 12 feet in height. During the spring its 'true' flowers appear, they're small and a creamy white color. As the flowers are pollinated pinky red bracts emerge holding  seeds creating beautiful star-shaped sepals. The combination of the pinky red bracts and creamy flowers clustered together with green leaves on long stems is a breathtaking sight.

Here in California these fabulous flowers are harvested and enjoyed during the months of June and July. However, in Australia Festival Bush is harvested November through December hence the name Christmas Bush. Completion of the Australian harvest seasons coincides with Christmas and the start of the summer holidays. Families celebrate on the nearby beaches with traditional food and Christmas Bush. These flowers are wonderful mixed in holiday wreaths or used to decorate tables and walls.

Photo by Flower Association of Queensland

What to look for:

  • Buy when the blooms are fully open and flexed back.
  • The flowers should have strong red or cream coloring.
  • Avoid bunches with dark, purple-colored flowers.
Flower Care:
  1. Keep cool.
  2. Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem.
  3. Re-cut at least 1/4" off each stem and place in cold water.
  4. Do not crush or split ends.
  5. Use flower food as this will help keep the blooms looking fresh.
  6. Replace vase water every day.
  7. Misting is a great idea as branches can take up water through the leaves.
With proper care Christmas Bush can be enjoyed in bouquets and arrangements for at least 21 days.

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