Monday, March 30, 2015

Verticordia – Featherflowers

Did you know name Verticordia comes from the Latin ‘verto cor’, translated as 'the turner of hearts'?  It’s a reference to the ancient Roman goddess Venus, who was regarded as the goddess of beauty and love and considered to have had the power to bewitch, enslave and turn the hearts of her suitors.  Her sacred flower was the Myrtus, or Myrtle, which belongs to the family Myrtaceae, as does Verticordia.

There are nearly 50 species of verticordia found in Western Australia, and are collectively known as featherflowers, due to their deeply divided fringed calyces.  Each bloom has masses of small cup-shaded flowers forming a ‘plume’ at the top of each branch with small piney leaves often poking out the side.

Most species make excellent cut flowers, and dried flowers will retain their color for a year or more.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Promoting Protea at the World Floral Expo

This month California Protea Association (CPA) participated in the 2015 Los Angeles edition of America's Premier fresh cut flower trade event "World Floral Expo".  This three day exhibition, with a display space of almost 60,000 square feet in the LA Convention Center, provided the CPA with a great opportunity to introduce the world to California's protea farmers and their amazing flowers.  According to HPP, the show organizers, the event attracted 1,000 exhibitors and visitors from across the globe.

A gorgeous Protea Wreath graced the booth creating a 'Big' CPA welcome and wonderful conversation piece.  Once in the booth you were surrounded by a colorful display of many of the South African and Australian flowers and foliage being grown in Southern California - Banksia, Protea, Leucospermum, Leucadendron, Grevillea, Berzelia, Brunia, Serruria, Flannel Flower, Waxflower, Australian Greens and more.  Trendy, in style, all the rage, something different, were the words that resonated from visitors as they passed through and admired the display!

According to Dick van Raamsdonk of HPP the 2016 WFE show will either be held in LA once again, or perhaps here in San Diego!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Isopogon: Cone Flowers or Drumsticks?

Isopogon, another intriguing and unique member of the protea family consists of over 34 species and three varieties.  The species found in Western Australia are often referred to as cone flowers, while those in the eastern states are known as drumsticks.

These distinctive looking spring flowers - born as a dense cones with the blooms spiraling from and surrounding the central cone, look petite pinwheels.  Similar to many Proteas, Isopogon flower heads are made up of many flowers in shades of purple, yellow and cream that open from the outside in.  Its stems are woody and leaves are green, pointed and encircle the flowers at their base.

What to look for

• Buy when the outer flowers in each flower head are opening.
• Avoid bunches with brown tips on the flowers and with yellow leaves.

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. Use a preservative as this will help keep open flowers looking fresh.
5. Replace water frequently.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring - A Season of Abundant Opportunities

As spring arrives there are many wonderful opportunities to celebrate. Consider the months of March, April and May.  We honor women (Woman’s Day), working professionals (Professional’s Day) and mothers (Mother’s Day) as well as celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Easter.

All of these occasions provide the perfect opportunity to give and to enjoy flowers.  Protea are harvested year round, with springtime providing the most abundant selection.

During this time of the year, many of the new hybrid protea and leucospermum are in bloom, the leucadendron flower and develop cones, and several other amazing family members like bruniaceae, telopea, and isopogon are also being harvested.  Some of the season's most popular varieties are protea Andrea and Pink Duke, leucospermum Flame Giant and Tango, as well as leucadendron Red Eye and Pom Pom.

It's time to Welcome spring in a unique fashion with a bounty of colorful proteaceae!