Astrantia is commonly known as masterwort, melancholy gentleman, or Hattie’s pincushion. It is native to the grasslands and meadows of Europe and western Asia, especially in moist areas near rivers or streams. Astrantia is part of the carrot family.
Visual Notes /
Astrantia can grow to be one or two feet tall. The center of the flower resembles a pincushion, and the flowerhead is reminiscent of a star or firework. Hence the name astrantia, from the Greek word “asteri,” meaning star. The petals are beautiful, vibrant summer colors of red, pink, and white. These flowers are the perfect choice for brightening up your home, because they remain vibrant even after they are cut, and will stay healthy in a vase.
Flower History /
Astrantia is an herbaceous flower and has long been utilized for its medicinal qualities. The essential oil that can be extracted from the flower is used to quell stomach pains. The dried leaves of the astrantia flower are also helpful. Used as an infusion, they are thought to amplify the appetite and aid in digestion.
Insider Information /
Astrantia blooms throughout the summer, and exudes a sweet and pleasing fragrance. Not only gorgeous in the summer, these flowers will also brighten up your winter months. They are durable and resilient when dried, and are the perfect choice for a dried flower arrangement. Choose astrantia to bring some summer warmth into the darker months of the year.
Echinacea is part of the daisy family. This flower is unique to the areas of eastern and central North America, where you can find it growing in large numbers in open wooded areas and prairies.
Visual Notes :
Echinacea comes from the Greek word “echino,” meaning sea urchin, and the flower is certainly reminiscent of this spiny creature. The center of the flower is a spiky, cone-shaped disk, which leads its other nickname: the coneflower. The purple petals that surround the spiky center are removed before the flower is sold, because the petals are very delicate and bruise easily. Their absence makes the sea urchin-like center of this flower all the more striking.
Flower History :
Echinacea has been used in folk medicine for centuries. Native Americans originally observed this flower being eaten by elks that were sick or wounded. They adopted the flower for their own use in medicinal practices, and called it elk root. It was used to treat a variety of ailments, including sore throats, headaches, and the common cold. Native Americans passed on their knowledge of echinacea to Europeans, and the plant became popular in European medicine in the 1930’s. Feeling under the weather? Echinacea is still used today to boost the immune system. It’s great as a tea, but don’t try to boil anything from an arrangement – these guys have been drinking flower food which makes them unsafe as human food.
Insider Information :
Echinacea is a great choice if you’re looking for an ornamental or decorative flowers, thanks to its unique appearance. You can find it in bloom from early to late summer. The cone will dry exactly as it looks and is great for decorating.
There are several types of celosia flowers, but this article will focus on the spicata variety. Celosias are resilient and will stay fresh for a long time after they are cut. They also make beautiful dried flowers, and are a popular choice for potpourri.
Celosia blooms in vibrant, citrus colors like pink, magenta, and violet. The flower grows in an elongated cone shape, similar to a wheat head, which is where it gets one of its several nicknames: the wheatstraw. It’s also commonly referred to as the paintbrush variety of celosia because of its shape. Its vibrant pink color has earned it yet another name: flamingo feather.
As celosias grow, their flowers bloom upwards and get taller. The petals near the top of the flower have bloomed most recently, while the petals near the bottom of the flower were the first to bloom. As the flowers grow larger, the vibrant pink color spreads upwards. The brightest colored petals can be found at the top of the flower, while the petals near the stem may lose their citrus shades and take on instead a silvery sheen.
The name also comes from the Greek word “kelos,” which means burning, and describes the flame-like colors of the flowers. Silvery celosia takes color very well, and can be dyed a wide range of hues. Their strong stems make them especially resilient.
Over at Starbright Floral Design, we get to work with lots of colors everyday and all of us have our favorites. But why are they our favorites and what does that say? Up this week, my favorite :
What makes blue so special?
Blue is the most common favorite color in the world. People everywhere associate the color blue with the sea and the sky. Like looking out over the ocean, or gazing up at a clear blue sky, seeing the color blue makes people feel calm. Blue creates a tranquil environment. It is a quiet color that promotes peace and relaxation.
For the bedroom
Blue is a color that enhances trust between people. It is the color of honesty and loyalty. Blue flowers in the bedroom will cultivate the bond between you and your partner. Blue is also the color of peace. If you feel stressed out and need to unwind, try putting some blue flowers on your nightstand. They will promote your mental and physical relaxation.
For the office
Blue flowers will work wonders in your office, whether you work in a cubicle, from home, or anywhere in between. The color blue enhances communication and self-expression. Have clients yelling at you over the phone? Keep a vase of blue flowers on your desk. They’ll reduce tension and stress, creating calm and order instead.
For the soul
Whether you are religious, spiritual, or just plain contemplative, the color blue will bring your practice to a higher place. Blue is the color of devotion. It is the color of the spirit, and of religious study. Blue flowers placed in your area of worship will create a tranquil atmosphere for prayer. The color blue reduces fear, and enhances inner security. Blue flowers in your meditation space, or on your altar, or in any area of the house where you practice devotion, will bring you closer to your inner self.
Sometimes refereed to as Queen-of-the-vines, clematis is a member of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family. It can be found in most countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Clematis grows naturally as a climbing vine / lianasand has been harvested by many cultures for it’s medicinal values. But be careful! Clematis are toxic if eaten.
Visual Notes /
With over 250 cultivars grown around the world, the clematis flower is visually varied. All varieties feature a number of leafy petals clustered around the center of the flower. The colors range widely, but blue-purple, white and pink are especially popular.
Because it’s found everywhere, Clematis is one of the first flowers early botanists and genetic researchers really took note of. As a result, it was widely used in early genetic experiments. Many of the British cultivars are the result of this early groundwork in understanding genetics.
Insider Info /
– The name Clematis comes from the Greek word “klematis,” meaning vine.
– Clematis are scented, but their scent is rarely strong enough for perfume making.
– A few clematis varieties change color when between blooming. This is caused by environmental factors, like sunlight.
At Starbright Floral Design in New York City we’re inspired by the stories clients share with us. Roughly one out of every fifteen weddings we get to participate in decorating this season are for same-sex couples. Each one comes with a unique pair of individuals, with love in their eyes and a desire to give their family and friends an event to remember. We’re excited to share their experiences, and how those experiences have inspired us as we continue through the seasons.
“My partner and I have been dreaming about getting married for fifteen years. Being a same sex couple, I thought it would remain but a dream. When New York gave us the right to make it official we jumped at the chance. We booked a restaurant downtown for an intimate celebration with thirty or so friends. The floral designs were wildflower themed. I told Starbright I wanted it to look like I picked the flowers out of my garden. What they came up with from such limited direction was incredible. We got married in New York, with friends around us, with good food, surrounded by beautiful flowers. It was a dream come true. Starbright’s help in making this dream a reality can’t be overstated.”
– Shared by Jonathan V.
Jonathan and his partner’s earnestness inspired the Starbright team to craft arrangements that would imbue the atmosphere with the same sweet, everyday hopefulness that goes along with a bouquet of wildflowers.
Working With Wildflowers
The trick to successfully using wildflowers for wedding decor is to know which varieties are in season. From early Spring to late Summer, new bloom varieties appear in the shop each week. Some of our favorites re-appear only briefly before they disappear again until next year. In Spring, blooms such as the lace-like aster, sweet smelling lilies of the valley, and the many petaled ranunculus are popular for weddings because they remind us of new beginnings and softer feelings. Late Summer wildflowers are a whole different ballgame. Be ready for bright colors, lots of texture and a trip to the wild side.
Late summer wildflowers tend to be wind-swept-and-wild. The colors, shapes, and textures are a great way to add a twist to standard floral fare. During this time of year, herbaceous florals begin to fill the Starbright Floral Design cooler; small, untraditional blooms stand out amongst twisted stems in shades of green. Great for adding dimension, texture, and scent, herbs first became popular in wedding arrangements during the Victorian era when they were used to also convey specific meanings. For the traditionalists, our favorite herbs to include are lavender for luck and devotion, rosemary to remember friends and family who cannot attend, and sage for a long life together. And for the bride or groom with stage fright, thyme or mint in the boutonnière is a must – the scents will help keep you calm and collected.
Unlike many popular wedding flowers, wildflower arrangements actually look better when they aren’t meant to be identical! The wild nature and shape of these flowers keeps them unified and also unique, just like the couple saying “I do.”
Today, weddings don’t have to mean what they used to. Mix it up! Define what’s right for you and then explore it. When it comes to the flowers, we’re here to help. From all of us at Starbright Floral Design, congratulations AND best wishes to all the happy couples!
Technically an herb, Anthurium is found across Mexico, northern South America and the Caribbean. It features a tall, thin flower in the hip of a broad, flat leaf. Great for floral arrangements, anthurium will last a while.
Visual Notes /
Anthurium comes in a wide range of colors, across over 163 species. With anthurium, the sky’s the limit! Most typically, you’ll see the waxy leaves in green, white or red, with the flower usually being matching or yellow in color.
In 1889, the first anthurium was brought to Hawaii from London. For over 120 years, the anthurium has been Hawaii’s most-exported decorative item – this includes beating sales of hula skirts, ukuleles and hula-ing bobble women.
Inside Info /
These are poisonous plants! Not a good call for environments with small children, pets or college kids experimenting with veganism.
Some well-known succulents include cactus and aloe, but this unique type of plant goes well beyond those household names. From colorful echeveria to hardy sedum, there is a wide range of beautiful and versatile succulent plants that are getting lots of attention from gardeners, landscape architects, and wedding planners.
Visual Notes /
Succulents are notable for their appearance; their leaves or other parts tend to be broad and fleshy so that they can absorb and store water in dry environments. They tend to be short and their roots close to the grounds surface. The lobes can be waxy, hairy or smooth depending on the variety.
Native to the Americas, but grown in Europe from the 16th century in large numbers, sunflowers are cultivated and used around the world as cut flowers, a source of oil, and a source of food in the form of seeds. Because it was introduced during the Age of Discovery, the religions of Europe didn’t have any qualms with practicioners using sunflower oil to cook during Sabbath – it’s popularity was as much a result of it’s beauty as it was it’s usefulness. It’s thought that sunflowers point their blooms towards the sun throughout the day – while this behavior, known as heliotropism, is sometimes observed in young plants, typically flowers end up facing east (and staying that way!)
VISUAL NOTES /
Sunflowers come in a wide variety of yellow, red and golden hues. The “seeds” of the sunflower are actually little tiny flowers – on some varietals the seeds will actually open, while in plants with a dark center the seeds are closed. Sunflowers grow on hairy stems that are stiff enough to stand up eight to twelve feet straight.
With a wide variety of styles and typically larger bud sizes, a protea bouquet is a dynamic choice for situations that want a bold floral statement.
According to the language of flowers, proteas symbolize diversity and courage.
VISUAL NOTES /
With over 1,400 cultivated varieties, there’s quite a bit of variance among members of the proteafamily. There are three dominant petal shapes – feathery spikes, leafy spades, and more stiff colored scallops. Buds come in a wide variety of colors, as well, with individual petals often showing color gradation. Overall, proteatends to be large enough to act as the focal point of an arrangement.
FLOWER HISTORY /
Named by the famed botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1735 for Proteus, a Greek water god who could change it’s form at will, to allude to the dizzying array of shapes the plant comes in. Native to southern and eastern Africa, protea are among the only flowers who’s nectar was used as a sweetener. The Boers of South Africa called sweeteners made from protea nectar bossiestroop, which was more-or-less rainwater and plant nectar drained from the flower into a bucket, cooked down into a syrup, and used to sweeten tea.
INSIDE INFO /
Pincushion protea are an especially interesting plant – the long spiky petals have enough structure that they are able to serve as creative placecard holders or picture frames.