Agapanthus - also known as the African lily, and means “love flower”. Available in pale shades of blue, to deep inky blue and white. A cluster of small star shaped blue flowers seasonally found in summer months.
Allium - part of the onion family. Again commonly available in summer months, and appears in mainly plum, purple shades and also white. The large ball mass that is the allium, is made up of hundreds of small star shaped flowers. Alliums have a relative vase life but do need their water changing regularly to avoid the onion element of the flower, travelling to the vase.
Amaryllis - Latin name hippeastrum or commonly known as the belladonna lily. Amaryllis are traditionally gifted at Christmas, but have been known to extend their availably from November to April as cut flowers. The stem compromises of 1-8 trumpet shaped flowers and can range from shades of white, yellow, peach, green, pink, red and burgundy. They are often found in striped and variegated hybrids too. When arranging as a cut flower, be aware of the hollow stem structure. When conditioning this flower after purchasing from your florist, use a craft knife to carve a fresh cut across the width of the stem, to create a clean edge, as scissors tends to crush the stem, preventing water uptake. When removing from a vase, be aware of the hollow stem again, as it can result in a wet foot!
Anemone - available as a cut flower from December to May but are traditionally thought of as spring flowers. These flowers are phototropic, which means they will turn and tilt towards any light source. This is important in flower arranging, as using anemones’ may result in an asymmetrical design after a period of time! The stem structure is very soft, and these spring flowers do not lend themselves to being used in oasis foam, unless extremely fresh. Anemones are found in white, purple, red, cerise and burgundy. Their centres can be in green, white of black.
Bells of Ireland (molucella) - this flower has a spear form, with many small cones of green flowers graduating up the stem. Molucella is available all year round from most Dutch auction houses, with varying price tags. It tends to have a long vase life, and can withstand the warmth of most office and corporate atmospheres for reception arrangements. It is only available in bright lime green, and has thorny spikes nestling under each cluster of green cone shaped flowers. Mind your hands when arranging!
Bouvardia - stem consisting of a cluster of square and star shaped flowers at the top. Bouvardia is available all year round and comes in white, pale pink, cerise pink, red and green. Popular within wedding designs, it is fairly delicate and requires a specialist flower food, usually attached from the growers for easier water absorbsion.
Calla lily - Latin name of Zantedeschia. These conical shaped flowers are commonly found in wedding work, and do also have associations with funereal tributes, especially the white “Crystal Blush” variety. Calla lilies do not tend to have a scent, but come in an extensive range of colours, from white, cream, lemon, orange, red, black, pink and green. Two tone varieties are also being developed. Callas are available all year round, with wedding season (summer months) bumping the price up, to make them around £8 a stem in peak season, from the standard £4 in other weeks. The are meant to mean, according to the Language of Flowers- “Magnificent Beauty”.