Top 5 Winter Flowers
We are smack bang in the thick of Winter here in Melbourne and while most of us are dreaming of Spring and warmer days ahead, there is actually a lot to love about Winter. There’s all the obvious things like warm soups, cosy fires and hot chocolate – and they are undoubtedly excellent contenders – but let’s look outside for a minute.
There’s a few flowering plants that thrive in cold conditions and if it weren’t for Winter, we’d not have them at all. So, I’ve put together my Top 5 Winter Flowers for your reading pleasure. Here we go!
Hellebores are often referred to as the “Winter Rose” although they are not related to the Rose family at all. They are part of the Ranunculaceae or Buttercup family and they bloom Winter through to Spring. They come in a variety of colors from white right through to the deepest purple (nearly black).
Native to parts of Europe and Asia, what appears to be petals of a Hellebore are actually Sepals. The Sepals protect the true flower which is a cluster of tiny stamens and petals at the centre.
As a cut flower, their vase life is fairly short (only around 3-5 days) but in the garden, they bloom for weeks on end.
Ranunculus are also know as “Persian Buttercups” and are related to our mate the Hellebore above. These gorgeous things come in almost every colour of the rainbow (except blue!) and in shades of pale pastels right through to bright and vibrant primary colours.
Their name is said to have derived from the Latin ‘Rana’ (frog) and ‘unculus’ (little) as many species grow prolifically around water.
As a cut flower, their vase life is excellent. As long as you buy them nice and fresh from your favourite local florist or grower, keep the vase and water clean and trim the stems every couple days, you should get a good 7 days out of your bunch of Ranuncs.
Most of you already know this but while we often refer to Proteas as “native” flowers, they are not native to Australia (even though they look like they could be). Members of the Proteaceae family, they are in fact native to Africa and the King Protea is the national flower of South Africa.
That being said, millions of years ago Australia was part of a super continent known as Gondwana which also encompassed South America, Antarctica and Africa. When Australia split from Gondwana during the Jurassic Period some 180 million years ago, a new member of the Proteaceae family developed. Waratah, Banksia, Grevillea, Hakea and Macadamia are among these.
Anyway, I digress. Proteas are plentiful this time of year and their diverse range of colours and shapes make them so interesting. And let’s not forget how long they last. Their vase life is excellent, especially when fresh. You can get up to 10 days from a bunch of Proteas and once they have ‘turned’, tip out the water and leave them to dry out.
Another member of the Proteaceae family, Blushing Bride is simply STUNNING! Apparently men used to wear a sprig of this flower in their lapel when they were going to ask for their beloved’s hand in marriage. When she saw it, she would blush! I don’t know about all that, I wonder if it has something to do with the soft pink colour blushing from the centre of the creamy, delicate blooms.
Anyway, they are a real show stopper and very popular among brides. They make a lovely addition to a wedding bouquet and they last beautifully out of water (perfect on a wedding day). They also hold up well in wired work like flower crowns, corsages and buttonholes.
Geraldton Wax Flower
Good old Geraldton Wax is native to Western Australia (Geraldton to be precise – who knew?!) and she is just so lovely. Their small, firm petals have a wax like appearance – hence the name. Gee, we really are inventive here in Australia aren’t we?
A hardy ‘filler’ flower, Geraldton Wax blooms from June through til November and gives us colour palettes of bright pink and purple through to soft creamy white.
Wax flowers have an excellent vase life of between 7-10 days and they last well out of water so they too are great for wedding bouquets and wired work.
Well, there you have it, my Top 5 Winter Flowers. Come to think of it, all of these flowers would work beautifully together. So stop worrying about the cold, dreary weather and keep your eyes peeled for some of these Winter delights.
Now, where are my snips…….