Thursday, June 6, 2013

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 116 - 120

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 116 - The flower symbolism associated with the daisy is purity, innocence, loyal love, beauty, patience and simplicity. Daisies are often depicted in meadows in Medieval paintings, also known as a "flowery mead." Daisies are believed to be more than 4,000 years old and hairpins decorated with daisies were found during the excavation of the Minoan Palace on the Island of Crete. Even further back, Egyptian ceramics were decorated with daisies.

Day 117 - The Emerald palm is a broad leaf pinnate arrangement plant with fronds 1 inch wide and tapered at the ends. The inflorescences have a slightly bitter taste, and are considered a delicacy in El Salvador and Guatemala. They are usually eaten in salads, or covered in egg batter and fried. The latter dish is called "rellenos de pacaya", and is often served with tomato sauce, like chiles rellenos. We tend to use them around the flower shop for strictly ornamental purposes.

Day 118 - Acacia is the largest genus of vascular plants in the plant kingdom. The name Acacia is derived from the Greek word akis meaning a point or barb. About 1350 species of Acacia are found throughout the world. Acacia makes an excellent garden plant, it looks beautiful and provides a natural home security system when planted under windows, as it is rather thorny. Acacia Flowers are typically small, yellow and fragrant with many stamens, giving the flower a fuzzy appearance. The Acacia flower heads are actually lots of little flowers bundled together.

Day 119 - Limonium is a genus of 120 flower species. They are found growing wild on the seacoasts and salt marshes and are widely distributed over the Northern Hemisphere. The flowers of many kinds are in loose panicles and others in branching spikes. They are winged spikelets, dry and papery. They may be blue lavender, orange, yellow, apricot, peach, pink or rose-red; many times they are bicolored. They are often used for drying, being cut just before they fully open and hung in a cool room to dry. Once cut, if exposed to even low levels of heat and humidity the flowers will develop an unpleasant odor. Limonium is said to bring success and good luck. 

Day 120 - Acacias are mostly insect pollinated; however, acacia flowers do not produce any nectar. The leaf and phyllode glands secrete a nectar or sugary substance which attracts ants, bees, butterflies and other insects. All parts of the Acacia plant - flowers, leaves and phyllodes, legumes and seeds, stems, trunk and roots are all utilized by hordes of animals. We humans often use acacia seeds for food and a variety of other products. The seeds of Acacia niopo, for instance, are roasted and used as snuff in South America. Additionally, the wood of the acacia plant is renowned for its excellent fuel properties and can also produce good charcoal.

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