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Flower Spotlight: Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Snapdragon, also known as dragon flower, is part of the plant genus Antirrhinums. Keep reading to learn the symbolism and interesting facts about this stunning flower!

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Alexandrite – Light Pink Flower Guide

ALEXANDRITE PINK FLOWERS

June’s favorite flower color is Alexandrite pink. This year, we are spotlighting unique flower colors for you to use in custom flower arrangements, wedding bouquets, centerpieces and anywhere else you might need great-looking flowers. To make the chosen colors a little more interesting, we are starting with birthstone colors. Last month’s was emerald green, and this month it’s Alexandrite, or light pink. (Click here for all of our color of the month posts)

The most sensational feature of the Alexandrite gemstone is its surprising ability to change its color. Purpleish in daylight, Alexandrite turns a soft shade of pink, purplish-pink or raspberry red in incandescent light. This unique optical characteristic makes it one of the most valuable gemstones of all, especially in fine qualities.

When creating your wedding bouquet,

Light Pink Triad Light Pink Split

When creating a color scheme using Alexandrite pink, use the color wheel as your guide! Above you see three examples. The first is the complementary color of Alexandrite pink — pale green, which is sure to bring out the subtle tones of the pink. The second is a triad (3) of color complements to light pink. Soft yellows and pale aquas make the perfect pastel combination. You could also go with split-complement colors, meaning the two adjacent colors to the complementary color. So Alexandrite pink mixed with light green and pale aqua.

This is a great flower guide for brides looking for unique color palettes and unusual flowers for their wedding. [Read more…]

Are Fresh Cut Flowers Safe To Use On Wedding Cakes?

Fresh Flowers on Wedding CakeAsk the Expert: Placing fresh cut flowers on wedding cakes My customer would like a cake topper with florals, and many flowers cascading at an angle around the cake. Is it safe to place the stem in to the cake and well as the flower resting on the cake icing?

How do you begin to charge for this.

Thanks Pat

Flower Shop Network Expert Reply:

Answering the question “What is an edible flower?” isn’t easy. The answer can vary even within a particular bloom depending on the way it was grown and processed. The strongest factor is that the flower can not be inherently poisonous. This doesn’t mean that the flower necessarily tastes good.

The best way I can answer your question is to first clarify the difference between edible flowers and flowers that are safe to use on wedding cakes.

Edible flowers are those flowers that are safe to consume. These flowers are grown specifically for human consumption and will be organically grown or treated with safe pesticides only.  This does not mean everyone can eat them. Just as with certain foods, some people may be allergic to the flowers.

Petals are usually the edible part of the flower, however this isn’t necessarily true. Always verify which part of the flower is edible. Remember even edible flowers should be eaten in moderation.

One rule of thumb when preparing edible flowers is to remove the pistil and stamen before eating the flower.

Flowers safe to use on wedding cakes are used strictly as a garnish and for decoration. Although these are non-poisonous flowers, they are not necessarily organically grown and therefore should not be eaten. It is extremely important to washed the flowers thoroughly before using them. It is important to have a barrier between these flowers and the cake. NEVER place a flower stem directly into the wedding cake!

Many wedding florists use specially designed holders when placing flowers on the cake. These holders give florists the ability to arrange flowers in the cake without exposing the the cake directly to the flower.  They also make it easier to remove the flowers when serving the cake.   

A good rule of thumb for selecting wedding cake flowers is “When in doubt leave it out!”

Below is a list of common edible flowers:

Bachelor button Bee balm Borage
Calendula Chamomile Chive flowers
Chrysanthemum Dandelion Daylily
Dianthus Fuchsia Gardenia
Gladiolus Hibiscus Hollyhock
Impatiens Lilac Marigold
Mint Nasturtium Pansy
Roses Sage Squash blossom
Snapdragon Sunflower Violet

Hopefully this list will help you get started. Remember any flower not certified as organic should be used only as decoration and not eaten.

To learn more about edible flowers read NC State University’s Edible Flowers article. I also found information about this subject on the National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service site’s Edible Flowers pages.

Do not use the following poisonous flowers:

Azalea Belladonna Calla Lily
Crocus Foxglove Hyacinth
Larkspur Lily-of-the-Valley Rhododendron

The lists above are just an abbreviated list of the non-toxic and toxic flowers available. Check with your local extension services or horticultural departments for a more in-depth reference.

This flower question was brought to you by the local florists in Kansas City.