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Greet The Summer Sun With Sunflowers

Sunny Day GreetingsCan you believe summer is already here?! The first day of summer starts June 21st! What better what to greet the hot, summer sun than with beautiful golden sunflowers?!

It’s oh-so easy to tell how sunflowers got their name. Their round, disk centers and petal rays give them a gorgeous sun-like appearance. Now you can bring the summer sun into your home with a bundle of beautiful sunflowers.

Sunflowers For Summer Parties

Use Sunflowers to easily decorate for your summer parties and get-togethers. Use them as your main centerpiece, buffet table decor or simply use them as an accessory for your home. Their bright, vivid colors will glow in any room!

If you are attending a party, take a bouquet of sunflowers as your hostess gift! Sunflowers look great and give a summery feel to any space.

Sunflowers At The Office

If you need a little pick-me-up around the office, have a bright and cheery sunflower arrangement delivered. Why not treat yourself to a little luxury once in a while, and bringing summer inside to a sometimes dreary office can make a world of difference.

No matter how you use them, sunflowers create an instant smile. Be sure to order yours from a real local florist!

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.

Flowers in the News: June


June has been busy month for flowers, which have found their way into everything from science journals to the local news. Here is best in floral industry news for this month:

Rare MSU Plant Blooms for the First Time in 15 Years

The amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, bloomed at the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden June 11, filling the greenhouse with its signature scent. “It’s so big and it smells so nasty, like a dead animal on the side of the road that’s been there for about seven to eight days, but it’s a way cool thing,” said Norm Lownds, curator for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden and associate professor in the MSU Department of Horticulture. “It’s really unique because it flowers so infrequently.”

The corpse flower is often referred to as the largest flower in the world. However, the corpse flower isn’t a flower at all, but rather a cluster of flowers, or an inflorescence. Plant biology graduate student Michael Grillo told The State News that the corpse flower evolved to use its stench to attract beetles and flies to pollinate.

According to The State News, the flower has been part of the teaching collection for decades and cared for by greenhouse manager John Mugg. However, Mugg was teaching an environmental science study abroad album in Hawaii when the plant bloomed.

Hundreds of Flowers Stolen from Spokane, WA, Cemetery

Groundskeepers at Holy Cross Cemetery in Spokane, Washington, noticed hundreds of  potted flowers missing days after the cemetery sold about 750 of the arrangements to the public for Memorial Day. A tip led the groundskeepers to a home selling the flowers at a discounted price. The flowers started reappearing after those who bought them saw the report on a KHQ broadcast. Groundskeepers said about 6 potted flowers have been returned as of June 8.

Thousands of Sunflowers Delivered to Michael Jackson’s Crypt

After hearing Lisa Marie Presley complain that Jackson’s Glendale, California‘s mausoleum was looking bare, grower Jason Levin delivered $3,000 to $5,000 worth of sunflowers to the heavily-guarded site. According to MSNBC, Levin, owner of The Sunflower Guy in San Diego County, loaded the flowers and drove three hours to make the delivery.

Salt Lake City Council Battling Budget to Keep City Buds in Bloom

Facing a nearly $19 million budget shortfall, Salt Lake City, Utah, city council members are working eliminate a proposed $230,000 cut, which would shut down the city’s famed greenhouses and remove blooms at the International Peace Gardens, Liberty Park, Washington Square and the monument plaza in Sugar House. Council Chairman J.T. Martin told the Salt Lake Tribune that letting the flowers die and replanting them during more stable economic times would “cost taxpayers 10 times as much.”international-peace-garden

One of the most famous of the city’s gardens, The Peace Gardens, boasts native plants, including 30 types of Swedish lilacs and Magnolia trees from China, arranged in ornate displays. Irene Wiesenberg, chairwoman of the International Peace Gardens Committee, said that the proposed cuts would force much of the garden to replaced by grass and watered 25 percent of the time.

Studies Confirm Flowers Improve Quality of Life

According to the Ukiah Daily Journal in Ukiah, California, scientists are finding a link between flower’s ability to improve moods and increased quality of life. Scientists performed three studies, published in the April 2005 edition of Evolutionary Psychology, that demonstrated flowers’ ability to positively impact mood. In the first study 147 women reported elevated moods for three days after being presented with a single flower.

In another study, 122 men and women were handed either a flower, pen, or nothing while riding on an elevator. Those who received a flower spoke more, stood closer to others, and smiled more often during the ride. The last study involved delivering bouquets to 113 men and women in a retirement community. The recipients reported positive moods and increased memory function.

It’s no secret that flowers can perk up a mood. However, as scientists learn more about how to harness their positive power, we could potentially see them being used in a clinic setting to improve healing and quality of life.

Smile A Little Over The Pure Meaning of Sunflowers

Send ‘Hello Sunshine’ To Your Pure Friend

Send "Hello Sunshine" To Your Pure Friend

It’s easy to get lost for a while in thoughts about the underlying meaning of thoughts, actions and words. It is for me at least. Lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about flower meanings because finding an inventive way to say something normal or usual is very important to me.

Think for a moment about the most special gift you’ve received lately. What was it that made it so important? Most people truly do place stock in the adage, “It’s the thought that counts.” This is especially true with women. We love to be pampered and spoiled but anyone can do that. What we want from our partner is more special, that above and beyond affection that secures their place in our hearts.

For this reason, my mind wandered back to the meaning of sunflowers. The simplest of these is “adoration” but sunflowers (Helianthus) also represent pure thoughts, pure love, longevity, pride, and sunshine. Oh to be the pure, sweet sunshine in the eyes of the person that I love! It’s that kind of desire to feel special that drives women inside and outside of relationships.

One way to let the pure woman in your life know that you find her gentle demeanor so endearing is by sending sunflowers. As always, create a lavish gift that will be remembered forever by including a sweet card detailing the meaning of sunflowers and how your woman is all of those things to you.

I wonder which flower means “incredibly desirable, more beautiful than the rest, and who my heart melts for”??

Is this a sunflower?

Ask the Expert: WHAT FLOWER IS THIS?


Lemonhead - Yellow Bloom img_0001.jpg