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Moosa Creek Blog

Cut Flowers

Creekside Chat

 Native Southern California plants aren’t usually the first plants that come to mind when thinking about cut flowers. However there are many annuals and perennials that will make a beautiful cutting garden, and save water as well.

Canyon Snow Iris looks like a hot-house flower, with its white petals dabbed with bright yellow.  Yellow Iris has a buttery color and Douglas Iris has lavender-blue petals highlighted with navy and white. Native irises have an extended bloom time and their strappy leaves stay green through the warm season.

A short-lived but spectacular cut flower is the Matilija Poppy, which can be 6” across. Papery white petals surround a bright yellow center and give this fragrant plant the nickname of Fried Egg Plant. Matilija can grow to 6’ x 8’ or more, so give it pride of place on an embankment or behind shorter plantings in well-drained soil.

Firecracker Penstemon, as you can imagine, has tall stalks of red tubular flowers that the bees and hummingbirds adore. This plant can take the heat with a monthly sprinkling of water in summer, so will nicely fit into succulent gardens. The same goes for the pinker blooms of Rosy Desert Beardtongue, which has a great name. California Fuchsia also has red tubular flowers but on softly arching stems. So does the Boca Rosa Island Snapdragon, which is a sturdy, tough plant that can withstand most soils as well as salt spray. Cuttings from either would give softness and dimension to a lovely arrangement.

An unusual flower is the cup-shaped coral-colored bloom of Louis Hamilton Apricot Mallow. Its green-grey foliage makes a color contrast in an arrangement. Apple Blossom, Island Pink, and Paprika Yarrow are long-lasting fresh and dried cut flowers.

Daisies are the happiest flowers, and the bright yellow petals and dark centers of El Dorado Coast Sunflower are sheer joy to see. This plant blooms for months, and the flowers last in arrangements. These tall stems of sunshine wave gently in the breeze, covered with bees and butterflies, and bring movement to your landscape. Give them some supplemental water to keep them in bloom, and bring that sunshine inside as well. 

Photo credit: Teresa Everett

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