Not everyone can handle the pungent perfume of the traditional Easter Lily, but don’t swear off springtime flowers for your congregation or annual Easter egg hunt without an opportunity to explore some lovely Easter lily alternatives that many florist have on offer this time of year. While the long, white, pendulous blooms of the Lilium longiflorum may still outnumber any other flowers on hand, they will definitely be outshone by some of these amazing alternatives.
There are few things more radiant and lovely than youth and the promise it holds, except perhaps, the ranunculus flower. Despite its complicated name (you can call it “Persian Buttercup” in a pinch), this softly-swirled spring bloom is the perfect match for your lovely graduate in the springtime of her life. A bouquet of bright orange, yellow, pink or red ranunculus will look lovely held next to that high school diploma and show up beautifully in photos. Afterwards, she can admire them in a vase on her dresser for days to come as she contemplates what promise and adventure the summer and autumn of life will bring.
While most of us would prefer the familiar comforts of our own home, there often comes a time that the best move is to move somewhere with a bit more support. Make a new room feel a lot more like home with a lovely pot of cineraria placed in a pretty pot with a welcoming card. Florist’s cineraria, identified by the Latin name Pericallis hybrida, make a lovely statement with purple and white daisy-like flowers that are cheerful and bright. Best of all, with a little water, these plants will flower upwards of 4 to 6 weeks, creating a pleasant atmosphere for a month or more.
Cineraria are relatives of the sunflower in the Asteraceae family, but have short stems and soft, broad leaves. With purple petals that fade inward to white and a center “eye” of yellow or darker shades, the dainty daisies tend to flower all at once, covering the entire plant with bountiful blooms about 2-3 inches in diameter. The foliage is a bright green that makes for an interesting houseplant. While cineraria are true annuals that will flower only once, their abundance of long-lasting blooms will make the first month in a new place a lot brighter.
The month of April is rich with random, made-up holidays: April Fool’s Day, Take-Your-Daughter-to-Work Day, National Juggler’s Day, Hair Appreciation Day, Pigs in a Blanket Day (no joke) and now, drumroll please…… National Siblings Day. Few flowers make a finer choice than the sensationally colorful snapdragon for celebrating this somewhat dubious day set aside to honor the folks who share about 75% of your DNA and a whole lot of inside jokes. The colorful petals of these crazy-shaped blooms will brighten the day of your brother or sister and remind them how lucky they are to have you in the family.
Let’s hope we have reason to celebrate every trip around the sun, but if the approach of a big birthday milestone is heading toward someone you love like an extinction-causing asteroid, send them flowering stock to remind them of the earthly pleasures of growing another year older. These tall, luscious annuals are native to cool, temperate climates and take time to mature and develop into the rich, densely-flowered stems that they are. Unlike the hothouse buds that come and go like a falling star, these delicate but substantial blooms will brighten up a room like a comet across the night sky.