If you’re searching for the perfect St. Patrick’s Day flowers, but don’t want to spend a pot of gold, consider adding Bells of Ireland to that bouquet. Sometimes known as Shellflower, this unique Mediterranean native may not be from the Green Isle, but it’s come to represent the luck o’ the Irish in the language of flowers and is a wonderful choice for a St. Paddy’s Day arrangement.
The bright, fresh, green color of this flower is reminiscent of the first new leaves of spring, which makes March the perfect month to bring them into the house. With tiny, white flowers, surrounded by apple green sepals, these tall, angled stems have an architectural quality that adds both height and dimension. Choosing stems with a slight curve can change the symmetry and add negative space to an arrangement, which make them the perfect choice for Ikebana as well.
Bells of Ireland can be properly identified by the Latin name, Moluccella laevis, and are generally available year-round with prices lowest in early summer. They work well in all sorts of vase arrangements or centerpieces and catch the eye with their unique flower structure and spring-green color. By themselves in a glass vase, these flowers are clean and elegant and fill a large space with their angular grace.
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Bells of Ireland are kissing-cousins with mint and share the tall, upright stalks and rigid stems with other members of the Lamiaceae family. This characteristic helps give them extra lasting power as a cut flower. Bells of Irelands will stay fresh in a vase for over two weeks. Afterwards, many may choose to hang them upside down and dry them. Unlike a horseshoe, this won’t cause the luck to run out, but rather last as a dried flower for future arrangements.
Their association with good fortune make them a wonderful choice for wishing someone luck on that big interview or on opening night. After the shamrock, they are simply the best way to say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” If you’re really wanting to make the statement, Erin go Bragh, consider pairing them with green Kermit mums, golden Alstroemeria and a wee pint of stout.