Edmonton Native Plant Society
native plant stewards
Dried Wildflower Bouquets
by Judith Golub on December 3rd, 2011

Through sheer neglect I discovered this fall that native wildflowers make great dried flower bouquets. It happened this way: On August 11, the City of Edmonton held its annual Communities in Bloom awards night at City Hall. The ENG table was the only one with real live flowers freshly picked from the OMC Nursery, and its riot of colour attracted a lot of interest!
I had deliveries to make to Cherry the next day and she had these gorgeous flowers sitting in buckets of water. As she wanted rid of them, did I want them? You bet! I like cut flowers in the house.
I duly carted them home, arranged them rather haphazardly (not with my usual care and attention...) in a couple of jugs of water and placed them where I could admire them. Well, being rather preoccupied with other things, I never did change the water or check water levels - I think I did top them up once or twice - and they just sat there looking beautiful.
One day I realized the blazingstar and asters were turning into puffballs - going to seed. I checked for water and there was none in either jug. Ooh, this is going to make a mess later I thought, with dropped seeds and chaff all over, and they’ll get all ugly and brown. Never happened.
The dried purple prairie clover flowers retained their vibrant magenta hue, the meadow blazingstar kept remnants of its deep pink flowers on the outer edge of the puffballs, and the giant hyssop flowers dried to a very nice shade of blue. The goldenrods lost some colour; they’re now more of an ochre or mustard. One of the aster species kept the dried bluey-purple petals around the bottom of the seedhead; the other lost all its petals but has an overall pinkish tinge. The grasses held on to their seeds and still look great.
I took the photos November 24, three months after I first placed the flowers in their jugs.
I’m not usually fond of dried flower bouquets, but I quite like these as they bring summer into the house and warm my heart!

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