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It might be easy enough to select a ready-made flower arrangement from a local florist or FloraQueen’s online section. If you are planning a wedding or event décor or want to create your own bouquet, you may need to learn a little more about floral terms. There are many flower synonym and decorative arrangement terms that are thrown around in the florist and gardening world, so if you are not familiar with them, it’s easy to get lost. We’ve put together a selection of basic related terms to help you better understand flowers and floral arrangements:
In this article, we break down some essential floral terms:
• Flower classification and structure
• Flowering seasons
• Floral arrangements
Flower Classification and Structure
Flowers are beautiful and unique. There are over 4 million different species of flowers on the planet. Some of these flowers grow all over the world, while others only grow in very specific areas and under particular conditions. Flowers are considered native or indigenous to the location or region where they are naturally found. We classify flowers using different categories. A flower species is a group of flowers with similar features and characteristics, which are capable of exchanging genes and being interbred. One step up from the species is the genus, and this consists of a broader range of similar species. For example, the Damask rose is the common name for a flower with the scientific name (genus followed by species) of Rosa damascene, according to the internationally recognized binomial nomenclature of naming organisms.
While many flowers grow naturally in the wild, many are specially cultivated. This process often includes selecting the best breeds and interbreeding them to create well-adapted flower varieties. These are known as cultivars or cultivated varieties—a group of plants in a species selected for their desirable characteristics. Cultivars are maintained when the plant is propagated, and most cultivars are thus grown from cuttings rather than from seeds.
The diversity in flowers is remarkable, but even within one genus, there can be very different species. Some of the basic parts of a flowering plant are the petals, sepals, buds, florets, inflorescence, bulbs, and fruits. Some of these and other flower synonyms and terms can be used interchangeably, which can cause some confusion. The inflorescence is the arrangement of flowers on a stem or axis. A blossom is a flower or cluster of flowers. A floret is a small or reduced flower, especially one in a spikelet, and this can also be called a floweret. The bulb of the plant is a corm, tuber, or tuberous root, which functions as a short, modified underground stem storing food in plants such as crocus, dahlia, or cyclamen.
There are so many types of plants. Some grow into trees, while others thrive in water. Some produce food and fruit to eat, while others grow wildly and are considered weeds. Flowers are produced by a subsection of plants known as flowering plants. Plants can be described as annuals, biennials, or perennials based on whether they live and have a growing cycle that lasts for one, two, or more years, respectively. Thus, annual flowering plants experience a full growing season of seed to flowering to seed and then die within one year. This is genetically determined.
The flowering season of most plants is usually some time in spring, but the exact time, duration, and mechanism are dependent on the flower species and the climatic conditions. Knowing this period is essential particularly for gardeners and growing because you need to know and plan for when the flowers are going to be in bloom.
Flowers are beautiful and attractive for human use, but they also have an essential functional role in the plant’s lifecycle. They hold the male and female parts of the plant and facilitate the process of pollination, which leads to fertilization and fruit production. Pollination is when minute grains of pollen are transferred, and the flower is fertilized. Pollen can be moved by wind or water is many plants, but for insect-pollinated plants, beautifully colored flowers are essential for attracting insects to the plants.
We have given you a good background on the classification and diversity of flowers and flowering plants. When it comes to flower arranging, some key terms can help you pick the right flowers and create excellent arrangements. Wedding planning, for example, is one of those situations when you want to know a little bit about flower types, structure, and arrangements. This is going to influence your décor and theme.
There is a range of different bouquet types:
• Hand-tied bouquets are as simple and straightforward as the name suggests. They are created by holding a bunch of flowers by the stem and wrapping them tightly together with something like a ribbon.
• Cascade bouquets are often used in traditional weddings. In these, some of the flowers descend below the main design.
• Nosegays are small round bouquets of tightly packed flowers and greenery. A smaller arrangement similar to a nosegay but including ribbons and other items is a posie.
• Composites are handmade designs where different flower buds and petals are combined on a stem into what looks like a giant stem. Floral arrangement is a skill that takes time to learn and develop. It takes a unique eye and natural talent for design, but while some are naturally gifted, the key elements of flower arrangements can be taught to just about anyone. Some of the guiding principles include balance, scale, dominance, rhythm, color, and orientation. All these elements combined can help you create a beautiful arrangement with some character.
Floral arrangements come in different shapes and sizes. Some are more fitting for small handheld bouquets, while others are perfect for centerpieces and other big and bold arrangements. Based on shape, flower arrangements can be one of several classes, including elliptical, vertical, triangular, crescent, ‘S’ shaped, oval-shaped, or cascade flower arrangement.
Flower selection, cultivation, and arrangement are all science and art. There is a lot of work, research, knowledge, and skill required. Knowing the background of how flowers grow and are classified can give you useful information for when it’s time to pick flowers for a special occasion.