21 December 2010

Green flowers for a Green Christmas

After the recent spate of storms, including a rainstorm last night that kept us from watching the lunar eclipse live (but we saw it via the joys of the Interwebs), we are pretty much expecting a green Christmas here in Scotts Bay (and probably all of Nova Scotia). I'm okay with that, because it makes travel easier, and to me, Christmas spirit doesn't have to do with snow, but with family and friends.

Back in March as part of my coping-with-Farch techniques, I purchased my first paphiopedilum orchid, this green-flowered beauty that goes by the name of Paphiopedilum 'Limerick x Greenvale x Cherokee'. As a slightly early birthday present, 'Limerick' has presented me with a flower stalk and bud; I'm intensely excited about this, and decided a post celebrating green flowers would be just the thing.

I've always been besotted with green flowers, which seem to be a very polarizing flower colour; people either love them for their exotic beauty or dislike them because they're not some other colour, like hot pink or blazing scarlet or perfect blue. Well, I love all those colours too, but greens just resonate with me. I have several green flowered phalaenopsis (nameless but lovely).

Many flowers start out green and change to other colours as they mature, including the eryngiums that I grow. The striking bracts surrounding the central flower stalk of Eryngium 'Miss Wilmott's Ghost' are a particular favourite.

'Limelight' hydrangea is a stellar performer in my garden, producing huge, coneshaped clusters of flowers in the palest of green shades.

Others are also besotted with green flowers, as this book 'Green Flowers' by Alison Hoblyn demonstrates. I have this book and enjoy looking through it especially in the dead of winter. Naturally, it's from the good people at Timber Press.

There are green-flowered native plants to charm us, including the delightful Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)...

And more exotic choices such as the green-flowered hellebores.

I love Bells of Ireland for their faint minty fragrance as well as the complex beauty of their flowering stalks. As with many green flowers, the showy part of the 'flower' is actually a modified leaf called a bract.

In this case of Echinacea 'Green Envy', however, both the central cone and petals are delicious green. This was one of my must-have plants when it first was released and continues to be a favourite, long-blooming allstar in my garden.

I was able to acquire echinacea 'Green Jewel' this past summer, and it has also been a jewel of a performer, producing flowers until a hard frost sent it to napping.

I love nicotiana of any colour; this one isn't as fragrant as some of the species and other hybrids, but it was a great performer in containers this past summer. I'm not certain, but I think this is N. alata 'Lime Green.'

Many of the euphorbias boast acid-green flowers, (sort of the colour of Mountain Dew), which are especially attractive when planted near something dark. In the case of Euphorbia charachias 'Fens Ruby', the plant's foliage supplies the dark colour as a fabulous contrast to the flowers.

At least a couple of times during the winter, I indulge in some cut flowers, and HAVE to include green blossoms in the mix. Sometimes they're dyed, but other times they include Bells of Ireland or green chrysanthemums like these.

I look forward to the spring blooms of snowdrops with their happy green accents, but also love to see the lesser-planted but equally charming summer snowflake (Leucojum), which sort of resemble a snowdrop on steroids.

And despite the myriad of tulip colours that we can enjoy, some of my favourites are naturally the viridifloras, or green-flowered cultivars, like 'Spring Green'. They look cool and fresh alongside newly emerging hostas.

Are you a fan of green flowers? What are your favourites?


  1. I love green flowers, and I really enjoyed that book when I read and reviewed it. Thanks for the reminder and keep warm.

    Merry Christmas.~~Dee

  2. I'll vote for the Euphorbia. Any Euphorbia ;>)

  3. love the green flowers...remind me of my garden in spring...pining away for St Pat's Day now after seeing all the green...we have a white Christmas going here but I will be with family in the Boston area so it is looking green there...Happy Holidays to you and yours!!

  4. I love green flowers too but not many here except maybe chrysanthemums.Love all your green flowers especially the orchid, hellebores and snowdrops. Happy holidays and Merry Xmas!

  5. All the flowers are simply lovely, Jodi! Thank you so much for posting them.

  6. Lime green is so beautiful this time of year...especially popped with red or calmed by white.

    Your photos are a promise of spring and summer. Joyfully..the light filled days advance tomorrow.. MX Jodi

  7. I like a few of the green flowers and every time I see the Green Envy Echinacea I like it more.
    Wishing you a Wonderful and Blessed Christmas Jodi!

  8. Both nicotiana and green mums grow in my garden. I do like green flowers quite a bit, and my live Christmas tree was decorated with the this year.
    Green hydrangea. I must get the book you showed. I designed a garden last year in all lime green and white flowers and trees. It was beautiful in the limited palette.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  9. Happy 'Green' Christmas, dear jodi! A green lover too, may your holiday be as lovely as these classic/artistic green images.

  10. Count me in the "love 'em" camp! I am completely smitten with the Limelight hydrangea and have talked myself into getting some even though they are borderline hardy here.

    Your post reminded me of why I do love the greens so much - thanks! :)

  11. I planted what I expected to be green flowering tulips last year but when they bloomed they were a rather unpleasant smoked salmon colour. It was very disappointing. Someone gave me a packet of exactly the same bulbs in the autumn so my breath is held. Will they come up true this time?

    Interesting about Jack in the Pulpit. I use that name for Arum maculatum.

    Have a very happy Christmas.


    P.S. The word verification is 'constant'. I think that's rather nice. So rarely does it make real words.

  12. These are all very beautiful... but the orchid is amazing! I've yet to try a path as yet... I did however pick up a half dozen phaelonopsis yesterday several of which were on close-out for a very good price... L

  13. So many favorites - where to begin?! Helebores and Jack-in-the-pulpit, of course, but they are all luscious!

    Merry Christmas to you, Jodi! Thank you for a year of beautiful blogging!

  14. Lovely photos. We in our passion for pinks and purples, oranges and yellows, we forget that green is a color, too.

  15. Merry Christmas Jodi. Your greens are so special, so plenty. I love that eryngium most especially because it is the first time i see it, but of course the love of my life is the snowdrop. I've seen it just once and it was love at first sight, and i will not change 'til death do us part'.

  16. I have a fondness for green flowers too. I especially love Bells of Ireland. That green orchid is just gorgeous! I want one!

  17. I'm not such a fan of green flowers, but you've showcased some lovely ones, Jodi. 'Limelight' hydrangea, though, is definitely one of my favorites in my garden.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

  18. Wonderful images of green flowers!
    But I love flowers in any shape and colour.

    Dear Jodi
    May the Christmas season
    fill your home with joy,
    your heart with love
    and your life with laughter.
    Wishing you peace, prosperity and health for 2011.

  19. Fabulous! Thank you Jodi! Merry Christmas to you and a healthy and happy New Year!

  20. Green flowers rock! I love Spring Green and have lots of them in my garden. Well, I am Dutch, you know? ;-)

    A Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year to you and yours, Jodi!

    Yolanda and the Bliss team XXX


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