17 March 2013

Green Flowers for the Irish (and for Green Flower-lovers)

 It's been quite a while since I did a colour-themed post, and what better day to do it than on St. Patrick's Day? Green flowers and/or Irish names for a late-winter, it's gonnna-be-spring-someday Sunday afternoon.
(Above, clockwise left: 'Greenland' tulip; 'Irish Lemon' heath; 'Spring Green' tulips'; 'Green Envy' echinacea'; 'Green Eyes' echinacea)
 I've heard people say they don't like green flowers, because foliage is green and how will a green flower show up against foliage? Well, in some cases they are somewhat subtle, like the native Jack-in-the-Pulpit seen here.

 In other cases, they are so floriferous that they can command attention, such as with 'Francesca' and/or 'Green Lace' primula. This is one of the top plants on my must-have list for this year.
 There are a number of hellebores that are green-flowered including the species H. viridis. This one, however, is 'Silver Lace', which has much showier flowers and is a favourite of mine.
 Regular readers know that I never, EVER met a coneflower that I didn't love, double-flowered or single, native or hybrid, standard coloured or flamboyant. This little gem is 'Coconut Lime', which I intend to reintroduce into my new gardens. 
And this is 'Green Jewel', which I believe is about the greenest of the green echinaceas. The flowers are smaller than some other species and cultivars, but plant this against something like E. 'Powwow Wildberry' for great contrast and effect.
 Some of the euphorbias have very green flowers and surrounding bracts. 'Fens Ruby' is a very enthusiastic spreader suited for groundcovering a trouble area or growing in a container to contain its enthusiasm. I love it, however, because the ruby and green foliage contrasts brilliantly with the acid-green flowers.
 I've never grown the green flowered cascading amaranthus (Amaranthus caudatus 'Viridis'), but I think I'll try it this year, primarily because I will have much more for heat units here than I have had in the past. This photo is from a bouquet I was given several years ago, and what I remember most clearly about this plant is that it had a light, fresh, 'green' fragrance to go along with its impressive, long-lasting flower cascades.
 Some of the seahollies (Eryngium, various species) have flowers and bracts that start their life green and slowly flush to another colour. In the case of Miss Wilmott's ghost, these flowers will turn a graceful silvery colour before fading to a rich tan in late summer.
 There are a number of Nicotiana species and hybrids that boast green colour. The species N. langsdorffii has small flowers that are pretty but not terribly showy. For showier plants, we need N. alata hybrids like 'Lime Green' (shown here) or 'Green Goddess'.
 One of my favourite shrubs is the peegree type hydrangea 'Limelight', which produces huge cone-shaped bundles of green flowers. These fade eventually to white and then brown, but this shrub is tough, floriferous and showy, so what's not to love!?
When I recommend must-have perennials to beginning gardeners (or any other gardener who wants a great plant), I always mention Lady's Mantle. (Alchemilla sp.) The foliage is gorgeous, especially with dew or rain catching on it, and the flower buds expand into puffs of tiny, green flowers that last and last and last, eventually turning a tan colour. A tough and gorgeous perennial for any garden. 
 There are green flowers for the indoor gardener, too. This is a paphiopedilum (lady's slipper orchid), a hybrid 'Limerick x Hillsvale x Cherokee', which has enchanted me for several years now. 
 And of course, the wonderful phalaenopsis or moth orchids come in a host of wonderful colours, including greens and green blends.

Happy St. Patrick's Day...we're getting closer to spring...


  1. Beautiful, Jodi! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  2. So glad to see lots of green flowers, I have some in my garden ...lost my jack in the pulpit a year or so ago, will have to try and find another one.

  3. Happy St. Patrick's Jodi! Looking at your photos I realize I have a bit of green love too. Lady's mantle, sea holly, limelight hydrangea are all plants in my garden already. Now I'd like to add some of those gorgeous tulips.

  4. ... And I LOVE this Jodi! I did not know of "Green Lace" primula before this (awesome!).

    Also Eryngium Miss Wilmott's Ghost is beautiful.

  5. I like green flowers because sometimes you never know whether it's a leaf or a flower :) so it leaves you wondering about it.

  6. Hey Jodi !
    Happy St. Paddy's Day to you too ! Always a perfect post to celebrate any of nature's beautiful colors, but 'Green' is my favourite, maybe not as showy in flower blooms but for me, 'Green' is the living breathing color of nature, so for this alone it is a very special color ! Green is celebrating, appreciating & most importantly protecting the enviroment & I'm glad you are drawing attention to Green as in a few more days we will be recognizing 'Earth Hour'...then 'Earth Day'...very important days, that I pray we 'All' will honor ! My gardens also have lots of Green blooms, but my favs surely are the echinaceas, & the euphorbias certainly should be a must have in everyone's garden...their glowing lime Green color are so captivating in the spring...yes, they definitely represent the living breathing 'Green' ! Have a Great Day !.....Bev

  7. I find green flowers beautiful and have many of these. I will check out a few more...perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

  8. Hi Jodi, aren't you just aching to get out and did in your garden ? I sure am.
    These photos make the waiting a bit easier.

  9. I am so glad I have now found your blog I am completely enamored with the content, both the information and the photos. Thank you so much for sharing.


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