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Andreana Bitsis

Ask Ella: Why Eucalyptus Is A Favorite Filler Flower

Ask Ella is a recurring Garden Collage feature where we ask our in-house florist, Ella Stavonsky, about floral design– including the history of, origin, and maintenance that goes into some of the most intriguing flowers on the market today. This column is dedicated exclusively to common and rare varieties of flowers you’re likely to find at your local market. This week, we spotlight eucalyptus, a popular green filler that adds a charming element of dimension to any bouquet.

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Eucalyptus is one of the most easily recognized plants you’re likely to find at your local florist, with its round, dusty blue-gray leaves, sometimes sticky stems, and its distinctive scent. Eucalyptus is a flexible filler, and can be used in wedding arrangements and rustic bouquets alike. (And if we’re being honest, we like the look of just a few branches gathered up by themselves in a simple vase.)

There are three different kinds of eucalyptus you might encounter: silver dollar eucalyptus, eucalyptus branches, and just the eucalyptus seeds. The first tends to come in willowy branches with tiny clusters of seeds (to the right in the image below); the second is tall and comes in a single, straight strand without any seeds (on the left in the image); the third is typically the first with all of its leaves removed, so that only the tiny light green spots remain.

Andreana Bitsis

Using eucalyptus in an arrangement is relatively straightforward– it’s almost impossible to go wrong. For larger scale bouquets, the tall, round leaf variety works well to add height and shape, while the flat, silver dollar eucalyptus adds texture and variety to smaller arrangements.

While you pretty much can’t go wrong with eucalyptus, there are a few fail safe options if you’re worried you still might mess things up. (“Avoid mums and daisies,” advises Ella of eucalyptus’s otherwise flexible disposition. “Eucalyptus is sometimes a little heavy and clashes with thin, light flowers like those.”)

Roses and ranunculus in dusty, pale colors are always safe, offset with a few tuberoses. “They make anything look special,” Ella tells us. “But a touch of burgundy really sets them off.” A simple arrangement of different types of eucalyptus also looks stylish, and is an affordable option for a simple get-together. As a bouquet alternative, eucalyptus can be used in table runners or crowns, and Ella likes pairing them with olive branches to create a Mediterranean vibe.

Eucalyptus also dries exceptionally well, and if you’re looking to add a little bit of alchemy to your home or next event, try mixing together the two kinds of eucalyptus and hanging them upside down to dry. The resultant herb bouquet adds a beautiful rusticity to even the most modern living spaces.

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