Ask Ella: Blushing Bride Protea Has The Best of Both Worlds
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 blushing bride protea, the wedding favorite that sets itself apart from other proteas with its dainty character.
Protea comes in many shapes, but always seems to have an alien or fantastic look about it. Only one distinguishes itself from among the South African native‘s many surreal and outlandish forms: the blushing bride protea– a softer, more delicate variety that still has a touch of eccentricity. Blushing bride protea has a feathered look, as if cut from tissue paper, and comes in shades of pale pink and green. Its symmetrical center belies its protean identity, though when seen from above it looks almost like a passion flower, painted in fainter tones.
As its name suggests, blushing bride protea is a popular choice for weddings because of its muted colors and gentle shape, and for the way it easily fills out arrangements. We love how it adds a whimsical, slightly enigmatic flare when mixed with other standard bridal flowers like roses or peonies. Plus, like other proteas, blushing bride protea dries beautifully (we used it in our new home wreath and it still looks amazing), so it’s a worthwhile investment– especially if you want to savor the memory of a special occasion.
To care for blushing bride protea, simply keep it in cold water and recut every other day. If you’d like to dry it, hang it upside-down in a well ventilated area. We like to pair it with dinner plate dahlias or cottage roses, for a lovely romantic look, but it also looks delicate and bespoke when used in crafts.