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Andreana Bitsis

Ask Ella: Globe Amaranth Is Fragile, But Dries Well

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 globe amaranth, the cute-as-a-button flower that can be dried for long lasting color. 

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Known often by its Latin name Gomphrena or the more folksy “bachelor’s button”, globe amaranth is a favorite among gardeners and florists alike (Thomas Jefferson even planted some at Monticello). The annual plant comes in varying shades of purple and pink, and the blossoms can be brewed to make a bright, caffeine-free tea.

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Andreana Bitsis

A favorite at GC, globe amaranth adds small bursts of color when tucked in between larger plants. It isn’t a statement flower like bird of paradise or heliconia, but it does an important job of filling in sparse spots and adding contrast in any arrangement. For Lil’ Sprouts, it’s also a great flower to craft with, as it dries beautifully, maintaining its color and shape throughout the process.

When arranging a bouquet, the stems can be a little fragile, so take care not to snap them. (We recommend adding them in after you’ve filled out most of the bouquet already; just slip them in gently where you’d like them.) Otherwise, globe amaranth is a pretty standard flower to care for– just give it cold, cold water and recut the stems each day. We love mixing them with zinnias, spray roses, lisianthus, and stock flower. Their vivid colors and round shape make them a beautiful detail for boutonnieres and corsages. Plus, they’ll hold up in the long-term, delicately preserving your memory of the occasion when you wore it.

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