of the month
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Madagascar jasmine, Wax flower, Bridal wreath,
These 1-inch-diameter star-shaped florets have an intense
fragrance that is reminiscent of true jasmine (Jasminum
officinale), which is how they came by one of their common
Stephanotises are available in white only. The flowers will
appear ivory, near white or yellow as they mature and fade.
With proper care and handling, Stephanotis florets can last for
one to two days in wedding designs. They can last from three to
five days if they are floated in water or if the flowers are
still on the vine and placed in a water source.
Stephanotises are available year-round, with their peak seasons
in the summer and autumn. Give growers and wholesalers several
weeks’ advance notice to ensure they will be available for
Stephanotises generally are sold as florets only. Take these
steps to care for them:
1 Remove the florets from
2 Float them in
room-temperature water for 20 minutes.
3 Gently remove them from
the water, and place them into a sealable bag or airtight
4 Blow some carbon dioxide
into the container, and seal.
5 Store the Stephanotises in
a floral refrigerator at no lower than 42 F for at least two
hours before use. If they are kept in airtight bags or boxes
with high humidity, they can be stored for up to one week at 42
F or above.
These fragile flowers require a skilled and gentle touch. A good
practice is to have wet hands while working with them.
Antitranspirants can be used with Stephanotises to prevent
WATER Stephanotis florets do
not take water up the stems after harvesting and usually are
packaged in airtight containers with moistened, shredded tissue
paper to keep humidity levels high.
Stephanotises have a low sensitivity to ethylene gas.
DESIGN TIPS Many designers
embellish Stephanotises by adding pearls or beads into the
center of the trumpets. This is especially appropriate when a
bride’s gown has similar detailing. The beads can be glued into
the center or strung on a “hairpin” wire. Some florists add
decorative corsage pins into the centers. Although Stephanotises
are available only in white, aerosol colorants work well if
other colors are needed.
MEANING The name
“Stephanotis” comes from the Greek words “stephanos,” which
means “crown,” and “otos,” which means “ear,” referring to the
five earlike appendages to the staminal crown at the flower’s
center. The species name “floribunda” means “many flowers.”
FAMILY Stephanotises are
members of the Asclepiadaceae (as-kle-pee-ad-AY-see-ay), or
milkweed, family. Relatives include Hoyas (wax plant),
Ceropegias (rosary vine), Asclepias (butterfly weed) and
ORIGINS Stephanotises are
native to Madagascar and tropical and subtropical regions of
Africa and Asia.
Look for florets that are bright white, waxy and plump. There
should no signs of bruising, yellowing, spotting, mold or wilt.
Stephanotises generally are sold as florets only, in groups of
25 or 50. Some growers pack “super” boxes of 300 or more florets
and include the vines. These are the best buys. You can use the
vines for today’s cascading “waterfall” designs.
Some information provided by:
The Chain of Life NetworkÆ,
Brannan Street Wholesale Florist, Inc., San Francisco, Calif.
You may reach “Cut Flower of the Month” writer Steven W.
Brown, AIFD, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (415) 239-3140.
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