In this month's Product Profile, we're taking a look at amaranthus, not only the dramatic trailing varieties, but the striking upright ones too.
From the Amaranthaceae family, the botanical name amaranthus is derived from the Greek words 'amarantos' meaning unfading and 'anthos' meaning flower, referencing the fact that the flowers are said to last forever. In fact, they can be used in dried arrangements.
Amaranthus fall into two distinctive groups, trailing and upright. Trailing amaranthus (also sometimes referred to as hanging amaranthus) have catkin-like tendrils of flowers with a velvety texture, whereas upright amaranthus have perpendicular feathery plumes.
Within the trailing amaranthus group, you'll find Amaranthus caudatus, which is often referred to by its common name, Love Lies Bleeding. You'll find it available in red and green. The upright amaranthus group includes Amaranthus cruentus and Amaranthus lividus.
Amaranthus is generally found at New Covent Garden Flower Market during the summer and autumn months, with homegrown blooms usually available in August and September.
Here are some of the varieties which you can expect to find at Nine Elms...
'Desert Yearning' (sometimes also referred to as Yearning Desert)
Amaranthus are fragile flowers, so handle them with care. If you're using them out of water, perhaps in a staircase design, it's best to remove the foliage as the leaves can wilt.
Trailing amaranthus varieties look wonderful as part of tall vase, candelabra, urn, arch, column, staircase and suspended designs, where the flowers are able to hang down. And if you're making hand-tieds, upright amaranthus add a lovely texture.
Here are some examples of beautiful arrangements featuring amaranthus...
(Source: Mary Jane Vaughan)
(Source: Paul Thomas Flowers)
(Source: Kitten Grayson)
(Source: Simon Nickell)
(Source: @edaerbilgin at the McQueens Flower School)
(Source: InWater Flowers)
(Source: Rebel Rebel)
(Source: Rob Van Helden)
(Source: That Flower Shop)
(Source: JamJar Flowers)
Also, if you missed it first time round, do take a look at this incredible headdress which Okishima & Simmonds created for British Flowers Week 2014.
We'd love to see photos of arrangements that you've made using amaranthus from New Covent Garden Flower Market. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your company name and website address. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Twitter and copy us in, by including @MarketFlowers in your tweet. We'll then upload your photos into this section.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's Product Profile. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments. As always, we'd love to hear from you...
P.S. If you'd like to see a video showing the creation of an arch featuring amaranthus, simply click here to take a look at one being made by the students at the McQueens Flower School.