Flowers

Product Profile: Freesias

Written by Rona Wheeldon
August 21, 2014

Renowned for their wonderfully exquisite scent, freesias are the focus of this month's Product Profile. And this beautiful white double variety called Volante at S Robert Allen would be the perfect choice for a wedding with a classic white and green colour scheme.

White double variety volante freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Background

From the Iridaceae (iris) family, the freesia was named after Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese, a German physician, who was also a well-known student of botany.

The flower was discovered in the Cape Colony in South Africa and is therefore sometimes called the 'Cape Lily of the Valley'.

Freesias have trumpet-shaped highly fragranced waxy blooms in a wide range of colours, including white, cream, pink, yellow, orange, brown, red, lilac and purple. The red, orange and white varieties tend to be the most highly scented.

They're available all year round and due to their long-lasting nature are popular for wedding flower designs. By the way, did you know that it's a tradition to give white freesias to your wife/husband after seven years of marriage, as a reminder of your pure, true love?

In the past, lots of the freesias available at Nine Elms were grown in Guernsey and Jersey, but nowadays the majority come from Holland.

Types

You'll find freesias available as single and double blooms, with the double-flowered type having twice as many petals as the single-flowered one. Here are some of the different kinds, which you'll find at New Covent Garden Flower Market.

Ambassador (Single Variety) at Dennis Edwards Flowers

White ambassador single variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Inzell (Single Variety) at D G Wholesale Flowers

White Inzell single variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Grandeur (Double Variety) at D G Wholesale Flowers

Yellow Grandeur double variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Mandarine (Double Variety) at D G Wholesale Flowers

Orange/ red Mandarine double variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Orangina (Double Variety) at Dennis Edwards Flowers

Red/ Orange Orangina double variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Pink Passion (Single Variety) at Dennis Edwards Flowers

Pink passion single variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Purple Rain (Double Variety) at S Robert Allen

Purple rain double variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Cassis (Double Variety) at D G Wholesale Flowers

Purple cassis double variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Honeymoon (Double Variety) at E Four

pale purple honeymoon double variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Blue Heaven (Single Variety) at Dennis Edwards Flowers

Blue Heaven single variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Delta River (Single Variety) at Bloomfield

Pale purple Delta River single variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

Bohemian (Single Variety) at Dennis Edwards Flowers

Purple Bohemian single variety freesia at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

General Advice

Freesias generally come in wraps of 50 stems, made up of 5 bunches of 10 stems, as you can see by the wrap below held by Paul at S Robert Allen.

Paul at S Robert Allen with freesias at New Covent Garden Flower Market - August 2014

On each stem, there are usually 5 to 7 buds. And it's best to buy freesias, when the first bud on each stem is just beginning to open and at least two additional buds are showing colour.

If freesias are to be used in wedding designs, it's always a good idea to buy them in advance of the other flowers.  This will give them time to open properly. How early you need to buy them very much depends on the time of year. In the summer, when the weather's a bit warmer, they'll open more quickly than in the depths of the cold winter months.

Dennis Edwards advises: "For a summer wedding on a Saturday, buy freesias on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Whereas, for a winter wedding, it's best to buy them on a Monday to make sure that they open up in time."

Don't forget that you can order in advance. You can order by variety name. Or if you would prefer to order by colour, just let the salesmen know whether you'd like a single or double variety.

Design Inspiration

Scents are so evocative and can bring back memories in an instant. By including beautifully fragrant freesias in wedding flower designs, your brides will always be able to evoke their special wedding memories in the future, whenever they smell this wonderful flower.

Here's an example of a simple, yet very elegant, bridal bouquet consisting purely of white freesias.

Bridal bouquet consisting of purely white freesias by Philippa Craddock Flowers

(Source : Philippa Craddock Flowers )

Or you could combine white freesias with a variety of blooms and foliage in different textures.

Style me pretty bridal bouquet using freesias

(Source : Style Me Pretty )

Yellow freesias have been used in this bridal bouquet to add a real pop of colour to a predominantly pastel palette. Pantone, the leading company when it comes to colours, selected the colour Freesia as one of the colour trends for spring and summer 2014.

Style me pretty bridal bouquet using yellow freesias.

(Source : Style Me Pretty )

Freesias make great filler blooms. Due to their flower shape and stem length, they’re ideal to use in shower bouquet designs too.

And their arching stems, in addition to fabulous fragrance, make them a popular choice for buttonholes and corsages.

Freesia button holes from style me pretty

(Source : Style Me Pretty )

Your Designs

White Freesia Bouquet by Gingerlilly Flowers

(Gingerlily Flowers)

Freesias in a bouquet by Sophie Townsend Flowers

(Sophie Townsend Flowers)

Emma Floral Designs with a white freesia bouquet

(Emma Floral Designs)

Blue Sky Flowers freesia designs

(Blue Sky Flowers)

Flowercraft Lindfield - freesias in buttonholes and jam jars

(Flowercraft Lindfield)

Back in June when British Flowers Week took place we asked you if you'd like to send in photographs of floral designs, which you had made using British Flowers. We then showcased them in a gallery on the Market website.

Well, as the gallery was so popular, we thought you may like to send in your photos of designs you've made using the Product Profile 'flower' each month. All you need to do is email the photos of your designs featuring freesias from New Covent Garden Flower Market to us at info@cgma.co.uk. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Twitter and copy us in, by including @MarketFlowers and #freesias in your tweet.

We'd really love to see your floral creations and will include your photos in this brand new section of the report.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's Product Profile and it’s inspired you with ideas for using freesias. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments about these highly scented blooms. We'd love to hear from you…

P.S. Did you know that Jo Malone has a collection called English Pear & Freesia Cologne? And Diptyque actually has a fragrance simply called Freesia.

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