Top-rated garden flowers for cutting – Part 2

Flowers like yarrow, columbine and foxglove are easy to grow and care for, have excellent vase life and there are many varieties from which to choose.

Floxgloves are useful for adding line to arrangements.

Floxgloves are useful for adding line to arrangements.

This is the second article of a two-part series on my top-rated garden flowers for cutting. These seven flowers made my short list of tried-and-true flowers to have a permanent home in any cut flower garden. These are all easy to grow and care for, have excellent vase life and there are many varieties to choose.

Along with a simple description, I have included a few facts about each flower and how the flowers got their name.

Yarrow (Achillea filipendula)

Yarrow is known for its flat headed, yellow, corymb flowers and over-feathery foliage. Also available in pink, red and white. Perennial, named after Achilles of Greek mythology, who according to legend used yarrow medicinally.

Vase life: 7-10 days, long-lasting

Windflower (Anemone coronaria)

Cup-shaped flowers that open up flat with petals surrounding a dark center. Available in vibrant colors of red, pink, blue, purple and white. Named after Adonis, a handsome young man of Greek mythology who was loved by Aphrodite. He was killed by a wild boar and his blood is said to have given rise to blood-red flowers.

Vase life: 3-7 days, keep cool to prevent premature wilting

Columbine (Aquilegia sp.)

The flower petals resemble the claws of eagles and other birds of prey. Terminal bonnet-shaped flowers consisting of five petals, each with its own protruding spur. The flowers are 1-3 inches long. Available in white, pink, yellow blue and purple. Perennial, from the Latin word “Aquila” (eagle).

Vase life: 3-5 days

Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis)

Also known as the false spirea and goat’s beard. Flowers are borne in loose, pyramidal panicles forming pyramidal, feathery plumes on slender stems. Available in white, pink and red. Excellent filler flower. From the Greek words a (without) and astilbe (brilliance), meaning the individual flowers are extremely small.

Vase life: 4-7 days

Dahlia (Dahlia, many hybrids and cultivars)

There are many shapes, sizes, colors and textures of the heads of these flowers, allowing many design uses. Adding mass, providing emphasis and accent, smaller flowers work well as fillers. Named after botanist Andres Dahl.

Vase life: Up to 10 days, long lasting

Foxglove (Digitalis sp.)

Tall, spike-like, often one-sided racemes. The downward-facing tubular florets are splashed in the throat with exotic spots. Available in white and shades of red, purple, pink and yellow. Useful for adding line to arrangements. From the Latin word “digitus” (finger), refereeing to the finger-like florets.

Vase life: About 2 weeks, long lasting, with florets continuously opening

Sunflower (Haelianthus annuus, tuberosus)

Large, daisy-like head flowers up to 10 inches across with yellow ray petals surrounding contrasting center disk florets. Single and double forms. Available in creams, yellows and burgundies. Provides mass and emphasis. From the Greek words “Helios” (sun) and “Anthos” (flower).

Vase life: 7-10 days

Other articles in Michigan State University Extension series:

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