St. Patrick's Day

Photo Courtesy: Blumz by JRDesigns in metro Detroit

March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day. Isn’t it funny all the shades of green you see on that day? And what I mean is that everyone claims to be a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Besides St. Nicholas (Christmas) and St. Valentine (Valentine’s Day), St. Patrick (Patron of Green Beer) is one of the top three most popular Saints in the world. Party!

He is even credited with driving the serpents from Ireland. OK, there never have been snakes in Ireland according to even the Catholic Church. Even still, St. Patrick is still a pretty cool dude.

Here are a few plants and flowers to help your inner Leprechaun celebrate:

Shamrocks

Oxalis (Shamrock)

Oxalis (Shamrock)

The symbol of St. Patrick, a three-leaf clover, was said to have been used by the very busy Saint to teach the pagan druids about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In today’s world, the oxalis is a commonly available potted plant sold as shamrocks. Its three-leaflet leaf looks very much like the historical shamrock. Easy to care for, it is available in the traditional Irish green and a cool dark burgundy-ish purple.

They need bright light and like to be slightly dry between watering. Oxalis also prefers it a little cooler. Did you know they can actually be eaten? Oxalis has a slightly acidic and tangy taste — great when mixed in with spring salads.

For more about the Oxalis, be sure to read “Two Hot Houseplants: Oxalis and Cyclamen.”

Dianthus and Green Pompons

“Green Trick” Dianthus

A fun new flower on the market great for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations is the “Green Trick” dianthus. Kin to the traditionally green dyed carnations, “Green Trick” is actually a type of carnation that has no petals. It’s all just a big green puffball of fluff. Think “Horton Hears a Who” meets “Green Eggs and Ham.”

A flower that like its cousin the carnation lasts 2-3 weeks if purchased fresh and treated properly, the “Green Trick” can be used to make some fun and funky holiday arrangements. To enjoy it longer, simply recut the stem every 4-5 days, change the water and use floral food according to the directions.

Green Hypericum

Those funny little berry-like things you sometimes see in mixed bouquets at the market are called green hypericum. St. John’s Wort is one species used for medical purposes as an herb tea to calm the nerves. Hypericum the ornamental flower can be used by itself or as an accent material with other flowers.

Bells of Ireland

“Super Green” Rose

“Super Green” rose is a new variety that is truly green. A totally cool looking longer lasting rose, “Super Green” has ruffled petals with hints of red on the edges. Its unusual color and shape make it a great conversation piece, but beware of its many and sharp prickles.

Bells of Ireland

Bells of Ireland, though not a new flower, is still one that many people enjoy but don’t know much about. First of all, it’s not from Ireland. Native to Turkey and neighboring countries, it gets its name from the green bell-like calyx that surrounds the rather small white true flower. They are fairly long lasting if purchased fresh and properly cared for.  Re-cut them every 4-5 days, change the water and use floral food. They have small prickly spines on their stems right at the base of the “bells.” Bells of Ireland are actually in the mint family. Their square stem is the giveaway hint.

Your florist has these green flowers and more. They can design a fun arrangement sure to knock your Irish socks off and set the mood for a great St. Patrick’s Day party. So when those “wee little men” come knocking at the door, make sure you have your green on, the green beer ready and some festive green flowers on the table.

If you could, which green flower or plant would you send a leprechaun?