Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obsessed with buttercup

I bought a bouquet of Persian Buttercups (also known as ranunculus asiaticus) at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and not only did they last for three weeks, but I became obsessed with them. Now I seek them out every time I'm at the market or near a florist, but I haven't had much luck. They bloom in late spring / early summer, so I think I'll have to try and find some to plant on my patio this summer. The name ranunculus comes from Latin and means “little frog." Mythology says that there was a Persian prince that was so beautiful that everyone loved him and wanted to be him, and since he was a modest prince, could not muster the courage to declare his love for just one. So he died and was memorialized in a beautiful flower that grew in swampy areas.

One of the pleasures of working with ranuncula is the small buds that many stems carry. Snipped and used on their own, these cuties help create layers of texture in a denser arrangement or bouquet. But, you don't have to get too fancy. Ranuncula look their loveliest when kept simple. One thing to note is that they can be quite expensive – as much as 4 or 5 dollars a stem for prime flowers. But so worth it! Their little paper mache petals and delicate color variations are just too much to resist. And four stems could easily hold the center of your table (however, their stems aren't made of steel, so if you want to keep them long and leggy, keep them suspended upright with a small flower frog).

I quite prefer the softer, looser, more naturally inspired arrangements that flowers like the ranunculus make.

photo credit: Martha Stewart

No comments:

Post a Comment