Do You Hear the Bells?


Bells of Ireland or Shell Flower, has unusual pale green to emerald green, funnel-shaped “bells” along green stems.  Bells of Ireland are noted for its tall spikes of light-green, bell-shaped calyxes (outer petals) that cup dainty, fragrant, pale-pink or white flowers.

Despite the common name, this plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae) is not from Ireland, but is native to western Asia, around Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus. Even Linnaeus, who named the plant, was a bit confused about its origin, naming the genus after the Molucca Islands in Indonesia where it was mistakenly thought to be from.  The supposed association with Ireland probably has to do with the color (and associated marketing potential).

Care

  • foliage on the Bells of Ireland is prickly and can be irritating to the skin, remove the leave to avoid allergic reactions or rashes
  • store the bells upright to prevent the stems from exhibiting geotropism ( the flower’s natural tendency to curve upwards due to the force of gravity)
  • display the flower in cool locations, out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources
  • mist the flower to prevent them from drying out

Design

  • the stems of Bells of Ireland are hollow making them difficult to use with floral foam, however you can insert a wired stake into the hollow stem for use in foam
  • the green floral neutral bells compliment all colours
  • all white and green combination are very elegant and sophisticated
  • the tall spikes can be  used as a line flower or if cut to a shorter length add texture to a bouquet.
  • garlands- trim the out stem into sections and thread the florets section together with crocheting  cotton thread, alternating with other blossoms adds colour and texture

Bells of Ireland  incorporated into a wedding arrangement are very popular, they can be used in a sophisticated arrangement or can add texture to an informal garden bouquet.

“Can You Hear the Bells?”

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