Well, folks, we knew it was coming sooner or later. But, this will be our last Flower Friday of the season. The cooler temperatures are rolling in and our flower production is pretty much at a standstill these days.
So, for our final FF, we’re going to select one of our hardiest annual flowers that we grow. It’s so hardy that it’s impressive. Xerochrysum Bracteatum, more commonly known as strawflower, has been a late season cut-flower favorite of ours for several years running now. It also has another nickname, Golden Everlasting, reflecting this flower’s remarkable ability to resist decomposition when it’s properly dried.
One of the interesting things about strawflower is that it doesn’t actually have petals like you’d see on most flowers. What you’re observing are actually called bracts and they are paper/straw like, unlike a more delicate flower petal. Native to Australia, Strawflower was first described in botany circles in the early 1800’s. It has been strongly cultivated since, offering the modern grower many colors and variations to choose from.
A perfect flower species for subarctic conditions, strawflower bases its flowering cycle on long daylight and our long summer days heavily promote flowering. Like many flowers, you can encourage additional flowering through deadheading. This flower brings in some unique pollinators and we often see butterflies enjoying its pollen.
Given it’s lasting nature once properly dried, we’ve used strawflower to create natural wreaths and other household decorations in year’s past. Although this flower offers no medical or edible functions to the grower, this “perennial” nature of dried flowers more than makes up for it.
We’ve had a lot of fun with this year’s Flower Fridays! We hope that you have enjoyed them as well and that they’ve brought a bit of brightness into your weekends. Even though our FF’s are rarely our most popular posts, we like the diversity, color and rich history they bring to our page. We’ll be back with more FF’s, likely starting back up again in late June of 2024!