Welcome to week ten of our column entitled Pretty Petals. Each week we will introduce you to a flower that we are working with here in the studio as well as flowers that we absolutely adore. Please join us every Thursday for some floral eye-candy where you will learn about a variety of very special blooms. This week is a personal favourite of Deb’s – the Bachelor’s button.
The Bachelor’s button is a flower that goes by many names: Cornflower, Bluebottle, Boutonniere flower, Hurtsickle, and Cyani flower to name a few. But no matter what name you choose for this little blossom, as few things will always remain constant – it is quick to germinate, requires lots of sun and water, and is as cute as a button (pun intended!). Bachelor’s buttons are from the aster family, and depending on the variety, there are both annual and perennial kinds.
This flower is a popular one worldwide. It is the national flower of France, Estonia, and Germany. Similar to the poppies worn on Remembrance Day here in Canada, the Bachelor’s button is worn by the French.
The use of this flower dates back many centuries. In tales of folklore it was believed that a man in love would sport such a flower, but if the love was not returned to him, the flower would fade very quickly. Natural medicine from years gone by discovered the healing properties of Bachelor’s buttons for eye ailments such as conjunctivitis. It was also a very famous flower for its natural blue pigment.
Bachelor’s buttons are edible. The bright pop of blue is stunning in a salad or a top a cake. If you are a tea drinker, you can purchase a tea by the famous tea company Twinings called Lady Grey containing Bachelor’s buttons.
Bachelor’s buttons are a personal favourite of ours at Living Fresh. Their wispy foliage and weedy form create the wild gardeny look that is synonymous with our natural style here at the studio. The most common colour variety for flower shop use is the double blue variety Blue Boy or Blue Diadem. White, pink, and lavender are also available, usually in a mixed bunch. The rarest colour of all is black (actually a very dark maroon). We have never had the pleasure of working with this colour – we have only ever seen it in design books and magazines. Bachelor buttons last a good while in a vase. The tiny buds, if you are patient enough will all eventually open – your vase arrangement will continue to provide beauty just as long as you give your flowers frequent water changes because Bachelor’s buttons are very water polluting.
Bachelor’s buttons are in full bloom right now and will continue to be until late August. Take advantage of their abundance and pick some up from your local flower shop. They are not an expensive flower, and a single stem is loaded with foliage, flowers, and buds – they can fill a vase quite quickly without breaking the bank!