Cut Flowering Branches

1Name: Quince
Native to: China
Availability – Year Round.
Longevity – Up to two weeks
Dries well – No!
Varieties – The Japanese Quince and the C. cathayensis are popular varieties.
Handling and Care – Being a woody stem, it is a good idea to use a hammer (or ask you florist to do so) in order to split the ends of the stems for better water absorption. It is important to use lukewarm water to all flowering branches and change the water every second day.
Fun Facts – The fruit of quince is too hard, dry,  and sour to eat raw. High in pectin, they are used to make jams, jellies and quince pudding. Some cultures will peel, roast, bake and stew the fruit.

2Name: Cherry Blossoms
Native to: Japan
Availability – Spring (March through April)
Longevity – Up to 7 days
Dries well – No!
Varieties – Somei yoshino, Yaezakura, and the Yamazakura are popular varieties.
Handling and Care – Being a woody stem, it is a good idea to use a hammer (or ask you florist to do so) in order to split the ends of the stems for better water absorption. It is important to use lukewarm water to all flowering branches and change the water every second day.
Fun Facts – The yaezakura Cherry Blossom, have large blossoms with a pink color, while the shidarezakura Cherry Blossom, or weeping Cherry, has branches that fall, resembling a weeping willow, bearing shades of pink flowers. The Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan gives way to these blossoms every spring.

3Name: Lilac
Native to: Europe and Asia
Availability – March through May
Longevity – 3 – 5 days
Dries well – No!
Varieties – Japanese Tree Lilac, Common Lilac, and Yunnan Lilac are popular varieties.
Handling and Care – Being a woody stem, it is a good idea to use a hammer (or ask you florist to do so) in order to split the ends of the stems for better water absorption. It is important to use lukewarm water to all flowering branches and change the water every second day. If your lilac has wilted prematurely, wrap the bunch with foil paper to support it, hammer the ends of the stems lightly and then insert the stems into a vase with very warm water. 4-5 hours later remove the foil and voila – your lilac is back in bloom, fresh and beautiful as ever.
Fun Facts – In the eighteenth century, the lilacs were introduced into the American colonies. Peter Collinson wrote to the Pennsylvania botanist and gardener John Bartram proposing he see these new discoveries of lilacs. He spoke of Virginia‟s and remarked that John Custis of Virginia had a fine “collection.” Ann Leighton interpreted his works as the Common and Persian Lilacs.

4Name: Dogwood
Native to: North America
Availability – Spring
Longevity – 5 – 10 days
Dries well – No!
Varieties – The Himalayan Flowering Dogwood, The Hong Kong Dogwood and the Kousa Dogwood trees are the most popular varieties.
Handling and Care – Being a woody stem, it is a good idea to use a hammer (or ask you florist to do so) in order to split the ends of the stems for better water absorption. It is important to use lukewarm water to all flowering branches and change the water every second day.
Fun Facts – The dogwood was the tree chosen to Cross that would be used to take the body of Jesus. It is said in the Christian community that he spirit remains in the heart of each dogwood tree. After Jesus died, God proclaimed the dogwood tree would not grow to larger sizes.

5Name: Magnolia
Native to: Southeast Asia and North America
Availability – Year Round
Longevity – Up to 9 days
Dries well – No!
Varieties – The Magnolia heptapeta, Magnolia Apollo and Black Tulip Magnolia are among the popular varieties.
Handling and Care – Being a woody stem, it is a good idea to use a hammer (or ask you florist to do so) in order to split the ends of the stems for better water absorption. It is important to use lukewarm water to all flowering branches and change the water every second day.
Fun Facts – The first magnolias introduced to Europe came from Virginia and the American Colonies. The Sweet Bay Magnolia virginiana was the first magnolia introduced to Europe after its popularity rose in the American colonies.

6Name: Forsythia
Native to: Eastern Asia
Availability – Year Round
Longevity – Up to 2 weeks
Dries well – No!
Varieties – Makino, Lingelsh and the Degen & Bald are the most popular varieties.
Handling and Care – Being a woody stem, it is a good idea to use a hammer (or ask you florist to do so) in order to split the ends of the stems for better water absorption. It is important to use lukewarm water to all flowering branches and change the water every second day.
Fun Facts – The Forsythia is named in honor of William Forsyth, director of the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1770. He was the maker of the first rock garden in the UK and one of the first founders of the Royal Horticultural Society. The forsythia is native to China and was discovered by Robert Fortune.

7Name: Pussy Willow or Cat Tail
Native to: Europe and Asia
Availability – November to April
Longevity – 7 – 14 days
Dries well – Yes!
Varieties – The Black pussy willow, the Acute willow and the Almond leaved willow are just three of the hundreds of willow varieties.
Handling and Care – Being a woody stem, it is a good idea to use a hammer (or ask you florist to do so) in order to split the ends of the stems for better water absorption. It is important to use lukewarm water to all flowering branches and change the water every second day.
Fun Facts – The Chinese are known for using pussy willows for their Chinese New Year celebrations.
When all buds have opened, remove from water and let the Pussy Willow to dry. The fluffy white blossoms of the pussy willow resemble silk, and lead into colors of jade – prized in China. Jade also symbolizes the youth, and that Chinese are fond of symbols of growth and purity.

8Name: Curly Willow
Native to: China and Northeast Asia
Availability – Year Round
Longevity – Up to 3 weeks
Dries well – Yes!
Varieties – Varieties include the great sallow, the Laurel willow and the meadow willow.
Handling and Care – Being a woody stem, it is a good idea to use a hammer (or ask you florist to do so) in order to split the ends of the stems for better water absorption. It is important to use lukewarm water to all flowering branches and change the water every second day. Curly willow dries well and can be placed without water for those who want to keep it dry. Leaving it in water for a long time, the stems will begin to sprout green leaves and the ends roots.
Fun Facts – The Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’, better known as the “Corkscrew willow” is an interesting branch in that the branches and twigs grow in a spiral, resembling a cork screw. As a result, its uses include the popular flower arrangements of banzai trees.