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hypericum

Flower Fact Friday: Hypericum

Hypericum is mainly used for ornamental purposes, but did you know it also has medicinal properties?

Hypericum flower (St. John's wort)

Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypericum

Why is hypericum called St. John’s wort?

More commonly referred to as St. John’s wort, hypericum has tiny yellow star-shaped flowers used as an herb. Its nickname is derived from the feast honoring St. John the Baptist on June 23rd, which is widely celebrated in the Christian and Catholic communities. It is tradition to pluck the herb on the night of the feast, and take it to church to receive a blessing. The herb was believed to have special powers to ward off evil spirits.

Origin & Characteristics

The hypericum plant is native to the mediterranean region of Europe, and also North Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia. The plant has leafy stems that are 24 to 36 inches in length and has round berries in clusters at the top. There are more than 400 cultivars of hypericum, and in a wide range of colors such as red, brown, ivory, pink, and burgundy for example. One third of those cultivars are used as ornamental cut flowers.

Medicinal Properties

Almost 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recommended St. John’s wort to treat nervous unrest. The medicinal properties lie in the black dots along the margin of the blossom, which contain hypericin. The chemical makeup of hypericin is believed to produce sedative and pain relieving effects. In the Roman era, St. John’s wort was used to treat wounds from the battlefield. Hypericum is thought to treat mild depression, insomnia and anxiety. Used externally, it is used to treat wounds, mild burns, skin disorders and bruises. 

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Prom Season Flowers

In a few months, teenagers will be attending the most awaited event of the year—prom! High school seniors and juniors save up every penny to splurge on dresses, tuxedos, shoes, hairdos, makeup, corsages, boutonnieres—and maybe a limo service to arrive in style.

For florists, prom is a great opportunity for company exposure and to reach the younger market.

Choose floral varieties that are small enough for a wrist or to pin on a tuxedo. Corsages and boutonnieres are a delicate accessory, so keep it simple but elegant by using eye-catching flowers such as cymbidiums. Also keep in mind teens will be dancing the night away—work with blooms that are sturdy enough to withstand the harlem shake!

Prom Floral Corsages

(Suggested varieties for corsage and boutonniere designs)

Focal flowers: spray roses, mini cymbidiums, ranunculus, mini callas, alstroemeria, and mini carnations. 

Filler flowers: hypericum, solidago, astilbe, wax flower, and gyp.

Promote your Flower Shop

Begin promoting your shop as a source for corsages and boutonnieres a couple of months ahead of prom. Teens should have their dress or tux narrowed down by now, which means they’ll begin looking for color schemes and floral varieties to match their ensemble. Design samples to use as display pieces at your shop and take plenty of photos. Mix and match flowers, ribbons, wrist bands and jewels to showcase what you can create for their special night. You can offer a packaged deal  or discount for teens purchasing both a corsage and boutonniere.

Social media is changing the way we advertise by creating a closer—and a more personable connection—with your customers or target market. 

Teenagers are heavy social media users, and it is the perfect opportunity to market your shop as a resource for their floral accessories. Post pictures of sample designs on Instagram, and use hashtags so your photos appear when they use the search bar to discover users to follow. For example #corsages #prom #boutonnieres #promflowers #promcorsages could be popular tags.

On facebook, you can post content with photos, run contests, and announce special offers to promote your shop during prom season. Shortstack is a great resource for ideas to keep your facebook page fresh with new content and tab apps to grow your fan base. Ask teens to share photos from prom night on social media, and have your followers vote on the best entry. Award a prize to the participant who had the most votes. Not only are you getting exposure and word-of-mouth, but you’re also encouraging others to interact on your social media sites and attract possible shoppers.

Wishing you a busy prom season!

Follow us on Instagram @virginfarms and use hashtag #VirginFarmsFlowers to show us your #floraldesigns for prom season.  

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