The freesia, with its popular and unusual silhouette, shows a row of gorgeous blossoms growing to one side - almost like a waving flag. The botanical term for this growth pattern of several flowers attaching separately to the same stem is 'sessile inflorescence'. It is no wonder that the freesia with its lovely fragrance and plentiful colors is among the most popular flowers that florists choose to work with worldwide.
The Gorgeous Scented Blossoms of the Freesia
Freesias are native to South Africa and have been grown for cut flowers since the 1800s, but they also make up for an excellent garden plant. The freesia is loved for its fresh, sweet fragrance, which may remind you of baby powder. The classic freesias have 6 to 10 funnel-shaped blossoms per stem and they open sequentially, from the bottom up, but some cultivars have double or flat blossoms.
Freesia flowers have a six-tepal blossom structure, which means that they have three true petals and three matching sepals (outer, protective “leaves”), making the flowers look like they have six petals.
Colors, Species, and Meanings of Freesia Flowers
The color availability of these flowers centers around white, pink, yellow, red, and violet-blue. The plants grow about 30 cm tall and have light green, sword-like foliage when you grow them in your garden. There are between 16 and 20 species of freesia, with more than 300 hybrids, that grow from South Africa to all the way up north of the continent.
Since Victorian times, a special meaning has been attached to flowers. Each flower or flower color is a symbolic representation of an emotion or expression. The freesia is often linked with trust and innocence and is the 7th most popular flower for celebrating wedding anniversaries.
Among the Top 10 Best-Selling Cut Flowers Worldwide
This flower conquered hearts around the world after Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese - a German student who studied African plants in the 19th century - brought the flower back from one of his trips and named it freesia. Nowadays, freesias are among the top 10 best-selling flowers to florists worldwide.
Cultivars that are commonly used by floral designers are usually complex hybrids of the species, which come in a wide array of colors and sizes. They are known for their strong lemony-sweet scent (that for some people, is reminiscent of baby powder) and this fragrance is especially present in the pink and red cultivars.
Some floral experts believe that the freesia gives off a burst of ethylene as a stress response to being cut; so much that it will kill the first blossom on each stem. So take care not to cut freesia stems unless absolutely necessary; just place them directly into water and flower food in the vase.