Looking to broaden your floral know-how? MyDomaine has teamed up with Floom, an online platform that allows you to order bouquets and plants from the best artisanal florists. Each month they’ll be offering their own personal guide to the coolest blooms you might be hankering after without knowing exactly what they are called or how to arrange them. Here are Floom’s six floral picks for November.
Welcome to the latest edition of the Floom x MyDomaine flower guide. Each flower is seasonal, fresh, free of clichés, and imbued with meaning. Basically, we're channeling the same approach our florists take when creating bouquets, only they’re actual experts and this is your very own bluffers’ guide for quick-fix flower knowledge.
Picture it now: You’re at the office Christmas party. Karen from accounting is hovering lecherously under the mistletoe while Steve from HR dances alone to Wham! and Josh the intern stuffs miniature fondant fancies in his pocket when he thinks nobody is looking. You need to get this party started! What better way to do so than to casually drop some choice knowledge bombs about, for example, the role the Amaranthus plays in both Aesop’s fables and Paradise Lost? It’s okay, you can thank us later—right now, Mariah Carey is blaring and Steve is beckoning you to the dance floor with eyebrows arched. Keep reading for our top flower picks for your November bouquet.
We’re gonna step back from the actual flowers for this one and draw attention to the leaves on this plant, curious things that they are. As much as we love Achillea’s clusters of tiny flowers, we’re for some reason equally drawn to the hairy, frilly, aromatic leaves that sprout up a little further down the stems. There’s a whole host of holistic medicinal uses associated with these leaves, all with varying degrees of evidence to back up the claims. (We can’t see many people stuffing them up their nostrils to stop nosebleeds with their “natural clotting abilities,” for example.) They’re definitely edible, however, and were used for food in days gone by. Those lucky enough to be born in the 17th century were very partial to eating Achillea, summoning a spinach-like flavor from the young leaves of the plant.
Amaranth are, apparently, a cosmopolitan genus of plants. If I understand biogeography correctly (which I almost definitely don’t), that just means you can find it in a lot of places around the world. We prefer to think of these majestically frilly, catkin-like flowers as cosmopolitan in the more colloquial understanding of the word. You know, moving through a city with startling grace, expensive sunglasses perched atop their blooms, even more expensive high heels under-root. They definitely order in fluent French at whatever French restaurant they’re getting their light chlorophyll lunch from that day. Amaranthus are also famously slow to fade in color and have symbolized immortality in loads of classic literature and poetry. Look no further than “The Rose and the Amaranth” from Aesop’s fables or Paradise Lost, which features angels wearing crowns of Amaranth. You can investigate that on your own time, though, because I’ve used up all my space on half-baked Sex and the City–type metaphors. Sorry.
While closely related to the better-known Delphinium, this is the Consolida—both of which are commonly known as larkspur. The Consolida differs most noticeably in the structure of its flowers: Open, loosely arranged spikes of pink, blue, white, and purple petals replace the dense column of flowers found in a Delphinium.
Passion flower—you’re thinking steamy scenes in telenovelas, right? Surprisingly, the name didn’t derive from those particular melodramas, but rather a whole other type of unforgettable passion. Yep, that of Jesus Christ himself. In fact, the connection is almost absurdly specific: The 10 petals and sepals represent the 10 faithful apostles. (No petal for you, St. Peter the denier! No sepal for you, Judas the betrayer!) The radial filaments represent the crown of thorns. We’ll stop there because I’ll be honest, it all gets pretty dark from that point on.
Anyway, you don’t have to be Mel Gibson to appreciate this fruit-bearing flowery shrub. The Victorians were mad for them and created a whole host of different varieties, presumably in Frankenstein-esque labs as befits the era. They were also used in medicine for their sedative effects until around the late ’70s when various administrations decided it probably wasn’t safe. We suggest sticking to admiring their beautiful blooms in bouquet form.
Where to start with one of the most culturally loaded plants out there? It’s a little bit “what came first the chicken or the egg?” except substitute farm-based dilemmas with something along the lines of “What came first? The peaceful high or the woven harem trousers?” It’s actually a pretty remarkable plant all in. Beyond its aforementioned uses as a recreational drug and textile, the seeds can be nibbled, the leaves can go in a salad, the oil can supposedly relieve eczema and also provide scent for candles, if you’re so inclined.
Let’s cut straight to it: Belladonna translates from Italian to “beautiful woman.” She’s pretty and she knows it (clap your hands). She’s not afraid to march into a bouquet and completely own the crowd. To be frank, the belladonna lily doesn’t even need to deal in such bombast. Instead, we’ll leave you with a lovely, evocative story about this flower.
In Portugal, where it has been naturalized from its native South Africa and is now widely cultivated, they call it meninas para escola (“girls going to school”). There’s something so quaint and wonderfully seasonal about the image this conjures: crisp autumn mornings settling in, schoolchildren heading back to school after a hazy summer break, skipping along in their Portuguese school uniforms with skirts that match the pink shade of the lilies in the background, blooming that same time of year… belíssimo.
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Need to know more florist favorites? Take a look at more of Floom's top picks.