Common Names: Freesia

Botanical names: Freesia, (FREE-sha)

Availability: Year round

Vase life: 7 to 10 days

Storage temperatures: 36 - 38 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: Curved spikes of fragrant, trumpet-shaped florets born on one side of a slender stem.

Color: Wide range of colors

Botanical facts: Native to South Africa, the Freesia was named for Dr. Friedrich Freese, a German physician and student of South African plants.

Design notes: Works well as accent and filler flower. Best suited to simple arrangements. The fragrance of freesia is a wonderful addition to floral design.

Purchasing hints: Purchase stems with at least seven flowers per spike. The first one or two florets should be open. Select long straight stems. Avoid pale or transparent petals.

Conditioning: Remove all foliage that will be below the water line. Cut under water with a sharp knife. Hydrate in a solution of warm water and commercial floral preservative / floral food for two hours before storage or usage.

Additional notes: Fluoridated water may cause leaf tip burn and hinder flower development. Removal of older florets on a spike will help stimulate the opening of newer buds. Freesias are often associated with the familiar and cozy, being much loved by older ladies. A silver bud vase with a bunch of short freesia and a sprig of asparagus fern was typical in the 1950s. It was also a popular as gift for births. Despite this nostalgia, freesias have a strong role in today's and tomorrow's interiors. The newer longer stemmed varieties displayed as a solitary flower with no accompanying foliage, perhaps in a group of identical vases, would match the most up-to-date stylized interior.