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Flower Focus: Matthiola

Native to Greece and the Mediterranean, Matthiolas are perennials that also go by the names Stock Flower, Gillyflower or Virginia Stock. A part of the mustard family, there are currently about 55 different breeds of Stock Flowers.

These tall blooms were first cultivated by the botanist and doctor, Pierandrea Matthiola, who believed that the Matthiola’s possessed medical benefits. By that we mean that its heady sweet and clove-like scent was believed or hypothesized to help libidos – yes, you read that right!

Matthiolas have a long green-grey stem and leaves with multiple dainty, single-petalled flowers at the top. If they are in season or if you are lucky, some of them can be seen with double-petalled flowering heads! Available in white, cream, pink and purple, Matthiolas symbolize beauty, happy life and contentment. Due to this, they are often a florist’s top choice for any wedding, anniversary and birthday floral arrangements.

Can you identify the Matthiolas in this hand bouquet? Clue: White petals

Lastly, have you heard of microgreens and edible flowers? As they are part of the mustard family, their flowers and even pods are actually edible. Chances are that you might have seen them as a garnish at a fancy restaurant, or perhaps even eaten a Matthiola!

For other flower and plant related articles, head back to our main blog page by clicking here. But if you’re looking for some Stock Flowers or Matthiolas, explore how they are used in hand bouquets, table arrangements and more here!

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