How to ID Cut Flowers

If you are completely new to plants and flowers, it can be overwhelming to learn how to identify flowers. You will need to have a good library of flower ID under your belt before you begin work at an event company, flower shop, or working with your own clients. It is also helpful if you just want to delve deeper into floral design as a hobby. Knowing flower ID will help you place orders with your flower shop, local flower market, or growers. If you’ve never spent a lot of time with flowers before, it is difficult to know where to start learning to recognize flower varieties.

Most florists learn flowers through familiarity, shopping, and working with floral ingredients everyday. We find our favorites, that work for our recipes. We find the color varieties that speak to our brands. The truth is though: WE DO NOT KNOW EVERY SINGLE FLOWER! Flower varieties will vary per your climate, your local offerings, and the seasons. We are all learning, all the time! Nobody knows every flower and every plant. We are constantly learning and researching.

That said, you must have a good library of flower ID under your belt if you want to work with flowers professionally or even as a hobby.  I often tell students, the best way to get started with floral design is to make one arrangement per week. In the sourcing of the flowers, working with the stems, and researching, any questions you have along the way, you will begin to become comfortable with identifying flowers. 

But here are a few more tips to get you started:

If you are not sure where to start with flower identification, I recommend searching through flower supplier catalogs to start learning the basics. Here are a few:

Florabundance

Fifty Flowers

Peterkort Roses

Most florists do not have a degree in botany, but it is a great thing to study and will help you identify plants, particularly if you have an interested in foraging. To get started on the basics of botany, learning leaf shapes, and flower petal arrangements I recommend these books:

Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants

Botany for Gardeners

Botany in a Day

Be sure to follow over at our flower school Instagram as we post a new flower ID each week!

P.S.

In our Floral Foundations course we introduce you to 50 cut flowers. Each flower has a guide that includes common and Latin names, best use in arrangements, conditioning methods, and botanical drawings and photographs to help you identify the flower. 

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