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Most of the tropical flower varieties you will see in Melbourne are imported from South East Asia and northern parts of Australia. Some of the more common tropicals include beehive ginger, heliconias, birds of paradise, anthuriums, orchids, frangipani and hibiscus. Also lush tropical foliage like palm, monstera, ferns and cordyline are popular with florists.
Often larger tropical flowers, like those found in the heliconia family, are best used in tall flower arrangements that are designed to be viewed from a distance. Perhaps most suitable for a stage arrangement or a hotel lobby. The bright red crab claws always stand out in flower arrangements and summon memories of island getaways.
Stage flowers arrangement featuring tropical heliconia crab claws
Smaller tropical flowers, such as orchids are available in many different colours, shapes and sizes. Some types of orchids used by florists include the Dendrobium, Dancing Lady, James Story, Cymbidiums and Phalaenopsis. Sprays of bright yellow dancing lady orchids can create the effect of golden glitter falling from the sky. Whereas a cluster of Den orchids create a 'clouds or colour" in a flower arrangement.
Event Flowers featuring tright and colourful tropicals
Medium sized tropical flowers like anthuriums and beehive gingers provide a special feature to an arrangement with their peculiar texture and appearance. Often people who see these flowers study them closely then ask me, “Are these real flowers?”. I advise that indeed they are real and not plastic, but one can be forgiven for making such an assumption. Flowers like these can often become a talking point because of their unique look and are very effectively used in flower arrangements where viewers have the opportunity to linger for a closer inspection.
Tropical flowers arrangement featuring anthuriums and dendrobium orchids
Tropical flowers like hibiscus and frangipanis are incredibly beautiful. These types of flowers are very delicate and very short lived.
As such they would be quite expensive and scarce and seldom found in Melbourne flower shops, but we have used frangipanis for wedding flowers as buttonholes or even wired into wedding bouquets. Hibiscus is traditionally used to pin into a ladies hair but very hard to find in Melbourne florist shops.
Wedding posy featuring tropical frangipanis
Tropical foliage is awesome! Tropical leaves look lush, healthy and often very colorful. Variegated cordyline can exhibit rich shades of red, purple, gold or lime and is often utilised by Melbourne florists to compliment any floral installation. In particular, long lasting corporate foyer displays often showcase a leaf or two of tropical foliage. Look out for them yourself the next time you are waiting at an office reception desk.
Tropical flowers do not seem to last as long as locally grown flowers. Possibly because tropical flowers are transported to Melbourne from distant places, but i suspect it is more likely because of the climate differential. Melbourne does not experience the same temperatures and humidity as that found in the tropical flowers source locations and accordingly the flowers do not cope as well. Nonetheless the spectacle of tropical flowers is so great that a reduced shelf life is a reasonable trade-off. Generally speaking tropical flowers are best used in short-term flower arrangements. More specifically, floral installations that are required for several days, rather than several weeks.