Bells of Ireland
Common Name: Bells-of-Ireland, Shell-Flower
Family Roots: Member of the Lamiaceae or Labiatae (mint) family. Native to Asia Minor, the Moluccas area. Common relatives include mint, salvia, physostegia, coleus, and monarda (bee balm).
Personality: The flowers occur along the upper half of each stem and are arranged in several whorls of six. The showy part of the flower is the apple-green calyx that can be one inch in diameter. Plant is an annual, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel-veined. Flowers have some fragrance.
Availability: Year-round, peak in April–October.
Stem Length: 32–38 inches
Flower Length: 1 inch
Care & Handling: Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water, and place in a fresh flower food solution.
Storage Specifics: Store upright to prevent stem bending.
Tidbits: The name is a diminutive of Molucca.The specific epithet name “laevis” means smooth, possibly in reference to the flower’s texture. Family members are easily recognized by their square stems. Many family members are important for volatile oils used in the perfume industry.These long green spikes give a good vertical foil to the rest of a colorful fresh arrangement and can also be used in dried bouquets.