Seasonal flowers: What blooms in July?

Seasonal flowers: What blooms in July?

Summertime brings with it sunshine, lazy days, farmers markets…and best of all, an amazing array of fresh local flowers.  What are the best seasonal blooms to buy in July? Here’s a quick guide:

Orchids

Summertime, especially July, is often said to be the optimal time to cultivate orchids- almost all the varieties are in season now.  Orchid blooms last up to several months, making either potted or cut orchids a great choice if you’re seeking a plant with staying power:

Delphinium

Sometimes called “Larkspur,” Delphinium is the birth flower for the month of July.  It blooms from late spring to late summer, and has been said to symbolize “an open heart and ardent attachment”- qualities associated with the astrological sign of Cancer, which the sun rests in for most of July.   Because of its blue/black color, Delphinium has traditionally been held to ward off lightning and to keep witches from casting spells:

Lilies

Originally found in tropical marshlands, lilies are thirsty plants that need to be watered often.  Lilies come in several very different varieties- compare the images below of Calla Lilies and Peruvian lilies or Alstromeria.  July is the prime season for both of these popular blooms:

Dahlias

Spanish Hidalgos observed dahlias growing in Mexico as early as the 16th century, where they were cultivated and eaten by the Aztecs.  Dahlias were used to treat epilepsy, and their long, hollow stems were often used as water pipes. The dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963- they are said to symbolize change, travel, or new adventures:

Gardenias

Gardenias thrive in sunny, humid climates.  They grow best in temperatures around 70 degrees farenheit- the perfect summertime flower.  Jazz singer Billie Holiday called the gardenias she wore in her hair her “trademark:”

Gerber Daisies 

Gerbers, sometimes called “Gerbera Daisies” are the fifth most used cut flower in the world (after rose, carnation,chrysanthemum, and tulip). Daisies generally are  resilient, easy to care for, and come in a variety of colors.  Gerberas are also used as a model organism by students when studying flower formation:

Hydrangeas 

The name for these summer-flowering plants comes from the Greek “hydor,” or water, and “angos,” or vessel- roughly translating to “water barrel.”  Hydrangeas do need plenty of water- they bloom from early spring to late autumn, and are abundant in July. The color of the hydrangea flower depends on the pH of the soil they are grown in: the most common species are white, but flowers can also be blue, red, pink, light purple, or dark purple. and its cup-shaped flower:

Iris 

These mid-summer blooms have a variety of uses: parts of the plant are often used in perfume and some types of medicine.  The roots of the plant, often called “orris” is used to flavor Gin brands such as Bombay Sapphire and Magellan Gin.  Irises are easy to cultivate, and are a summer favorite among gardeners:

Sunflowers 

The sunflower has long been admired as an example of orderly natural beauty- the pattern made by the florets inside the head of the flower is a form of Fermat’s spiral, related to the golden ratio. Sunflowers grow best with full sun in fertile, moist soil, and are readily available throughout the late summer:

Of course, this is just a partial list- if you’ve got some favorite July flowers, feel free to share!

 

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