Life Everlasting dried flowers
Life Everlasting is another name for Immortelle – what a beautiful and appropriate name! Immortelle is a variety of Helichrysum which is celebrated its for traditional associations with beauty. Perhaps the longevity of the flower implies prolonged good looks.
This plant has little lemon yellow blooms about 1cm across, as you can see in the top image. You can see where the name Helichrysum comes from – deriving from the Greek for sungold. The Mediterranean plant was believed by the ancient Greeks to renew the skin. These days it is often sold for floristry bleached to ivory colour making it a popular choice for weddings.
Helichrysums in general are referred to as Everlasting flowers or Strawflowers because of their longevity and desiccated nature. They’ve been a traditional staple of dried flower crafts for many years. The flower heads tend to be larger than Immortelle at about 1 to 4 cm across in shades of white, pink, burgundy, red, orange, terracotta, salmon and yellow.
Helichrysum stems are often unsightly and lack strength, meaning that the flower can seem to nod unless supported. Although wiring the stems is an option, you may be able to support them in a mixed bouquet by surrounding the flower with sturdier blooms. The heads are often sold separately, making them perfect for crafts such as flower crowns and hair accessories where they can be glued in place with a glue gun. See my post on Danish dried flowers to see Helichrysum wreaths spotted in a shop window in Copenhagen.
A great thing about Helichrysums is they are often grown in the UK so you can support local businesses too.
Floristry tips with Helichrysum dried flowers
- Hide the stems in a mixed bouquet by surrounding with upright blooms (see pic below)
- Support the stems by wiring if necessary
- Snip the flower off the stem for crafts such as crowns and hair accessories, and use a glue gun
- If you need the stems intact for your DIY project but they’re nodding too much, try hanging the bunch upside down over a radiator overnight to set in place
- If you find the stems start to nod in a home arrangement, it might be due to moisture in the air so try moving it to a drier location
Helichrysum in the garden
Curry plant – Helichrysum italicum – is a common flower in UK gardens. It’s a culinary herb with yellow flowers and silver leaves. My personal favourite strawflower is pictured below. It’s one I’m growing on my patio this year: Helichrysum amorginum. It has silver leaves bearing small red buds about 1cm across which open to a yellow centre.
If you have grown your own Immortelle or one of its relatives, try drying it at home by hanging upside down somewhere warm, dry and dark.
Shopping for Immortelle and Helichrysum dried flowers
You can shop for these dried flowers using the tab below.