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What Types of Greens Go in Flower Bouquets?

bouquet, image by Bogdan Makogon from

Flower bouquets and arrangements range widely from the very simple--a cluster of daffodils--to the complex--a lavish arrangement of several different types of tropical flowers, decorative twigs and other materials. Most home gardeners prefer something in between the two extremes, which usually consists of two or three different types of flowers alone with some greens for filler. Which greenery you choose depends on your personal taste, but there are some that are widely used for their hardiness and fragrance.


Ferns are very attractive in flower bouquets. These light, feathery greens last a long time in water and are extremely graceful and delicate, lending themselves well to romantic arrangements, or bouquets for young girls and brides. Some are variegated, while others are light or dark green.


Vertical lines in a flower arrangement are a nice contrast to the rounded shape of the flowers. For that reason, using grass-like greens in a flower bouquet is recommended by florists. There are several different plants that are called beargrass, but the one used in floral arranging has the scientific name of Nolina bigelovi and is either dark green or variegated cream and green.

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus cordata) is a green used in both live and dried flower bouquets. The tall stalks, which are lined with rounded leaves, are strong and will stand up straight in a flower arrangement. In addition, eucalyptus has a pleasing scent and an interesting, silver-green color that goes well with pastel-colored flowers.


Ivy trails attractively over the edges of flower bouquets, giving them a formal, English-cottage feel. There are many different types of ivy. Some have tiny, heart-shaped leaves, and other have wide, variegated, spade-shaped leaves. The trailing habit of ivy makes it most suitable for bouquets that are going to be carried rather than placed upright in a vase.

Oregon Grape

Oregon grape (Mahonia species) is an evergreen shrub that features large, leathery leaves arranged in neat rows along a slender stalk. These make terrific backdrops on which to lay flowers, making them very suitable for bouquets that are going to be held along the forearm. They will also stay upright if supported with floral wire and look quite dramatic when paired especially with bright, tropical flowers.

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