Bells of Ireland

1 entry found.
Bells of Ireland
Common Name: Bells of Ireland, Shell-Flower
Botanical Name: Moluccella laevis (mo-lu-SEL-la LAY-vis)
Decorative Life: 8-10 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution.
  • Avoid storing horizontally as the stems exhibit geotropism and will bend upward away from gravity.
Harvest Instructions: The hardest part of growing this plant is to have proper seed germination. Germination will be improved if seeds are chilled at 50F for five days before sowing. Seed is generally available as raw or cleaned, the latter is better.
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).
  • 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 June-October.
Flower Color: Apple-green, chartreuse, white.
Storage Specifics: Store upright to prevent stem bending.
  • The name is a diminutive of Molucca. The specific epithet name laevis means smooth, possibly in reference to the flowers.
  • 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.