Freesias are very popular flowers world-wide, and are currently rated #5 on the Dutch Auction System. They are a modern cut flower in that they were virtually unknown outside their native South Africa until the 1950s.
There are several flowers contained in each spike – a good quality freesia bunch should have between 5 and 7 flowers per spike. Freesias come in a range of colours, most commonly white, yellow, red and pink and many have a strong fragrance, particularly red and pink forms. Scented freesias are sometime called ‘Bergunden’ freesias, a reference to the breeder. Large breeders include Van Staaveren (Holland). Check their website for more information.
White freesias have escaped from gardens in southern and western Australia and are considered as weeds.
Freesias are grown in glasshouses. Their natural season is spring, but they are forced into flower for much of the year. In Australia they are grown mostly in southern Australia (Vic and Tas) and NSW.
What to look for
- First flower in each spike need to be fully coloured and starting to open;
- There should be 5 to 7 flowers per spike;
- Avoid bunches where all buds are tightly shut and green;
- Avoid bunches with brown flower tips as this means they have been water stressed.
- Keep cool at all times.
- Break bunches apart.
- Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in cold water.
- Always use a preservative as this will help buds open.
- Replace vase water with fresh preservative every day.
- Freesias are very sensitive to ethylene. Keep them away from fruit, car exhausts and cigarette smoke.
- Don’t arrange with fresh Narcissus.
Interesting Facts about this Flower
Freesia is a member of the Iris family.
Despite the fact it is a modern cut flower, in the Language of Flowers freesia signifies ‘innocence and trust’.
Botanical Name: Freesia hybrida
Common Names: Freesia
Stem Length: 30 to 60 cm
Country of Origin: South Africa
Available Colours: Pink, Red, White, Yellow