Gomphrena (Gomphrena globosa)
I have a weak spot for these very simple pops of colour, with memories of buying them from markets wrapped simply in newspaper. These are a small, bushy, annual flowering plants in the same botanical family as amaranth. They don’t generally grow taller than 60cm and are often used as border plants for cottage gardens or grown in pots. They have simple, small pom-pom-like papery flowers that are often overlooked as a cut flower, although they are very hardy and stems grow relatively straight. Dead-head flowers regularly to ensure continued blooming.
Plant directly from seed or seedlings after the risk of frost has passed. They do well in compost-rich but well-drained soil, and like amaranth are relatively drought-tolerant once established. Can also be grown as an annual in the cooler months in the tropics.
As cut flowers
A great everyday flower: hardy in a vase; can also be dried. Cut when the flower has fully formed.
‘Tall Mixed’: can be used as cut flower or dried.
‘Dwarf Cissy White’: Low-maintenance flower growing to 30cm.
Lentil has many favourites on her list of flowers to plant now, you can read the full list in the latest issue of Organic Gardener Magazine Australia.
By: Lentil Purbrick
First published: September 2019