Who wouldn’t be charmed by the exquisite beauty of ranunculus? It’s a firm favourite with us at McQ HQ.
This gorgeous miniature flower is characterised by layer upon layer of delicate petals, reminiscent of a tiny peony in bloom. Cultivated in a multitude of colours, our favourites are, without doubt, the Italian grown varieties. We love them for the gigantic size of head in those wonderful ice cream shades.
Ranunculus aren’t the easiest of flowers to work with and have a stubborn will of their own – those languid stems and flower heads that will often tilt (sometimes, in the direction you really don’t want them tilting!). Use this to your advantage to achieve a ‘casual’ free-style look; gently separate the stems, place them in a vase, and allow each flower to do its own thing. Voila!
As ranuncs are perfect bedfellows with other delicate specimens (think roses or anemones), we just love to use them in wedding bouquets. Again, those soft, hollow, fleshy stems are notoriously difficult to work with and will require a gentle approach. We suggest supporting the flower head with a cushion of foliage or hardier flowers to protect against any damage.
Like most flesh stemmed flowers they like cold, clean water and will benefit from recutting midweek and a change of water (it can cloud easily if the stems degrade). They’ll look perfectly pretty in a vase for up to seven days at a push, and we enjoy these glorious blooms right now – they’re widely available from November through to May.
McQueens Events Manager Poppy Frost is a big fan of this much requested flower. ‘Ranunculus are the ideal flower for weddings,’ explains Poppy. ‘They’re exquisite, delicate and there’s something very romantic about them. They’re the perfect suggestion for a bride that prefers not to have roses in her wedding bouquet and they seem to be the natural choice when peony are out of season. Hanoi (below) is one of my favourite varieties’
Graeme Diplock from Zest Flowers, based at New Covent Garden flower Market – he knows a thing or two about flowers! – has watched their popularity grow over the years. ‘The Cloni or Italian ranunculus are very popular at this time of year. The quality of the flower is superb and size of the flower head seems to get bigger each year. ‘