Silver Tree Composite Bouquet

Great foliage is an underutilized resource in the cut flower world. Maybe I feel this way because my favorite color is green, or because I am a sucker for textural items, but I get just as excited about interesting foliage as I do for an unusual flower. Silver tree (Leucadendron argenteum) is one of those amazing foliages that the general public just isn't familiar with. It is an evergreen native to South Africa. The silver shine on top of the blue/green foliage comes from a dense coating of silky hairs. Each leaf is unbelievably smooth and luxurious. Two weeks ago I called my wholesaler to tell them I was itching for some silver tree. The next Tuesday I had five perfect stems in hand. I could hardly wait to finish my quotes for the day so that I could start arranging the foliage!

Composite bouquet made of silver tree foliage

That evening I removed the leaves from three stems of silver tree and went to work reconfiguring them into a composite flower. It's amazing what you can make with a few stems of silver tree, a half tube of glue and a couple hours! This hand-crafted bloom is twelve inches across and would make a great bouquet for the bride looking to make a statement!

Underside of composite bouquet made from silver tree foliage

The underside of the bouquet is finished off with more silver tree foliage, an espresso satin wrap and a few pearl-headed pins - simple and clean.

Top view of composite flower made from silver tree foliage

The top of the bouquet looks like one giant blossom, or maybe a single large echeveria.

Matching boutonniere made from silver tree and uluhe fern curls

The simplicity carries through to the matching boutonniere. Silver tree foliage creates a shimmering backdrop for two perfect uluhe fern curls.

I was having so much fun with the silver tree that I just couldn't stop there. Here are a couple other personal flowers that I whipped together.

Wrist corsage with silver tree foliage and green mini cymbidiums

To create this corsage I mounted a pair of green mini cymbidiums on a base of silver tree foliage. Then I attached the whole assembly to a pearl wristlet. I echoed the pearl wristlet with pearl accents in the throats of the cymbidiums.

Boutonniere with silver tree foliage and a single mini cymbidium orchid

Here is the matching boutonniere.

If you want to see more work with silver tree check out the Kuga Designs blog to see their amazing entry in the Bouquets to Art 2009 fashion show.