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billy button

Hyacinth - February 2010(printable PDF)
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BOTANICAL NAME
Craspedia globosa
(kras-PEE-dee-uh glow-BO-suh)

COMMON NAMES
Billy button, Billy ball, Drumstick, Woollyhead

DESCRIPTION
Billy buttons have spherical flower heads (glomerules), 1 inch to 2 inches in diameter, formed of a massive aggregation of tiny flowers, atop long (12 to 24 inches), thin leafless stems.

COLORS
Billy buttons are available only in yellow.

VASE LIFE
These flowers should last from five to 14 days at the consumer level, depending on their maturity when sold and the care they receive.

AVAILABILITY
Billy buttons are available year-round from both domestic and foreign growers.

vase-life extenders

PROCESSING

Remove billy buttons from the shipping boxes immediately upon their arrival, and check flower quality. Remove all stem bindings.

Next, recut the stems, on an angle, with a sharp knife, removing at least 1 inch of stem. Immediately after cutting, dip or place the stem ends into a hydration solution, then place them into containers partially filled with lukewarm (100 F to 110 F) properly proportioned flower-food solution.

REFRIGERATION
I
mmediately after processing, place billy buttons into a floral cooler at 34 F to 38 F, and allow them to hydrate for at least two hours before using or selling them.

ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY
Billy buttons are fairly resistant to the effects of ethylene.

CARE EXTRA
Billy buttons’ smooth thin stems can become slimy in storage containers, so change the flower-food solution every other day, and rinse and recut the stems.

CONSUMER ACTION
To maximize vase life, advise customers to change the vase solution, using the packaged flower food you provide, and to recut and rinse the stems every two or three days. Also instruct them to keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and warm drafts.
 

  fun facts  
 

WHAT’S IN A NAME The genus name “Craspedia” is derived from the Greek word kraspedon, meaning fringed edge, in reference to the feathery appendages of some New Zealand species. The specific epithet “globosa” means spherical shaped, in reference to the flower heads.

FAMILY MATTERS Craspedia is a member of the huge Asteraceae/Compositae (daisy/sunflower) family, and flower heads resemble the center disks of those flowers (without the petals [ray flowers])—only in globular form. Close relatives include Gerberas, chrysanthemums, marguerites, asters, Dahlias, Zinnias, bachelor’s buttons and thistles, among many others.

HOME SWEET HOME These unusual flowers are native to Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.

FRESH TO DRY Billy buttons are excellent candidates for air drying; they can maintain their color for up to a year. Collect them at their peak condition; tie several stems in a small bunch; and hang them upside down in a warm, dry, airy, dark room until they’re dried. Spraying the flower heads with a dry-flower sealant can help them last longer. If color fades, it can be restored with floral paint or dye.

 

Some information provided by:

Botanica, by R.G. Turner Jr. and Ernie Wasson
Chain of Life Network® , www.chainoflife.org
Cut Flowers of the World, by Johannes Maree and Ben-Erik Van Wyk
Hortus Third  by Liberty Hyde Bailey and Ethel Zoe Bailey
Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners by William T. Stearn

Super Floral Retailing •• Copyright 2010
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.