Grow Ammobium for Fresh and Dried Flowers and Wreaths
Ammobium, Winged Everlasting (Ammobium elatum)
Ammobium is a little-known flower. It’s tough and easy to grow providing long stems to work in many bouquets, tall and short. It can be used as a fresh bouquet filler or as a dried flower in dried bouquets and in wreaths, adding its starry white papery flowers for lightness and texture.
It’s a tender perennial, which means it’s a perennial in USDA zones 9-10, and will likely die in winters in colder zones. If you live in colder zones you’ll treat it like an annual. I live in Zone 9a, it snows and we have plenty of hard frosts. My plants have been under snow for a 3-4 weeks at a time and survive well. Any year you may have some plants make it through the winter.
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It comes from Australia.
Ammobium plants and flowers
The plant is a low-growing basal cluster of light green foliage with a whitish underside. The stems reach up to about 2 ft. tall with some short branches.
The flowers are bright white, papery bracts for petals (like strayflowers), with sunny yellow centers. Many stems grow on the little plants and they keep coming through the summer.
It’s called winged everlasting because the stems have a round core with flat panels coming out alongside the core. Kind of like wings.
And they’re good for drying. Except, they need to be harvested before it’s too late for the prettiest results. See Harvesting below.
The flowers support a wide variety of pollinators and beneficial insects so you can get some natural pest protection from them.
How to grow Ammobium
Zones 9-10 for perennial use, lower than zone 9 you may need to treat as an annual; full sun; ordinary, to good garden soil, well-drained, which means they don’t want too much water.
Ammobium is easy to start from seed. Start them in late winter to early spring in a spot that’s protected from frost and severe weather.
How to harvest the flowers
The stems are nice and tall and easy to cut from the basal foliage.
It’s best to harvest before the centers are showing. When used in a fresh bouquet the flowers will open and the yellow centers will be revealed. And they’re pretty either way.
But when you want the flowers for dried use, you’ll need to keep this in mind: if the yellow center is showing at harvest it will turn to a dark blackish-brown when it’s dried. Even if the flower is close to showing its center, it will open as it dries. And turn blackish-brown. So you need to pick the flower well before it will bloom, but not when it’s immature. You’ll get a feel for it with practice.
But you may be fine with the dark color of the center, and some people are. I see them in many arrangements that way. My preference is to use the starry-looking flowers to dot my dried creations and the dark centers take away from the effect. So it’s really a personal preference.
How to dry the flowers
Tie into small bundles and hang in a warm, airy, dark place. Or dry partially and work into wreaths while their stems are still supple enough to bend.
Winged everlasting has been spared from hybridizing and development. So it’s offered only as seed of the straight species.
Sources for Ammobium seeds
These are only available as seeds. Unless you find a local specialty flower grower at a plant sale. Here some sources:
Flowers to go with Ammobium
Nice big daisies in shades of pink to whites go nicely with Ammobium flowers in spring.
This pretty drying flower has papery petals like Ammobium and goes well with it especially in dried arrangements.
This perfect bouquet filler also makes a perfect drying flower. lasts well in the vase.
Another excellent flower that’s good fresh or dried. It’s perfect for wreath-making, and dried florals.
This Artemisia is a wonderful foliage plants that dries well for bouquets and wreaths, and is great fresh, too!
Works fantastically in dried arrangements, wreaths, and in fresh bouquets.