Green bells

Bells of Ireland

Green tea. Green eggs. Green flowers? If you have a penchant for green, try this fabulously fresh-coloured bloom. So called because of its green ‘bells’, the lofty bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) is not, in fact, from Ireland. The reference to Ireland comes from the glorious green hue (Ireland’s national colour) and the bell-shaped calyxes (bells, which are a symbol of good luck, are often used in celebrations on St Patrick’s Day). The actual flower is a small white bloom inside the bell.

Flower heads can grow 60-90cm high and have a vase life of 7-10 days. They’re a favourite among florists, and I find they pair nicely with calla lilies because of their upright habit. If you want to collect seed for sowing the following year, leave the flower heads to mature on the stem and collect the seeds once they turn a dark colour and begin to fall out.

You can buy seedlings from garden centres later in spring or you can buy seeds from Kings Seeds.