This Is Your Ultimate Guide to Spring Flowers


How much they cost, where they grow, and when you can get ’em

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

APWPlanner

Spring Flowers Guide graphic full of various spring flowers

When it comes to flowers, I’m about as knowledgeable as the girl whose Ranunculus all died the morning of her wedding. I know what kinds of flowers I like, I’m familiar with the names of the ones I’m really into, but I otherwise have no idea where they grow, when they are in season, or how you put them together. And it’s really hard to get exactly the kind of floral arrangement you want at a reasonable price if you’re not at least a little familiar with what you’re asking for. So with that in mind, we decided to pull some of our research from the #APWPlanner to bring you the ultimate guide to spring flowers. We’ve included price estimates from online wholesalers Fifty Flowers and Blooms By The Box, plus research from Meg’s recent book. With this handy guide, if you’re getting married in spring, basically all you have to do is figure out which ones you think are pretty. (And you know, which ones you can afford. Boo.) And here it is…

The ultimate APW guide to spring flowers!


alstroemeriaName: Alstroemeria 

Cost: $11–$19 per bunch | Hardiness: Vase life of 7–12 days | Colors: All except blue

Alstromeria is a variety of Lily that is native to South America. It comes in many color varieties, which makes the flower DIY-friendly and as an excellent filler flower in large bouquets.


anemone flowerName: Anemone

Cost: $22–$25 per bunch | Hardiness: Reasonably hardy, but does not hold up well in temperatures of over 90°F. | Colors: All | Affordable Alternatives: Godetia, Poppy, Ranunculus

Region: The native region varies based on species. The flower is available in many saturated colors, and white with the black center is the most popular.


Calla Lily flowerName: Calla Lily

Cost: $27–$48 per bunch | Hardiness: Flower has medium hardiness and holds up well in heat. | Colors: White, gold, purple | Affordable Alternatives: Alstromeria, Tulip

Calla Lilies are wildly popular (especially for weddings), and come in a range of varieties. The flower is native to cool, temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere.


carnation flowerName: Carnation

Cost: $9 per bunch, or $.75–$1 per stem | Hardiness: Holds up extremely well. | Colors: Basically whatever you can imagine, including colors that don’t exist in nature

This flower is used widely, and is generally purchasable by the stem. The flower hails from the Mediterranean, but is now cultivated worldwide.


CRASPEDIA (BILLY BALL) flower

Name: Craspedia (billy ball)

Cost: $50 (25 stems)–$250 (300 stems) | Hardiness: Very hardy. | Colors: Yellow, green, orange, red (also available tinted and airbrushed)

Craspedia are native to Australia and New Zealand, and are often used a filler flowers for wedding bouquets. You can generally get a good deal on stems because several are required to make a big impact.

 

Daffodil flowerName: Daffodil

Cost: $89.99 (50 stems)–$249.99 (200 stems) | Hardiness: Very hardy. | Colors: Yellow, white

Daffodils are a classic flower that are native to meadows and woods in southwest Europe and North America. They play well with other soft petaled flowers, such as Ranunculus, Sweet Peas, and Irises.


Daisy flowerName: Daisy

Cost: $99.99 (12 bunches)–$159.99 (24 bunches) | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: White, yellow, pink, red, orange

The Daisy is a spray flower that includes more than 23,000 species. These are found everywhere on Earth except Antarctica and the extreme Arctic.

 

Gerbera Daisy flowerName: Daisy, Gerber

Cost: $109.99 (50 stems)–$259.99 (200 stems) | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: White, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange

Gerber Daisies are extremely popular and are generally used as a cut flower or for decoration. The flowers are native to the tropical regions of South America, Asia, and Africa.

 

Delphinium larkspur flowerName: Delphinium (Larkspur)

Cost: $25–$33 per bunch | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Colors: Blue, purple, white | Affordable Alternatives: Gladiolus, Stock, Snapdragon, Lilac

Delphinium is one of the few naturally blue flowers in the world, and are native to the Northern Hemisphere and the high mountains of tropical regions in Africa.

 

Dianthus flowerName: Dianthus (Sweet William)

Cost: $89.99 (8 bunches or 80 stems)–$199.99 (30 bunches or 300 stems) | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: Red, white, pink, fluffy green ball variety | Affordable Alternatives: Carnation

Dianthus flowers have a short shelf life, but are wildly adored. The flowers are native to Europe and Asia, and a few species are found in Africa.

 

Freesia flowerName: Freesia

Cost: $23–$28 per bunch | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: White, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange

Freesia have bell-shaped blooms and a citrus scent, which makes them great for late spring weddings. They are native to the eastern side of southern Africa (Kenya to South Africa).

 

Gladiolus flowerName: Gladiolus

Cost: $169.99 (8 bunches)–$259.99 (12 bunches) | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: White, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange | Affordable Alternatives: Snapdragon, Hyacinth, Stock, Delphinium

These flowers are ideal for tall flower arrangements, and come in a wide array of colors (purple is extremely popular). They typically occur in Asia, Mediterranean Europe, South Africa, and tropical Africa.

 

Hyacinth flowerName: Hyacinth

Cost: $13–$15 per bunch | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Colors: Purple, blue, white | Affordable Alternatives: Lilac, Snapdragon, Stock

The flower is native to the eastern Mediterranean (from south Turkey to Lebanon, throughout Syria to Northern Israel), Iraq, Northeast Iran, and Turkmenistan. They also hail from Holland.

 

Hydrangea flowerName: Hydrangea

Cost: $7–$10 per stem | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Colors: Any and all

Hydrangeas have been popular in gardens for years. They are native to southern and eastern Asia and the Americas, and you can find the greatest species diversity in China, Japan, and Korea.

 

Iris flowerName: Iris

Cost: $19–$20 per bunch | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Colors: Blue, purple, yellow, white

The Iris is a super saturated, colorful flower that is found in temperate Northern Hemisphere zones from Europe to Asia, and across North America.

 

Lilac flowerName: Lilac

Cost: $99.99 (50 stems)–$379.99 (300 stems) | Hardiness:  Moderately hardy | Colors: White, purple | Affordable Alternatives: Hyacinth, Snapdragon, Stock

The Lilac is native to the Balkan Peninsula, but is now cultivated widely in Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy) and across much of North America.

 


Lily flowerName: Lily

Cost: $28–$47 per bunch | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: Many | Affordable Alternatives: Godetia, Dianthus, Stock, Delphinium

Lilies are native to much of Europe, most of Asia to Japan, India, Indochina, the Philippines, and southern Canada. you can also find the flowers throughout much of the United States.

 

Lisianthus flowerName: Lisianthus

Cost: $30–$34 per bunch | Hardiness: Delicate | Colors: White, purple, light green, pink | Affordable Alternatives: Godetia

The Lisianthus is a delicate, delightful flower that is native to the southern Untied States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and northern South America. The flower is also known as Eustoma.

 

CHRYSANTHEMUM flower

Name: Mum (Chrysanthemum)

Cost: $7–$23 per bunch | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: many

Chrysanthemum flowers are widely used in centerpieces, and come in a variety of colors. They are native to Asia and northeast Europe, and the center of diversity is in China.

 

 

NARCISSUS (PAPERWHITE) flowerName: Narcissus (Paperwhite)

Cost: $189.99 (10 bunches or 100 stems) | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Colors: White, yellow | Affordable Alternatives: Stephanotis, Daffodil

The flowers is native to the meadows and woods in southwestern Europe and North Africa, and the center of diversity is in the western Mediterranean.

 

Orchid flowerName: Orchid

Cost: $18–$40 per stem, $2–$25 per bunch | Hardiness: Delicate | Colors: Many | Affordable Alternatives: Iris

The richest and most diverse species are found in the tropics, but the flower is also found above the Arctic circle, in southern Patagonia, and there are two species on the Macquarie Island.

 

peony flowerName: Peony

Cost: $179.99 (25 stems)–$489.99 (100 stems) | Hardiness: Delicate | Colors: White, pink, red | Affordable Alternatives: Ranunculus, Poppy, Garden Rose, Mum, Tulip

Peonies are native to Asia, southern Europe, and western North America. Alternatives to Peonies include Sweet Juliet Roses, Cabbage Roses, Ranunculus, and Mums.

 


Poppy flowerName: Poppy

Cost: $145 per box of 12 bunches | Hardiness: Very delicate, vase life of four to six days | Colors: Red, orange, yellow | Affordable Alternatives: Ranunculus, Anemone

Poppies grow to be 8 to 12 inches tall. The origin of the flower is not known for sure, though in America the origin is widely attributed to Europe. The native range includes western Asia, northern Africa, and Europe.

 

Queen Anne's Lace flowerName: Queen Anne’s Lace

Cost: $23.46 per bunch of 10 | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: White, green

Queen Anne’s Lace is native to temperate regions of Europe and southwestern Asia, and has also been naturalized to North America and Australia.

 

Ranunculus flowerName: Ranunculus

Cost: $28–$31 per bunch | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: All except blue

Ranunculus first came in vogue for weddings in 2013, and have steadily climbed in popularity. The genus includes more than 600 species which can be found throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe.

 

Rose4Name: Rose, Garden

Cost: $49–$65 per bunch | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: All except blue

Garden roses have predominantly been grown for ornamental purposes and thrive in temperate climates. The roses are known to have been grown as far back as ancient Babylon.

 

long stem rose flowerName: Rose, Long Stem

Cost: $170 for 200 stems  | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: All except blue | Affordable Alternatives: Lisanthus, other rose varieties

Roses are native to Asia, and smaller numbers are native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa.

 


Spray RosesName: Rose, Spray

Cost: $120 for 144 stems | Hardiness: Very hardy | Colors: All except blue

Spray roses are typically smaller than other roses (but not always), and have shorter stems than those you’ll find in classic rose bouquets.

 

Snapdragon flowerName: Snapdragon

Cost: $28.70 per bunch | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Colors: White, yellow, pink, lavender

Snapdragon is native to rocky areas of Europe, the United States, and northern Africa. The flowers are frequently and excellently used in table arrangements and centerpieces.

 


stephanotis flowerName: Stephanotis

Cost: $2.39 per stem (for 25+ stems) | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Color: White | Affordable Alternatives: Narcissus

The most popular species of Stephanotis is native to Madagascar. The flower is also known as Madagascar jasmine, waxflower, and Hawaiian wedding flower.

 

STOCK (GILLIFLOWER) flowerName: Stock (Gilliflower)

Cost: $22–$25 per bunch | Hardiness: Reasonably hardy | Colors: White, pink, red, yellow, purple, orange | Affordable Alternatives: Snapdragon, Hyacinth

Stock can be used in centerpieces and bouquets, or on its own as a green accent. The common names include night scented stock and evening scented stock, and the flower is also known in the United States as ten-weeks stock.

 

succulentsName: Succulents

Cost: $2–$17 each (minimum of 20 per order) | Hardiness: Extremely hardy | Colors: Green, gray, purple, black, pink

Succulents are ever increasing in popularity, and include 60 different plant families. Most succulents come from dry areas (think steppes, semi-desert, and deserts).

 

sweet pea flowersName: Sweet Pea

Cost: $150 (7 bunches)–$230 (15 bunches) | Hardiness: Very delicate | Colors: White, red, pink, purple

Sweet Peas are available in a variety of colors, and lend a burst of color to table arrangements and bouquets. The flowers are native to Sicily, southern Italy, and the Aegean Islands.

 

thistle flowerName: Thistle

Cost: $20 per bunch | Hardiness: Extremely hardy | Colors: Blue, green, gray gold

Cotton and Scotch Thistle hail from Europe and West Asia and north to central Scandinavia. They are also cultivated widely around the world.

 

Tulip flowerName: Tulip

Cost: $15 to $20 per bunch | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Colors: All except blue

Tulips are loved around the world, and their native region extends through northern Africa to Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Ukraine, southern Siberia, Mongolia, and northwestern China.

 

Veronica flowerName: Veronica (Speedwell)

Cost: $160 (15 bunches)–$280 (40 bunches) | Hardiness: Moderately hardy | Colors: White, blue, purple, pink

Most species are from temperate Northern Hemisphere climates, though a few can be found in the Southern Hemisphere.  There are many types of Veronica flowers available.

 

A Practical Wedding Planner

This post was excerpted from the #APWPlanner. For more useful advice like this, get your #APWPlanner at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or on iTunes.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

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  • Michela

    I worked in a floral shop for 7+ years and did many, many weddings. Having a lot of experience in this area, I wanted to offer a quick note about lilies for those interested in DIYing their own wedding flowers- the stamens of lilies are HIGHLY staining. Take extra care to remove all the stamens from your lilies before working them into any arrangements. The photo you see here for lilies has the stamens removed; make sure your lilies look like the one in this post’s photo by removing all the stamens. Heads up that the stamens will stain your fingers, but the stain should fade after several washes. When I work with lilies, I also blow any remaining stamen dust off the petals to make sure there’s no harmful dust waiting to stain someone’s (fancy, expensive, white, etc.) outfit red-orange! I’ve ruined more shirts than I can count working with lilies, so please be very, very careful.

    Also, having DIYed three friends’ weddings, do NOT put any flowers in your fridge. Floral shops have humidity-controlled coolers that prevent flowers from wilting. Be forewarned that if you DIY your own flowers and put them in a fridge, you may be taking the risk of re-doing 15 boutonnières the morning of the wedding (yes this did happen to me and yes, it was stressful).

    Best of luck, lovelies!

    xoM

    • Elizabeth

      And if you do happen to get Lily pollen on your clothes, use tape to get it off as gently as possible. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DO NOT USE WATER TO GET THE POLLEN OFF. I learned this the hard way.

      • Michela

        Yes!! Great advice, Elizabeth. I should have included some remedies in my post instead of exclusively fire and brimstone.

        Tape works really well. Pipe cleaners also work a charm. If you don’t happen to have those handy, anything fibrous and/or tacky will help you remove the dust from the fabric. Move slowly and carefully. Avoid water as much as possible; it will only allow the stamen dust to bleed further into the fabric.

        xoM

  • Danielle

    Yay for including succulents!!! I <3 plants and we had centerpieces at our wedding that included both plants and cut flowers; I think it looked really unique and liked having something still living around the tables.

    What we did: took cuttings of some of our house plants for a few months before the wedding and put them in containers of water. They grew roots, which looked really cool. (This is something we do regularly because we are plant nerds and it's fun to propagate your own plants for free!). Then the day before the wedding, husband and one of his dads bought flowers from the supermarket (I wasn't picky) and intermixed them with the plant cuttings in simple arrangements. It looked really nice to have some green in with the colorful flowers.

    Please consider this if you are plant nerds like us! It's free/cheap and fun (if you like plants)! You can do it with really any plants. Also it made the wedding feel more like "us" and we were happy to share plants from our home with guests, who could take them home and keep them in the containers (a variety of clear glass jars and vases collected over a few months from thrift stores, yard sales, etc — another thing that was fun for me / i do anyway) or plant them if they wanted.

  • Bsquillo

    Did anyone else with a black thumb look through this and go, “Oh awesome, now I can figure out the names of flowers”?

    I know almost nothing about plants, and didn’t have many opinions about flowers, so when it came to my wedding, I outsourced most of that decision making to my mom. I was shocked though that the local flower farm + florist was able to get us bulk peonies for centerpieces for somewhere between $1 and $2 per stem; I had always heard they were expensive, but since it was peony season and they grew a bunch of them, they were a (beautiful) steal. I guess the moral of the story is, if you have a flower farm nearby, check into what might be in season around your wedding if you aren’t super picky about what type of flowers you want. We dropped 1 peony stem plus some greenery into small green vases, and then had super lazy-girl centerpieces for under $10 a table.

    • Eenie

      I’m not even a black thumb (I’ve kept two house plants alive for over 5 years), and I enjoyed learning some names for flowers! I’m not a huge fan of flowers (they’re pretty, but expensive and die…), so we just aren’t having flowers.

    • clarkesara

      Peonies are highly seasonal. If you happen to get married in the middle of peony season, they’re not that expensive, and they are huge and showy, so a few stems go a long way. But I’m getting married in March and already know that peonies are out of my budget because they won’t be in season.

      On the other hand, the seasonal pointer also goes the other direction. Find out what will be in season when you’re getting married and adjust your preferences accordingly! I started out wanting peonies but landed on anemones, garden roses, and stock.

    • JenC

      I looked through the article and thought ‘cool, so that’s what I had in my bouquet’. I just asked my florist to do a spring bouquet.

  • clarkesara

    One thing that can be very helpful for wedding flowers is to get a sense of what is widely available where you live at the time of year you’re getting married. That may mean frequenting local farmer’s markets or flower wholesalers a year in advance of the wedding (yay long engagements!), or just seeing what is generally available in supermarkets. For example the price listed here for daffodils is crazy expensive compared to how much they go for at my local Trader Joe’s every spring. When I lived in the Northeast, Sweet William was much more affordable than orchids. While now that I live in California we get a ton of seasonal flowers I never saw outside of high end floral studios in New York.

    Also some of these flowers are year round supermarket staples (gerber daisies, carnations, roses, tulips) while others are highly seasonal, which will affect the price greatly if you decide you MUST have peonies but your wedding is in early spring.