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The Symbolic Meaning of Passion Flower

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Oct 14, 2016

Passion Flower

Choose who will the wiser part,

I have held her heart to heart;

And have felt her heart-strings stirred,

And her soul's still singing heard

For one golden-haloed hour

Of Love's life the passion-flower.

So the world may roll or rest,

I have tasted of its best;

And shall laugh while I have breath

At thy dart and thee, O Death!

By Victor Daley


Photo credit Christie Brinkley via Instagram

I used to collect Passion Flower samples and hang them from the hooks all around my apartment because I was drawn to their bright purple and chartreuse colored blossoms and their delicate branches that wove tendrils throughout the plant.  The characteristics of its weird and wild head make all the more allure and quite a conversational piece as well.  Also referred to as “Passiflora Caerulea”, this flowering plant actually originates in North America, which is rare for warmer climate loving tropicals.  The deep hues and architectural attributes also make this beauty a highly desirable decorative feature for home décor designers as well as florists who specialize in cultivating orchids.  The affordability factor compared to other similar species is also an attractive element as is their year round accessibility for ordering from high end wholesalers.  

The symbolic relevance of the Passion Flower is almost entirely circumvented around religion, specifically Catholics and Christians.  Travelers settling in the United States from Spain first saw the plant as a sign of the Crucifixion.  Due to the flower's symmetric numerical values and interesting fringed petals and tendrils, onlookers believed that the design of the flower symbolized the ten apostles, crown of thorns and cross to which Jesus was nailed to.  It isn’t really clear whether a sighting of the Passion Flower was a good or a bad omen but the gravity of coming upon one during their travels usually led to a direct visit to church for prayer.  The passion flower also bears large orange and yellow fruits, which contains seeds colored blood red- yet another indication of the weighty religious significance.   

Other areas of the world such as India believe that the Passion Flower is a symbol of the Five Pandava Brothers, a family who were all married to the same woman named Draupadi.  Again, connected by the flower’s unusual appearance, the several sepals that surround the head are said to represent an army of a thousand men while the exquisite blue hue in the center is reflective of the Divine Krishna’s aura.

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Exotic Flowers, Flower Meanings, Passion Flower, Christie Brinkley

Beautiful Flowers that Resemble Other Fascinating Images

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Oct 01, 2016

It’s not enough when a beautiful blossom is striking in appearance on its own but when it resembles something else such as a butterfly or flying dove, that’s pretty incredible!  Recently my aunt sent me some stunning pictures of flowers that really look like other people, animals and artifacts that inspired me to share them with you.  While studying the photos, I learned a few important things about visual identifying and the undeniable relevance of certain plantings to living beings.  Not only are they an impressive optical illusion, but these photos also impress the brilliance with which Mother Nature has created within her environment.   I love the “Dancing Girls.  Which are your favorites?

Monkey face orchid


photo credit via boredpanda.com

Dancing Girls Impatiens

Impatiens_bequaertii_8509.jpg photo credit via strangewonderfulthings.com

Flying Duck Orchids


photo credit via earthporm.com


photo credit via earthporm.com

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Orchid Plants, Flowers

Fifty Nine is Fine

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Jul 12, 2016

On Tuesday, July 12th: Arnold 'Sonny' Canale will have been the owner and operator of Lombardi Florist for 59 years. An amazing testament to talent, work ethic and care for clients. As we tell clients every day, he must be doing something right.


In 59 years - he's sold more than five million roses, one million carnations, more than one million deliveries, grown thousands of poinsettias and outdoor plants and has designed a million floral arrangements. He has operated five locations, supported dozens of charities and employed hundreds. Three Best of Boston awards, a World Series florist, a PGA Championship florist, FTD Top 1000, Top 500, Top 250, Top 100 and Top 10. Telelfora Top 50. Floral Management Marketer of the Year, RedBook Circle of Excellence. The numbers are not only staggering but humbling.


Tags: Boston Florist, Exotic Flowers, Lombardi Florist, Sonny Canale

The Most Expensive Flowers in the World

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Mar 09, 2016

Did you know that flowers are considered one of the top ten luxury items bought in the United States?  We usually don’t consider a bouquet of roses to be expensive enough to be deemed “luxurious” but still, according to surveys, flowers continue to remain a popular purchase for dispensable income.  

Interesting isn’t it?

But what if I told you that there are real varieties of plant species that have been recorded as sold in the hundreds and even sometimes thousands?  There are virtually species in existence that are regarded as priceless specimens, which are heavily sought out after to be included in rare flower and orchid collections.  There is proof that on auction, a priceless plant can demand close to a million dollars from bidders. I don’t know about you but the most I think I’ve ever spent is a couple of hundred dollars on ranunculus, hydrangea and chocolate cosmos arrangements.  Never, have I come close to spending anywhere near to the price tags hanging from some of the world’s most expensive blooms.  Have you?


Saffron Crocus

Many of us have some sort of variety of crocus pop up from our gardens during the early spring but if you happen to posses this particular breed, we’re talking big bucks because the average price is around $1300.00 per pound for the nectar!  The precious herb, saffron, is derived from the pretty deep purple flower, which is why it is considered so valuable.  Since it takes several blooms to collect enough saffron to be ground properly, the flower heads are worth even more to owner.


The Juliet Rose

We all know that there are many different varieties of peach and pink roses but have you ever heard of a rose costing five million dollars to create?  Well, in this case, the Juliet Rose is one of a kind and has infamously been named as the most expensive rose in the entire world!  Now commercially cloned this rose was a pioneer in the wedding rose world.


photo credit: higherlearning.com

Rothschild’s Orchid

I’m an orchid lover, through and through but this species, which has a unique green and red striped head with long thin petals extending from the middle, supersedes my budget.  Each plant costs around $5000.00 per unit and sometimes even more depending on the seller.  Because of its beauty and rarity, the plant has come close several times to becoming extinct from thieves and hoarders who didn’t take care of them properly.  Now it grows sparingly in Malaysia.

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Roses, Flowers

What Does Your Favorite Flower Say About You?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 18, 2015

I bet you didn’t know it but when you choose your favorite flower, you are really saying a lot about yourself!  Whether you fancy daisies or orchids, each variety reveals characteristics, traits and even personality types that are commonly associated with specific blooms.  It’s not science or anything but dating and employment sites are beginning to utilize this factor in order to make successful romantic matches and job placement decisions. The outcome has been quite beneficial urging us to ask the question, “What does my favorite flower say about me?”  I’ve got to admit, I had to find out if this new technique really did hold some truth behind it so this is what I found out…

Favorite Flower: Chocolate Cosmos

Color:  Brown to Burgundy- Rich Color Tone

Special Characteristic(s):  Smells Like Chocolate

Personality Type: Creative, Energetic, Ambitious, Seeks to be Different

photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Yup, I can definitely see the comparison!  

Now it’s your turn!  What does your favorite bloom reveal about you?

Favorite Flower:  Roses                                

Color: Red, Orange, Yellow, White, Pink       

Special Characteristic(s): Lovely Scent, Soft Petals      

Personality Type:  Sweet, Kind, Calm in Tricky Situations, Able to Stop and                                 Smell the Flowers Nonsense Attitude

photo credit: Flower Factor via Lisa Greene, floral designer

Favorite Flower: Sunflowers

Color: Yellow, Red, Brown, Orange

Special Characteristic(s): Popular Flower

Personality Type:  Stubborn, Showy, Social,  Intelligent, Hard Working

In a Wide Range of Crafts

photo credit: Flower Factor

Favorite Flower: Orchids 

Color: Green, White, Pink, Purple, Orange, Yellow, Burgundy

Special Characteristic(s):  Rare, Medicinal Uses 

Personality Type:  Likes to Stand Out, Exotic

Tags: Flowers as Symbols, Language of Flowers, Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Roses, Sunflowers, Flower Meanings

The Medicinal Power of Orchids

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 11, 2015

Over the weekend, I was fortunate to visit an orchid show in Winchester, Massachusetts and boy was I blown away by the impressive presentation!  So much so that when I returned home, I began researching the exotic plants to learn further about their history and purposes beyond home décor.  I was amazed at what I found!  Not only are there millions upon millions of varieties in existence but orchids are actually used for medicinal purposes as well!  

Emperor Shen Nung was the official “Father of Medicine” who discovered the flower’s healing properties, which include everything from curing sore throats to potentially lessening some of the symptoms commonly experienced by cancer patients.  Holding most of powers within their root systems, tubers and stems, orchids continue to be studied by scientists and herbalists in order to get a better understanding of potential benefits that can be used by the medical industry.  

After surfing a few of the web’s top agricultural websites, I found many examples of the stunning bloom’s incredible attributes beyond their obvious rare beauty.  Take a peek at some of these spectacular species that could quite honestly be life changing for all of us!




These beautiful plants are some of the most common and affordable in the orchid family.  Along with being used predominantly for making Hawaiian leis and funeral casket sprays, dendrobiums have also been known to assist cancer patients with alleviating radiation side affects such as strengthening the immune system and improving eyesight.  Like several of the species, it’s not the flowers that are used as the main ingredient for elixirs but the stems, which are dried and ground for making tea.  

Orchis Mascula


This is another “orchid wonder” and maybe the most utilized for creating medicine and vitamins in countries around the world.  Orchis Mascula was the plant of choice during the Ottoman Empire where beverages were derived to help cure digestive problems, diarrhea and even gum disease.  Today, the orchid is still used in areas of Saudia Arabia, Syria and Iran.

Calanthe Liukiuensis


This is another find for the medical world and has contributed to making major changes for those who experience hair loss and other low protein associated illnesses.  The orchid is also known to increase skin blood flow by drying and grinding the plant into flour when it can then be transformed into pill format or sold as an ingredient for cooking.  

Tags: Exotic Flowers, Orchids, Orchid Plants, Flowers for Emotional Health, Plants

Best Flowers and Plants for Office Buildings

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Oct 19, 2015

One of HR’s biggest puzzles when attending to tasks of the office is trying to figure out what varieties of plants and flowers to order from their Boston florists.  Why is this challenging?  Office buildings tend to run warmer than the average climate of other work places so only certain varieties will hold up for a full week.  The other component of the predicament is that you have an eclectic group of people to be weary of who might have allergies or a general dislike for certain fragrances and textures.  Because of this, you need to be careful to order pieces that are low in pollen count and odorless, which shortens the list of possibilities even further.  


Does that mean to skip the weekly flower order all together?  Heck no!  


There are several options towards solving this pickle of a problem and all are easily attainable just by contacting your florist.  Check out these perfect flora and fauna for your office and watch the employees and clients stand in awe of their beauty.   



photo credit: Flower factor

Tropicals such as Birds of Paradise and orchids are fabulous for stagnant environments with little air movement because they can withstand the heat and have an incredible property of longevity.  Their bright colors and dynamic shapes will create a great topic of conversation as well as a bright welcoming for guests.  


You might want to consider using hydrangea for two reasons; one they hate the cold so a warmer temperature is better for them and two if they are watered regularly, they will last for weeks.  Green is the strongest in many cases, so you might want to coordinate that color in your order.  

Cacti & Succulents

Photo credit: Flower factor

You can’t go wrong with cacti because they’re durable, need very little upkeep and come in a variety of colors and sizes.  Cactus plants also hold no aroma making them outstanding for sensitive noses.  Just be sure to invest in succulents instead of prickly varieties!

Tags: Tropical Flowers, Exotic Flowers, Orchid Plants, Flowers, Plants

What's Hot for Thanksgiving Flowers in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 05, 2014

Fall Flowers in Boston

Autumn in New England means more than just carved pumpkins and turkeys, it means color-big color and designers are just itching to use this incredible spectrum throughout their creative floral pieces.  Long gone are the days of palettes containing only orange, brown and green for holiday arrangements.  Florists are now letting their hair down when it comes to selecting great blooms for the Thanksgiving Day holiday rush.  After all, the magnificent cornucopia of color that surrounds this city during this time of year is everywhere, including pigments of gold green, purple and red.  From harvest flowers to farmed gourds and pumpkins, to apples hanging brightly overhead, there is inspiration everywhere and there is truly no limitation to what we can create for our decorative displays.  Instead of sticking to the same ho-hum color scheme, think ardent and bold when concocting your perfect floral pieces.  Here are some innovative color creations that are hot for this Thanksgiving’s seasonal festivities.   

 Thanksgiving Flowers in Boston

The shade of brown is a traditional color that is used in abundance during the latter months of the year.  Commonly matched with flat yellow or orange, florists can omit this drab pairing and go for something eye catching and elaborate!  Shades that compliment a variety of browns include chartreuse green, white and soft blue.  Any of these partnerships promote a majestic and sophisticated flair for holiday centerpieces without boring onlookers with a “Plain Jane” approach to floral arranging.  For a real pop of color, combine shades of browns with peaches and hot pinks, reflecting the warmer tones of the autumn.

 Exotic Flowers Thanksgiving

Many florists shy away from using red within Thanksgiving pieces because they know that they will inevitably be depending on the color for the soon approaching Christmas season.  Designers most often will opt for oranges in replacement or substitute the rich hue for a golden pigment instead.  Florists need not to worry about the overkill of red flowers because one, it is the true shade of so many wonderful essentials of fall in Boston and two, face it-people love the color red!  All you need to do is to make sure that you aren’t pairing the shade with another non-blending shade such as a flat yellow or green.  Use your imagination and try mixing stems with lavenders and baby peach or burnt sienna.  The utilization of branches and other “outdoorsy” materials will also help break up the mundane floral centerpieces that were once so common to our turkey tables.  Remember, autumn in Boston is the time to relish in the massive burst of color that Mother Nature has blessed us with so don’t be afraid to dive right in and relish your creative designs within it!

Suzie Canale

Westwood, MA

all photos in this post can be attributed to Flower Factor and AboutFlowers.com - Exotic Flowers is a long standing member for the Society of American Florists and is grateful for the use of their professional photographers.

suzie_canale_westwoodSuzie Canale is the Director for the Women's Lockerroom Fonudation, the author of The Beantown Tales, works at the Westwood Public Library and raises two young boys.


Tags: Floral Design, Exotic Flowers, Thanksgiving

Can You Get Exotic Flowers in Georgetown, Kentucky ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Jul 15, 2013

I regularly boast of Exotic Flowers in Boston's ability to send flowers worldwide. Our tag line for many years was from 'Boston to Belgium, Miami to Milan,'. Unfortunately not all florists are created equal and sometimes we run into a few bumps in the road with flower availability in more remote town throughout the country.

EXOTIC FLOWERS IN KENTUCKY resized 600Recently a Boston client called and asked to send Imagination Blooms with  orchids to Georgetown, Kentucky. I explained to the sender that while the florists in Georgetown do a lovely job of lush flower vases they could not offer the orchids in the photo for same day delivery. Alas, the sender was let down and chose to take her business elsewhere. We get our clients the freshest flowers from the best florist in every community. Some times they do not always have the exact item the client is looking for. For example, orchids are abundant in New York and Boston, but not so much in Georgetown.

One great thing about trusting worldwide service with a local florist versus FTD is that we offer a personal service that a corporate giant cannot replicate. When you call Exotic Flowers in Boston, real people answer the phone and will follow your entite your order and even provide delivery confirmation.

Tags: FTD Florist in Boston, 1800flowers, Exotic Flowers, FTD

Exotic Flowers - More Than Just a Pretty Arrangement in a Vase

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Feb 20, 2013

EXOTIC FLOWERS resized 600

by guest blogger, Evelyn Grant

A Life saving flower, How exotic is that?

Who knew that exotic flowers and plants could stand accused of being bullying invasives? Apparently Japanese honeysuckle is on the long list of escaped exotic plants continuing to live independently in Virginia according to a new book reviewed by The Washington Post. Exotic flowers could be alive and well in a forest near you and they are a lot more interesting than you might think with some unexpected health benefits. Ironically exotic flowers are more likely to bloom because development such as road building disrupts native habitats and practically invites exotics to take up residence. North Virginia and other parts of the Washington area have seen non-native species doubling from 18 percent in 1919 to 36 percent today.

Exotic flower invaders on the at-risk list

Unfortunately many exotic flowers are becoming endangered so you probably won’t encounter many of these in your state’s natural habitat. It’s a shame that some of these flowers are so rare because they are really quite unusual to look at, some might even say ugly, but still a sight to behold. It’s not only how they look that makes them unusual, the Rafflesia for example is said to be remarkably ugly and to smell quite strongly of meat. It’s not all bad though, the black bat flower is very beautiful reaching over 12 inches in diameter but is extremely rare. The dendroseris nerifolia flower is so rare that there is only one left in the world on Robinson Crusoe Island where dozens of rare species exist on the cusp of extinction.


Finding an exotic cure

It is not news that exotic flowers and plants have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Yet it is quite amazing that they are still prevalent in this field despite constant medical advances. The Missouri Botanical Garden works in 35 countries worldwide to protect plants that are potentially invaluable for medicine. They are very much aware of the importance of preventing the extinction of many exotic flowers and plants as they “might be losing a cure for cancer, HIV/AIDS or even the common cold!”. Our British friends who fancy taking in the positives of the outdoors can go for a stroll in their very own Pharmaceutical Garden and then finish off their constitutional with a walk through The Garden of World Medicine. You don’t even have to visit London to feel these benefits because some of the exotic flowers on display are used in drugs across the world. The Catharanthus roseus or Madagascar Periwinkle contains alkaloids used in anti-cancer drugs and the Digitalis lanata or Woolly Foxglove contains a cardiac glycoside used to strengthen the heart beat.

Can you grow your own exotic flowers by invitation only?

You can certainly try according to the exotic flower experts at Kew Gardens in London, and they should know. Apparently you can grow just about anything in a nice warm glasshouse if you try hard enough. Some people aren’t happy just filling their gardens with natives and would rather sweat it out in the temperate environment of a glasshouse and attempt to surround themselves with exotic plants which offer so much in terms of form and colour.

If your gardening skills are not your strong point then you can enjoy exotic flowers and plants from a safer distance with much less work. With exotic flowers forming a large part of the flora in the wild nowadays you never know what you might come across as you leave your garden behind and discover what your local forest has to offer. With many exotic flowers at risk of dying out across the world now is the time to make the most of some of these beautiful and downright strange plants if you are planning any travel overseas.


More than just a pretty arrangement in a vase

Exotic flowers do make for some of the most striking arrangements but they are definitely a lot more interesting than their pretty exterior gives them credit for. It seems unfair to call them a pest in the US but they do sound strangely appealing when referred to as uninvited invaders. These interlopers should be ignored at our peril as they could hold the key to many health problems and potential cures. You may not want to grow your own but they are definitely worth discovering.


Tags: Evelyn Grant, Flower Arrangements, Exotic Flowers, Flower Facts

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