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Exotic Flowers in Boston

The Best Floral Extracts Used to Heal Dry Skin

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Jan 12, 2015

 The cold weather has fallen upon us and Boston is getting colder by the second!  Not only do we have to be mindful to wear extra clothing, bring extra safety precautions when traveling and be vigilant abut approaching storms, New Englanders also know that this is the time of year that we must protect our skin.  Ailments in this area arise from exposure to frigid outer elements that attack the surface and create sores, blemishes and painful chaffing.  Dermatologists recommend loading up on lotions, which heavily moisturize to prevent these serious medical conditions.   As a lover of flowers, how many of you know of the amazing healing properties that many blooms carry within their biological make up?  There are hundreds of flowers that are not only adequate but superior in proactive remedies for dry skin inflammations.  Derived from the powerful extracts of both the petals and stems, here are a few of the top flowers that might save you a trip to the doctor’s office this winter. 




Lavender is one of the widest used flowers for healing purposes because it contains a multitude of soothing and relaxing qualities.  Sometimes referred to as an herb, the stem is long and slender with small pods that look similar to a grape vine.  Lavender can be found in shades of dark purple to light blue and often grow wild in the New England area.  Having over 150 compounds, lavender can heal skin problems including eczema, burns, dry skin, eczema, sunburn, seborrhea and dry skin.




This traditional but stunning flower has a long history of protective and curing powers because of anti inflammatory, anti bacterial and antifungal features. It has been used for generations to mend severe burns, scrapes, insect bites and yes, dry skin.  Grown in colors ranging from orange to yellow, the calendula is sometimes affectionately called the “marigold” in some parts of the country.  The petals are also transient of the particular variety where they can be either flat or succulent.  The properties of the flower are so strong that extracts can either be made into lotions or ingested directly by boiling water and mixing in the petals.  One word to the wise, the safe approach is to buy the oil from a licensed herbologist instead of direct ingestion since there could be unforeseen insecticides or poisons used to grow the flowers.




Chamomile is a favorite amongst dermatologists for several reasons including its low rate of allergic reactions in patients, it’s anti-inflammatory agents and high product availability since it is grown widely in Asia, Europe and North America.  The flower’s appearance is delicate and natural, resembling the white daisy.   Although chamomile is white with a yellow center, the extract is tinted in a dark blue, which is easily mixed to provide cooling lotions.  The most popular types are German Chamomile and Russian Chamomile, the German being more astringent and more effective for healing skin irritations.  The flower contains the compound Azulene, the component that makes chamomile one of the top suggested medicinal extracts for those who suffer winter skin ailments. 

suzie_and_lance_canale Suzie and Lance Canale, Westwood, MA 2014

Suzie grows many of her own herbs and flowers in her garden in Westwood.

Tags: Flowers for Emotional Health, Flower Facts, herbs

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

Exotic Flowers in Boston - We Do It Fresh - Lessons in Flower Care

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Sep 30, 2011

Fresh Flowers in Boston
In the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed the latest Direct Mail postcard from Exotic Flowers. About every two to three months, a colorful postcard goes to all our Boston and nationwide flower buyers. This month's postcard touts Exotic Flowers' expertise in sending fresh flowers.
Having been in the floral industry for over seventy five years, Exotic Flowers is schooled in the fundamentals of flower care.
Cut flower processing is required as a staff member at Exotic Flowers. The flower processing team at Exotic Flowers has more than one hundred years experience in fresh flower care. We do it fresh is not just an act, it is the backbone of our success.
Bridal Flowers in Boston
Our floral arrangements are designed to last 5-10 days. Every one of our flower arrangements in the Boston area is delivered in the Exotic Flowers' floral preservative. This preservative is designed to promote longevity and maximum blooming show. The floral preservative has both a bacteria fighter and food to help our flowers flourish. Our arrangements also arrive with a care tag explaining that fresh water should be added daily to ensure maximum vase life.
Our flower buckets also have floral preservative; different than the solution in your arrangement. Our Roslindale refrigerators hold flowers at 40 degrees and the floral solution in the buckets is designed to hold and hydrate the flowers until they are ready to grace the tables and offices of Dorchester, Cambridge, Boston and West Roxbury.
dead flowers Boston resized 600Unfortunately, some other florists in Boston do not see the importance of flower care. These dead roses to my left are only 4 days old. The same roses at Exotic Flowers in Boston flourish for seven days.
Exotic Flowers fresh flower care tips:
  • as soon as you receive your flower arrangement from Exotic Flowers, immediately check the water level. Check container daily to insure it is always filled.
  • Do Not Change the water. Exotic Flowers in Boston has already added a floral preservative which not only fights bacteria, but also nourishes your flowers to promote longevity.
  • Display your arrangement in a cool location, out of direct sunlight.

Tags: Care Tips, Floral Training, Flower Facts

Boston's Exotic Flowers Shows How Flowers Boost Seniors Happiness

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, Aug 31, 2011

Flowers in Boston

CONTACT: (RICK CANALE - 617-524-4456)

University Study Links Flowers to Senior Citizens' Well Being

Research Shows Flowers Boost Seniors' Happiness, Memory, Social Networks

BOSTON, MA - Everyday, America's aging population - 40 million and rising - faces the challenges of growing older, including depression, memory loss and social withdrawal. As a concerned nation, we are continually exploring new means to ease daily-life anxieties. Researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, released the results of a six-month behavioral study on the health effects of flowers on senior citizens. The study demonstrates that flowers ease depression, inspire social networking and refresh memory as we age.

"The results are significant because as our nation grows older and life becomes more stressful, we look for easy and natural ways to enhance our lives - and the lives of our aging parents," said Dr. Jeannette Haviland-Jones, lead researcher and director of the Human Development Lab at Rutgers. "Now, one simple answer is right under our noses."

This research follows a study conducted in 2000, which links flowers to greater happiness and life satisfaction in women. In 2001, the Rutgers team set out to explore the effects flowers would have on senior citizens, who experience different living situations and greater life changes.
Dorchester Flowers

Prevention in a Bud, Not a Bottle 
More than 100 seniors participated in the Rutgers research study, in which some received flowers and others did not. The results shed new light on how nature's support systems help seniors cope with the challenges of aging. The results are as follows:

1. Flowers Decrease Depression. Study participants showed a significant increase in happiness and positive moods when flowers were present. 

2. Flowers Refresh Recent Memory. Seniors performed higher on everyday memory tasks and experienced enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers. 

3. Flowers Encourage Companionship. Seniors who received flowers re-engaged with members of their communities and enlarged their social contacts to include more neighbors, religious support and even medical personnel.

"Instinct tells us that flowers lift our spirits, but, their effects on seniors are especially profound, if not surprising," said Haviland-Jones.
Cambridge Florist
New Evidence Sprouts Up 
Specifically, 81 percent of seniors who participated in the study reported a reduction in depression following the receipt of flowers. Forty percent of seniors reported broadening their social contacts beyond their normal social circle of family and close friends. And, 72 percent of the seniors who received flowers scored very high on memory tests in comparison with seniors who did not receive flowers.

"Happier people live longer, healthier lives and are more open to change," said Haviland-Jones. "Our research shows that a small dose of nature, like flowers, can do a world of wonder for our well-being as we age."

# # #

The Flowers & Seniors Study (2001) is the second floral research project conducted by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Project Director, Human Development Lab at Rutgers. Dr. Haviland-Jones is a psychologist and internationally recognized authority in the role of emotional development in human behavior and nonverbal emotional signals and response. In 2000, Haviland-Jones completed the first phase of her research on the emotional impact of flowers on women. The study, known as The Emotional Impact of Flowers, can be viewed at The Society of American Florists worked in cooperation with the Rutgers research team, bringing its expertise of flowers to the project.

Tags: SAF, Flowers for Emotional Health, Flower Facts

Jeanne Benedict's Flower Facts on Entertaining

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Aug 27, 2010

Jeanne Benedict, host of DIY Network's Weekend Entertaining, suggests placing the main floral designs in prominent places. With the extras, snip off the blossoms and float them in martini glasses or decorative bowls, and place a small vase with a couple of buds in your powder room.

Tags: Party Flowers, Flower Facts, Jeanne Benedict

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