All You Need To Know About Gomphrena


gomphrena

What is Gomphrena?

A close up of a purple flower

Gomphrena is a genus of about 120 species of annual and perennial herbs in the family Amaranthaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. The species are commonly known as globe amaranths or bachelor’s buttons.

The history of Gomphrena

A close up of a flower garden

The genus Gomphrena was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is derived from the Greek word gomphotheres, meaning “to bear balls”, referring to the round flower heads.

How to plant and care for Gomphrena

Gomphrena can be direct-seeded into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. They can also be started indoors 4-6 weeks before transplanting out. Sow seeds on the surface of a well-drained, sterile seed-starting mix and lightly cover with vermiculite. Keep the soil moist but not wet and at a temperature of 70-75 degrees F until germination, which will occur in 10-21 days.

Uses for Gomphrena

Globe amaranths are most commonly grown as ornamental plants. The flowers can be dried and used in arrangements, or the entire plant can be cut and used as a fresh or dried flower. The flowers are also sometimes used in leis.

Varieties of Gomphrena

There are many different varieties of globe amaranth, including:

G. globosa – the most common variety, with round, globe-shaped flower heads that can be purple, pink, white, or red

G. haageana – a taller variety with oval-shaped flower heads that are pink or lilac in color

G. officinalis – a medicinal variety with small, greenish-white flowers

G. serrata – a trailing variety with small, pink, or white flowers

G. staphylina – a rare variety with large, deep blue flower heads

Propagating Gomphrena

Gomphrena can be propagated by seed or cuttings. Seeds should be sown directly in the garden after all danger of frost has passed, and will germinate within 2-3 weeks. Cuttings can be taken from established plants in late spring or early summer and should be rooted in a mixture of moist sand and perlite.

Growing Gomphrena in containers

Gomphrena can also be grown successfully in containers. Choose a pot with good drainage and plenty of room for the roots to spread out. Before planting, amend the soil with compost or other organic matter to improve texture and moisture retention. Water regularly, but allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering.

Diseases and pests of Gomphrena

Globe amaranths are generally resistant to disease and pests. However, they can occasionally be affected by fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or root rot. Aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites may also attack the plants.

Harvesting and storing Gomphrena

Cut flowers can be harvested when they are just beginning to open. Flowers can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks. To dry flowers, cut the stems and hang them upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room. Dried flowers will retain their color and shape for several months.

FAQs about Gomphrena

Q: What is the best way to store dried Gomphrena flowers?

A: Store them in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

Q: How long do Gomphrena flowers last?

A: Fresh flowers will last up to 2 weeks, while dried flowers can be stored for several months.

Q: Are Gomphrena plants poisonous?

A: No, they are not poisonous. However, the plant does contain small amounts of saponins, which can cause stomach upset if consumed in large quantities.

Q: Are there any edible varieties of Gomphrena?

A: Yes, there are several edible varieties, including G. globosa and G. officinalis. They can be used in salads or cooked like other leafy greens. However, it is important to first remove the bitter white sap from the leaves before eating them.

Conclusion

Gomphrena, also known as globe amaranth, is a beautiful flower that can be used in a variety of ways. From being dried and used in arrangements to being added to salads or even made into tea, gomphrena is versatile and easy to grow. If you’re looking for a new addition to your garden or want some ideas on how to use this pretty flower, read on for more information about gomphrena.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter