Some basics on sizing and weights of flowers
Ever wonder why there are so many measurements in the flower industry? Flowers are graded to keep consistency and quality of the product, so customers know exactly what they are getting and suppliers and growers know exactly what they're selling. The market sets the standard grading rules. Varieties are commonly measured in centimeters and grams. Typically the first measure is the height of the flower and the second measure is the width of the flower head.
Let's look at allium as an example. Allium Gladiator is a tall allium with a smaller flower. It will be described as 70cm, 80cm or 90cm tall and 5cm wide. Allium Globemaster is a tall allium with a large head size and will be described as 75cm, 85cm and 90cm and the flower can be as wide as 10 cm or more.
Roses are typically sold by length of 40 cm, 50 cm, 60 cm and so on. This is the measurement of how tall the flower is from the bottom stem to the top of the stem. In inches, 40 cm roses are 15.75 in length, 50 cm roses are 19.75 inches and 60 cm roses are 23.5 inches. The longer the stem, the larger the size of the flower. For example, a 60cm rose might have a flower head two times the size of a 40cm rose.
Some fillers and greens are sold by the gram weight instead of the bunch. For example, Italian ruscus can be described as 70 cm in height and 150 grams. This means that it is extra long (more than 27") and the bunch weighs about 150 grams, which is a bit over 5 ounces. In this example the bunch is sold by weight, rather than stem count.
It is important to know the standard bunch size of flowers as well. Here are some basic guidelines:
In general, most bunches of flowers are sold in 10 stem lots, however, some flowers such as peonies might be sold in 5 stem bunches, depending upon the farm and the region they are grown in.
Some growers might sell flowers by gram weights, so stem count can vary. Cremons, daisies and novelty poms might be 10 stem bunches or 6-7 stem bunches depending upon the farm.
Roses are typically sold in lots of 25stems. Garden roses, depending upon the variety can be sold in bunches of 12, 15 or 18 stems.
Carnations are sold in lots of 25 stems, unless they are a specialty carnation.
When buying flowers, especially on-line when you can't see the product, it's best to get out a standard ruler so you can visually determine the size of the flower. By being familiar with flower sizing, grading and stem counts, you can understand exactly what to expect.
"Even the tiniest flowers can have the toughest roots"