Orlaya grandiflora 'White Finch' is a true flower show star. This outstanding plant displays stunning pure white flowers that form in large, flat-topped clusters which resemble lace-cap hydrangeas. They appear throughout the summer above the fine, fern-like foliage.
The small central florets are surrounded by a ring of much larger ones creating impact. If you don’t know it, imagine a cross between cow parsley and candy tuft, very pretty and lovely for summer borders
This gorgeous hardy annual has an extremely long flowering period and will often flower until the first frosts. They are perfect for the cutting garden and a lovely summer bedding plant and are suitable for country cottage style or contemporary arrangements, the flat-topped flower clusters resemble the frothy flowers of Queen Anne’s Lace.
Orlaya grows to a height of around 60 to 70cm (24 to 30in), the graceful large flower heads grow to around 8cm (3in) across and the plants mix easily with others in the garden or bouquet.
Easily grown from seed in any rich soil in full sun, the plants bloom for a remarkably long period and regular deadheading will extend the season and the flowers last 7 to 10 days in a vase.
Sowing: Sow September to October or March to May
For cut flowers throughout the summer, sow at intervals from March, 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date, to early June. The plants take approximately 100 to 110 days to mature and bloom
Seeds can be sown in pots or trays indoors, but as with most of the Umbelliferae/Apiaceae (Carrot family) they have a long taproot which can be damaged when transplanting so care must be taken.
Sow 6 to 8 weeks before planting out. When first true leaves appear, transplant into larger containers. Harden off and transplant out after last frost.
Sow where they are to flower once temperatures are around 15 to 20°C (59 to 68°F). Surface sow to no more than 1mm (1/8in) deep. Sow thinly in drills 30cm (12in) apart in well-cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Lightly cover seed
Water ground regularly, especially in dry periods. Germination will normally occur within 7 to 21 days at temperatures around 68 to 72°F (20 to 22°C). When large enough to handle, thin out seedlings to 20 to 30cm (8 to 12in) apart.
Provide support if exposed to windy areas. Stake plants when they are about 10cm (4in) tall with twiggy hazel stems. Plants will reseed themselves if a few heads are left in the garden to mature. Once the plant has finished flowering you can collect the seed and sow immediately to propagate more plants for the following year.
Cut the flowers in the morning when approximately 80% of the flowers are open. Flowers should be crisp white with only slight green tint and no hint of pollen shed.
For dried flowers, air dry flowers for two to three weeks in a dark, dry place. Darkness is necessary so the flowers do not turn brown.
Beds and borders, City, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean, Wildflower, Wildlife.
Orlaya is a genus of flowering plant in the Apiaceae family. It is a small genus of three species - O. grandiflora (Large-flowered, or Great-Flowered Orlaya), O. platycarpus (Broad Fruited Orlaya) and O. maritima. (Sea-side Orlaya).
The species grandifora is native to large parts of southeastern Europe and Central Asia. It can be found in dry grassy places, vineyards and olive groves in the Mediterranean area. It has much decreased since the 1950's and may now be almost extinct in the wild.
The genus Orlaya is named for Johann Orlay, a a botanist and physician and literary secretary of the Imperial Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences in Russia, circa 1770-1829.
The species name grandiflora simply means 'large flowered' or 'great flowered'.
Also known as Caucalis grandiflora and Daucus grandiflorus, its common names include Minoan Lace, French cow-parsley and Large-flower Orlaya.
The Imperial Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences was founded in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great, inspired and advised by Gottfried Leibniz, and implemented in the Senate decree of 1724. The name varied over the years, and following the Revolution in 1917 it was renamed the Russian Academy of Sciences. It kept this name only until 1925 when it became the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1934 it moved from Leningrad (which is what St Petersburg had been renamed) to Moscow. In 1991 its name of the Russian Academy of Sciences was reinstated.
The Academy is declared as a civil, self-governed, non-commercial organisation chartered by the Government of Russia. It combines members of the academy and scientists employed by institutions. Election to membership is considered very prestigious, as members are elected based on their scientific contributions.
Currently, the Academy includes around 500 institutions and 55 thousand scientific researchers. The institutions cover a vast range of subjects such as Archeology, Molecular Biology, Applied Mathematics and Space Research.
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 30 Seeds Family Apiaceae Genus Orlaya Species grandiflora Synonym Caucalis grandiflora Common Name Minoan Lace or French Meadow Parsley Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers White lacy umbels Natural Flower Time June to October Foliage Mid-green Height 60cm (24in) Spread 30cm (12in) Position Full sun for best flowering Soil Moist, well-drained, fertile soil is best. Time to Sow September to October or March to May