Ugly-Pretty Flowers?

While racing around the mart choosing flowers for the Style Lab, I started to think about “ugly-pretty” flowers.  I am generally drawn to things that are ugly-pretty (or “ugly-cute” as in the case of my boston terrier 😉 My favorite models and actresses straddle the line between ugly and beautiful.  Their buck teeth/ bug eyes/huge foreheads make them even more intriguing.  The scraggly desert landscape on the way to Vegas is ugly-pretty. I’m also obsessed with vultures (ask my husband!)  which are mostly ugly and creepy, but beautiful in flight.

(photo by Joe- Basil was extra ugly-cute as a puppy)

In a time where pretty, feminine, and vintage-inspired weddings abound, most of my clients are asking for soft, fluffy, petally flowers such as roses, ranuncula, and peonies.  There is NOTHING ugly about those flowers, and I adore them for their beauty!

(photo by Jerry Yoon)

But I also adore the spiky. The waxy.  The scary but beautiful looking flowers.  It’s refreshing to be able to use them from time to time, and I do believe tropicals and other unusual specimens will be returning to wedding decor soon enough.   I also like the idea of mixing in some ugly-pretty flowers with pretty-pretty flowers to bring more texture and surprise to the arrangements.

Without further ado:


(This list is totally subjective, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder)

1.  Leucodendrons–  my favorite variety has light yellow petals and an ombre-like ball in the center.

2. King Protea– Looks like a fuzzy pink monster.  Literally the size of a honeydew melon.  Frightening!

(photo from wikimedia)

3.  Bromeliads– typically used as a house plant, but I also see cut bromeliads at the mart in bright fuchsia, red, yellow and orange.

(photo by The Image Is Found)

4.  Sunflowers– admit it, these are kind of ugly… the huge brown center looks like a giant bumble bee’s eyeball.  But I will never forget the beauty of the sunflower fields in Tuscany.  I’m still dying to do a 100% sunflower wedding.  Any takers?

(photo by docuvitae)

5.  Arabicum Ornithogalum– One of my favorite flowers because of the tiny star-like blossoms with  black centers.  When in full bloom, these are definitely more pretty than ugly.  But when the blossoms are still tight, the green center of this flower sticks out and is pretty funky looking.

(photo by Trista Lerit)

(photo from flickr)

6.  Nigella- The most mesmerizing shade of blue, but the pods look like hairy tumors of some sort.

(photo by Joe)

7.  Gloriosa Lilies– I carried these on my wedding day.  They are a climbing vine with the most graceful stems and gorgeous fuchsia petals.  They look like daddy long leg spiders!

(photo by Trista Lerit)

8.  Pincushions– such a perfect name!  See picture at the bottom of the collage.

(photo by Boutwell Studio)

9. Sexy Pink Heliconia– That’s really what this is called! Heliconias scare me a little, but this pink variety is amazing to look at.

(photo from here)

10.  Lady Slippers- God is such an artist.

(photo from here)

Do you have any favorite ugly-pretty flowers that didn’t make my list?


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6 Responses to “Ugly-Pretty Flowers?”

  1. janet Says:

    I concur with lady slipper orchids, nigella pods and all protea/leucadendron varieties. I would like to add sarracenia, asclepias pods, lotus pods, scabiosa and their pods, thistle, strawberry tree/manzanita branches, and fantail pussy willow. 🙂

    • thetreasuredpetal Says:

      That fantail pussy willow really creeps me out! my flower guy brought some over and I thought they were deformed or something! thanks for adding to the list! lotus pods are definitely ugly pretty!

  2. esther kim Says:

    but you sure know how to put together these ‘ugly-pretty’ flowers to gorgeous arrangements! but lady slippers do look pretty gross to me. yikes!

  3. sarah b Says:

    wait, so you make amazing pieces on etsy AND you have a beautiful blog?!

    and i love the ugly/pretty flower idea!

  4. Confessions of a Florist « The Treasured Petal Blog Says:

    […] The Treasured Petal Blog Just another weblog « Ugly-Pretty Flowers? […]

  5. christina Says:

    i love brightly colored cockscomb!

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