The Duchess Tulip

In wedding bouquets, one or two Duchess Tulips can create an exotic look and a huge overblown Tulip fastened at the waist of a bouffant gown is also striking.

Assembly Instructions

  1. To assemble the Duchess Tulip use either a partially developed (neither tight nor open) Tulip or many stamens grouped together. This forms the center of the arrangement. First pierce through the sides of the partially developed Tulip with No. 26 wires and insert three of these wires at different angles. Bring the wires together along the stem to create the center for the Duchess Tulip.
  2. For the body of the Duchess Tulip first remove the petals from approximately 9 to 12 Tulips. Then form hairpins from No. 26 wire. Pick up two Tulip petals, forefinger below and thumb above, and overlap them slightly. Sew a hairpin in and out of the petals and place the thumb at the spot where the hairpin first pierced the petals and place the forefinger behind. With the other hand, gently pull the cut ends of the wire down until the bend of the hairpin is at the original puncture point. Prepare many groupings in this manner.
  3. Next pick up the center and begin adding a row of wired petals, forming a complete layer of petals around the center. Gather the loose wires around the stem and tape them as necessary to hold them in position. Continue to add more layers of petals, keeping the taping spot constant, until the Duchess Tulip is the desired size. When successive layers are added, the wires will be slightly bent so that by the time the last few layers are added these wires will be bent at a right angle to the stem. To finish the back of the Tulip and disguise mechanics, also cover the exposed wires. Add a few Salal leaves or ribbon loops that have been wired and overwrapped with Floratape ® stem wrap. Use Floratape ® stem wrap on the remaining stem in the desired color.
  4. Take special care not to disturb the stamens when removing the petals because they can be used for the center of the Duchess Tulip. Wind the one-inch-long stem of each group of stamens with two No. 26 wires. First gather several groups of stamens together to form a round full center for the Duchess Tulip. Next add petals and allow an inch between the tip of the Tulip petals and the stamens. The completed center made of stamens provides an exotic look for this special flower. Use one or two Duchess Tulips and several buds with foliage to form an interesting bridal or attendant’s bouquet. Use two No. 18 wires to reinforce the bouquet handle and then cover the wires with Floratape ® stem wrap. Last, add an appropriate color satin ribbon.

FDP-16 | Written by William Kistler, American Floral Art School, Chicago