The Glamellia Corsage

Create the Glamellia, which slightly resembles a Camellia, from Gladiolus buds and florets. The technique to create it is quite exact and requires careful placement of buds and cut florets. A critical part of the process is keeping the face of the finished flower flat. If the center bud or outer buds are too high to begin with, the flower will become out of balance.

Selecting the appropriate buds and florets is the first step to creating this glamorous corsage. Start with three to seven graded sizes of perfect, fresh Gladiolus florets. Select buds in a variety of openness; one bud should be mostly closed, with no stamens showing, and one bud should be partially open with the stamens showing. Also select one small open floret, one larger open floret and two to four large open florets.

The size of the Gladiolus florets, the occasion for which it is created and the person wearing the flower will help determine the size of the Glamellia.

Assembly Instructions

  1. Remove the lower green from larger buds and florets. To do this easily, insert the thumb inside the florets and with a sharp knife, cut the end of the Gladiolus floret at an angle just above the thumbnail. Repeat with all open florets. If properly done, the stamens can be removed or will actually drop from the bottom and the petals will not split.
  2. Cut the partially opened bud at an angle, without inserting the thumb. Remove stamens using the method described above and wire the center bud with the criss-cross method. Tape the wire with Floratape ® stem wrap because it helps secure the numerous wires that will be brought down from the florets to create the main stem.
  3. Next insert the closed center bud into the bud that is partially open and wire the center bud into position. This becomes the center around which the next larger size florets are added. Fasten each floret securely with two or more No. 28 or 30 wires. Be sure the wires pierce the folds of the florets gently and securely. Fold wires downward against the center wires that are wrapped with Floratape ® stem wrap. With some practice, it becomes quite simple to keep the Glamellia flat across the front face. The petals should be placed high enough as they are added. Placement of the florets around the center buds, from side to side and bottom and top, is very important in creating the Glamellia. Cut off the top of the two center buds about one-half to three-quarters of an inch from the top after they have been assembled and before the remaining larger open florets are added. Cutting the florets will create a very unusual and satisfying look.
  4. To complete the corsage and add support for the petals, trim down five Salal leaves or Camellia foliage. Wire and wrap each stem with Floratape ® stem wrap and place these leaves snugly underneath the petals. Bind all wires securely and wrap the entire main stem with the appropriate color Floratape ® stem wrap.

FDP-17 | Written by William Kistler, American Floral Art School, Chicago