Most of the materials that are visible in an arrangement are flowers and foliage. As dried arrangements and novelty design increase in popular­ity, additional material may be considered for use. Nevertheless, all of these materials can be categorized into four basic types (Figure 7-6).

Some flowers and nonflower materials may play more than one role. For example, gladiolus blossoms are often removed from their long, vertical stem and clustered at the center of an arrangement, changing them from line forms to mass forms. Roses used while tight buds on long stems will be strong line forms. When used as fully opened flowers




Flower examples

Nonflower examples



• Thin

• Vertical

• Tapered

• Used to create the basic shape of the arrangement

• Most effective at outer edges of the arrangement


Gladiolus, snapdragons, stock, delphinium, long­stemmed flowers, such as iris and rose, branches of flowering shrubs, such as forsythia, spirea, and pussy willow

Cattail, scotch broom, snake plant, twigs, ear of corn, tapered candle, thistles on long stems, eucalyptus


• Rounded

• Used at the center of the arrangement

Open tulip and rose, zinnia, gloxinia, marigold, carnation

Christmas ornaments (millimeter balls), pine cones, seed pods, fruit


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• Uncommon shapes

• Unusual silhouettes

• Seldom mixed with other form materials


Orchid, lily, iris, bird-of – paradise, antherium

Figurines, candles, drift­wood, certain fruits


• Used to fill in between line and mass materials

• Often has many blossoms or small leaves on a single stem


Babies’ breath, spray mums, heather, statice

Assorted foliage, such as asparagus fern, huckle­berry, ivy, dried leaves

figure 7-6. Types of arrangement materials (Delmar/Cengage Learning)

on short stems, they function as mass forms. Spray mums are regarded as filler flowers in a large arrangement, yet in a small container they can serve as mass forms.

Updated: September 28, 2015 — 2:32 am