May flowers

Dried florals are catching on in Baton Rouge—and these everlasting blooms could stick around a while

Florals? For spring? To quote The Devil Wears Prada: groundbreaking.

But wait a minute. There is something different about the flowers trending lately in the fashion, design and event spheres.

On a wintry Thursday at Baton Rouge Succulent Co., customers are peppering owner Rozlan Fransen with questions about how to protect the boutique’s tropical monstera houseplants, desert succulents and spidery air plants against south Louisiana’s ever-fluctuating weather.

But there’s one section of the store they’ll never have to worry about: its dried floral bar. Glass vases hold an a la carte selection of everlasting grasses and buds.

There’s spiky banksia in shades of turmeric and tangerine. Three different types of feathery pampas grass. Natural and bleached stalks of wheat.

Fransen plucks a yellow Billy Ball stem from a vase.

“These have a very Dr. Seuss-esque look to them,” she says admiringly. “They’re this perfect round, bright pop of color.”

The flowers are all kind of alien. They’re a little funky and highly textural. And because many of them are large, they make comparatively affordable filler pieces for large-scale installations. Designs made of pampas plumes or palm leaves almost remind Fransen of sculptures.

It’s no wonder dried arrangements are increasingly popping up at lavish weddings and in impeccably designed interiors. And unlike your Trader Joe’s fresh sunflower and tulip bouquets, these arrangements will last … well, forever.

Last year, Fransen began noticing flower shops she followed in places like New York and Australia creating more dried arrangements. The social posts were what gave her one of her “craziest ideas”: adding the dried floral bar to Baton Rouge
Succulent Co.

So far, it’s mostly attracted younger, trend-following customers. Fransen laughs as she recalls a guy coming into the shop to pick up a Valentine’s Day bouquet of the “pre-dead stuff” his girlfriend was into.

Older customers, on the other hand, will say, “Oh, is this coming back again? I used to have these all over my house.”

Fransen admits these less-traditional plants probably won’t be her biggest money maker. But she can’t help but love them, anyway.

They lend her limitless creativity. But they also provide opportunities to brighten someone’s day, as they did when the boutique offered delivery during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

And Fransen proved her point about the plants’ sculptural quality when they served as backdrops to our texture-themed spring style shoot.

Crepe-y palms and wispy grasses were the perfect complements to silky dresses, poofy-sleeved tops and ruched skirts.

It just wouldn’t have been the same with live flowers. brsucculentco.com

Photography: Kristin Selle | Styling: Elle Marie
Florals + location: Baton Rouge Succulent Co. | Model: Falon Brown of The Forbes Agency
Hair: CeKeisha Williams | Makeup: Katrina Liza

Amur dress, $498
Stuart Weitzman gold snake-print heels, $425
From NK Boutique

Dried floral headband, $55
From Baton Rouge Succulent Co.

Treasure Jewels earrings, $48
Gold cuffs, $22-$24
From HerringStone’s Boutique

Ice ring, $10
From NYA Accessories

Rosie clutch, $28
From B’Klutched

Lida Kate bubble-sleeve top, $50
Lida Kate ruched skirt, $50
Chinese Laundry “Rudie” reptile-print booties, $80
Gold tube-hoop pearl-drop earrings, $28
White and gold bracelet, $45
From HerringStone’s Boutique

Marbled green clutch, $30
From B’Klutched


A.L.C. Leighton one-shoulder dress, $695
From NK Boutique

Luxury evil-eye chain earrings, $72
From HerringStone’s Boutique

Steve Madden heels
Model’s own

This article was originally published in the May 2020 issue of 225 Magazine.