According to Elements of Classic Designs, each type of flower in an arrangement has a purpose. Line flowers create the arrangement's structure. Focal flowers draw attention to one area of the arrangement. Accent and filler flowers supply body and color.
Line flowers have tall narrow profiles and are used both vertically and horizontally to establish an arrangement's height and width. They include gladioli, delphiniums, freesias, larkspur and giant snapdragons.
Focal flowers are the largest and showiest flowers in an arrangement. Roses, peonies, hydrangeas, football chrysanthemums and lilies are some focal flowers.
Clusters of individual flowers on a single stem, like babies' breath, statice, wax flowers, limonium and solidaster, provide color and body between the line and focal flowers.
Textured flowers create visual interest. The contrast between a dozen densely frilled variegated carnations and a smooth, sleek, solid colored vase, for example, makes a simple but striking arrangement.
Stargazer lilies, freesia, lilac, stock, some roses and wax flowers all have pleasing fragrances. They add an unexpected and haunting dimension to flower arrangements.
Passionate for travel and the well-written word, Judy Wolfe is a professional writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Cal Poly Pomona and a certificate in advanced floral design. Her thousands of published articles cover topics from travel and gardening to pet care and technology.