Bells of Ireland

BELLS OF IRELAND (Molucella laevis) ARE NOT FROM IRELAND. Bells of Ireland, or Shell Flower, is a half-hardy annual that produces an unusual pale green to emerald green funnel-shaped “bells” along green stems in the summer. Despite the common name, this plant from the mint family (Lamiaceae) is not from Ireland, but is native to western Asia, around Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus.


Even Linnaeus, who named the plant, was a bit confused about its origin, naming the genus after the Molucca Islands in Indonesia where it was mistakenly thought to be from. The supposed association with Ireland probably has to do with the colour (and associated marketing potential).




  • Bells of Ireland are prized as a cut or dried flower. The stems of Bells of Ireland are hollow making them difficult to use with floral foam, however you can insert a wired stake into the hollow stem for use in foam. Bells of Ireland have small thorns near their cup shaped leaves.

  • Use as a line flower with other cut flowers or foliage.

  • Display in a cool, shaded area.

  • Bells of Ireland are prized as a cut or dried flower. They are also grown as a annual in the garden.