Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The NYC Flower District

As I said in Monday's post, our NYC stay in was in what's called The Flower District. I had no idea what exactly to expect from that name, but I enjoyed snapping photos as we came and went from our hotel. These HUGE tillandsia caught my eye one morning as we headed off to catch a train...

Who expects to see a semi full of plants being unloaded on a Manhattan street?

Or precious parking spaces taken up with folks processing cut branches?

I saw my first Christmas tree of the season!

And just missed snapping a photo of buckets of cut stems being hauled down into the dark depths.

I did attempt a little research, to learn more about the district, and found a story (undated) on the Petal Republic: "The Flower District currently encompasses many storefronts along both sides of 28th Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue. And although it is home to one of the busiest “flower markets” (calling it a market is definitely an understatement) in the country, most people–even many New Yorkers themselves– don’t know about NYC’s Flower District."

"But for the New Yorkers and visitors who do know about the district, it’s a haven for unique, affordable blooms, garden supplies, and much more. For florists, retailers, and wholesalers to artists, home gardeners, and those just looking for a nice bouquet at a reasonable price–there’s something for everyone." 

 "In its earliest days, the Flower District was located on the much busier thoroughfare of 34th Street but moved to its current location all the way back in the 1890s. At one time it had somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 vendors operating, but today is just a fraction of what it once was. Luckily, there are still many long-standing vendors going strong– and they’re definitely worth visiting."

Unfortunately not even New York is not immune to these spray-painted travesties!

One of the vendors I talked with (I finally made it a priority to visit the shops on our last day) said indeed it's both a wholesale and retail market. Although he expressed a little frustration that the pricing wasn't better policed.

Most things I looked at weren't priced, which was fine—I didn't want to try and figure out how to get a "must have" home.

It was better to not know what bargains I was passing up.

These ladies were hard at work watering the plants by carrying them over and submerging them in buckets of water. Meanwhile a trio of men stood behind the counter watching something on a small television and laughing with each other.

There were plants of all types and sizes available...

Yes, even agaves!

And conifers...

As you may of already figured out there were also a lot of bromeliads.

I think that guy in the middle may have been an Agave ovatifolia, he was on a very high shelf so I wasn't able to look closely. 

More agaves on a high shelf! These tucked behind orchids.

Wow, first Christmas trees, now potted bulbs. I still want to be wearing flip-flops.

So many cameras, every move being recorded.

These large plants were being potted up right there on the sidewalk. I saw so many huge floral arrangements and potted plants being whisked away to their new homes. 

A few shops were still requiring masks, and one was only open by appointment, due to COVID.


This was one of my favorite shops...

The card says Jordana Baldwin, lucky Jordana! (unless that's what they've named the plant? Nah...)

Still in the same shop...

I really wanted to take one of these cryptanthus home!

This scene had me thinking of my plants back home, in the basement under lights. Thankfully they all looked great when I got returned.

No space goes unutilized.

Andrew spotted that bound agave through the window, on one of our first days in NYC.

He wanted to be sure he got credit for being the first one to spot an agave.

I was tempted by this grafted cactus, never having seen one done like this before. I'm kind of regretting passing it up.

A lunch spot?

Hmmm... another cryptanthus to tempt me!

I stood here and watched this cat watch people walk up and down the street. I was right there—my legs blocking part of the view—but it never looked up at me.

The Fleur Room was a rockin spot at night. The fleurs looked less fake in the dark.

Heading out to dinner on our last night I had to laugh at this. A discarded ornamental cabbage in the street, with nobody to love it...

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. That's pretty fabulous. I wonder what a "deal" on succulents looks like in NYC? Downtown Los Angeles has a Flower District too, as well as a Flower Market and a Flower Mall, all within walking distance of one another. Although I worked downtown for 8 years in the late 80s to mid 90s, I never visited and I now avoid the downtown area like the plague. There are also Jewelry and Fashion Districts there too. I visited the former once (giving up my first ever bonus on a watch I still wear daily) and the latter never.

    1. I almost visited the LA Flower Market once, or wait, maybe that was the SF version (both?). We have a market here as well, it's in a huge building with smaller shops and you have to have a pass (purchased annually) to get in. The offerings are similar to these, I suppose. Less of the huge plants though...

  2. The quantity and variety is mind-boggling! Even more surprising: large agaves and cacti! All of them need to be indoors for 4-5 months!

    Were you able to get a sense of how prices compare to Portland?

    1. I suspect a lot of those big tender plants are targeted for lobbies of large condos or office buildings, maybe a fancy penthouse. The prices I did see were right in line with what I would expect to pay here. Whereas the prices at the botanic garden gift shops and the one nursery I went to (up in Harlem) were definitely more, a lot more!

  3. A quick search about a genus called Furcraea might intrigue you in regard to a few you plants you (and many others) initially believe to be Agave. They are indeed agavoids but different and carry the common name: False Agave. Best wishes.

    1. No worries, I'm, well aware of furcraea and love them too. I am curious which photos you think are furcraea?

    2. Andrew’s choice (sorry Andrew) is one and definitely that photo below (I’m on the mobile view of your blog) the big group of tall cacti. These are likely F. foetida. Other actual Agaves I can ID would be A. desmettiana. It wouldn’t surprise me if these came up from Florida. Excuse my typos in the earlier reply.

    3. Thanks for the reply. Now I wish I could go back and look at them closer!

  4. I didn't realize New York city had a Flower District! A very pleasant surprise and immediately goes on the list of "places to visit on next trip to NYC".
    The photo of just missed "buckets of cut stems being hauled down into the dark depth" was most tantalizing! I REALLY wanted to know what's going on down below. Both examples of Cryptanthus were superb; very tempting indeed.

    1. It's a fun area to explore, maybe make sure you have room in your suitcase for one of those cryptanthus!

  5. Considering the hefty price of real estate in NYC, one would have to be fairly well off to have space for one of those big spiky numbers in their apartment!


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