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Take a peek inside the Riga Flower Market in Moscow

Russia: Rose still the number one flower?

Russia is a flower loving country and around 90 percent of the flowers are imported. The largest share of these flowers are sold in Moscow, followed by Saint Petersburg. Last week, during the FlowersExpo week in Moscow, we got the opportunity to visit a flower market that has one of the largest selections of flowers in Moscow: Riga (Rizhskiy) Market. It is said that local florists go to this market to buy fresh flowers at wholesale prices.

Click here to take a look at our photos to get an impression of the Riga Market and of the flowers and plants we bumped into in a florist shop and a supermarket.

Rose is No. 1 flower
Even though the selection of flowers is very broad, this market clearly shows the number one flower in the country; the rose. Nearly half of the imported flowers in Russia are roses and over half of these roses are supplied by Ecuador, followed by Colombia. However, according to several rose growers at the FlowersExpo, the offer of today is different compared to several years ago, before the country was hit by the crisis. "Nowadays, there are not as many 100 cm roses on the market anymore, red and white are not the most offered colors and more roses are being imported from Kenya."

When taking a closer look at the flower displays at the Riga market, the exhibitors seem to be right. Pink roses are taking in quite some space, the majority of the roses have a stem length ranging from 40 to 80 cm and next to the Russian and Ecuadorean roses, one sees quite a lot of roses from Kenyan farms. And this also complies with the numbers. Statistically speaking, import of roses from Kenya increased over the past few years, by over 50 percent in quantity and value terms.

More than just roses. (Click here for more photos)

More than roses
Next to roses, many other flowers are on offer and these mainly originate from the Netherlands and Colombia. The Netherlands account for many of the orchids, cymbidium and gerberas that are on display and Colombia for many of the chrysanthemums, carnations and alstroemerias.

Gerberas from the Netherlands.

More smaller flowers in bouquets
Next to straight bunches, large bouquets with strong colors and some fall arrangements are on offer. Interestingly, even though the Russians are known for their love for flowers with large head sizes, several of these bouquets contain many flowers with smaller head sizes. An utterance made by one of the FlowersExpo exhibitors - "many is the new big" - seems to have the potential to become and might even already be a real trend.

Smaller flowers in large bouquets. (Click here for more photos)

Having a quick look at the prices at the market, one sees that the rose prices range from 30 ruble for a 40 cm rose to 70 ruble for a 90 cm rose and the prices of a bouquet mainly lie within the range of 1,500 to 10,000 ruble.

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