The Flower Market History
Our Roots Go Way Back
Historically speaking, The Original Los Angeles Flower Market has a proud heritage and family history that span nearly an entire century.
Inspired by the success of local Japanese-American growers who had established the city’s first major flower market in 1912 (the Southern California Flower Market), the organization that would ultimately be known as The Original Los Angeles Flower Market was founded in 1919 as the American Florists’ Exchange by a group of 30 enterprising European-American growers.
Seeking a more efficient way to sell and distribute their freshly grown, highly perishable flowers to local florists and nurseries, the fledgling American Florists’ Exchange set up shop in a garage on Winston Street near Fifth.
The Genesis of The Original Los Angeles Flower Market.
In 1921, led by Tom Wright, the group officially incorporated themselves as the American Florists’ Exchange, Ltd., dba The Los Angeles Flower Market, and subsequently moved their operations to South Wall Street.
Many legendary pioneers of the L.A. floriculture industry were among the group’s original founding members, which included: Ernst Amling, Walter Armacost and Fred Royston, J.C. Bodger, Paul Ecke Sr., H. N. Gage, W. “Pop” Godfrey and Donald Biggs, Albert Goldenson, C.J. Groen, Gebhard Prechtl, Herman Seidler, W.J. Jacobus, Vander Bruggen, C.P. Von Herzen and Roy Wilcox.
Thinking Globally & Acting Locally.
As L.A.’s two major flower markets grew and prospered in the early 1920s, they both relocated to more spacious quarters—across the street from each other—on the 700 block of South Wall Street.
The decades that followed brought with them years of innovation and growth, as advances in the areas of horticulture and greenhouse technologies, refrigeration, transportation and communications made the floral industry a truly global enterprise.
Over time, as the Los Angeles area’s population and real estate prices continued to climb, many growers moved their primary operations to the north, the south or even out of the country to become more cost-efficient—and cost-competitive—with the growing wave of imported cut flowers.
Through it all, The Original Los Angeles Flower Market has continued to adapt, evolve and to thrive by putting the needs of its loyal customers commercial and retail customers first.
At The Heart of The Matter.
Currently, The Original Los Angeles Flower Market’s 50 member/vendors offer more than 125 different varieties of cut flowers plus an impressive portfolio of related foliage and floral accessories.
Equally significant, in 2011, The Original Los Angeles Flower Market has “gone solar”—transforming its main facility into a modern, solar-powered showcase for the floral offerings grown in over a dozen different countries.
Today, The Original Los Angeles Flower Market shines brightly as the “heart” and geographical center, of the world-famous Los Angeles Flower District—the single largest and most successful wholesale floral district in the entire United States.