Marketing seeds planted by Florists' Transworld Delivery Association during the past five years have begun to bloom with an increasing number of men getting flowers for Father's Day.

"It's not that unusual these days to have people coming in the store to buy flowers for Father's Day, whereas a couple of years ago I might have lifted an eyebrow if someone asked about flowers for dad," said John Adamo of Conner Park Florists in Detroit.Over the past five years, flowers-by-wire orders for Father's Day have more than doubled from about 25,200 to 55,200, said Henry Knitter, group director of corporate services for FTD, based at Southfield, Mich.

The association has spent approximately $100 million on advertising since 1983, 20 percent of that promoting the idea of giving flowers to men, Knitter said.

FTD says commercials featuring Merlin Olsen, a former pro football player turned actor, are part of the reason for the rise in popularity of flowers on Father's Day. Olsen has been the FTD spokesman since 1983.

"He (Olsen) has a macho image, yet also comes across as a gentle giant," Knitter said.

"Flowers are just another alternative as dad gets a little older and it seems like he has everything," Adamo said.