My Bleeding Hearts are blooming beautifully near my front walkway. I clipped a few stalks and created an arrangement with them for my kitchen that I wanted to share with you.
Bleeding Heart is the common name and Dicentra Spectabilis is the botanical name of this plant and is aptly descriptive. Dicentra, from Greek, meaning “two spurs,” and spectabilis, meaning “worthy of notice,” or “spectacular,” which this plant certainly is.
It’s a perennial, and a member of the Papaveraceae, or poppy family. Some 150 varieties of this flower are found in North America, western Asia, and the Himalayas. There are other names given for this spectacular flower, some examples are: Chinamen’s Breeches, Enfant-Jesus en Berceau (French- Infant Jesus in Cradle), Lady in a Bath, Lady’s Ear-Drops, Lady’s Locket, Lyre Flower, Fleur de Marie (French- Mary’s Flower), Coeur de Marie (French- Mary’s Heart), Our Lady in a Boat, Saint-Esprit (French- Holy Spirit), Staggerweed, Turkey Corn and Turkey Pea. My favorite names are Jesus in Cradle and Mary’s Heart. When I see these flowers I alway think of our Lord and Mother!
One of the most beautiful flowering plants in the spring is the Bleeding Heart. There is nothing more enchanting than long slender sprays of delicate pink hearts arching gracefully in your garden.
No other plant bears perfect heart-shaped flowers like those of the Bleeding Heart. If you press the flowers between the pages of a heavy book, you’ll have papery-thin little hearts to adorn letters or valentines.
The flowers also hold clues to a tragic tale of unrequited love. To begin the story, hold a heart blossom in the palm of your hand. Once upon a time, or so the story goes, there lived a very beautiful and very vain princess. Young men from all over the world came to woo her, but she would have nothing to do with any of them.
A young prince from a neighboring country fell deeply in love with her. Like the others, she ignored him despite his attempts to win her heart. At the market one day, he found a pair of pretty pink rabbits, sending them to her in the hope of winning her over. (Break off the two outside petals of the flower, resembling a pair of pink rabbits.) The princess was not impressed. The prince then sent her a pair of beautiful Oriental slippers. (Remove the two long petals from the front and back of the flower. They look like a pair of slippers.) Still she would have nothing to do with him. The young prince was so heart broken by her indifference that he took his dagger and drove it into his heart. (The remains of the flower make the outline of a heart with a line down the center. Break out the stamen, which looks like a dagger, and put it through the center of the heart.)
As soon as the prince was dead, of course the princess realized that she had really loved him. She vowed that as long as she lived, her heart would bleed for her prince.
I hope you enjoyed my “Lovely Bleeding Hearts-Simple Elegant” post!
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