Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Bleeding Heart

Lamprocapnos Spectabilis (Bleeding Heart)
My favorite flower is in full bloom right now, outside the Rectory, and as these photos can tell, it speaks of love, optimism, hope and sheer beauty. Its technical name in botany is Lamprocapnos spectabilis. It is also affectionately also known as old-fashioned Venus's car, Lady in a bath, Dutchman's trousers, or Lyre-flower. It is a perennial plant native to eastern Asia from Siberia south to Japan. It is a popular ornamental plant for flower gardens in temperate climates, and is also used in floristry as a cut flower for Valentine's Day. It usually has red heart-shaped flowers with white tips which droop from arching flower stems in late spring and early summer. White-flowered forms are also cultivated. 

I noticed a few days ago a young girl picking up some of the hearts. I couldn’t stop her because I was upstairs, but apparently she only picked two or three hearts, because when I checked it again later, I could hardly tell that there were some missing hearts. But then again, it was the day before Mother’s Day and maybe she gave them to her mother as a surprise gift. Or maybe she gave them to a boy she had a crush on. Or maybe she wanted them for herself. Either way, the hearts will come up again, every year, and I pray that bleeding hearts will be only visible on this plant, and not in the lives of so many heart-broken people and families, of which there are probably much more than we think.

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