|photo by ana traina ~2012|
To begin illustrating the narration of the story, hold a heart blossom in the palm of your hand.
Long, long ago there lived a noble Duke named, Benjamin Bertie Nerdigham of Aberdeenford
who tried in vain to win the hellion heart of a very beautiful but absolutely spoiled Baroness named, Eryn Duckworth Nerdigcott of Aberdeenpool. The Duke had brought the Baroness wonderful treasures from his travels far and wide. Yet, she had taken no notice of him. One gloomy afternoon, the Duke returned from a long journey with very remarkable treasures, indeed, to surely win the love and affection of the bratty Baroness. First, he presented her with two magical and very mischievous pink bunnies.
Peel off the two outer petals and set them on their sides to display two little pink bunnies.
The Baroness sighed with complete and utter boredom and barely looked at the little bunnies. However, the hopeful Duke had one more treasure saved for last - he presented a pair of fetching enchanted earrings.
Remove the two long white petals and hold them next to your ears.
Again, the Baroness hardly noticed the Duke's treasure as she blandly bit into a bit of tea cake. Now, the unfortunate Duke was utterly and inconsolably heartbroken. He could try no more to win the black heart of the icy Baroness. So, all at once, and ever so swiftly he rose up, pulled a silver dagger from his sheath and stabbed himself in the heart, twice or was it three times. I can never remember that part! Anyway, it is said that the first Bleeding Heart plant sprung from the very place where he died.
With the remaining in the flower is a heart shape with the stamen, appearing as a dark green line down the center. Hold the heart up, carefully remove the dagger-like line, and plunge the dagger through the heart.
O’! So as all tales have a somewhat happy ending, here is mine... The thick and thawing Baroness was overcome and overwhelmed by the honeyed dedication of the dying Duke and his never-ending love for her. So she finally realized, a bit too late for my taste, that she loved and adored him too. "Alas," she hooted out. "I have done a great, great villainy, my own heart is broken also. I shall bleed and bleed and bleed for my sweet lionhearted Duke forever!" And so it was said, and so it is true, her heart bleeds to this very day.
These blossoming Bleeding Heart are now in full bloom, so next time you pass such a charming array, perhaps you'll have permission to pick a heart and discover the tickled pick mysteries within.
~LAST BIT OF ODDS AND ENDS~ As is the common name, the botanical name of this plant is aptly descriptive - Dicentra, from Greek, meaning "two spurs," and spectabilis, meaning "worthy of notice," or "spectacular," which this plant certainly is.
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. If you turn a flower upside down and pull the two halves apart, you'll see a Lady in a pink bathtub!