Bleeding Heart is one of ‘those’ flowers.  You know.  The kind that makes you wonder 1) how the heck nature came up with the design and 2) how the heck nature replicates the design so perfectly time after time. 



To have been made in such a meaningful shape with such delicacy, it must have some purpose, some use, some special destiny.  Interestingly, it does.  Lately, I’ve become curious about the meaning of flowers.  In Victorian times, when you received a bouquet, you deciphered the message from the sender by examining the flowers and their meanings.  Each flower carries a meaning (Pansy – Think of me; Sunflower – False Riches; Ivy – Fidelity). 

There may not always be agreement about the various meanings, and it’s something of a lost art, but when you look at a Bleeding Heart flower, it’s not too hard to discern its meaning.  In fact, the flower is at the center of much folklore about undying and unrequited love.  It is said that its presence strengthens the heart and the possibility of romance.  It’s also said to be useful after heartbreak.  I find comfort in that.




Well, as long as your heartbreak is in Spring because they are spring-time blossoms that like the cool weather and wet ground.  Too much heat will cause them to go dormant in summer, so depending on where you live, you might not see them during the summer.  Once they wilt, it’s best to cut them back right above the ground.  When it gets cool again, there’s potential for them to grow and blossom again.

It’s also known as Venus’s Car, Lady in a Bath, or Dutchman’s Trousers.  I don’t dare to guess what the meaning would be to a flower called Dutchman’s Trousers, but I’m sure there’s an interesting story behind it! 🙂





— PS.  Completely unrelated, but definitely worth a mention, is one of my favourite books, The Bleeding Heart, by Marilyn French who passed away in 2009.   It’s a beautifully written book about the complexities of relationships between men and women.  It’s filled with love, grief, fury, and sadness.  This book is definitely about heartbreak.



  • Great post. I think you should write a book! And I particularly love the first photo above, by the way. The soft focus is so pretty. Looks like a painting, actually.

    • Ellen! Thanks for reading. You’re right! I should write a book on this … I feel one brewing inside me. 🙂 Btw, the soft focus one that you like, I took near where I live in NJ this Spring; the pink one I took in Toronto a couple of years ago.

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