Flower Glossary: Bleeding Heart

2015 Jul 7 - by dulhan

Name: Bleeding Heart, also known as 'Asian Bleeding Heart,' 'Dutchman's Breeches,' 'Lyre Flower,' and 'Lady-in-bath'

Latin name: Lamprocapnos spectabilis

Season: Early Spring

Meaning: Candid, Affection, Tragic Romance

Origins: Siberia, Northern China, Korea, and Japan

The bleeding heart is a striking flower that resembles its namesake almost perfectly.  This odd little member of the poppy family usually comes in striking shades of pink and white.  As it opens to the sun, the inner white part becomes more visible and resembles a small person sticking up from between the petals.

This flower has long meant 'to wear one's heart on one's sleeve' or to otherwise be vulnerably affectionate and romantic.  In the Japanese tradition, there is a story about where the flower came from: a handsome young man was in love with a beautiful woman.  To win her love he gave her first a pair of rabbits, then a pair of earrings, and finally a pair of slippers.  Each gift represented a petal on the flower.  When she rejected his gifts and love, the young man stabbed himself in the heart with his sword, the middle shaft of the flower, causing the bleeding heart.  This is a flower of tragic love and intense feeling.

Because the bleeding heart has such a distinctive look, it may be hard to pair it with other flowers, but it's a great way to add edge and personality to your Spring wedding.  Choose other, more subtle flowers to bunch around it.  Or, if you like the rustic look, consider a bouquet of just bleeding hearts.  C'est romantique!

Be sure to check out the rest of our Flower Glossary for all your wedding flower needs.