“The flowers of the bleeding heart are beautiful jewel-like pendants arranged along the stem according to their age; the mature flower, ready to shed its petals, is near the main stem, while the tiny unopened bud is hung at the very tip where new buds are constantly being formed during a long season of bloom.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 559
We chose the bleeding heart this week to take a closer look at during our afternoon outdoor time. We have one side of our house that is pretty much left in a wild state and it is full of bleeding hearts that bloom in the spring time. The mower comes close to this area but I have given strict orders that this particular stretch of the yard be left alone to do as it wishes.
We brought inside a vase full of flowers to examine up close just as the book suggested. Do you know what? We have never cut any of these flowers to bring indoors before this study. The other amazing thing is that we didn’t even know that they had a fragrance until we had the vase on the table and we were observing the flowers parts.
Once we pulled the petals back to look inside, the fragrance was almost overwhelmingly sweet….too sweet. My daughter thought they smelled like honey and I think that is a pretty accurate comparison.
The Handbook of Nature Study has a great explanation of the way this flower works and how the bees pollinate it by pushing apart the spoon-bowl shaped outer petals, pushing against the hinge works, then probing the nectar pitcher inside.
Here is the flower with the outer petals removed, exposing the inner petals and the heart shaped base of the stamen.
We would love to watch a bee gathering nectar so the next warm day we will be out and trying to catch that process happening.
Now you can pick your flower and join the Wednesday Flower Study. Choose a flower from your garden and look it up in the Handbook of Nature Study. Here is more information on how to get started. Join in during any week you have time. Wednesday Flower Study
Here is my original list and the flowers we are going to cover in our study.
Flowers Blooming Already or That We Can Study Right Now
Violet (page 476) Finished 3/18/09. Here is a LINK.
Buttercup (page 516)
Tulip (page 552) Finished 4/1/09. Here is a LINK.
California Poppy (page 531) Finished 4/8/09. Here is a LINK.
Petunias (page 581)
Mullein (page 537)
Dandelion (page 531) Finished 3/25/09. Here is a LINK.
Flowers that Will Study in Addition to Those Above
Bleeding Heart (page 558) Finished 4/15/09.
Bachelor’s Buttons (page 578)
Sweet Peas (page 588)
Queen Anne’s Lace (page 542)
We will be moving on to petunias next week. We have some really nice white and pink ones to study up close and to record in our nature journals.