What a terrible name for such a lovely plant.
According to a Japanese legend . . . A young man fell in love with a beautiful, wealthy maiden, offering her lavish gifts to win her hand. The first was a pair of rabbits, which she liked but declared she did not love him. The second was slippers of the finest silk, which she also liked but said her feelings had not changed. The third was an expensive pair of earrings, which the young man had to spend all of his savings on, yet the maiden still said she did not love him. Knowing that the young man could not find the right gift to appease her love, he stabbed himself in the heart, and from this grew the first bleeding heart plant.
I have read a few variations on this myth, but what a cold-hearted b***h! And why would the young man think he could buy her love? Is that what men think of us?!
I know, I know, it is another creation myth, tying science and fantasy, but still does not endear the name “bleeding heart” to me, as I find the plant more elegant and graceful than inspiring of love.