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A rose by any other name?

Bleeding heart, or Lamprocapnos spectabilis, the flower formerly

Bleeding heart, or Lamprocapnos spectabilis, the flower formerly known as Dicentra spectabilis. Photo Credit: Sarefo (own work) via Wiki Commons

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Shakespeare's prose almost seems prophetic today, in light of the recent identity transformation by the bleeding heart, a flower whose shape typifies the day.

Known since the beginning of (botanical nomenclature) time as Dicentra spectabilis, the flower can now add "formerly known as" before that moniker because it has been officially  renamed Lamprocapnos spectabilis.

While I can't say the scent is still as sweet (there isn't much of a scent to report), the little heart-shaped blooms that seemingly "bleed" white still are springtime garden favorites and are unusual in that their foliage dies back to the ground shortly after flowering, opening up the space for summer annuals or perennials. 

So, why the name change? Britain's Royal Horticultural Society, a keeper of the world's ever-evolving botanical names, has, after much deliberation "accepted the splitting from Dicentra of a number of species and elevated them into genera of their own," reports blogger Graham Rice over at Transatlantic Plantsman. His blog is worth a click, as he details other recent plant name changes.

Click here to read my explanation of why we use botanical names in the first place.

Joseph from the Greensparrow Gardens blog over in Michigan summed up his frustration with the changes in this very cute video, which I have to share with you because no one else in the newsroom gets why I was laughing out loud while watching it. I know you will:


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