Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and what could be more appropriate than a post on a romance-themed flower: Love Lies Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus). You have to wonder about this name, though. I get this mental picture of a jilted lover and a heartless ex. Which one of them did the stabbing?
Thankfully, the flower we call Love Lies Bleeding isn’t quite so melodramatic. It’s a member of the amaranth family from the Andes of South America, where it is known as kiwicha, and is now grown around the world.
Aptly named Golden Currant blooms in early spring with showy clusters of small but fragrant trumpet-shaped bright yellow flowers. The blossoms are followed in summer by edible fruit that ripens from green through red to black. In fall, green leaves turn to amber or scarlet before falling. The arching branches can reach anywhere from three to nine feet in height, depending on age and habitat.
I love salads. Wash and tear some crisp, homegrown lettuce. Add a few sprouts, some mizuna leaves (mizuna grows exceptionally well in my garden) and other greens. Slice up some green onions, cucumbers and tomatoes, throw in a few flowers, and whisk together a light vinaigrette to pour over the top. Toss it all together, and yum!
Wait, you say. Flowers? You put flowers in your salads?