Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria / Dicentra = bleeding-heart
>>>Greek dís "twice" + kéntron "spur") An herbaceous perennial of the
Fumitory family (IV.13.2012)
[ click photo for next . . . ]

Dutchman's breeches are a perennial member of the Bleeding-heart family (Fumariaceae). The signature form of the family is its flower, with two dissimilar pairs of petals featuring spurred outer petals, and inner petals which are joined at the tip. The leaves of Dicentra form a graceful basal rosette, with the flowers borne on leafless stalks with two small, elegant sepals [see drawing].

The seeds of the Dutchman's breeches are collected and distributed by ants. The ants are attracted to the rich outer seed coating, which contains lipids and proteins. This cultural habit of ants of collecting seeds has its own special term, myrmechory, which comes to us also from the Greek: myrmeco = "ant's" + chory = "dispersal.

So we have here a symbiotic relationship between ant and plant, one where the ants harvest the Dutchman's breeches' seeds, take them to their nests, feed on them, and allow them to/ germinate later in their nest debris.

A clear example of what I like to think of as Nature's primary currency of mutual benefit.

On the road in the American Northwest.


In Complementarity,

movement strives naturally

not so much to the opposite extreme,

but to the balance of the dynamic mean.

In balance is the transcendence of duality.


It was simply there,
waiting almost,
in an abandoned field.

There were roads nearby.
And a noise that made them
uneasy about lingering too long.

They had all come to study it. And
debate its form, origin,
next of kin.

There was the problem of a name.
And proper epithets. And, of course,
there was the issue of a specimen.

Should they risk transplanting it?
Or would a leaf be enough? No, they
all knew, although not one of them

dared say it out loud:—They must have
a flower. Yes: a single, whole, flower.

That is how they found them. All standing
stones frozen in a circle about a mysterious,
empty center. Outstretched hands gesturing
to the heavens,

—eyes closed,


still fully opened.

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(created: VI.1.2008)