Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pin It

A Valentine Puzzle

Two love birds with a hanging basket of forget-me-nots
"Love Birds," a Valentine Post Card by Raphael Tuck and Sons,
Art Publishers to their Majesties the King and Queen. *

Happy Valentine's Day! There are 16 plant references in the love note below. Some are cultivar names, some are common names. Can you find them all?

Ms. Valerie Finnis
214 Columbine Drive
Chicago, IL

Dear Valerie,

Please be my Valentine!

Ever since your friend Carol Mackie introduced us on that May night, I've been attracted to you. Then, at last week's garden club meeting, when I saw your angel face in the morning light, I could resist no longer.

Cupid’s dart hit me and my love lies bleeding. I adore you!

Let me be your Mr. Goodbud, your heartthrob. I want to drink creme de cassis with you under the August moon and kiss your hot lips. Or better still, kiss me over the garden gate later today.
Please help my bleeding heart. Don’t break the chain of love.

Your sweet William
The answers are below. How many were you able to find? Any other plant names that you would use in a mash note?

Falling in Love rose
Falling in Love rose
Photo courtesy of Weeks Roses

1) Valerie Finnis -- Muscari armeniacum or Artemisia ludoviciana  2) Carol Mackie -- Daphne burkwoodii  3) May Night -- Salvia sylvatica  4)  Angel Face -- Rose  5) Morning Light -- Silver Maiden Grass, Miscanthus sinensis   6)  Cupid’s dart  -- Catananche caerulea  7) Love lies bleeding -- Amaranthus caudatus  8)  Mr. Goodbud -- Sedum  9) Heartthrob -- Viola or Cornus kousa 10) Creme de Cassis -- Hollyhock, Alcea  11) August Moon -- Hosta  12) Hot Lips -- Chelone lyonii  13) Kiss me over the garden gate -- Persicaria orientale  14)   Bleeding heart -- Dicentra/Lamprocapnas spectabilis   15) Chain of love -- Antigonon leptopus  16) Sweet William -- Dianthus barbatus

Give yourself 5 bonus points if you knew that Valentine is the cultivar name of Eremophila maculata or Dicentra spectabilis. Give yourself an extra point for every time you knew a name applied to more than one plant. Give yourself an extra two points if you knew that Dicentra is now officially Lamprocapnas.

By Karen Geisler

* This postcard was dated and postmarked Feb. 13, 1911 by T.B. Hamilton of Argentea, IL near Decatur. It was sent to a cousin, S.H. Nudig in West Fairview, PA.


  1. That was cute! I didn't keep track of the ones I found, but it was fun to watch for them. I really enjoy those old-fashioned valentines.

    1. Thanks. I love old-fashioned Valentines too. Thought it was ironic that I went online and got a postcard mailed in Illinois more than 100 years ago to Pennsylvania from an antiques store in the Carolinas.

  2. I really enjoyed this Karen and recognized several of these...I also love old fashioned valentines!!

    1. Thanks. I wish there were more cards like this available today. Hope you had a great Valentine's Day!