This week’s bloom goes by the name of sanguisorba or, more commonly, burnet (bonus joke: “what’s a pyromaniac’s favourite flower?”). The proper name is derived from the latin for ‘blood’ (sanguine) and ‘to soak up’ (sorbeo) - this is because it was once believed that the plant had the ability to stop bleeding. As with all FOTW-revealed mumbo-jumbo, we must stress that you do not try this at home. Obviously it’s more likely you’ll have bandages to hand than an unusual flowering shrub from the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere but still, we can’t be too careful in today’s litigation-loving society.

What about those flowers though? Wonderfully strange little dense clusters that unfurl to lengths of up to 20mm. Each flower is constructed from four teeny-tiny petals that generally range from white to red in colour. That said, the sanguisorba hybridises easily to produce new mixes, making it very popular with cultivators of the mad-scientist variety. One such hybrid, sanguisorba obtusa is particularly prized for its foliage of pink-edged, grey-green leaves. 

By the way, if you’re wondering about any particular symbolism associated with the sanguisorba, I could only find one reference in the whole of the internet in a not-exactly-reputable looking ebook. It states simply that the sanguisorba symbolises ‘a merry heart.’ Just three words but nice ones nevertheless - and a feeling that pretty much any thoughtful bouquet-sender would no doubt like to conjure.