Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Prunus sargentii


From across the street, a cherry tree.

Being as common as it is, I won't bore you with too many pedestrian facts about the cherry. You know they came originally from East Asia, and are particularly revered in Japan. You also know about the famous cherry trees in Washington DC.

But did you know cherry blossoms and leaves are edible? They are. They most commonly appear in Japanese sweets, but are also sometimes crafted into a sort of tea that is imbibed on special occasions.

And did you know the blossoms are associated with the Japanese concept of "Mono no aware"? It means literally, "the pathos of all things", but can also be understood as an empathy toward all things, or more specifically, a sensitivity toward the ephemeral nature of all things. The phrase was coined by Motoori Norinaga, a Japanese scholar and cultural critic of the 18th century.

(Funny how a desire to learn the names of the plants I see everyday has led me so far afield... lovely, though. Let's hear it for autodidact-ism!)



2 comments:

Lynch Family said...

I am loving all your pics and info--keep 'em coming please!

KM said...

What, just because it's knitting night you're gonna leave us hanging with no botanical insights all day???

Come over and enjoy our calycanthus tomorrow- it is starting to smell divine.