Seven herbs of autumn (18 September 2020)
I visited Mukojima hyakaen, literally “hundred flower garden” established in Edo era by rich merchant, admiring beaty of seven herbs of autumn.
Seven herbs of autumn were selected in Manyosyu by ancient poet Yamanoueno Okura lived in 7th century in these poems, “Aki-no No-ni Sakitaru Hana-wo Oyobiori Kakikazoureba Nanakusa-no Hana, Meaning: When I count on my fingers for blooming flowers in the autumn fields, I find there are seven.”“Hagi-no Hana Obana Kuzuhana Nadeshiko-no Hana Ominaeshi Mata Fujihakama Asagao-no Hana, Meaning: Bush clover, Susuki grass or Japanese panpas grass, Kudzu or Japanese arrowroot, Fringed pink or pink dianthus, Patrinia, Thoroughwort and Balloon flower”.
After selection, these flowers have been loved by Japanese people long time.
Thunberg’s bushclover (Lespedeza thunbergia) is the most popular bush clover which has soft branches with many large flowers on them.
Susuki grass or Japanese pampas grass is indispensable to mid-autumn moon viewing. But this flower is soberer than other seven flowers. It looks a little bit weird in night field, like poem said that the ghost, when examined closely is withered silver grass.
Kudzu flower has been loved and roots eaten from ancient time in Japan but hated in USA as a noxious weeds.
Fringed pink or pink dianthus, this is a kind of dianthus and has five deeply cut fringed pink petals this sometimes resembled graceful Japanese lady. The flower cannot be found this time and this picture taken in Shinjyuku gyoen garden in June.
Patrinia, It has thin, erect stems with few leaves and bearing a terminal attractive inflorescence with yellow or white small flowers.
Thoroughwort, The shallow lavender color flowers are collected together into heads that are densely corymbose, the inflorescence are usually 3 to 6 cm wide.When the flowers dried up, it has weak but good smell.
Ballon flower or Japanese bell flower, The plants has blue flowers in late summer, with five petals are fused together into a bell shape. Though blue flowers are common, but there are varieties with white, pink, and purple blooms. The flower bud is like a balloon before fully opening. The flower usually has 5 petals but occasionally 6 or 4 petal’s flowers can be found.