This is one of my favorite plants, one I draw a lot of symbolism from.
The butterfly bush gets its name because its phallus-like clusters of fragrant flowers drive butterflies wild, and at all times one can find the bugs with the painted wings drinking from the blossoms. Unfortunately, it also is a bumblebee magnet, so whenever I move the lawn, one of the yellow-striped menaces dive bombs my scalp as I putt by on the tractor.
The bush on my yard is actually two bushes, one with white flowers and the other with purple. All summer long, a blossom grows, turns to seed and dies, leaving the carcass of the flower behind, and then another one grows out just above the dead one, and goes through the same cycle. It’s that effect which always gets me thinking. It’s like the bush makes a point of hanging on to its dead flower. It’s like us. Our memories, though they have lost the life they once had when they were happening, hang off of us, reminding us of once-living past, but not necessarily getting in the way of the new blooms of our lives. We carry it all with us, the new and the old, the alive and the defunct, growing all the way.
I’ve been working on a poem to that effect. I’ll share it when I’m done.
Meanwhile, enjoy the photos. I shot both the white and purple blooms, and even included a shot of one of the dead appendages. I shot some of the photos just after a rain storm, and I love how the beads of water look on the flowers.