In doing a little research, I learned that historians say the name comes from the Victorian era tradition of unmarried men sporting these colorful flowers in their jacket buttonholes. The ladies would know that they were available and looking for a girlfriend. Today’s equivalent is a guy’s single status on his Facebook page. The Bachelor’s Button boutonniere is much more elegant.
A folktale I heard about the Bachelor’s Button is that if you’re wondering if your current beau is the real deal, put a flower head in your pocket. The next day, take it out and see if it’s still vibrant. A fresh flower means he is the one for you. If the flower has wilted, time to look for a better prospect.
If you have any Bachelor’s Buttons blooming in your garden, please let me know and I’ll rush over with my camera to add them to the GGC’s growing photo collection.