I was curious about the placement of flowers in the nightmare bat sequence when Bruce visits the mausoleum and the final resting place of his parents. On closer study, I noticed that the flowers are not just some random bouquet one might purchase at a floral shop or garden store. Since the bunch of flowers isn’t wrapped in paper or plastic and appears to be torn or broken from their stems, it is apparent that Bruce picked these wildflowers in much the same way he did in his youth.
Thanks to my two friends Andrew (Master Herbalist) and Rob (Floral Designer), I was able to make a fair identification of the wildflowers. The selection is made up of four different types of flowers. Each having its own natural properties as well as symbolic, mythological and cultural histories. It is in this assessment that I found remarkable connections to the Bruce Wayne character, the Wayne family and this particular point of the film.
Yarrow: (Millefolium) The Latin name means “thousand leaves” and has long been associated with the Greek hero Achilles and mighty warriors in need of healing. This flower is found in meadows, often the site of land battles and is used as a strong medicinal treatment. The plant was long referred to as Soldier’s Woundwort and Staunchweed because of its ability to affect the clotting of blood. The plant was also used to fight evil and fortify warriors with courage and protection. The common name “Yarrow” is derived from the Dutch/Saxon word gearwe. To herbalists, this means “healer”. But in old English tales of war and battle, “gearwe” is taken to mean “to arm oneself in protective clothing/armor”, highlighting the protective beliefs surrounding Yarrow. Another more profound connection of Yarrow is in the claim that the plant actually helps bind loose soil in overworked or diseased plots of land. The root’s secretions actually protect the plants around it, making them more resistant to disease.
Misty Limonium: The Limonium is widely used in flower arranging. It belongs to a family of flowers most frequently called “statice”. These flowers in the wild are plentiful and often seen in thick patches across meadows. These are most often thought of as a symbol of remembrance and sympathy and are quite often brought to grave sites and funerals. They are also thought of as a symbol of eventual reunion. This rings true in the visit to Bruce’s mother’s grave and the lifelong sorrow he carries over her loss and that of his father. In addition, and rather accurate for the Wayne family, the Limonium can mean “success.”This particular flower appears to be blue or “Misty”, which in statice is a symbol of loyalty, inspiration, and intelligence – and stands as a symbol of emotional support.
Nineleaf Biscuitroot: (Lomatium Triternatum) Also known as “Desert Parsley” or “Indian Parsley”. This is a very strong herb, known to cause transformative hallucinations (Bat Demon?) and a powerful anti-viral, even used in the treatment of HIV. The herb is sometimes combined with liquor (vodka, gin) to create an extended shelf-life with a simple application method. Native Americans utilized the hallucinogenic properties to attain a heightened state said to take one to the outer edge of death.