‘B’ Is for Bittersweet

‘B’ Is for Bittersweet

Bittersweet is a sturdy perennial vine that may have twining, woody stems that are 30 feet or longer and an inch or more thick at the base. It has colorful, orange fruits that are the size of a pea. These fruits are poisonous to humans but are favorites of birds. Bittersweet is commonly used by designers to create and highlight attractive pieces and decorations, particularly during the Autumn season. As an adjective, bitter-sweet describes something that is bitter and sweet at the same time, something that is pleasant but also includes elements of suffering or regret.

“For she is a fair maiden, fairest lady of a house of queens. And yet I know not how I should speak of her. When I first looked on her and perceived her unhappiness, it seemed to me that I saw a white flower standing straight and proud, shapely as a lily, and yet knew that it was hard, as if wrought by elf-wrights out of steel. Or was it, maybe, a frost that had turned its sap to ice, and so it stood, bitter-sweet, still fair to see, but stricken, soon to fall and die?

– Aragorn about Éowyn”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

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