The weeping rose has jade-green leaves and yellow-golden blooms, each plant with about 40 flowers. These excrete a fluid which is the main raw material for preducing the famed Norfolk Tears. Weeping roses are grown in orchards, being the most prized produce of Norfolk’s agro-economy.
At each midsummer, under the combined influence of Duke and Duchess, the plants begin to “weep”. A clear liquid begins to drip from the plant for the next 15 hours or so. Not every flower yields the valuable fluid, but trained “cuppers” know how to tell where to place the cups that gather the liquid. The fluid’s natural purpose is to soften the soil so that the plant’s seeds, which are released by the pod’s after they split open having emptied their fluid, can penetrate the ground better and have a greater chance for germination.