Welcome to Flower Storytime.
I will show you some Oregon wildflowers while everyone gets seated around the digital rug.
Here is the first Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) to bloom this year in my rainy spring garden. It grows at the east end of the greenhouse and is very brave. (Another windy rainstorm today.)
Here is the Spring Queen (Synthyris reniformis), a delicate little very early flower. It grows surrounded by Baby Tears plants in a homemade tufa pot.
Now I will tell you the flower story, because you might be reading this at bedtime or naptime but mostly because I just want to tell you this story.
Once upon a time I was little and my parents built their All Electric Home next to a woods. In the woods grew a wildflower we called Spring Beauties. In about April I would pick bouquets of these delicate little flowers and bring them to my mother and she would appear to be thrilled and put them in a nice vase and make a big deal about them which is what you do if you’re a mom and want your kids to feel good.
About four or five years ago I discovered native Oregon plants in some local nurseries and I started collecting them in my gardens. I never found for sale the Spring Beauties like I used to pick for my mommy (who I expect watches my efforts with interest from what the nineteenth century spiritualists called “the Summerland”) although I found other plants of the same name.
Then, since I live a wholesome and somewhat honest but mostly fun life, the Earth Goddess grew some of MY Spring Beauties in a neighbor’s horse pasture so some very sensitive and thoughtful birds or the wind or magic brought seeds to my woodland garden area where I was delighted to find them growing, and last year I managed to move one of these perennials into a bed near the house, and here it is blooming today.
And this, oddly, brings the story to the subject of old books. I love old books, and in my 1921 copy of a little book called A Spring Flora of Northwestern Oregon, by Helen M. Gilkey, I finally found my Spring Beauty listed.
Ms. Gilkey, in 1921, called my flower Dentaria tenella, or Small toothwort. It seems, looking online, that it is now named Cardamine nuttallii or a bunch of variations on that or, in the familiar: Oaks Toothwort, Nutall’s Toothwort, Slender Toothwort or Spring Beauty. (Just for you Mom.)
Wasn’t that a nice story?
Now go to sleep.