22nd Jun 2014Posted in: Uncategorized 0
A Fairy’s Garland of B.C. Flowers

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A Fairy Enters—The first line should read:
The A.B.C. I never knew

Yellow Buttercups—The botanical name should read:
Ranunculus Glaberimus

Sunflowers—The botanical name should read:
Balsamorrhiza Sagittata [unnumbered page]

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“He has compassed us with gladness.”

   To the happy children of our B.C. fairyland; to the grown-ups who love its flowers and still keep a corner in their hearts for the fairies; and with gratitude to Mrs. Helena Parham (Botanist, Vaseux Lake), who has taught us so much about the flowers of the Okanagan Valley. [unnumbered page]

In making this Alphabet of our British Columbia flowers, it was not easy to find a flower to fit every letter; but, on the other hand, it was sometimes hard to decide between several flowers, all beginning with the same letter! And so it happenned that many little favorites were regretfully left out.

For the interest of grown-ups, I have given the alternate name, botanical name and family of each flower at the bottom of every page.

We are fortunate in having “Janet’s” fine wood-cuts. She has entered into the spirit of this little book, combining fancy with facts about the beautiful things around us.

Dorothea Allison [unnumbered page]


The ABC’s I never knew,
Then dreamed a fairy round me flew;
She whispered: “ ‘Twill be easy now,
With B.C. flowers, I’ll teach you how!” 

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A for the Asters, purple clad,
In summer’s heat, they keep us glad!
Tho’ not like other flowers so gay,
In peace we tread their starry way.

Alternate name: Michaelmas Daisy.
Botanical name: Aster.
Family: Compositeoe. [unnumbered page]

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B for our Yellow Buttercups,
Against the moss they nestle up;
Warm spring which drove the snow away
Brings Buttercups in great array.

Botanical name: Ranunculus globerimus.
Family: Ranunculaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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C for the dainty Columbine,
In dancing skirt almost like mine!
As breezes blow and out she swings,
To Columbine the Fairy clings.

Botanical name: Aquilegia.
Family: Ranunculaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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D for the Dark-eyed Susan bold,
In gawdy dress of bronze and gold;
She waits for early flowers to fade,
Then out she steps – the dark-eyed maid!

Alternate name: Blanket Flower.
Botanical Name: Gaillardia aristata.
Family: Compositoe. [unnumbered page]

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E for the Everlasting dry,
All pink and white on rocks up high!
At fairies’ feast, no prettier sight
Than garlands pink and garlands white!

Botanical name: Antennaria dimorpha.
Family: Compositoe. [unnumbered page]

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F for the dark Frittillary,
To us t’will chocolate lily be;
Some think them like the Mission bell
That once the time of Church did tell.

Alternate name: Bronze Bells.
Botanical name: Fritillaria.
Family: Liliaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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G for the mighty Golden-rod,
Too proud and tall to even nod!
In places damp the tallest grow
And there look down on things below!

Botanical name: Solidago.
Family: Compositoe. [unnumbered page]

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H for Honeysuckle climbing,
Comes a Fairy sweetness finding,
Up she floats till flowers are found
Amongst the tree trunks tightly wound.

Botanical name: Lonicera.
Family: Caprifoliaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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I for flaming Indian Paint-brush
To pick a nosegay, how we rush!
Once Indians left their brush around
Which fairies planted when they found.

Alternate name: Red Feather.
Botanical name: Castilleja angustifolia.
Family: Scrophulariaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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J for June-grass, light as fluff,
See how it sways if hard you puff!
Then lie upon its cool green bed
And watch the blue sky overhead!

Botanical name: Poa pratensis.
Family: Gramineoe. [unnumbered page]

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K for the Kinnikinnick,
Its leaves the Indians often pick,
Which, in their pipes when dried they poke,
And so enjoy a nice cheap smoke!

Alternate name: Bear-berry.
Botanical name: Uva ursi.
Family: Ericaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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L for Lupins in the dew,
Our golden hills they turn to blue;
Tho’ ocean’s blue you may not see
You wade thro’ Lupins to the knee!

Alternate name: Wolf Plant.
Botanical name: Lupinus.
Family: Leguminosoe. [unnumbered page]

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M for Mayflowers, pale and shy,
In spring they greet the passer-by;
Their slender roots, oh don’t pull hard!
And so, for next year stand on guard!

Alternate name: Spring Beauty.
Botanical name: Claytonia.
Family: Portulacaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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N for Nightshade, deadly bew
Its berries make—avoid them, do!
The little flower nods to and fro
As along the trail you go.

Alternate name: Deadly Nightshade.
Botanical name: Solanum nigrum.
Family: Solanaceoe (Potato). [unnumbered page]

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O for prickly Oregon Grape,
Like holly, Christmas wreaths we drape.
Its berries blue instead of red
Have long since dropped on earth’s soft bed.

Alternate name: Barberry.
Botanical name: Berberis nervosa.
Family: Berberidaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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P for Pentstemon on the rocks
Flowing down like fairies’ locks!
The scarlet kind is sweet and small.
Whilst blue Beard-tongue far down will fall.

Alternate name: Beard-tongue.
Botanical name: Pentstemon scouleri.
Family: Scrophulariaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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Q for Queen-cups white, we think
The Fairy Queen from them will drink;
Six little petals like a cup
From which she’ll drink the dewdrops up!

Botanical name: Clintonia uniflora.
Family: Liliaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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R for Roses by the wayside,
Loved buds, that blushing, open wide;
Of all the flowers we call her Queen
For none are lovelier to be seen!

Botanical name: Rosa gymnocarpa.
Family: Rosaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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S for our glorious Sunflowers,
On mountainside like golden showers;
So happily to school we go
When golden Sunflowers round us grow!

Alternate name: Balsam Root.
Botanical name: Balsam or Liza sagitata.
Family: Compositoe. [unnumbered page]

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T for the orange Tiger-lily,
Tall and grand with edges frilly,
They stand alone and seem to say
“Don’t come so close – pray keep away!”

Botanical name: Lilium columbianum.
Family: Lilaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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U for the Urtica so vain,
She’s just a nettle giving pain!
This little fairy has been stung
When on the leaves her foot she flung!

Alternate name: Stinging Nettle.
Botanical name: Urtica.
Family: Urticaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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V for Violets white and blue,
Bend low and share their fragrance too!
They tell us we must gentle be
And think of All – not just of Me.

Botanical name: Viola.
Family: Violaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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W for Water-lily
Floating on the blue lake chilly;
The Lady of the Lake is she,
None other quite so fine can be!

Botanical name: Water or Pond Lily.
Family: Nymphoeceoe. [unnumbered page]

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X for Xanthium, the Cockle-burr,
It tears our wings so gossamer.
The tiny flowers choose hill-sidesmdry,
Come prickly burrs as flowers die!

Alternate name: Cockle Burr.
Botanical name: Xanthium.
Family: Compositoe. [unnumbered page]

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Y for sweet Yellowbells that bring
The fairies dancing in a ring;
The soft winds blow, the bells chime ONE,
The dance is over – off they run!

Botanical name: Yellow Fritillaria pudica.
Family: Liliaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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Z for Zygadena, Indians make
In poultice for their sore and ache;
The cream-white flower from bulb does grow,
Its value only Indians know!

Botanical name: Zygadenus venenosus.
Family: Liliaceoe. [unnumbered page]

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The flowers are closing, sleepy head!
Your lesson learned and time for bed!
Home now to Fairyland I fly,
And so must bid a fond goodbye!

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