West Virginia Flowers

West Virginia wildflowers in April. I don’t know their names, but the flowers below are tiny, none more than an inch.

My parents both loved flowers. Daddy made beds of them around our house: lobelias, sweet alyssum, salvia, petunias, and geraniums. Mother carried a book that identified wild flowers when we traveled or camped: columbine, fireweed, scarlet paintbrush, queen anne’s lace, buttercup.

There was one flower, however, that was anathema: the dandelion. Daddy said it ruined the lawn and waged ongoing war against it. Home from work, in his suit, he’d grab one of Mother’s kitchen knives and dig up any offenders. Mother always said he ruined her best knives in the dirt, so one year for Father’s Day he got his own Dandelion Knife.


  1. Betsy Lewis says:

    Hi Terri,

    I remember being in Denver with my father — a little while after your father passed away. I can’t remember what the implement was, but my Dad went to work digging out the dandelions growing in the cracks of the back patio of your family home. I have always known that this was in fact a sacred act of honoring your father.

    Betsy Lewis

  2. Carol Nickelson says:

    Terri, I believe the gem posted would be a dog-tooth violet. May have to double check this with your local sources to be sure.

    Regarding dandelions, I have enjoyed sharing them with my hens- currently hen-less for a couple of weeks- but they can hardly wait for their five gallon bucket full to pounce upon and fling about their coop! In the country, we just accept them as facts of life, though I do “wage” war on them with my hoe, no chemicals, please….

    • Terri says:

      I do think it’s a violet. The ones I wonder most about is the third one on the left column and the one in the middle of the second row.

      What kind of hens do you keep?

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