Sunday, December 20, 2009

Swedish flowers

Boston is not a town of Swedes. They didn't come here. I don't really know why...but they didn't. They went to Minnesota instead, to places like Lindström, making their home in farmland and keeping the old country alive.


In some ways more than others, however...Swedish was the secret language between my grandparents, so the only word my father knows in Swedish is butter (=smur).

Today being a day full of snow and pretty scenery and me feeling generally lazy and contented, I spent some time finding pictures of my favorite Swedish flowers:


Blå eld (blue fire; Latin name Echium vulgare) was one of my absolute favorites in the fields of Sweden...this is a postcard from the 1970s of a field of blåeld from Gotland, where I'm from. Here's what it looks like from close up:

from here

One of the common names is "viper's bugloss" which just makes me giggle. The stems are a bit rough, which was certainly felt when Birgit wove them into my Midsommar crown, but it was worth it.


This lovely specimen is blåklint (cornflower; Latin name Centaurea cyanus or Cyanus segetum)

from here

So beautiful to see in the fields!


And this splendid flower is blåklocka (blue clock; what we think of as a bluebell; Latin name Campanula rotundifolia)

from here

And, no, I don't really know why I hit on all blue flowers so far; maybe it's because everything seems prettier with an umlaut?

There's also the venerable poppy, which has a particular connection with where my family is from in Sweden. Poppy is known as vallmosläktet...and here's where it gets interesting. Vall means grassland, mos means puree or pulp, and släktet is a designation for genus (a grouping of flowers. So...how does grassland puree mean poppy? I have no idea. I emailed my Swedish-speaking cousin, so maybe I will find out.

from here

For other pretty wildflowers and Swedish eye candy, check out the wikipedia page - it's called "landskapblommor"---which makes it even better than you could possibly expect.

2 comments:

Sprite said...

FYI, I'm reading your archives instead of wrapping presents, so it's your doing should you get a present wrapped in a plastic grocery bag.

Miss you much! Reading your blog is like having you talk to me and just makes me miss you more.

Bridget said...

hehehehe...don't worry about it :)

glad you're enjoying the archives in the very least - can't wait to see you!