I’m just saying! The wildflower hunt is no piece of Key Lime pie. Drive for days, hundreds of miles. Scan every bank and fence line. Search for specks of color. Hump. Suffer heat stroke and seat rot. Develop that thousand yard stare. Blank and robotic. Then, suddenly, scrunched down in the weeds there it is. In this case Butter-and-eggs, the Yellow Toadflax. I first saw Butter-and-eggs years ago in the village of my childhood. Thriving in cindery soil by the railroad. I thought it delightfully beautiful then, and still do.
Welsh Quaker Ransted imported the species to this country in the mid-1800s. He appreciated the showy flower in his garden; others did too. From garden to garden. Then, evidently, from garden thru fence to plowed field. Then from plowed field to pasture, road to railroad, forest to prairie to dune to every place on the continent with disturbed soil. Published articles hurl hurtful words like invasive, toxic, avoidance, herbicide, infestation with unfriendly intentions. Maybe that’s why it’s named Linaria vulgaris.
Fascination of my childhood. Will someone please say something nice about the Yellow Toadflax. After all, wildflowers can be misunderstood, too.
© d100610-038 Toadflax in Hiding
Forest Service Road 44
Pocahontas County, West Virginia
Thursday 10 June 2010