nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

along the country road #2

with one comment


Here in New Brunswick, although it is only August, the flowers along the roadside are changing.  The daisies and buttercups of summer are giving way to the flowers we associate with autumn – the goldenrods, the asters, and Pearly Everlasting. 

Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) C.B. Clarke), called immortelle in French, is a weed of roadsides, fields, open woods, and clearings.  Its flowers are borne in clusters on an upright, leafy stem.  They are easy to dry in bouquets since most of the so-called flower consists of a small yellow floral head surrounded by pearly-white dry bracts. 

The generic name is an anagram of Gnaphalium, the name of another genus of everlasting flowers.  This, in turn, is an ancient Greek name for a downy plant, derived from the word gnaphallon, lock of wool.  Margaritacea means pearly.

What flowers mark the change of seasons in your area?

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) C.B. Clarke)

Pearly Everlasting

Anaphalis margaritacea L.

Pearly Everlasting

sign of summer’s passing

yet- immortelle

     picked by the road

               by the armload

     hung from rafters

children’s laughter

runs beneath

downy leaf, woolly stem

white diadem

perfectly matched flowers

thatched in gold

dry and old

Linnaeus-named

for Marguarite

     memory sweet

paper petals keep

pale perfume

summer

     grace

in a winter room

 

Published as: ‘Pearly Everlasting’, Winter 1993, The Antigonish Review 92.

(revised)

© Jane Tims

One Response

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  1. Excellent article Jane….I’ll learn something yet on these wildflowers …. and the poem reads excellent as well … especially like the closing line “summer grace in a winter room”. ~JD

    Like

    JD

    August 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm


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