My Forever Favorite Flower

O Ratty, do you know what these are? I was told as a child that they’re called “Indian Paintbrush”, but when I look up that sobriquet, none of the (many) flowers pictured are these.

There are yellow ones and red ones.  They have a long, hairy stem, and several bud clusters grow from the stem.  But I love ‘em because of their  smell!  The yellow ones have no odor, but the red smell like  fresh-baked cookies!  When I smell them I’m back in my little 7 year old body again, my long hair tangled with twigs and leaves, my bare legs scratched  by brambles, lost in olfactory ecstasy…

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17 thoughts on “My Forever Favorite Flower”

  1. I enjoy taking time out of my day and noticing the flowers around me. I take out my phone and take a photo.

    Thanks, Hyp, for the flora.

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  2. EThompson:
    Miniature gerbera daisies?

    No, they’re more like dandelions than daisies, they don’t have the hard little pillow in the center, like daisies do…the one that looks dark in the center in this picture  isn’t fully open.

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  3. Hypatia:

    EThompson:
    Miniature gerbera daisies?

    No, they’re more like dandelions than daisies, they don’t have the hard little pillow in the center, like daisies do…the one that looks dark in the center in this picture  isn’t fully open.

    Those are nice looking dandelions!

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  4. Up here in New York the gorgeous orange-red ones are always in the minority; most are yellow.  This remains true even when the lawnmower has been for decades carefully steered around every little patch of orange-red ones while being pretty careless about the patches of yellow ones.  Are they also the minority in your area?

    We have always called them “Indian Paintbrush” also.  But they are “Devil’s Paintbrush,” “Orange Hawkweed,” Hieracium aurantiacum, apparently renamed Pilosella aurantiaca by the Devil’s Botanical Taxonomists.

    The yellow ones are “King Devil,” “Yellow Hawkweed,” Hieracium caespitosum, apparently renamed Pilosella caespitosa by the King of Devilish Botanical Taxonomists.

    This photo off Bing Images shows the basal leaves and hairy stem of the flower I am going on about, which I hope is also yours:

    And this one ditto shows the multiple flower buds up at the top:

    DDx “Two-flowered Cynthia,” which has a different arrangement and longer petals too:

    But I never noticed fragrance.  Thank you for the heads-up! I’m going out right now to find one and check it out before it rains again.

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  5. jzdro:
    Up here in New York the gorgeous orange-red ones are always in the minority; most are yellow.  This remains true even when the lawnmower has been for decades carefully steered around every little patch of orange-red ones while being pretty careless about the patches of yellow ones.  Are they also the minority in your area?

    We have always called them “Indian Paintbrush” also.  But they are “Devil’s Paintbrush,” “Orange Hawkweed,” Hieracium aurantiacum, apparently renamed Pilosella aurantiaca by the Devil’s Botanical Taxonomists.

    The yellow ones are “King Devil,” “Yellow Hawkweed,” Hieracium caispitosum, apparently renamed Pilosella caespitosa by the King of Devilish Botanical Taxonomists.

    This photo off Bing Images shows the basal leaves and hairy stem of the flower I am going on about, which I hope is also yours:

    And this one ditto shows the multiple flower buds up at the top:

    DDx “Two-flowered Cynthia,” which has a different arrangement and longer petals too:

    But I never noticed fragrance.  Thank you for the heads-up! I’m going out right now to find one and check it out before it rains again.

    jzdro, nose around and come back with the details.

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  6. It is interesting how we see things from the filter of childhood at times. We see the present with soft focus of the past. Sometimes the memories come with weather and smells.

    Hyp, how old were you when these became your bestest flowers ever?

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  7. 10 Cents:
    It is interesting how we see things from the filter of childhood at times. We see the present with soft focus of the past. Sometimes the memories come with weather and smells.

    Hyp, how old were you when these became your bestest flowers ever?

    i wandered around in the woods alone from the time I was…6, 7ish.  Sometimes with my sister, but we had our individual favorite places. We had two brass police or military whistles on rawhide thongs, hanging up in the hall,( they’re still here!)  and we were to always wear one when we went out alone.  Three blasts = emergency!  Help!

    But it may be even before that; I remember being out with our nanny ( seems funny to call her that cuz it wasn’t anything like the situation with English nannies of literature)   And going into ecstasies over the red flower, and her telling my mother about it at the end of the day.

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  8. EThompson:
    There seems to be a bit of chrysanthemum as well. Is this flower a hybrid?

    Not the ones in the wild.   There are a couple of cultivars that can be purchased commercially, but I think they are sports and not hybrids.

    The Department of Interior recommends against planting any of the hawkweeds because they are an invasive nuisance.   Some of them are native, and some were introduced from Europe or Asia.

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  9. @jzdro, thanks!  Yes “hawkweed” rings a bell. I think that’s it.  And yes,  the red ones are very rare, compared to the yellow— that’s why I took the picture, these were the first reds I had seen this year!

    Thank you for your beautiful photos.  I had never noticed the ring of leaves at the bottom, but looking closer at my photo, I can see it there!

    ”The world is so full of a number of things,/ I think we should all be as happy as kings!”

    — RLS

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  10. Hypatia:

    10 Cents:
    It is interesting how we see things from the filter of childhood at times. We see the present with soft focus of the past. Sometimes the memories come with weather and smells.

    Hyp, how old were you when these became your bestest flowers ever?

    i wandered around in the woods alone from the time I was…6, 7ish.  Sometimes with my sister, but we had our individual favorite places. We had two brass police or military whistles on rawhide thongs, hanging up in the hall,( they’re still here!)  and we were to always wear one when we went out alone.  Three blasts = emergency!  Help!

    But it may be even before that; I remember being out with our nanny ( seems funny to call her that cuz it wasn’t anything like the situation with English nannies of literature)   And going into ecstasies over the red flower, and her telling my mother about it at the end of the day.

    You know how I love words, Hyp. Was your nanny an old goat?

    Great story. The whistle was a proto-tracking device and never needed recharging.

    BTW, I had a nanny too but he looked remarkably like my older brother. 🙂

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  11. MJBubba:

    EThompson:
    There seems to be a bit of chrysanthemum as well. Is this flower a hybrid?

    Not the ones in the wild.   There are a couple of cultivars that can be purchased commercially, but I think they are sports and not hybrids.

    The Department of Interior recommends against planting any of the hawkweeds because they are an invasive nuisance.   Some of them are native, and some were introduced from Europe or Asia.

    How do you know all this? I suspect you worked for National Geographic at one time. 🙂

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  12. MJBubba:

    EThompson:
    There seems to be a bit of chrysanthemum as well. Is this flower a hybrid?

    Not the ones in the wild.   There are a couple of cultivars that can be purchased commercially, but I think they are sports and not hybrids.

    The Department of Interior recommends against planting any of the hawkweeds because they are an invasive nuisance.   Some of them are native, and some were introduced from Europe or Asia.

    “Invasive nuisance”?  Oh you’re just dissing my fave cuz it’s called (as @jzdro pointed out) “Devil’s Paintbrush”.  Actually, for the red ones I like that sobriquet better than “Ind—er,  Native American  Paintbrush”.  Anyway,  I wouldn’t know how to plant them.  I merely rejoice when I come upon one!

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  13. 10 Cents:

    Hypatia:

    10 Cents:
    It is interesting how we see things from the filter of childhood at times. We see the present with soft focus of the past. Sometimes the memories come with weather and smells.

    Hyp, how old were you when these became your bestest flowers ever?

    i wandered around in the woods alone from the time I was…6, 7ish.  Sometimes with my sister, but we had our individual favorite places. We had two brass police or military whistles on rawhide thongs, hanging up in the hall,( they’re still here!)  and we were to always wear one when we went out alone.  Three blasts = emergency!  Help!

    But it may be even before that; I remember being out with our nanny ( seems funny to call her that cuz it wasn’t anything like the situation with English nannies of literature)   And going into ecstasies over the red flower, and her telling my mother about it at the end of the day.

    You know how I love words, Hyp. Was your nanny an old goat?

    did you ever see the movie Cold Mountain. ( I recommend it.)  my child-care person was the Renée Zellwiger character, 20 years on.

    Great story. The whistle was a proto-tracking device and never needed recharging.

    yeah, the funny thing was my parents were busy in dad’s medical office all day.  Nobody woulda heard our distress whistle till they looked for us at dinner time.  But they were absolutely right to be so cavalier; nothing ever happened to us, and I treasure those times of solitude in the woods at all seasons.  I still do! 

    BTW, I had a nanny too but he looked remarkably like my older brother. 🙂

     

    i remember as very scary and unpleasant the very few times my 8-years-older brother had any responsibility for watching me and my sister (5 days less than a year apart) .  I hope your experience was better.

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  14. EThompson:

    MJBubba:

    EThompson:
    There seems to be a bit of chrysanthemum as well. Is this flower a hybrid?

    Not the ones in the wild.   There are a couple of cultivars that can be purchased commercially, but I think they are sports and not hybrids.

    The Department of Interior recommends against planting any of the hawkweeds because they are an invasive nuisance.   Some of them are native, and some were introduced from Europe or Asia.

    How do you know all this? I suspect you worked for National Geographic at one time. 🙂

    I suspect he worked for Savonarola at one time. 😜

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