Every spring paintbrush decorates Texas' highways with its colorful leaves, which look as if they have been dipped in paint. Native Americans reportedly made a weak tea from this flower to treat rheumatism, to use in food as a secret love charm, and to use as a poison for their enemies. This roadside delight, sprinkled in with the bluebonnet, creates spectacular scenery for Texas travelers.
In Legends and Lore of Texas Wildflowers, Elizabeth Silverthorne offers a delightful selection of these botanical treasures explaining the significance and origin of the name, identifying where the flower and its family members are located, and colorfully describing each one's legends and uses. Complemented by eighteen delicate drawings, legends and facts about forty-four of Texas' most interesting flowers, such as the water lily, Queen Anne's Lace, poinsettia, dogwood, and morning glory, are delightfully detailed.
Violets have been used to cure cancer. Sunflowers were planted by nineteenth-century pioneers to protect families from malaria. Indian Blankets were used to increase fertility. Buttercups were used, in ancient time, to treat leprosy, plague, and insanity and, more recently, to remove warts or raise blisters.
Silverthorne's text offers folklore enthusiasts, gardeners, and Texas history buffs an enchanting reading experience and an invitation to discover the legends growing in their own backyard.
Elizabeth Silverthorne is the author of three award-winning books, Ashbel Smith of Texas, Plantation Life in Texas, and Christmas in Texas, published by Texas A&M University Press, as well as a number of other books on Texas history. A free-lance writer, she lives in Salado, Texas.
What Readers Are Saying:
"Next year's blossoms will likely overwhelm, but until then, take refuge in Elizabeth Silverthorne's newest labor of love, Legends and Lore of Texas Wildflowers. . . . When Texas next boasts a banner wildflower year, you'll be prepared with wildflower lore to spare." --Texas Highways
“. . . A quaint, humanistic approach that takes this out of the category of catalogs.” --Books of the Southwest
“. . . she keeps alive the telling of the tale’ of Texas wildflowers along with their natural, political and social history. . . .” --SIDA
“. . . Silverthorne’s love of wildflowers and the stories that surround them is quite evident as one strolls through the pages of this book. She has researched the subject thoroughly and amassed a wealth of information for the reader to enjoy. . . .Using an extensive bibliography, Silverthorne has created a well-written treasure trove of information and a potpourri of colorful, varied, and delightful wildflower lore. This is a nice addition to any wildflower lover’s library.” --Southwestern Historical Quarterly
“. . . packed with fascinating stories. . . . Folklore, mythology, and legend are the source of this delightful book, and it will make those simple flowers look even more charming once you know their long History.” --Judy Barrett’s Home Grown
“This is the wildflower book to keep after you have used the field guides. There is more to this book than just scientific names and descriptions. You will find the mythology, history, and folklore of some of the major families of Texas wildflowers....This book adds a richness to your wildflower knowledge.” --Fort Worth Gazette
“A comprehensive collection of fact and fiction, Silverthorne’s work will intrigue anyone who is a lover of wildflowers.” --Texas Aggie
“Get a copy of Legends and Lore of Texas Wildflowers and keep it handy, you’ll be glad you did when you see the beauty of Texas.” --Mexia Daily News
“ . . . an intriguing bouquet of folklore . . . She offers everyone who has admired the beauty of wildflowers a fuller appreciation of them.” --Texas Illustrated Magazine