The First 3 Swedish Spring Flowers with Elsa Beskow

2 May 2013


Elsa Beskow brought Swedish flowers to life in her children’s books and illustrations. This time of the year, when I see the first blooms, I almost hear them in her voice.  Are you familiar with first 3 Swedish Spring flowers?



These photos and illustrations show the first 3 Swedish Spring flowers and a character in an Elsa Beskow Book.
1. Vitsippa (Wood Anemone)
2. Gulsippa (Winter Aconite)
3.) Tussilago ( Colt’s Foot)

What are the first signs of Spring where you live? In the area I grew up in the US, the first signs we’d look for in the Spring were 1. Robins and 2. Trilliums.  In Sweden, some of the very first real words I learned where the names of these flowers: 1. Vitsippa, 2. Gulsippa and 3. Tussilago.

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Can’t you imagine reading Elsa’s books and then, running outside to play with these same flowers. I remember the days I spent, as a kid, making flower dolls or fairies, or using flowers for houses. Did, you, too? I don’t recall that I was aware of Elsa Beskow in the US, when I was a child; but, her paintings need no translating and they were absolutely amongst the first Swedish books we introduced in our house for our children.

Beskow would spend hours drawing trees and flowers in spring and summer, and she was nicknamed ‘Princess’ by her siblings. She gained a wide knowledge of plants and flowers, and her illustrations as an adult retained a child’s pure and wondrous view of nature*.  I agree.

IDEA: If you’re looking for something to do today, look at these above illustrations and photos with your kids; then, ask them to flowers around you and see if they can animate your flowers, too with faces and movement;  or simply use this Dandelion Printable (click here),   I’d love to see what you create! Don’t hesitate to email me your small wonder’s artwork at my email or on Facebook.  In fact, I think I’m going to go off now to encourage flower drawings in our house. Happy Willowday! Have you found a Pussy Willow yet this Spring?