ORRIN MORRIS: Contrary to its name, Siberian wallflower thrives in hot, dry environments

Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." The chapter goes on for many verses with counsel such as "there is a time to grow"(3:6).

The wildflower kingdom has thousands of species. Some of these bloom in the spring while others bloom in the fall.

Some blooms appear in the late evening. Some bloom in the morning and die about noon of the same day. Others have flowers that last for more than a week.

Some like wet soil while others like well-drained soil.SIBERIAN WALLFLOWER

Erysiumum allioniiThe Siberian wallflower has a very mixed past with a name that represents a frigid Eurasian region but thrives in hot and dry (xeriscape) environments where it reaches about 3 feet. It does not like acid soils, so it is rarely found in or near pine groves.

The term wallflower comes from England, where the plant is often found along limestone fences.

The 1-inch blooms occur during the summer months and range in color from a rusty-red to a golden-yellow. The four-petal flowers have a velvety appearance and flourish in clusters at the top of the stem or branches. Long seed cases are formed below the clusters as illustrated.

The wallflower has a sweet scent, even when dried, and is occasionally found in potpourri. In the past, herbalists used the plant for the relief of sore muscles.

The most common wallflower in the U.S. is a Western variety (Erysimum asperum) but the Eastern variety is rather rare. The first time I saw it was in a weed patch at friend's house.

One of my joys is teaching children to draw. All children are unique in their abilities. Some are able to accurately reproduce what they see while others struggle.

My conclusion is that age is a secondary factor; that is, it is important but not primary. I encourage my rapidly developing students to be humble and my slower students to be patient.

Those who are fast developing will sooner or later meet someone whose ability far exceeds theirs. The others will excel, sooner or later, through experimentation and practice if they persevere.

The example I use to underscore this fact is that I did not complete my first portrait until in my 50s, while one of my students completed her first fully developed portrait when she was just 8.

"There is a time to grow" (Ecclesiastes 3:6).

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. His email is odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com or call him at 770-929-3697.