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ORRIN MORRIS: Look for buttercups in fields, on roadsides from May to September

The Book of Psalms opens with a description of a man who trusts the wisdom of God as his guide, “… his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3).

The Psalmist notes that the godly man will be law abiding. He will trust God’s wise counsel regarding the dos and don’ts of the Commandments. Verse 3 says he will be a steady, dependable person, like a tall stately tree that bears its fruit or nuts in its season.

The wildflower for today is in the ranunculus family, of which there are about 30 different species. Some bloom early and some later. Some have flowers that measure 1 inch across while the flowers of others are less than 1/4 inch.

COMMON BUTTERCUP

Ranunculus acris

The common buttercup has a 1/2-inch yellow cup-shaped bloom. The petals are overlapping, as illustrated. The most defining characteristics of the buttercup species is the shiny appearance of the petals, thus explaining the description: cup of butter.

Another important characteristic is the abundance of yellow stamen, numbering from 30 to 40 per bloom. A third characteristic is the abundance of pale green pistils numbering from 10 to 20 per bloom. These abundant fixtures make it unique since most flowers have fewer than 10 stamen and only one pistil.

The plant is generally erect with many branches. Most are about two feet tall, but some have been noted to attain three feet. The stem is hairy and the leaves toward the ground are deeply cut, as noted in the sketch.

Our buttercups like fields and roadsides. Look for them there between May and September.

In reflection on today’s Scripture, may you be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water that yields fruit of grace and mercy in whatever season of life you now enjoy.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. To purchase a two-volume set of books featuring his wildflower columns, visit the Nature Seen Gallery & Frame Shop, 914 Center St. in Olde Town Conyers, or call 770-929-3697 or text 404-824-3697. Email him at odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com.