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ORRIN MORRIS: Spring’s warmth coaxes tiny purple field pansy blooms from winter slumber

FIELD PANSY Viola emarginata

FIELD PANSY Viola emarginata

The Creator has put the seasons in order, even as He set the moon and stars in the heavens. The prophet Ezekiel quoted God’s promised blessing regarding the seasons when he wrote, “I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing” (Ezekiel 34:26).

When spring arrives there will be many tiny blooms all around us. Because they will be small, it will be easy to overlook them. Most of them will live close to the ground.

Early in the season their stems are short but as the cold winds subside some will develop longer stems. The wildflower for today is one of those early bloomer.

FIELD PANSY

Viola emarginata

The field pansy is in the violet family, of which there are about 20 varieties that grow in Georgia’s fields, lawns and gardens. However, it is the only one of the 20 that is an annual.

It is tiny and when it rains it turns its blossom downward making it much harder to see.

The light lavender flowers measure 1/2-inch wide. The bottom petal often folds along the center vein. The center of the bloom is a pale yellow with sharply contrasting purple lines radiating from the center. These streaks remind me of a cat’s whiskers.

The pale green leaves occur in clusters along the 6-inch stem. Two dominant opposite leaves emerge, followed shortly by thin leaflets. From the clusters the 1-inch long spike that holds the bloom forms. Other blooms sprout from these clusters in a sporadic sequence. It is rare to see two blooms from a cluster at the same time.

Field pansies begin to appear in February depending on the warmth of the weather. They will continue through May.

May this day bring you many “showers of blessings” as you continue your journey of faith in God who demonstrated His love through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

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.