Thursday, May 29, 2014
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VENUS’S LOOKING-GLASS Spectularia perfoliata
The writer of Ecclesiastes calls our attention to God’s creation when noting, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (3:11a).
Today’s wildflower is a perfect example of this truth.
Venus’s looking-glass is part of the bluebell family. It starts blooming in late April and continues into summer unless the weather gets too dry and hot. Occasional showers will reactivate the plant until late summer.
Venus’s looking-glass stands 1 to 2 feet tall. The main stem is somewhat encircled with broad heart-shaped leaves that clasp the stem. Where the leaf joins the stem, a rich purplish-blue blossom emerges. The 1/2-inch bloom has five petals with a central yellow “eye.”
Venus’s looking-glass prefers sterile ground, so watch for it along roadsides, remote dirt paths and amid weedy patches in waste places. However, it sometimes pops up in a well kept flower garden.
The Latin “spectularia” translates to “pertaining to mirrors” and may refer to the seed which is very shiny. There is no reference that I could find to this plant’s utility other than its simple beauty.
In the rest of Ecclesiastes 3:11 we note, “He (God) has also set eternity in the hearts of men… yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
The amazing abundance and diversity of wildflowers are just two of many things we can observe in nature that testify to our Creator’s love. That love is so deep it is difficult to “fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
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 Street in Olde Town Conyers, or call 770-929-3697 or text 404-824-3697. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.