The Snow Buttercup
“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.”
Wikipedia has very little to say about the Snow buttercup – Ranunculus nivalis. This is what it says:
“It displays prevalent heliotropism, thus gaining an advantage in its harsh, cold environment through capturing more solar energy by following the sun.”
Heliotropism is a fascinating property. It means that the flower tracks the position of the sun during the day, moving its little yellow parabolic flowers by using special motor cells so that it is constantly pointing towards the sun, as if it were a little radio telescope. The plant grows to about 6 inches high, and its flower is between half and one inch across. As it is the shape of a parabolic dish, it reflects the heat from the sun to a focal point, which is just about where the anther and stamens are positioned. Now, this flower grows in very cold environments so this small amount of extra warmth is very welcome – especially to pollinating insects. Such insects are attracted to the warm spot and are, therefore, more likely to collect or distribute pollen than with a regular-temperature flower. It is undeniable that this gives the snow buttercup an advantage in the competition for pollinators. But I am using evolutionary language. Why is there a competition? How did this flower achieve such an advantage? This property could not have evolved, as the pre-evolved plants would have died in the cold. This is a feature which could only have been designed by God.
Prayer: In Your word, Lord, You tell us that we are worth much more than the flowers which You clothed. Thank You, Lord, for Your care for us. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Flower stalks of snow buttercups track the sun by differential cell growth, < https://asknature.org/strategy/flowers-follow-sun/ >, accessed 10/31/2019. Image: CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported.
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