Genesis 1:11
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself…”

The voodoo lily is native to Southeast Asia, although it is sometimes sold in the west as a curiosity. When it flowers, the voodoo lily sends up a fleshy, purple spike that can be three feet long. Besides being one of the worst-smelling flowers you’ll ever experience, the spike has another amazing ability.

Voodoo lily (Dracunculus vulgaris)The spike of the voodoo lily generates a number of hormones that, when heated, smell like rotting meat. It does this because the flies that pollinate the lily feed on decaying flesh. The smell draws them in to look for food, and in the process pollinate the lily. The flower stalk is able to generate plenty of heat that creates its awful smell. Temperatures inside the flowers can reach 110 degrees F. In order to generate this much heat, the voodoo lily actually operates at a metabolic rate similar to that of a hummingbird in flight! This frantic rate continues only until the flower is pollinated.

As a matter of interest, while the voodoo lily is the most dramatic of heat-producing plants, several common household plants that are related to the voodoo lily also produce heat when flowering. These include the dieffenbachia and the philodendron.

Scripture offers a very modest account of God’s creative activity. Incredibly imaginative and intricate designs are included in the simple statement, “Let the earth bring forth grass…”

Lord Jesus, You are the Instrument through which the creation was made, I thank You for the wonder-inspiring beauty and diversity around us. But most of all, I thank You that You cared so much for Your creation that when we fell into sin, You gave up Your life to save us. Amen.

Rick Weiss, “Blazing Blossoms,” Science News, Vol.135, June 24, 1989, pp. 392-394. Photo: Voodoo lily (Dracunculus vulgaris). Courtesy of Jörg Hempel. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license.

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