Saturday, May 15, 2021 (11 days before May’s “Flower Moon” will rise fullest to Earth)
My neighbor and moon-chasing buddy, Susie, dropped by to check on the new chicks. She brought lilacs, and I love lilacs! Their appearance and odor return my brain straight to Kansas City and my cousin Adeline’s backyard, where once a dominating lilac bush gloriously dizzied me during a light drizzle.
This spring I’ve been planting a few flowers and bushes. Now reminded, I’ll include a lilac. I’ll also begin searching for another must-have, a Blue Elderberry, native to Oregon. One grows wild in a forest where I often ride horseback and am captivated by the plant’s eye-strikingly beautiful white flowers.
“Flower Power” isn’t just an old 1960s social concept or something our noises simply enjoy. Today’s scientists are studying the “prettiness of flowers”. Recent articles conclude that scientists prefer studying pretty plants over dull ones, and that flower color mostly captures their interests.
In a study, scientists searched a database for papers published since 1975, of studies on various named-plants. Then they did a statistical analysis of plants studied, finding certain ones more studied than others. Those most studied shared particular traits, beyond occurrences by chance. First, was flower color. Plants having blue flowers were heavily over-represented. The results showed white-flowered plants also doing well. So did plants that display their flowers prominently on long stems.
So, scientists are discovering that truths for the animal kingdom hold equally for the plant one. Like the insects flowers have evolved to attract, botanists are lured by plants that are most showy. In choosing the plants to study, botanists are highly susceptible to their aesthetics.
We get it, and don’t need scientific studies. We can look around, at our own and neighboring gardens, and find everything important: big flowers, in blues and whites, with long stems and compelling perfumes.
A link to the background article: https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2021/05/13/scientists-prefer-studying-pretty-plants-to-dull-ones
Dear Friends: Our world has endless possibilities, to wide eyes and open imaginations. Diana