The Pattern Still Remains

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Flower Time

That indefatigable botanist Carl Linnaeus made a list, over two centuries ago, of the times of opening and closing of flowers.  Here it is:

  • 06 AM - Spotted Cat’s Ear opens
  • 07 AM - African Marigold opens
  • 08 AM - Mouse Ear Hawkweed opens
  • 09 AM - Prickly Sowithistle closes
  • 10 AM - Common Nipple Wort closes
  • 11 AM - Star of Bethlehem opens
  • 12 PM - Passion Flower opens
  • 01 PM - Childing Pink closes
  • 02 PM - Scarlet Pimpernel closes
  • 03 PM - Hawkbit closes
  • 04 PM - Small Bindweed closes
  • 05 PM - White Water Lily closes
  • 06 PM - Evening Primrose openes

It is quite possible to plant a garden in the shape of the face of a clock with appropriate flowers plated at the site of the twelve numbers, and in nineteenth-century Europe this was sometimes done. On a sunny day, by merely noting which flowers were open and which were closed, the time could be told, at a glance, to within half an hour.

Today and Tomorrow and… by Isaac Asimov, 1973.