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YELLOW FIELD-PANSY Viola arvensis

The Creator has put the seasons in order, even as He set the moon and stars in the heavens. The prophet Ezekiel quoted God’s promised blessing regarding the seasons when he wrote, “I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26)

It is fascinating to watch the earth awakening in the spring. All about us will be many tiny blooms. Because they will be small, they will be easy to overlook. Most of these tiny wildflowers live close to the ground. Early in the season their stems are short, but as the March winds subside some will develop longer stems.

YELLOW FIELD-PANSY Viola arvensis

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The yellow field-pansy is one of those early bloomers. Another name for this wildflower is European field-pansy (www.USDAplants). The name clearly indicates this is not a native plant, but it was brought in during colonial days. Inline image

The yellow field-pansy is in the Violet Family, of which there are about 20 varieties that grow in Georgia’s fields, lawns and gardens. However, this is only one of two that are annuals. The other is the lavender variety. It is tiny and when it rains it turns its blossom downward making it much harder to see.

The light yellow flowers of today’s wildflower measure 1/2 inch wide. The bottom petal often folds along the center vein. The center of the bloom is orange with sharply contrasting purple lines radiating from the center. These streaks remind me of a cat’s whiskers.

The pale green leaves occur in clusters along the 6-inch stem. Two dominant opposite leaves emerge, followed shortly by thin leaflets. From the clusters, an inch long arching spike forms to holds the bloom. Other blooms sprout from these clusters in a sporadic sequence. It is rare to see two blooms from a cluster at the same time.

Yellow field-pansies may begin to appear as early as late February or March depending on the warmth of the weather. They will continue through May. However, they are less common than the Lavender Field Pansy.

There seems to be a divide in attitude about rains between apartment and dwellers and the gardeners. If a dry spell is to be broken there must be many more than few brief showers. What nourishes the gardens are two-day-drizzles. When such “gloomy” days occur on weekends, some people become disgruntled. They do not understand that the drizzle slowly sinks into the dry ground while the rain of a sudden brief storm runs off. Granted, the reservoirs and lakes rise from any runoff, but the benefits are temporary compared to the blessings of extended mist and gentle showers.

May the rest of this year bring you many extended “showers of blessings” as you continue your journey of faith in God who demonstrated His love through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

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 Sketching Pad in Olde Town Conyers, or call 770-929-3697 or text 404-824-3697. Email him at odmsketchingpad

@yahoo.com.

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