Friday, March 25, 2005

Crown of Thorns

It's Good Friday and I wanted to relate a plant story that goes back to my Midwestern childhood. We had a Crown of Thorns in the kitchen window of our little Detroit home. It is not an attractive plant, downright dangerous for curious children. The thorns do prick.

But I believed this plant had magical or at least spiritual powers. My mother told me that on Good Friday the plant blooms. Tiny red flowers to symbolize the blood of Christ. He wore a crown of thorns. I have no idea if his crown was this exact species, Euphorbia, E.milii.

To my memory, every Good Friday this plant did bloom. Not a day earlier or later. Considering that the exact date of Easter changes, mid March to early April, how did the plant know to bloom?

Now of course, I have a Crown of Thorns. Who wouldn't want a magical plant? In my California greenhouse, the plant is often in bloom. I went to the greenhouse to look and yes, there seems to be new flowers today.


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