You Can Tell Time from Flowers


Originally published in Creation 13, no 4 (September 1991): 51.

In some gardens it doesn’t matter if you’ve forgotten your wrist-watch. Many flower-lovers can tell the time by observing which flowers are opening or closing at any particular time of day.

Botanists and gardeners had known for centuries that certain flowers open or close at the same time each day. But it was an eighteenth century creationist who put this knowledge to practical use.

Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (pronounced lin-NAY-us) made a list of flowers with the times they opened or closed. He made a garden of local flowers which were reliable even on cold and cloudy days. This ‘floral clock’ idea has been used in many botanic gardens since. It is another interesting example of man’s making use of unusual design features in God's creation.


Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390