You Can Tell Time from Flowers

on September 1, 1991

Originally published in Creation 13(4):51, September 1991

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.


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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.