Sarasota News Leader

02/28/2014

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The flower clock is ticking away. On the calen- dar, we are not even on the right page and yet, in Florida, spring is going full tilt. Violets car- pet damp areas. Yellow jessamine clambers over trees and shrubs. Pennyroyal crops up alongside trails. In recently burned areas — and many Florida habitats are fire-dependent — pawpaw puts forth creamy white blooms. Perhaps inspired by Andrew Marvell's poem, in 1751, Carolus Linnaeus, the taxonomist, described a flower clock, which would mark the passing of time over a 24-hour period. Noting bloom times in his garden, he included morning glories, thistle, dandelion, day lilies, marigolds and other flowers suitable for Sweden's temperate climate. Centuries later, Linnaeus' idea is being put into practice. In 2009, the Missouri Botanical Garden celebrated its 150th anniversary by installing a flower clock. Edinburgh, Geneva and, in the U.S., Modesto, CA, Niagara Falls and the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando all have flower clocks, most of them seasonal. In 1959, Jean Francaix composed L'Horloge de Flore for oboe and orchestra. WSMR played it one day, which is how I learned about the clocks. BLOOMS IN FLORIDA KNOW NO BOUNDARY OF TIME Story and Photos By Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer Tori Moore at the T. Mabry Carlton Reserve in Venice, on an outing with the Florida Native Plant Society. Sarasota News Leader February 28, 2014 Page 91

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