May 24, 2022

Botan (peony) flowers: Kencho-ji

Botan (peony) flowers: Kencho-ji

The shapes and hues of flowers astonish me by their striking exquisiteness and strangeness. Flowers are generally thought to be the leaves transformed as organs of reproduction. Although being horticulturally bred for human appreciation in some cases, flowers seem to be excessively ornamental far beyond their biological function. 

Perhaps, for several billions of years, this mysterious ornamentation of flowers, along with the allure of their sweet nectar, may have been refined in order to gain an advantage in enticing insects and other creatures to assist in the pollination of plants. Such insects and creatures may rigorously evaluate the appearance and fragrance of flowers and visit the chosen flowers that are appropriate to perform their laborious pollination tasks.

At all events, the evolutionary histories of plants, their pollinating creatures and their symbiosis must be far beyond human understanding. 

Various flowers bloom beautifully before my eyes in each season, but they never let me know what lies behind their graceful and enigmatic appearances.

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