Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Robert Howson
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is the common name derived from dent de lion , the French for lion’s tooth, a refererence to the teeth on the leaves. Erodium cicutarium, also known as Filaree or Redstem Stork’s Bill is so named for the long, slender, pin-like fruits that stick straight up. Now that the names are out of the way, what do these two familiar plants have in common? The simple answer; they are weeds. But perhaps we should examine that classification a bit further to see if it really fits.

What makes a weed a weed? The easiest definition is a weed is a plant out of place. By that definition, orchids growing in my strawberry patch would be a weed. Does that make you uncomfortable? It really isn’t too bad a description, for the name is really designed to fix man’s comfort level. That which limits or inhibits the growth of what man is seeking to produce is rightfully called a weed. If you’re using an older translation of the Bible, the word tares could just as well be used in its place. Several of Christ’s parables make reference to plants out of place and the term is symbolically used to represent the kind of people He is describing.

The flowers pictured above could be considered attractive, even beautiful, but if they aren’t filling the role the gardener desired, they would be correctly labeled a weed. The world may look at us and find us attractive, but what about the Heavenly Gardener? If He is trying to grow us into individuals who would fit into His heavenly landscape, no matter our appearance here, if we don’t fit that magnificent garden, then the yard waste bin will be our destination.