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ARROWHEAD Sagittaria latifolia

“Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, so I will meditate on Thy wonders” (Psalm 119:27). The Genesis account of creation profoundly states that humankind is made in the image of God. Yet no two of us are identical. Each of us is influenced by our environment in unique ways. We view the world and respond to the Creator in unique ways conditioned by scores of influences and personal experiences.

The wildflower world seems to have been planned to remind us of the vast differences that exist about us. We accept that diversity in nature but seem to struggle with diversity among our fellow humans.

ARROWHEAD

Sagittaria latifolia

Arrowhead is descriptive of the leaves, arrow shaped. The point is always upward unless trampled or chewed. To exaggerate the arrow shape, the two bottom lobes of the leaf extend downward nearly as far from the stem (petiole) as the point of the arrow extends upward. The leaves range from 2 to 16 inches long. The veins of the leaves are a lighter green than the leaf itself. The plant rises from a laterally extended root (rhizome) in very wet soil and may reach 24 inches tall.

The flowers are unique, also. There are three cup-shaped white petals partially surrounding a round green disk. Occasionally the same plant will have both male and female blooms, but most of the time they occur on separate plants. As long as the area remains moist the Arrowhead blooms from June until frost.

The rhizome produces edible starchy tubers, often dug up by ducks. Thus one of the secondary names is duck potato or swamp potato.

Arrowhead is not known for any medicinal purpose, but its unique shape reminds us of God’s diverse creation.

A pastor friend told of his mother taking him aside one day as a lad. She strictly rebuked him for something he said about another boy. “Son, he was made in the image of God, just as you were. That means God loves him as much as He loves you. When you put him down you are insulting God.” The basis of all the precepts of God is this profound truth.

To be made in the image of God means to have the capacity to discern right from wrong; to feel joy and sadness; to experience companionship and loneliness; to contemplate, to remember, to love, and to share. The highest form of worship is the expression of gratitude for His creativity, for His love, and His grace that redeems us from sin.

Indeed, we are wondrously made. The Wildflower Kingdom, in all its diversity, is dwarfed by the uniqueness of the individuals that make up the 7.5 billion people that inhabit the earth. May the grace of God provide you the capacity to accept your uniqueness and the differences that make others unique.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. To purchase a two-volume set of books featuring his wildflower columns, visit The Sketching Pad in Olde Town Conyers, or call 770-929-3697 or text 404-824-3697. Email him at odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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