Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

The Missouri Botanical Garden announced the spring installation of a floral clock to mark the garden’s 150th birthday and as a nod to the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904.  The flowers on the 20-foot-diameter display will be changed out seasonally from its debut in May until October, and each season’s arrangement will use up to 8,000 plants.Print

            Floral clocks tell time — since their popularity arose in the early 20th century this has been mechanical, although Linnaeus devised a clock that told time by the opening of flowers.  I can’t imagine trying to find the right mix of flowers to open at each hour of the day.  (A scientific look at Linnaeus and his floral clock can be found from the Linnean Society).

            At the Missouri Botanical Garden, ever mindful these days of our energy usage, a small solar panel will be set up to run the clock.  Even better than the hands turning, will be the electric cuckoo that will mark the quarter hours.  Emerging from its house will not be a cuckoo, though — it will be a bluebird.  Even better, in July, when St. Louis hosts the All-Star game, the bluebird will be replaced by a cardinal.  Go Cards!

            What a fine combination of horticulture, history and civic pride.  All this from a place that is already well known for its fabulous online plant database.  Good on you, Missouri Botanical Garden!


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