"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
Only recently have botanists begun to appreciate the jack-in-the-pulpit. This common flowering plant, which lives from 15 to 20 years, is found throughout eastern North America.
Middle-sized jack-in-the-pulpits normally have only one leaf and are male. The male jack-in-the-pulpit's primary job is to produce pollen to fertilize female plants. The female jack-in-the-pulpit is larger and usually has two leaves besides its flower, which, when fertilized, produces seeds. Smaller plants have no flowers at all and are neuter until they grow larger.
Botanists have long known that the jack-in-the-pulpit changes sex. A male plant producing pollen this year may be a female plant producing seeds next year. Now botanists are discovering that jack-in-the-pulpits can change sex fairly often, and they are learning why. It requires much more energy for the female jack-in-the-pulpit to produce seeds than it does for the male to produce pollen, especially since jack-in-the-pulpit seeds are unusually large. If the weather is poor or a female jack-in-the-pulpit uses too much of her energy producing seeds, she simply retires from being a female and spends the next year or two living the comparatively easy life of a male.
The jack-in-the-pulpit must give headaches to evolutionists who cannot explain how male and female could evolve in the first place. At the same time, this interesting flower annually shows how the Creator cares for everything in His creation. Learn more about His very special love for you in the pages of the Bible.
Notes: Batten, Mary. 1983. Science 83, March. p. 85.
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