1 Peter 5:6-7
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
We usually identify plants by their appearance. Palm trees can be identified because the many different kinds of palms have some common identifying characteristics. Pine trees, likewise, have common features that help us identify them. However, one plant has become a master at looking like many other plants. It has a good reason for doing this.
Mistletoe is a parasite that’s commonly found in Europe, North America and Australia. While it uses its green leaves to make its own food, it gets its water and minerals through roots attached to a host. It’s relatively easy to see the difference between American and European mistletoe and its host. However, many species of Australian mistletoe mimic the host on which they grow.
The drooping mistletoe is so named because its leaves look like those of its host, the eucalyptus tree. The box mistletoe and the pendulous mistletoe both have hard, sickle-shaped leaves that make them look much like other eucalyptus trees on which they grow. Botanists who believe in evolution are divided on how to explain this mimicry. Mistletoe can neither see its host, nor change form like an amoeba.
There’s no problem, however, if we understand that our unlimited Creator also cares about the living things He made. Mistletoe that looks almost identical to its host can make its living without attracting attention to itself.
Notes: Peter Bernhardt. 1989. Wily violets and underground orchids: revelations of a botanist. William Marrow and Company, Inc., pp. 34-37.
Photo: Mistletoe attached to an apple tree in Essex, England.
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