I’ve hiked for years, grateful for the mountainous beauty and greenery around me. Recently, I’ve become more interested in what exactly that green stuff is and have come to know cool plants like Desert Apricot, Prickly Lettuce, Curlycup Gumweed, Donkey Tail, firs, pines, maples, oaks, birches, junipers, and many more. I use a handy app called Seek by iNaturalist that identifies plants using your iPhone’s camera.

A recent find is the Datura wrighii, or Sacred Thorn-Apple. Its inviting greenery and white flower draw you in, but the thorns radiating in every direction from the round fruit remind you, “thou shalt not eat!” Haha. How could that not be a favorite?

Science estimates there are about 391,000 different plant species. Using seek, I’ve identified about 250. Just 390,750 to go…

Plants provide us with some amazing stuff: wood for housing, desks, and #2 pencils. Paper, rubber, dyes, cottons, and linens. They give us healing oils and petrol for your car. Plants give us natural shelter and natural shade. Its hard to beat sitting under a tree drinking lemonade from lemons that come from… Plants. They provide natural medicines and ingredients for pharmaceuticals. The list goes on and on.

But these are mere nice-to-haves. Plants are directly or indirectly responsible for 100% of our food and about 90% of our oxygen. Without plants, we’d either starve to death or suffocate.

Plants were introduced by God in response to this problem:

“And the earth after it was formed was empty and desolate…” Abraham 4:2

So God prepared the earth for seeds, planted them, and commanded the earth to nourish them. Something it does to this day, though God crippled it in favor of giving the duty to Adam and Eve, but that’s a story for another blog.

God’s response gives insight into His character. Plants testify He is creative, kind, generous, that He knows our needs and has made ample provision. God could have given us one plant – say a pumpkin that we could use for food, clothing, and shelter. He could have. But He didn’t. He provided 391,000 ways to meet all our wants and needs.