By Orrin Morris
Psalm 107 begins, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever” (KJV). This verse reminds us of God’s mercy. It is not temporary, that is, here today and gone tomorrow. It is applied to all sins, not favoring one infraction over another. It is available to all, not to only one nation or culture but to all people. God’s grace and mercy is available forever to everyone who will yield to His love and forgiveness.
The wildflower for today is one whose blooming season endures over many months, even until today.
Another name for the cypress vine is the humming bird vine. I like that name because it has became a major attraction for humming birds on my garden fence.
Cypress vine blooms are very similar to the red morning glory, but smaller. The primary difference is the leaves. The cypress vine has a delicate leaf structure that reminds me of miniature palm tree fronds, as illustrated. Technically they are called “even pinnate leaves.”
Cypress vine is a tropical plant imported for commercial distribution. As a very hardy species of the starglories in the Convolvulaceae Family, it soon went wild. This is not a recent phenomenon since one of my resources, copyright 1931, documents this fact (Seymour).
The flowers are scarlet red stars with a 1 1/2 inch tube, proportionately long for most similar shaped blooms, such as trumpet vine, yellow Jessamine, and dame’s rocket.
The vines are thin and twining. They may be as long as 15 feet or ascend to that height if an appropriate host is available. The preferred habitat is waste places where they may bloom from July to October. If you find one of these plants don’t try to cultivate it. It likes to be left alone, and when so treated rewards the owner generously.
The seeds may be taken to start a new vine but don’t make a fuss about it. Cast the seeds at the base of a fence and forget about them. It is highly likely you will have a cluster of vines with beautiful scarlet blooms next summer. However, one word of caution, the cypress vine can become invasive and difficult to eradicate except with a strong herbicide.
Remember again the Psalm, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” Mercy is unmerited favor and God offers forgiveness to all who call upon His name. May you express your thankfulness for God’s mercy in a place of worship this Sunday.