It's Not Magic

A friend posted a picture of a plant on her Facebook page recently trying to get someone to identify it.  One of the resulting comments suggested it was a coleus because they don’t have flowers.  I admit it took all my self-restraint not to post something kind of snarky response talking about how plants reproduce (Hint: They don’t magically appear out of thin air, most are seed produced.).   What he meant to say was “Coleus do not have showy flowers”.  So here is some love to the non-showy flowers in the garden.

These Super Sweet Tomato flowers are beautiful up close, but from a distance, they really are easy to pass by.  Interestingly other flowers in the nightshade or Solanaceae family have similar flowers.

Setcreasea pallida 'Purple Heart'  It's blooms may look showy, but they are actually quite small and in the shade of our garden aren't very plentiful.

And of course that plant that started it all...the coleus.  These flowers aren't open yet, and sadly were pinched off after this photo was taken.

 Here is a look at what coleus flowers look like, it you let them bloom.  Most folks don't since really the foliage is what gardeners are after.

And last but not least, a common plant in the herb garden, Basil.  Another time where gardeners don't really want energy being expended for flowers when the leaves are the "crop".  Hope that as you garden you take the time to enjoy all of the flowers (even the tiny non-showy ones) and manage not to insult any of your Facebook friends over gardening technicalities.


  1. Thanks for the morning laugh. I knew the rule was pretty much that if it's weird looking, it's probably an euphorb but now know another rule of botany; if it has small flowers, it's most likely a coleus. Or a solanum.


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