The Plant Man: Appreciating the beauty of yellow flowers

By Steve Kawaratani

“Yellow is my favorite, but what is yellow? – sunlike, golden as a crown, buttercups in a field, marsh marigolds, a finch’s wing, a plastic flute.” –Richard Grossinger

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Courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

Steve Kawaratani

My father, Pete, loved flowers; from daffodils to sunflowers, yellow seemed to catch his eye. I believe he felt that yellow blossoms symbolized sunshine and happiness, and I remember him this Father’s Day weekend as a man who was a friend to all he met.

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Courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

My father, Pete, who loved yellow blooms, in his beloved Laguna garden

The beauty of yellow flowers rises above their visual appeal; golden blooms attract pollinators and signal an abundance of nourishment. They are the gift of millions of years of co-evolution and inspired survival strategies.

Plants have evolved over the eons, and those with yellow flowers attract their preferred pollinators. Bees, butterflies and other insects are often drawn to the brilliance of yellow, which stands out against a backdrop of greenery.

Yellow petals act as a visual invitation, beckoning pollinators towards their nectar-rich sustenance and facilitates successful cross-pollination – the survival of both flora and their fauna is dependent on this exquisite act.

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Courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

The Narcissus blooms during the spring, and is commonly known as the daffodil

For some plants, yellow flowers signify ripening. The blooms communicate to animals, birds and even us that the plant’s fruits, seeds or edibles are ready for consumption. It’s nature’s way of saying, “it’s time for a tasty and bountiful meal.”

Yellow flowers also contribute to a plant’s survival in various ecosystems. In some instances, the yellow hue may assist in repelling predators, by indicating the presence of a defensive chemical. Evolution has equipped plants with remarkable adaptations, allowing them to thrive and flourish in a wide range of locales.

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Photo by Catharine Cooper

Tecoma stans (yellow bells), is found from Laguna to Palm Desert to Loreto, Baja California Sur

When you next visit a garden bed bursting with yellow flowers in Laguna, pause and appreciate the wonderful workings of nature. The vibrant yellow blooms will inspire you, brighten your day and remind you that it is a great day to be alive. See you next time and Happy Father’s Day to you all!

Steve Kawaratani, a regular columnist with Stu News Laguna, has been a local guy for seven decades and likes to garden and drive the Baja Peninsula with Catharine and Loki. He can be reached at plantman2@mac.com or 949.494.5141.


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