Loving Plant Mothers
Different kinds of creatures have different ways of taking care of their children. It is the father seahorse who carries the eggs until they hatch. Mother ostriches totally ignore their eggs and hatchlings, leaving all the care to father ostrich. While these examples may be odd, we would normally think it even stranger if some mother plants cared for their young. Yet, two different species of plants have been found where the mother plant does indeed help her seedlings survive.
Both plants live in the very harsh setting of the cold, dry mountain slopes of western North America. One of the plants is a thistle; the other is the monument plant. Both plants live for decades, growing only a little every year. But the mother plant is saving energy and storing water. Then, at flowering time, both plants send up a tall flower stalk. Once the seeds are ripe, the plant falls over dead. The seeds are not dispersed, but are hidden in mom's vegetation. As mom decays, the seeds begin to germinate, using all the water that the mother plant saved up.
In addition, as they grow under the protection of mom's remains, the seedlings will not have to compete with mom. Scientists who studied seed germination rates of both plants concluded that the mother plant's saved water provides a big advantage to the seedlings. Protected monument seedlings survived twice as well as those without protection. Four times as many thistle seedlings survived when protected. God cares for all His creatures, and mothers are one means He uses to take care of our needs when we're young. That's even true for some plants!