Shrimp Flower

Justicia brandegeeana, otherwise known as shrimp flower (for which little explanation is required) originates in Mexico but is grown throughout the world. It provides much nectar for humming birds as well as insects, though its tropical disposition means it cannot grow in temperatures below 7 degrees centigrade. In northern Europe, it makes a good indoor pot plant, but the cold would otherwise kill it.

I remember a former pastor remarking to his congregation that there were some who may be unhappy in the church and spoke about leaving. He concluded: “Just remember, it’s cold out there”. He meant that his church might not be perfect, but the spiritual climate without was likely worse. I think he was right. If ever a shrimp plant in my possession develops speech and objects to my taste in music or wallpaper, I might take the opportunity to remind it that it is ‘cold out there’. A roaring fire in a tumbledown cottage offers more comfort than a large marble hearth in a giant mansion, but from which no warmth radiates.

Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple. Psalm 65:4