Shy and Peruvian, black and beautiful.

salvia discolor

This unusual Peruvian or Andean Sage that I found at a nursery nearby has grown up and started blooming. I almost didn’t see the flowers, they are so shy and mostly hidden. I saw a website that said they were large and showy… if they become that I will be sure to take another picture.

Even without the blue-black flowers, the plant is very pretty, the way it drapes its graceful stems in the air. The stems and the backs of the leaves are silvery white, and the newer parts of the stems are very sticky.


It makes me happy, the way it has quietly thrived and come into itself. I hope it will survive the winter and come again in the spring. It’s not listed in the Sunset Western Garden Book, but since it was propagated locally there’s a good chance it’s suited to our area.

I thought of it when I read this email from Salvo Magazine this morning. Beauty like this naturally makes us humans remember the Creator and Giver of beauty:

Is Planet Earth Trying to Tell Us Something?

You may know the standard line of evolutionary biologist-atheists like Richard Dawkins, which goes something like this:

Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. (Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1996, p. 1)

Got that? “Have the appearance.” Don’t be fooled, warns Dawkins, for:

Natural selection is the blind watchmaker … does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the illusion of design and planning. (Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1996, p. 21)

It’s all an illusion of design. So ignore what your eyes and brain [and heart? -GJ] are telling you. They’re mistaken.

But apparently this habit of the mind that sees purposeful design in biology has spread beyond biology to the entire planet!

From the Daily Mail:

Sir David Attenborough and Brian Cox’s TV nature shows are ‘putting viewers off science’ because the beautiful scenes reaffirm belief in God.

* New study suggests nature programmes are putting viewers off science.
* Religious people often ‘have faith reaffirmed by the beauty on the screen.’

In the first bullet point, put “science” in quotes. They don’t mean science per se; they mean materialism or scientism.

There is no escaping it: The Planet Earth is stunningly beautiful. A wiser man wrote:

If the beatification of the world is not a work of nature but a work of art, then it involves an artist. -G. K. Chesterton

Draw your own conclusions, but don’t let someone tell you don’t see what you do see.

8 thoughts on “Shy and Peruvian, black and beautiful.

  1. It’s interesting that salvia (the name of the plant) and Salvo (the name of the magazine) are related, etymologically: based in the Latin for “healthy.” Mens sana in corpore sano, a sound mind in a sound body, should include the kind of openness to what ‘is’ that reductionists refuse.

    The scientific name for your salvia tickled me. I’m sure discolor must refer to the absence of color that black represents.


  2. ” . . . don’t let someone tell you you don’t see what you do see.” But one has to look. (Your photographs and words today encourage that practice, especially when I find myself “out of practice.”)


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