To start the year in Smith`s school of Englishスミス英会話 in Fuse, Higashi Osaka東大阪布施, I decided to decorate the school with this really beautiful flower from East Asia, called Rodgersia podophylla 矢車草. The family of the Rodgersias is very small and they all originate from Eastern Asia – so it is much better known in Japan than it is in the Western World. The Rodgersia podophylla not only might have various colors as blue, red and pink, as you can see on the photo, they also match very well making for their popularity as a decorative plant in Japan. The English Conversation students 英会話生徒 in the school could enjoy the Rodgersias for two full weeks!
As it is a Japanese flower, the Japanese name 矢車草(やぐるまそう) describes the flower very well. 矢 (や） ”meaning” arrow, 車(ぐるま) meaning “wheel” and 草(そう) meaning “plant”, the name could be translated as arrow wheel plant. And this describes very well how the flower looks. Because what seems to be one flower is actually a wheel of flowers around a dark colored center. The single flowers stick away from the wheel so that they look like the fletching of an arrow. One flower can be seen as one arrow stuck to a wheel – and all of them together – e.g. the panicle – as a wheel of flowers. Thus the name 矢車草（やぐるまそう）.
During the Conversation classes英会話教室, I could make use of the flowers by asking the English Conversation students 英会話生徒 to describe them and explain their name. The students could make good use of some very basic words not often used in daily conversation like “wheel” or “arrow”. All Japanese know the flower, but some of our Osaka(大坂) Conversation students 英会話生徒 did not know what the flower lookｓ like, so they all were very happy to have a look at and talk about the Rodgersia podophylla for a while.