Giant Fleabane

This Inula Magnifica, which can be translated to English as Magnificent Ring, is a flower deserving of its name. Yet on this plant, I beheld the five stages of age and decline:

Its English, rather than its Latin or literal translation, is Giant Fleabane. Not quite so grand, eh? In its heyday, it is a grand ring of golden magnificence, but with each passing week, it becomes wearisome, baneful, and metaphorically flea-ridden.

The older you get, the more you decline and deteriorate. If you are a Christian, however, the closer you get to the final transformation to glory.

Finish then, Thy new creation;

pure and spotless let us be;

let us see Thy great salvation

perfectly restored in Thee.

Changed from glory into glory,

till in heav'n we take our place,

till we cast our crowns before Thee,

lost in wonder, love, and praise.

-Charles Wesley