Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for August 13th, 2011

A tall grass

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Eastern gamagrass, Tripsacum dactyloides; click for a more detailed view.

I found the sunflower remains pictured in a post earlier this week near the shore of a pond a couple of miles from where I live in Austin. Another plant there that attracted me was eastern gamagrass, Tripsacum dactyloides, a native species that looks nothing like the low, alien grasses that Americans plant in their lawns. Eastern gamagrass is clumpy and large, and it produces flower stalks that can rise as much as 10 feet (3 m) above the ground. If the stalk shown here reminds you in some ways of corn (maize), that’s because corn is a close relative. And if you see in this picture a strange swan with a scaly green neck swimming leftward against a blue background that might be water (but is actually sky), then you have a good imagination.

(For more information about Tripsacum dactyloides, including a clickable map showing where this species grows, you can visit the USDA website.)

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 13, 2011 at 5:55 AM

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