Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 23rd, 2011


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This morning Lynda asked why people have sometimes called Liatris blazing-star. This picture of Liatris mucronata may provide an answer: if you look up and down the center of the flower stalk, you can count at least a dozen stars—stylized ones, of course.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Liatris on the prairie

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On August 24th I showed a decade-old photograph of Liatris mucronata as a foretaste of what September might hold for us in central Texas. The drought has desiccated most fields here, including the one in this picture taken on September 14th, but the Liatris—known as gayfeather and blazing-star—has managed to flower nonetheless. Sometimes this species puts up an undivided flower stalk like the one at the right; at other times a single stalk will rise two or three feet and then suddenly branch out, perhaps densely, as do the left and center stalks here.

The location is the cul-de-sac at the south end of Meister Lane in Round Rock, the same place where (again, a decade ago) I took the picture of the basket-flower that appeared as this blog’s first photograph. The northern border of the lot has expanded from a country road to a superhighway, and one corner of the property has been built on, but the rest of this piece of prairie has somehow so far survived. For its own sake and the sake of photographs yet to be taken there, let’s wish it luck.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2011 at 6:00 AM

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