Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Drying sunflower stalk

with 4 comments

As I’ve said repeatedly in this blog, the uncommon “common” sunflower, Helianthus annuus, is one of my favorite local species. That’s a good thing, because at least some sunflower plants can usually be found flowering in central Texas from late May through October or even November, fully half the year. But it isn’t just the famous flowers that grab me; I’m fascinated by all the plant’s parts. Here you see a close-up of its conspicuously hairy stalk as it begins to fade. Note the baby leaves at the lower left that have dried out and turned white before they’ve had a chance to mature.

I took this photograph on August 29 at Austin’s Elisabet Ney Museum, whose grounds are being restored to a native prairie. As has been true all week, today’s picture is one of twelve that are currently on display at the museum.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 29, 2011 at 5:53 AM

4 Responses

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  1. How lovely to have your work on display. Just this image? or more from your series at Elisabet Ney?

    Poppy stems are hairy like that too – stems are fun to photograph – as they are so often overlooked.


    September 29, 2011 at 7:40 AM

    • There are a dozen pictures in the exhibition: the two of turk’s cap that I posted in this blog a couple of months ago, and the 10 I’ve been posting each day this week (and that we’re half-way through as of today).

      I’m with you when it comes to stems, both the hairy ones and those that are otherwise photogenic.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

  2. This is the perfect opportunity for me to research sunflowers to discover how I can add them to my ranchscape! I have to consider how to protect them from the cattle in order to grow – if the cattle can eat any part of them safely at any specific time – grow to seed stage for the many birds (and other wild critters) I have. My donkeys will nibble on anything except Lantana and Cedars!

    Your posts help a lot of people! Thank you!


    September 29, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    • I wish you well in adding sunflowers to your ranchscape—and keeping them out of the mouths of your donkeys. The first part shouldn’t be hard, but the second may very well be.

      I’m glad you find these posts helpful for yourself and others.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM

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