Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Questing purple bindweed

with 9 comments

Ipomoea cordatotriloba; click for greater detail.

Two of the common names of Ipomoea cordatotriloba, purple bindweed and tievine, identify the species as a twining vine, and yesterday’s photograph showed one acting out those names by twining its way around a stalk of dried grass. When this type of vine gets to the uppermost part of the plant that it’s climbing on and therefore can’t go any higher, it reaches out sideways in search of something else to climb on. That’s the questing state in which you see this tendril. It may look like it has a claw at its tip, but unlike some other vines, this one doesn’t attach itself with suckers or burrow into the plant that supports it.

The name purple bindweed refers to the color of the vine’s flowers, which made appearances (even if out of focus) in the last two posts, but you can see that the tendrils themselves are reddish; even the emerging leaves that you see here are more reddish than the green that they’ll become (and that stood out in the previous picture).

For more information about this species, including a clickable map showing the places in the southeastern United States where it grows, you can visit the USDA website.

I took this photograph on August 17 at Austin’s Elisabet Ney Museum, whose grounds are being restored to a native prairie. Today’s picture is one of twelve that are currently on display at the museum. For those not familiar with Elisabet Ney, a German artist who settled in Texas in the 1800s and specialized in sculpture, I encourage you to take a look at the museum’s website and Wikipedia.

For those interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 2, and 5 in About My Techniques are relevant to today’s photograph.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 3, 2011 at 5:43 AM

9 Responses

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  1. Love the circle on the vine in this shot! 🙂


    October 3, 2011 at 7:39 AM

  2. Very serpentine and vaguely sinister (well, it is turning left)…interesting shot.

    Marcia Levy

    October 3, 2011 at 9:52 AM

  3. I love this shot 🙂


    October 3, 2011 at 10:48 AM

  4. I never fail to be amazed by the vitality of the vining plants, or the speed with which they journey across the landscape. Dylan Thomas got it right: The force that through the green fuse drives the flower drives my green age…


    October 3, 2011 at 9:46 PM

  5. […] from the ruins left behind by the colonizers of 2010. As I was a traveler there, so had some purple bindweed vines been; you can see its curving remains  left behind in a couple of places as […]

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