Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Prairie agalinis flowers

with 8 comments

Prairie agalinis; click for greater detail.

Yesterday’s post showed a colony of Agalinis heterophylla, called prairie agalinis or prairie false-foxglove, as it appeared in a happily neglected portion of Austin’s old Mueller Airport on September 30. A week earlier, at Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock, I’d taken this close-up of two prairie agalinis flowers. Note the yellowish stripe, the many spots of darker pink, and the fuzziness along the edge of each flower’s flanges.

For more information about prairie agalinis, including a clickable map showing the places in the south-central portion of the United States where this species grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 8, 2011 at 6:00 AM

8 Responses

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  1. These are beautiful enough to plant on purpose… and I absolutely did not see them in your original poplar picture until you called our attention to them. Glad you showed them to us the next day! ~ Lynda


    October 8, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    • Yes, and they seem to plant themselves readily enough that a gardener should be pretty successful with them. I’ve often noticed how different something can look when you change perspective, an idea that I played up by going from the far view to the middle view to the closeup.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM

  2. Agalinis are blooming here as well – including this same species. They seem to be pretty abundant with a very dry summer/fall. I love the detail in your pictures – especially the fuzziness. Now if you could assemble pics of *all* the North American agalinis species…..an interactive visual key would be great!


    October 8, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    • It’s been interesting to me to see which species are flourishing even with the drought. The agalinis is a recent one; even more conspicuous have been silverleaf nightshade and purple bindweed, which I’ve seen flowering for months just about everywhere I go.

      I like the fuzziness of the agalinis that you mentioned; where would I be without a macro lens (and sometimes backlighting)? If you can wangle me a grant to pay for the visual key to all the agalinis species, I’ll take up your suggestion.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 8, 2011 at 9:05 PM

      • I could believe agalinis, being “hemiparasitic”, would do ok in a drought. And likewise the tough nightshades – also blooming here.

        My favorite plant websites still don’t approach the detail you capture; if I can ever direct some spare federal money your way, I will! It’s such an obvious solution for all the land managers/naturalists/ecologists that struggle to ID plants, I can’t believe it hasn’t already been done. (Here’s a great example: http://www.missouriplants.com/Pinkopp/Agalinis_fasciculata_page.html)


        October 8, 2011 at 9:18 PM

      • An Internet search has sometimes taken me to


        and I’ve admired what I’ve seen there. The link you provided has excellent closeups and descriptions. I’ve longed for something comparable for the native plants in Austin, especially when it comes to groups like all those nondescript Euphorbias and Chamaesyces that I so often see.

        As for federal money, hmmm. If we could just get a football team or a bank to adopt native plants as emblems or pet projects, the money would come pouring in.

        Steve Schwartzman

        October 8, 2011 at 9:46 PM

  3. Those are sure pretty! Your presentation of them is outstanding!


    October 9, 2011 at 12:49 AM

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