Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 14th, 2011

Not named for Beethoven

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Water-primrose flower; click to enlarge.

Dawned drizzly and damp, did the day of November 8: no pictures for me that morning. But by afternoon, with dark clouds still looming in skies that had managed to shake loose only some brief scatterings of drops that hardly qualified as rain, eastward I turned, to Mimi’s restaurant on Mopac, not to eat there but to wander, boots on, haltingly down the wet embankment at the southern edge of the property to Arbor Walk Pond, around which pleasingly many species of wildflowers were still managing to flower. Northerners, let me add that the temperature was in the mid to upper 70s.

A couple of springtimes ago I lay pressed against that embankment and looked upward in a line that cleared the top of the restaurant, in order to take pictures of some pink evening-primrose flowers against a bright blue sky. On this gray autumn afternoon, though, I looked the other way, and when I did, my attention fell first on a group of water-primroses, relatives of that other plant. Of all that I saw, these were the plants rising highest with flowers, propelled upward by the water they can never live away from. Several similar species of Ludwigia inhabit central Texas, and I can’t tell you for sure which one this was. I can tell you that the genus was named not for Beethoven, the composer of the Pastoral Symphony, but for another German, Christian Gottlieb Ludwig, an eighteenth-century botanist.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 14, 2011 at 5:09 AM

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