Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 15th, 2011

Mexican hat

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Another species that I found flowering near the Arbor Walk Pond on the still-cloudy afternoon of November 8 was Ratibida columnifera, commonly known in Texas as Mexican hat due to the resemblance of its “column” to the tall central part of the iconic broad-brimmed hats worn by Mexican men. These flowers have their heyday in late spring, when they can form large colonies, but it’s not unusual to see a few isolated plants flowering here or there during the summer and well into the fall.

Ratibida columnifera, also called upright prairie coneflower, made its flowering debut in this column in a supporting role in a July 26 picture showing a couple of Mexican hat flower heads beneath a snow-on-the-mountain plant that hadn’t yet flowered itself. In today’s view, the spiraling ranks of disk flowers are just beginning to appear on the central column.

For more information, and to see a clickable map of the many places in the United States and Canada where this species is found, you can visit the USDA website. Mexican hat also grows, appropriately, in northern Mexico.

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

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 15, 2011 at 5:06 AM

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