Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Straggler daisy

with 10 comments

When I was busy photographing frostweed doing its trick the other morning, I noticed that close to the base of one of those ice formations a straggler daisy had managed to flower, even if it looked a bit worse for wear from the cold. Known scientifically as Calyptocarpus vialis, this ground-hugging little plant produces a flower head no more than three-eighths of an inch across. Some people look down on the straggler daisy when they call it lawnflower, an alternate name based on its frequent appearance in lawns (in lieu of which, ironically, it forms an excellent native ground cover that requires little water and care).

For more information about Calyptocarpus vialis, including a map showing the states that this little species has managed to straggle its way through, you can consult the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 30, 2011 at 5:19 AM

10 Responses

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  1. Outstanding!

    Bonnie Michelle

    November 30, 2011 at 6:39 AM

  2. Is this the same plant as a horse herb? Or is that a plant that looks similar? I loved the frostweed – its whole process of making ice just really fascinates me.


    November 30, 2011 at 9:49 AM

  3. Your macro work is outstanding!! Great light, excellent depth of field and focus. Cheers!


    November 30, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    • Thank you. Macro work is often a struggle to keep significant things in focus. I have plenty of failures, but I post only pictures that are reasonably successful. I also experiment a fair amount, and sometimes I’m surprised by what works.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 30, 2011 at 5:05 PM

  4. It is a cloudy day in London. Thanks for showing me some color.


    December 1, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    • You’re welcome. Here in Austin the little bits of recent rain, coupled with still-warm afternoon temperatures, have caused a few wildflowers to appear here and there. The straggler daisies, though small and inconspicuous, manage to flower throughout most of the year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2011 at 6:42 AM

  5. I have always been intrigued by those tiny flowers in the lawn or open spaces in the wild. What is their role in the ecosystem? Pollinators? They are at the base so their presence or absence must be critical.

    Nancy Basinger

    November 14, 2019 at 11:51 AM

    • Straggler daisy plants readily form a ground cover and in so doing they stabilize the soil. What ecological roles they play beyond that, I don’t know. While straggler daisy’s flowers are small, I’ve seen even smaller insects on them, so it seems there’s a niche for every size.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 14, 2019 at 11:57 AM

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