Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 13th, 2011

Tatalencho

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Tatalencho; click for greater detail.

The other species that I’ve learned to look for this late in the fall at Austin’s Mt. Bonnell, and that I found there on December 9, is Gymnosperma glutinosum, whose most common name is tatalencho, a Spanish word I’m assuming was taken from an Indian language. The native plant database at Texas A&M University gives a bunch of other names for this plant, almost all of them Spanish or indigenous: nakedseed weed, jarilla, moto, mariquita, motita, cola de zorro, xonequitl, hierba pegajosa, jucu ndede [what language is that ?], zazal, escobilla, and pegajosa. When I came across these flowers a number of years ago my first impression was that they were some sort of goldenrod, but the observation that the plant is bushy did away that idea. Tatalencho is, however, like goldenrod, a member of the sunflower family, and both are in the Asterae tribe within that huge family.

Gymnosperma glutinosum grows in Mexico and in the southwestern states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, as you can confirm at the USDA website. For those interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 2 and 4 in About My Techniques are relevant to today’s photograph. (And those interested in the flowering of mathematics may have noticed that the numbers 1, 2 and 4 are consecutive powers of 2.)

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 13, 2011 at 5:07 AM

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