Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 24th, 2011

April in December

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Indian Paintbrush Flowering 2457

Who would’ve believed it? A wildflower that we expect to find blooming in Austin on April 22 was blooming on December 22; that’s when I found this Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa, on the northern embankment of Loop 360 near the Arboretum. Overnight rain had quickly given way to the first dawn-to-dusk clear day we’d had here after two mostly overcast and wet weeks, so out I went in the morning and again a few hours later, when the red that you see here proved to be not only my last find of the afternoon but also the most surprising. If this Indian paintbrush and several others of its kind likewise flowering a few feet away were confused about the season, we’re the beneficiaries of their confusion.

For more information about Castilleja indivisa, including a state-clickable map showing where in the south-central United States this species grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 24, 2011 at 5:10 AM

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