Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Camphorweed’s gummier cousin

with 10 comments

Another wildflower that I found on the Mueller Greenway on December 22 was gumweed, Grindelia nuda. That species appeared in this blog on October 22, in a looking-straight-down view that showed how gummy these flower heads can be. Today’s view from the side reveals more of the hook-like bracts that are another distinguishing feature of gumweeds, and you also get to see a few of this plant’s leaves.

It’s hard for you to tell in the picture above, but if you glance at the detail below you’ll see that an ant has gotten trapped in some of the goo on the green bracts just below this gumweed’s yellow disk flowers. Back in July we saw a similar fate for two ants trapped in a drop of sunflower resin. It’s a hazardous world out there.

For those interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 3 and 8 in About My Techniques are relevant to today’s picture.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 27, 2011 at 5:12 AM

10 Responses

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  1. Nothing like being able to isolate a plant against a blue sky; it solves all kinds of potential background/DOF problems.


    December 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM

  2. And…blue and yellow make a great complement to each other. 🙂 There’s that blue sky you were warning us about, Steve. Nice shot. And an interesting side note on the trapped ants. I wonder why that is. Usually a plant will evolve something like that for a purpose.

    Steve Gingold

    December 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    • There’s more blue and yellow—and some rich red—coming tomorrow. (And we had blue skies again today, so I went out photographing yet again; one or two of today’s pictures will show up next year, which is to say next week.)

      Like you, I thought about plants like the Venus fly trap and the pitcher plant that trap insects in order to get nutrients from their dissolved bodies. As far as I know, gumweeds and sunflowers get no benefit from the insects that get stuck in their goo and resin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 27, 2011 at 5:04 PM

  3. Spectacular photographs, as always.

    Susan Scheid

    December 27, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    • Thanks, Susan. I did a little searching but I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to find any species of Grindelia that grows in New York.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 27, 2011 at 6:30 PM

  4. Great shot Steve!!! The blue sky really makes the flower pop!!!


    December 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM

  5. Wow. Great shot –


    December 29, 2011 at 3:40 PM

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