Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for January 31st, 2012

What some buds had already become

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You’ve heard that when I visited the Mueller Greenway on January 27th I found a Coreopsis tinctoria plant fully three feet tall with plenty of buds and flowers on it already. To yesterday’s closeup of a coreopsis bud let me add this picture of a nearby part of the same plant so you can see what the buds open up into. Yes, I’ll admit that like the rays of the Engelmann daisy from two posts back, those of the lowest of the three flower heads here also look a bit bedraggled, but for a species that normally flowers in April and May to have any flowers at all in January is quite an accomplishment, so let’s be charitable and forgive a few brownish spots and rumpled tips. In any case, the two smaller flower heads were still free of any imperfections and are probably now, four days later, fully and immaculately open. In addition to the flowers, I was intrigued by the curves that the stalks make on their way upward; you saw a trace of that curving at the bottom of yesterday’s picture of a bud.

Although I found just one coreopsis plant on my visit to Mueller last Friday, this species can form large and dense colonies when conditions are right. That was the case in the spring of 2010, as you can see if you go back to a picture that I posted nostalgically during the drought of 2011.

For more information, and to see a map showing that Coreopsis tinctoria grows in northern Mexico, almost every American state, and parts of southern Canada, you’re welcome to visit the USDA website.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 31, 2012 at 4:51 AM

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