Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 13 comments

Click for greater sharpness.

Not only has the continuing mild weather prompted some of our native plants to bloom early, but it has allowed two fall-blooming species I’m aware of to keep flowering through December and January and now even the beginning of February. One of those is goldeneye, and the other is the type of mistflower that botanists call Ageratina havanensis. You last saw it about six weeks ago, when I was already pleased to keep finding its flowers so late in the year.

During my productive session on the west side of Mopac on the morning of February 1, I saw both of those species, and in one place they were even growing side by side, each no doubt surprised to find the other still hanging on. Of the photographs I took of the mistflower, the one shown here is closer than, and at a different angle from, the one I posted in December: the width of today’s image represents about an inch or maybe an inch and a half in real life. Some of the flower heads I saw four days ago had noticeable tinges of pink from still-unopened buds, but since you saw that in a photograph taken on October 31, today I’ve chosen to show a view mostly lacking that bit of color: this is quite a different winter white from the snow and ice that some of you are experiencing.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 5, 2012 at 5:34 AM

13 Responses

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  1. These are very very pretty. 🙂


    February 5, 2012 at 8:15 AM

  2. Wow, what an incredibly delicate flower this must be. I imagined a much bigger flowerhead until I read your explanation. Beautiful picture!


    February 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    • Thanks, Sarah. From farther back all these little flowers blend and lose their individuality, which is what motivated the name mistflower.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 5, 2012 at 2:29 PM

  3. […] a more feathery look. The lingering tuft shown here was one of several I found in the same place as the mistflowers and goldeneye along the west side of Mopac on the productive morning of February […]

  4. Fantastic close-up Steve! This is quite beautiful! I keep flipping back and forth between the two photos for comparison…I like them both.


    February 6, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    • Thanks, David. I like the varied views too, and I’ve accumulated other pictures of this species over the years. One advantage of a continuing blog is that I can show different aspects of a given species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 6, 2012 at 8:45 AM

  5. This is beautiful Steve, they look so delicate.
    Amazing photo!

    Pablo Buitrago

    February 6, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    • Thanks, I’ll agree that they’re delicate (and they have a scent, too). I’m impressed that these flowers have lasted so long this year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 6, 2012 at 12:16 PM

  6. Wow. I love macro shots of so many things, and this exceptional photo is, um, no exception. It looks like an enormous bouquet of lilies. How very sweet. I’m thinking those faeries mentioned in a previous post’s comments might like this bouquet a whole lot. Lovely, lovely, lovely.


    February 6, 2012 at 9:17 PM

  7. […] I walked the scene of carnage this morning, and I can report one saving grace: the goldeneye and the mistflowers and some budding agarita survived the assault because they’re close to a limestone outcrop […]

  8. […] another native plant, white mistflower, Ageratina havanensis. In fact on February 5th I showed a closeup of mistflowers that I’d photographed along Mopac four days earlier, and I mentioned how unusual it was to […]

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