Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Texas mountain laurel detail

with 18 comments

Click for greater clarity.

And here’s a closer look at Texas mountain laurel, Sophora secundiflora, as some of its dense clusters of buds were beginning to open on February 19 at the Mueller Greenway in east-central Austin. Notice that the open flowers have a shape that characterizes so many in the pea family.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

18 Responses

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  1. They look as though they should smell delicious. Do they? Beautiful color too! ~ Lynda


    February 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    • It’s looking as if you missed this morning’s post, Lynda; its text talked a little about the scent, and there was more in the comments. The short answer is yes, there is a strong aroma, but people disagree about how enjoyable it is. So far this year I’m finding it quite pleasant.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      • I most certainly did, and I will go read it right now! 😉 Thanks Steve, Lynda


        February 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

  2. Wow you do have quite the variety of beautiful wildflowers in your area!!!


    February 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    • In The Jazz Singer Al Jolson said: “Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.” To answer your comment I’ll just change heard to seen.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

  3. beautiful!

    H2O by Joanna

    February 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    • A large cluster of these is something to behold in person. I hope you’ll get the chance.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

  4. The mountain laurel reminds me of the spring violet in the east. The delicacy and yet strength of the colors and shapes. By the way, I wanted to ask if most of your documentation of the Texas wildflower is native species. For example, when they plant the islands. are they “true” natives? Thanks, Sally


    February 24, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    • In central Texas we have the Missouri violet, which is a tiny, mostly solitary flower; of course each individual flower of the Texas mountain laurel is small too, but there are so many of them in a cluster, and so many clusters on the tree.

      As for what gets planted along highways, a lot of it is native—especially if the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center staff has had a say—but some is not. For example, in east Texas they plant a lot of red clover from Europe.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2012 at 3:19 PM

  5. http://letterstoalfie.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/blindsided/


    Just to let you know you are one of my nominated blogs for the Versatile Blogger award.


    Mark Sugden

    February 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    • Thank you, Mark. I’m glad that you were nominated. I appreciate your passing it along to me, but I made a decision half a year ago, when this first came up, that I would let my posts and people’s enjoyment of them be my only award. Thanks again for thinking of me. (By the way, I’ve been to Barcelona—spent six weeks there in 1985 as part of a summer studying the Catalan language. Barcelona is a great place, so I hope you get there before too long.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2012 at 7:40 PM

  6. Beautiful!


    February 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM

  7. This is so beautiful & although I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it in my life, I feel like I can almost smell it !! Must be triggering the memory of something else – perhaps wisteria? Having said that, there is a tree I have occasionally seen flowering here (in the Basque Country) that does remind me of this & I think it’s called a Judas tree & it does have a very powerful scent.

    Sonya Chasey

    March 5, 2012 at 1:12 PM

  8. Much as I love our native kowhai, these flowers are more my colours.


    May 4, 2014 at 11:40 PM

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