Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A hairy bulbous thing with a long red snout

with 17 comments

Here’s a native tree with unusual blossoms: if you were going to design a flower, would you include a hairy bulbous thing with a long red snout on it? I’m sure I wouldn’t, but every spring I’m happy to see the strange blossoms of the Mexican buckeye tree, Ungnadia speciosa, which grows natively not only in Mexico but also in Texas and southern New Mexico. I photographed this one on the property of native plant cheerleaders Pat and Dale Bulla in northwest Austin on March 5.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2012 at 5:48 AM

17 Responses

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  1. Gosh, for a moment I wondered why you’d be writing about my grandfather, but then realized it was a flower that had your attention. And a strange one it is!

  2. Very nice photo, and funny! 😉


    March 16, 2012 at 8:28 AM

  3. Lovely photograph and blog entry. I like the balance you achieve between colorful description for the layperson and botanical information–all packaged in precise, clean prose. It keeps this reader coming back for more.


    March 16, 2012 at 8:28 AM

  4. I can’t decide if it reminds me of a baby hummer in hiding, or a kiwi who decided to take up ballet (rotate photo 1/4 turn to the right). Whichever you may choose, it remains that your photo is a great view of a hitherto unknown (to me) flower!
    ~ Lynda


    March 16, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    • You’ve got a healthy imagination this morning, Lynda. A good way to greet a species that’s new to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      • I have a healthy imagination all day every day. It drives my husband bats because, for the most part, he doesn’t see the world I paint for myself in quite the same way. I suppose this is a problem, but not for me.


        March 16, 2012 at 9:02 AM

  5. Strangely captivating, but the flower has a job to do and we are only interpreters of nature’s design, Sally

    Sally W. Donatello

    March 16, 2012 at 8:58 AM

  6. A Very Unique Flower! Have a Great Weekend:)


    March 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM

  7. […] March 5, as I was photographing the Mexican buckeye blossom that appeared in this morning’s picture, an olive hairstreak butterfly, Callophrys grynea, landed on it. I focused on the butterfly and was […]

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