Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The puff in silverpuff

with 16 comments

If you’ve wondered why Chaptalia texana, which you’ve already seen three times in this blog and as recently as yesterday, is called silverpuff, wonder no more. Note the same nodding posture that characterized this wildflower in its budding stage. Also notice the resemblance to the seed head of the more familiar (and in North America both alien and invasive) dandelion, which is likewise a member of the sunflower family.

Once again this photograph comes from a March 5 session on the property of native plant lovers Pat and Dale Bulla in northwest Austin.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 19, 2012 at 5:32 AM

16 Responses

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  1. That is lovely. I like the contrast of the stiff red-brown bits poking out from the feathery gold and cream.

  2. Those seeds have an aerodynamic design by nature, that allow them to fly away instead of just falling next to the plant. This way they spread with the wind and then fall to the ground pointing down and start burrowing into the soil.

    avian101

    March 19, 2012 at 8:17 AM

  3. Thanks for stopping by my photoblog! Yes, I was named after a Scottish wildflower. 🙂

    joyfulwise

    March 19, 2012 at 9:10 AM

  4. really fantastic images here, Steve. thanks for stopping by my blog.

    EternalForms

    March 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM

  5. Great stuff, Steve. The puff reminds me of a cheerleader’s pompoms! Haha

    Gracie

    March 19, 2012 at 2:01 PM

  6. Truly, a luscious image–it really pops off the screen, Sally

    Sally W. Donatello

    March 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

  7. What superlative haven’t I used in a while? Wonderful? Magnificent? Well, they all apply. Love seeing the phases of the silverpuff.

    Susan Scheid

    March 19, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    • What can I say, Susan, except a sincere thank you. These close views do reveal the “character” of each plant, don’t they?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 19, 2012 at 8:33 PM

  8. Interesting that avian mentioned the aerodynamic nature of the seeds. At first glance, especially in the center, they look very much like birds’ feathers that haven’t been properly groomed. I do like the shepherd’s crook shape of the stem. Lovely photo.

    shoreacres

    March 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    • You do have an active imagination: a shepherd’s crook and bird feathers that haven’t been groomed. The crook drew my attention at the time, but I wouldn’t have thought of ungroomed bird feathers without your prompting.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM


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