Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 22nd, 2012

Huisache

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In 2010, a lush year for wildflowers in central Texas, the huisache trees, Acacia farnesiana, didn’t flower. In 2011, though their spring bloom period came before the worst of the drought, they didn’t flower either. Now they’re making up for lost time, as this picture from March 11 in north-central Austin confirms. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this tree, I’ll say that its blossoms are so numerous and perfumed that you can smell them from a block away if the wind is blowing toward you. And for those not familiar with Spanish, I’ll add that huisache is pronounced approximately wee-SAH-cheh. The word is Mexican Spanish, based on Nahuatl (Aztec) huixachi, from huitzli, which means thorn, and ixachi, which means many. A huisache tree does indeed have many thorns on it; they’re mostly small, and hard to see in this picture, but they’re sharp, as I can attest.

Huisache trees grow in Mexico and across the southern tier of the United States, as the state-clickable map at the USDA website confirms.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2012 at 5:42 AM

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