Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Fine and dandy

with 9 comments

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Texas dandelions, Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus, added plenty of local color to the previous picture, but they remained indistinct in the background. Here’s a closer look at them on a property a few miles down the highway from the location shown in the last photograph. Now you can see some differences between the native Texas dandelion and the more widespread European one.

The slightly more orange yellow flowers in the background are bladderpods, which belong to the genus Lesquerella, and which are having a banner year; I’ve seen fields covered with these low-growing little plants this spring. The violet-colored flowers are baby blue-eyes, Nemophila phacelioides. The prominent green plant at the right is a species of Lepidium, commonly called peppergrass, even though it’s not a grass. People also call it pepperweed, the last part of which shows disdain, but my tongue disdains it not: whenever I get the chance, I nibble bits of this member of the mustard family in order to savor its tangy, peppery taste.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 5, 2012 at 5:43 AM

9 Responses

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  1. beautiful photo!


    April 5, 2012 at 6:21 AM

  2. Yes, indeed – those are the pretty yellow “somethings” I like so much. I’m not sure we can generalize about this, but I’ll offer up my strange fact. My pet fox squirrel adored the European dandelions but wouldn’t touch these. It might have been simple preference, like Beaujolais over Chardonnay. Or there might be a true taste difference. Hard to say.

    Personally, I like them both!


    April 5, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    • People have long used (European) dandelion leaves in salads, so perhaps your pet fox squirrel was following that tradition. Native plant people could say that your squirrel was doing its best to chomp the invasive dandelion and support the native one. I suspect there’s a difference in taste, given that the two aren’t even in the same botanical genus; I guess we could try a blind taste test to find out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 5, 2012 at 2:31 PM

  3. Beautiful, and I look forward to the “…plenty more [photos] ahead…” Perhaps one will be of that little bright spot of red that is burning through in the background? ~ Lynda


    April 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    • The red in the background was probably phlox, although it could have been winecups. By coincidence, I took closer pictures of both today. So much is pending, and I still keep taking more in this luxuriant spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

  4. You bless us with beautiful photos Steve and I love your descriptives!


    April 5, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    • Thanks, David. The land here is blessing us all this year. There are plenty more pictures and descriptions ahead.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 5, 2012 at 2:36 PM

  5. […] March 31 was covered with Indian paintbrushes and Texas dandelions, the second place, which you saw a couple of posts back, had a much more extensive set of wildflowers, and they were intermingled rather than in separate […]

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