Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Autumn in spring, take 2

with 14 comments

Click for greater clarity.

The last post showed a goldeneye plant flowering while the earth was on the wrong side of its orbit around the sun. I’d noticed that yellow-flowered species extending its blossoming through January, February, and even March of 2012—as I had another native plant, white mistflower, Ageratina havanensis. In fact on February 5th I showed a closeup of mistflowers that I’d photographed along Mopac four days earlier, and I mentioned how unusual it was to still find them in Austin so late.

Well, just as the goldeneye has started back up half a year earlier than its traditional time, so has the mistflower, some of which I found only a block away from the goldeneye in my neighborhood on May 1. The mistflower bushes that I’m used to seeing along Mopac also flowered again, as did the even greater number in Great Hills Park. It’s a bizarre year, botanically speaking, but a great time for a nature photographer in central Texas.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 15, 2012 at 1:28 PM

14 Responses

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  1. A very nice photo. Like it a lot. Kind of “old fashioned” beauty.


    May 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    • Thanks, Bente. Now you’ve got me wondering what associations you have that make you see old-fashioned beauty in this species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM

  2. Really beautiful compositions on both this one and the previous one, Steve! Just beautiful!


    May 15, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    • Thanks, Cindy. I used flash for both of these, which is why the background went dark. I’m happy to have both of these growing wild along streets in my neighborhood, but I’m always worried that some groundskeeper will cut them down.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

  3. Did I tell you how gorgeous this is? (scrolling up… scrolling down…) Guess not!
    Hey Steve, this is GORGEOUS! ~ Lynda


    May 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    • Even without scrolling I’ll say that I appreciate your enthusiasm, Lynda. By the way, I drove past this spot a few hours ago and the bushes still have flowers on them. In the contiguous 48 states this species doesn’t grow outside Texas, but you can probably find other types of mistflowers near you. They attract lots of insects, especially butterflies.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 15, 2012 at 9:01 PM

      • Ha-ha, I just looked up mistflower and Google brought up a bunch of Ageratum looking flowers… none of which looked like yours… or for that matter, the wild ones growing in the sun outside my dining room window! Apparently, there is much variety in this flower family. ~ L


        May 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      • The species shown in this post used to be classified as Eupatorium havananse. I just found that Eupatorium serotinum (which we also have in Austin) and Eupatorium perfoliatum grow in some parts of Alabama.

        Steve Schwartzman

        May 16, 2012 at 12:49 AM

  4. Lovely flowers, in or out of season, and I enjoyed seeing the close-up, too, which I think was taken before I knew of your blog. I’m curious to know the real-life size of this plant. I’m assuming it’s a tiny beauty, but perhaps that’s off the mark.

    Susan Scheid

    May 16, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    • The plant is a bush that I’ve seen grow to as much as 6 feet tall, but the flower clusters are fairly small. The cluster at the lower left in this picture, including the semi-detached part of it near the bottom of the picture, probably measured no more than an inch and a half in its longest dimension. Though the clusters are individually small, there can be quite a few of them on the plant.

      You can see more information at:


      Steve Schwartzman

      May 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM

  5. This really is an elegant photo. The background has the appearance of black silk, which for me adds a touch of classic beauty. It’s the wildflower version of basic black and pearls!


    May 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM

  6. Nicely done and it has indeed been a bizarre year…botanically speaking. Summer flowers are blooming already here!


    May 17, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    • So the bizarreness extends at least as far afield from central Texas as Pennsylvania. That gives you plenty to play with, photographically speaking.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2012 at 3:37 PM

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