Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Antelope-horns milkweed flowers

with 25 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Eventually the buds of Asclepias asperula, known as antelope-horns milkweed, open into the five-pronged flowers you saw a few posts back. Now here’s an even closer view, with no distractions, to show you the intricate structure of those flowers. You’ll recall that the flowers form a sort of dome, but if we flattened out the perspective I think the resulting pattern* would lend itself to wallpaper. I’m talking about the good old-fashioned kind of wallpaper that people put on the walls of rooms rather than on the monitors of computers, though the pattern would work for the newer type of wallpaper as well.

For those of you who are interested in photography as a craft, points 1 and 9 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman


* I sometimes use the WordPress tag patterns, but I’ve found that almost everything on WordPress that gets categorized that way has to do with fabrics, weaving, clothing, sewing, etc. How about some equal time for patterns in nature and abstract patterns?

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

25 Responses

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  1. Very strange, and very beautiful.


    May 20, 2012 at 4:09 PM

  2. Fantastic–so interesting to see this after the buds!

    Susan Scheid

    May 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    • It is. You can still see the pale green bud covers that have opened and folded back behind the flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

  3. I knew the balloons would be special. You never disappoint me. ~ L


    May 20, 2012 at 11:22 PM

  4. On croirait presque des fleurs de porcelaine. Elles sont superbes.


    May 21, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    • Val finds these flowers superb, almost as if they were made of porcelain. Mais celles-ce, qui ne durent que des jours, sont beaucoup moins chères; but these, which last only days, are a lot less expensive.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 21, 2012 at 6:14 AM

  5. […] the flowers of Asclepias asperula, or antelope-horns milkweed, get pollinated, the plant goes to work producing seed pods with a […]

  6. This is very cool Steve. It has a painterly look and I agree it would look good as old fashioned wallpaper!


    May 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

  7. My gosh. If the antelope-horn buds suggested William Morris, these fairly scream his name. I want those flowers printed on some fabric! If I can’t have that, I’ll take some of your wallpaper. They’re just so compelling – beautiful.


    May 21, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    • I, too, have been fascinated by William Morris’s graphics inspired by nature.

      I wonder if there are companies that make fabric to order at a reasonable price.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM

  8. What a beautiful flower with those knobbles.

  9. […] still looking at Asclepias asperula, or antelope-horns milkweed. The colors visible on this visitor are similar to those of Oncopeltus fasciatus, the large […]

  10. I totally agree about the WordPress choices of words. Rarely are they to do with the natural world. Disappointing.


    May 22, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    • Thanks for seconding me, Shannon. In this case, if more bloggers started using patterns as a tag for pictures that show patterns in nature, it might partially redress the balance, but I suspect a lot more people are interested in clothing, fashion, and the like, than in nature.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 22, 2012 at 7:21 AM

      • Yes, the audience has much to do with it. If WordPress handled the tags as subset of the subject matter, subject “nature” tag “pattern” might yield a different search result than subject “clothing” tag “pattern.” Perhaps a comment line should be dropped with the WP folks at the right forum…


        May 22, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      • You’ve got a good idea there, Shannon. Are you volunteering to propose it in a forum?

        Steve Schwartzman

        May 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      • Alas, I’m in the world of the “not publicized.” In other words, people don’t find my posts in WordPress’ reader through my tags or subjects. Just people who have happened along or through mutual bloggers or (get this?) people who actually KNOW me. LOL

        Doubtful anything I start (as a forum) or even comment on would get attention. Heck — gardening (growing food) isn’t even listed in WP’s topics. Sheesh. Like THAT’s not important.


        May 22, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      • How strange that gardening isn’t a topic.

        Steve Schwartzman

        May 22, 2012 at 5:45 PM

  11. […] pages have seen that the most widespread milkweed in central Texas is Asclepias asperula, known as antelope-horns, and early readers of this blog also had a look at Asclepias viridiflora, or wand milkweed. In […]

  12. […] eastern United States, and a couple of months before that the most widespread milkweed in Austin, antelope-horns. Still earlier in these pages had come a few views of wand milkweed. Here now is yet another Texas […]

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