Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Mealy blue sage and a floral entourage

with 10 comments

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Yesterday you saw a mealy blue sage colony I recently took a picture of in Austin. I’d forgotten that on March 31, during a nearly 300-mile wildflower circuit south of Austin, I photographed an early mealy blue sage growing in a colony of standing winecups in the town of Goliad, as you see here. Botanists call the sage Salvia farinacea and the winecups Callirhoe pedata. Winecups are mallows, but if you see a resemblance to certain poppies, you’re not alone: a couple of other vernacular names for this species include the term poppy-mallow.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2012 at 5:56 AM

10 Responses

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  1. What a beautiful floral feast for the eyes!


    June 10, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    • I hope you’ll get a chance to meander through some of these fields one day and partake of the feast in person.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 10, 2012 at 8:11 AM

  2. You photographed a good bit while you were down on that ground – I remember the photo of the standing winecups against the sky. Just a lovely flower. The mention of the winecup’s poppy-like qualities, together with the name of Goliad, recalls the famous poem:

    In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below…”

    There’s a lot of Texas history in Goliad’s fields, too, though the men who fought and died there and in Gonzales surely never imagined later generations wandering through the flowers, seeing possibilities for a photo and hearing the flowers’ call: “Come and take it”.


    June 10, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    • And I remember your looking up standing winecups and reporting in a comment that one of the vernacular names for them is palmleaf poppy-mallow.

      Funny you should mention that poem: in my unpublished (not for lack of trying) book, Portraits of Texas Wildflowers, I quoted the beginning of the poem and drew a parallel with the aftermath of World War I in Texas. The reason we went to Goliad on March 31 was that we remembered from a trip there around this time of year over a decade ago that the field in front of the monument to Fannin and his men was covered with wildflowers, and we expected it to be again. It was. For me, the call to “Come and take it” has long since become a plural, given that so many things in nature now seem to call for me to come and take their picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 10, 2012 at 8:10 AM

  3. […] contrast to what you saw in different shades of red in this morning’s photograph, the wildflowers behind the sage shown here are Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels and […]

  4. I love those little winecups!!

    Just A Smidgen

    June 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    • They’re small and delicate, with an intricate interior that’s not visible in this distant view.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

  5. It’s not so bad being a loner when surrounded by winecups!!!


    June 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    • And it’s not bad being a photographic loner (which I most often am) when surrounded by wildflowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

  6. […] year I showed a colony of standing winecups and a somewhat nearer view of a group of them, but here’s the first closeup of Callirhoe pedata. The crook in the stem is not an unusual […]

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