Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A tall flower spike, take two

with 15 comments

Click for greater clarity.

The verticality so predominant (oh, how these art people talk!) in yesterday’s picture of a standing cypress inspires me to double up now and show you a second upright species, Schoenocaulon texanum, known as green lily or Texas sabadilla. Here you see two green lily flower spikes that were growing side by side on May 8 in the right-of-way beneath the large power lines that cross a portion of my northwest Austin neighborhood. This was the area that got heavily mowed late last year and that looked desolate for months before coming back to life in the spring of 2012.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 17, 2012 at 5:45 AM

15 Responses

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  1. amazing

    anjum wasim dar

    June 17, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    • I’m glad you found it amazing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 17, 2012 at 7:19 AM

      • Nature has innumerable amazing creations which are being discovered all the time -Thanks for sharing

        anjum wasim dar

        June 17, 2012 at 7:35 AM

      • You’re welcome. I hope I don’t ever stop discovering some of those creations.

        Steve Schwartzman

        June 17, 2012 at 8:05 AM

  2. Thank goodness these little Green Lilies have stamina.. I can’t imagine mowing them down, such a shame!!

    Just A Smidgen

    June 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    • It was disheartening to see the devastation of such intensive mowing last winter, and for some months nothing much seemed to be happening. Beneath the ground I guess it was, because many of the plants rebounded. One thing that didn’t come back this spring except for a few isolated plants was rain-lilies, of which I’d seen many at this site in previous years; maybe next year they’ll return.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 17, 2012 at 9:52 AM

  3. What a find! One of my favorite plants that should be available commercially but aren’t that I know of. Maybe one of these days… In the meantime, anyone who has any on their property should cherish them. I know I do. Mine were rescued from a site in So. Austin several years ago.
    We are certainly obsessed with mowing here in Texas, aren’t we!!!

    Agnes Plutino

    June 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    • I first found green lilies on this property several years ago and since then I’ve gone back each spring to see them and the many other native species that grow there (it’s a bonus that the site is just a mile from my home). I’m glad to hear you have some that were rescued. I wish I could say I’d heard that unnecessary mowing of wildflowers had been cut back (rather than the plants themselves being cut back), but it’s not the case.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM

  4. And not only is it pretty, it’s useful! The seeds of sabadilla are a source of veratrine, which apparently was quite a remedy in the old days. Mix some up with lard, and you have the perfect ointment for rheumatism or swollen eyelids. Of course, seeing the word “neurotoxin” thrown in here and there wasn’t very reassuring.

    The colors seem unusual to me. I don’t recall seeing pinks, yellows and mauves combined like that before. Quite interesting.


    June 17, 2012 at 9:48 PM

  5. I love this!


    June 18, 2012 at 12:52 AM

  6. You treat us to a beautiful image everyday Steve…thank you!!!


    June 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

  7. […] the flowers of Schoenocaulon texanum, known as green lily or Texas sabadilla. Last May I showed a “Twin Towers” picture of flowering green lilies growing in the same place where I wandered on February 1st of this year, so now you get to see what […]

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