Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for June 22nd, 2012

Mouthing off

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I think this picture lets you understand why, whenever I encounter a flower of the snapdragon vine, Maurandella antirrhiniflora, I imagine I’m seeing a partly open mouth with prominent teeth (but my imagination isn’t as active as that of whoever came up with the vernacular name roving sailor: Hmmm.) In any case, the Old World snapdragons that people cultivate in their gardens are no longer even placed in the same botanical family as this native “snapdragon.” Wikipedia explains that the garden flowers are “commonly known as snapdragons or dragon flower from the flowers’ fancied resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed (thus the ‘snap’).” I don’t know if the native one also snaps like that—I’ll have to try it the next time I come across one—but I think this May 8th photo of a snapdragon vine I snapped looks pretty snappy.


Speaking of mouthing off—as the title of this post does—I’ll be doing less of it over the next couple of weeks while I’m away on vacation visiting family and friends in the great land of the Northeast where I grew up. Not wanting to deprive you of your daily dose of nature from Texas, I’ve been working overtime to schedule posts for all the days I’ll be gone, including a good number with native species making their first appearances here. Your comments are welcome, as always, but it may take a while for me to answer.


Posted on this date last year: a view of a fading sunflower subject to the prairie wind.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 22, 2012 at 6:00 AM

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