Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

What I found on the prairie

with 17 comments

Click for better color and greater clarity.

On July 29, as we were driving north on Interstate 35 just past Howard Ln., we suddenly saw on our right some Liatris mucronata plants that were flowering a bit ahead of schedule.* The next day I went back with my camera to the tract that I call the Pflugerville Prairie and took a bunch of pictures. The one shown here plays off the gayfeathers or blazing-stars, as they’re known, against a colony of greenthread, Thelesperma filifolium, a species that has been having a summer resurgence in many places around Austin in recent weeks.


* This wasn’t freakishly before the usual time, as you saw in a post in May, but just a matter of weeks.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2012 at 6:10 AM

17 Responses

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  1. How come you had to go back? Don’t you carry your camera with you all the the time Steve? LOL 🙂 Just kidding – I love the colour combination in this shot. It’s beautiful!


    August 3, 2012 at 6:20 AM

    • It might seem that I have a camera permanently attached to my hand, Cindy, but I’ll confess that I don’t. When we caught sight of the flowers we were on our way to lunch at the house of some friends, so I’d left my equipment home. In any case, I’m glad you like the combination of the purple and yellow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2012 at 6:48 AM

  2. Simply stunning…
    and I still can’t grow them.
    ~ Lynda


    August 3, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    • Sorry you’re having trouble growing these, Lynda. I’m happy enough knowing some places where they spring up on their own. Unfortunately, most of those locations will eventually get built on, as some already have.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2012 at 7:03 AM

  3. Que ta prairie est belle


    August 3, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    • Tu as raison, Val. Depuis huit ans j’habite l’autre côté d’Austin, dans les collines, mais je vais de temps en temps à la prairie pour ses fleurs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2012 at 7:09 AM

  4. Wow Liatris grows wild where you live? Way cool. We had several groupings in our “English Garden” at our previous home…loved that little oasis we had there!


    August 3, 2012 at 8:08 AM

  5. I was just shooting some wildflowers over the weekend with that same color combination – and the addition of pink. Nature favors these colors. Lovely shot, as always.


    August 3, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    • Thanks. I’d gladly have included some pink but I didn’t see much of that color. (I did encounter a couple of Texas thistles still flowering, but not near the Liatris.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM

  6. I have this variety throughout my gardens. They are a bright light this time of year–as one species ends and another unfolds. They stay around and feed lots of visitors, Sally


    August 3, 2012 at 10:44 AM

  7. Interesting that at the bottom of the stalks, where the buds still are closed, they so closely resemble broadleaf plantain. The feathery green spikes here aren’t as fuzzy as the hairs on the other plantain you showed us, but they’re still quite a lovely detail.


    August 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM

  8. Beautiful as always Steve! Great color combination as well!

    Michael Glover

    August 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

  9. […] of two wildflowers. The spiky ones were Liatris mucronata, called gayfeather and blazing-star, a photograph of which you saw in its fresh state on this same property four months ago. The many spherical seed head […]

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