Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Maximilian sunflowers per se

with 30 comments

And here’s a closer look at some of the Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani, that I found on October 3 at an undeveloped property on E. 51st St. at Overbrook Dr. in Austin. Cheery things, aren’t they?

For more information about Maximilian sunflowers you can visit the website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and to see a state-clickable map of the many places where this species grows in the United States (and Canada) you can visit the USDA website.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 12, 2012 at 6:18 AM

30 Responses

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  1. Beautiful sunflower shot.

    Alv A. Dahl

    October 12, 2012 at 6:37 AM

  2. Thank you for the sunshine on my snowy morning :).


    October 12, 2012 at 7:01 AM

    • You’re welcome for the sunny cheer. Yesterday here was cloudy but I spied some excellent stands of Maximilian sunflowers as I drove through the east side of town. The temperature was in the 80s, so the half inch of rain we had never turned into snow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2012 at 7:10 AM

  3. Tonight a killing frost, wish I were there!

    Bonnie Michelle

    October 12, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    • As they used to say in a television show: come on down!

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2012 at 7:11 AM

      • Soon enough, I actually will be there the first week of December! Hope to walk in some of your footsteps lol. My daughter and I plan a week of outdoor activities.

        Bonnie Michelle

        October 12, 2012 at 7:14 AM

  4. Wunderschönes Foto, wo doch heute der Himmel grau ist und es regnet.

    LG Mathilda ♥


    October 12, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    • Mathilda says that today the sky where she is is gray and it’s raining, so that makes three people in a row who appreciate this dose of flowers-as-sun.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2012 at 7:15 AM

  5. In the process of trying to figure out whether this might be the sunflower that volunteered at my place (answer: no), I saw it referred to as a Michaelmas daisy. In fact, the lovely fall asters are more commonly known as Michaelmas daisies – named for The Feast of St. Michael on September 29.

    This is a beautiful photo of a very nice sunflower – I like its clusters of blooms.


    October 12, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    • I once knew but had forgotten that the Maximilian sunflower was called a Michaelmas daisy because it can be found flowering at the time of the Feast of St. Michael on September 29. Any time I find one of these sunflowers (or better yet a colony of them) is a feast for me.

      As is usual in Austin, we still have some regular sunflowers doing their thing at the same time that the straighter, statelier Maximilians are at their peak. A third species of Helianthus is flowering here now, too, but I haven’t yet featured it in these pages. There’s just so much I can find the time to squeeze in.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2012 at 9:20 AM

  6. Great photo! I recently learned that the flower of the Maximilian Sunflower can give off a chocolatey aroma. Did you happen to smell your flowers?

    Mark Ostendorf

    October 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    • Thanks. I haven’t ever noticed an aroma of chocolate, but I’ll sniff the next few Maximilians that I find and see if I detect anything.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM

  7. Thanks for the bright sunny colours on my rainy day..:-)


    October 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    • You’re welcome. I’ll occasionally have some more bright yellow from other sources in the days ahead.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2012 at 10:05 AM

  8. Beautiful pic of one of my favorite native plants. Very easy to grow and a dependable bloomer.


    October 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    • Thanks for letting people know that this species is easy to grow, in case any readers are enticed to plant some.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2012 at 10:26 AM

  9. It’s like a Van Gogh painting come to life!


    October 12, 2012 at 11:07 AM

  10. Il pleut chez moi. Avec ta photo, j’ai l’impression d’avoir un soleil dans un ciel bleu. Merci.


    October 12, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    • Le premier commentaire a parlé de neige, le deuxième de givre, et puis il y a eu un ciel gris en Allemagne. Chez toi il pleut. À vous toutes (il s’agit de femmes dans tous les cas) j’envoie volontiers ces soleils botaniques.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2012 at 5:29 PM

  11. stunning.


    October 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM

  12. Another stunning photo…two of nature’s complementary colors at their best!


    October 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

  13. I have this feeling as I look at this photo that the sunflowers are about to burst into song (or perhaps already have)!

    Susan Scheid

    October 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

  14. Great shot Steve. I really like this. Polarizing filter?

    Brian Comeau

    October 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    • Thanks, Brian. Although I carry a polarizing filter in my camera bag, I haven’t used it in a long time (maybe years!). I find my lenses usually render a clear sky with enough saturation to suit me, and if not I can dial up some more in Photoshop to make the image look the way I remember experiencing the scene.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM

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