Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Snow still on the prairie

with 15 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Someone driving around on the east side of Austin in the first part of October can still expect to see stands of snow-on-the-prairie, Euphorbia bicolor, a species that begins putting on its green and white display in August. I found this one (which might be called tricolor if you add the red of its stems) with plenty of goldenrod behind it on October 5 inside the V formed by Montopolis Dr. and Grove Blvd. in east Austin. The dark spots in the background are dried seed heads of sunflowers, Helianthus annuus, and the little bits of pink are flowers of prairie agalinis, Agalinis heterophylla. I was taken with this scene because of its visual density and its mix of colors.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 17, 2012 at 6:17 AM

15 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. This one is aptly named!! It does look exactly like our prairie grasses after the first frost.

    • And here we’re likely still a couple of months away from a first frost. This is a warm “snow” indeed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM

  2. Beautiful grouping of plants. Dense but still presenting a texture of lace.

    mary mageau

    October 17, 2012 at 8:02 PM

  3. Snow on the Mountain is always a dependable fall bloomer (I think). It’s plentiful where I live in central Texas. I think it is quite pretty when coupled with other plants. Very nice picture.


    October 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    • Yes, I’ve usually found it plentiful on the prairie side of Austin. The last couple of years I’ve found its close relative snow-on-the-mountain in good quantities on the western side of town, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2012 at 2:52 AM

  4. Very pretty stuff!


    October 17, 2012 at 10:43 PM

  5. Photos like this always remind me of my grandmother’s cutting gardens. She loved flowers but hated messing with them, so her solutions was to throw handsful of seeds out into the beds and tell grandpa to remember to water them. Everything was so mixed together it looks a little raggedy, but the mix always was as pretty as this collection.


    October 17, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    • Here in central Texas, and probably where you are, too, there are lots of available wildflower seed mixes available for people who prefer variety to monoculture. For about as long as I’ve been doing “portraits” of individual wildflowers, I’ve also been fascinated by the way plants of different species grow together. In fact I’ve recently been toying with the idea of a small book called Combinations that would show some of the many mixtures I’ve encountered in nature. Just yesterday I photographed a pretty tangle of goldenrod, prairie agalinis, and mealy blue sage all flowering together.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2012 at 4:00 AM

  6. […] I think you’ll agree that this minimalist view of snow-on-the-prairie is nothing like the complex one you saw yesterday. It’s also from a different date and place: September 28 near the intersection of E. 51st St. […]

  7. I can see why this caught your attention! It’s a great mix of colors.

    Michael Glover

    October 19, 2012 at 8:32 PM

  8. Complex and subtle.

    The World Is My Cuttlefish

    October 20, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: