Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Goldeneye returns

with 25 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Around the corner from the kidneywood, the tan fungus, and the pearl milkweed that you’ve seen in the last few posts, I spent some time photographing the flowers of this goldeneye, Viguiera dentata, on the overcast morning of October 10. In the two weeks since then, I’ve seen abundant goldeneye flowers in various parts of Austin.

This species typically begins flowering in late summer and keeps on through the first freeze of winter, but long-time visitors to this blog may remember that Austin didn’t really have a winter in 2011-2012, and that goldeneye flowers could be seen as late as April before the heat finally convinced most of these plants to relent. Now the flowers are back at their usual time.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2012 at 6:05 AM

25 Responses

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  1. So schön sonnig anzusehen 🙂


    October 25, 2012 at 7:54 AM

  2. As we are changing seasons up here in Pa. and the flowering plants are limited, it’s nice to see something as pretty as this!


    October 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    • It is, and as you know from last year, there will continue to be wildflowers here for at least a month.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2012 at 2:02 PM

  3. Spent last Tuesday on a ranch in the Glass mountains that has the highest spot in Pecos County…….after all the late summer rains, Viguiera stenoloba, Salvia greggii, Gregg’s mist flower and an amazing number of other things were in full flower and the aroma of the earth was heady. Even the hybrid and handsome oak trees which has suffered greatly from several years of drouth are looking pretty good but no acorns (suspect they propagate vegetatively anyway but they do produce acorns). Spectacular………and the area burned so heavily in the past two years is covered with grasses gone to seed. Don’t think the drouth is over, but the respite is wonderful.

    John Mac Carpenter

    October 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    • I’m glad you’ve been able to enjoy your local species of Viguiera as much as I’m enjoying the one here in Austin, which is doing great this year. I’m also glad other species are rebounding in your area after those fires.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM

  4. Here in Wyoming our species is V. multiflora, but they are visually quite similar. It’s easy to grow from seed. I haven’t grown if for a few years, but before my last move I had a nice patch of it, and I always liked its casual, happy growth form.


    October 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    • And yet a third species of Viguiera to give pleasure to native plant people. I like the way you describe “its casual, happy growth form.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

  5. This surely looks like one of the wildflowers I found in Oklahoma, but I think it can’t be – this species doesn’t seem to grow there. I get so confused by the great variety of sunflowers and such. I’m glad we have this one in Texas, though. It is lovely. I was sure of the snow-on-the-prairie I saw, and the goldenrod that’s everywhere made up for the lack of goldeneye.


    October 26, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    • Ah, the world of DYCs, or darn yellow composites, those yellow daisy-type flowers of which there are so many species that can look alike and be hard to identify. I’m reminded of a statement often attributed to Darwin, one version of which is “The Creator has an inordinate fondness for beetles.” Astronomers replace beetles with stars, and botanists replace beetles with yellow composites. And you were able to substitute goldenrod for goldeneye. One of the joys of learning about the native plants where you live is that when you travel you see some species, or at least genera, that you recognize.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 26, 2012 at 6:43 AM

      • Funny, I posted about Gaillardia the other day, and as I was looking through my photos I decided to do a series on the common “Yellow Daisies” in my area. Even though I know the common ones, I still need a look back into the books on a regular basis. Love the DYC acronym!


        October 28, 2012 at 11:07 PM

        • It’s good that you have books that can distinguish among the DYCs for you. It’s still a mystery to me why that group has become so diversified.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 29, 2012 at 6:57 AM

      • I was explaining to my kids the other day as we were driving how there is a subjective element to determining if something is a new species, subspecies…..(nerd alert). Now with the use of plant DNA it’s becoming more difficult to keep up. I think by nature I’m more of a lumper than a splitter, allowing for more variation in morphology within the same species.

        I don’t think the horticultural academic community cares what I think, though!


        October 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        • In any system of categorization, whatever the subject, deciding where to draw a line to separate things can be difficult, perhaps even arbitrary. My most authoritative botany guide often mentions lumping and splitting. One example is the genus Chameasyce, which some prefer to keep in Euphorbia (as if that weren’t already a humongous enough genus).

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM

  6. Such a happy color – I love gold flowers with golden eyes.


    October 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM

  7. […] Mopac is the name of an increasingly clogged expressway that runs north-south on the west side of Austin. In most places there’s a parallel access road, including a stretch near North Hills Drive whose margin happens to be home to some native plants. I spent a little time there on October 19 and managed to get two for the price of one, so to speak. The obvious subject, and one that I never seem to tire of, is Clematis drummondii, this time partly in a late phase in which some of the vine’s feathery, seed-bearing strands were already coming undone from the core that had held them. The yellow-orange in the background is from a wildflower that has also made its appearance here several times, Viguiera dentata, known because of its color as goldeneye. […]

  8. […] The yellow flower head that has lost its rays is goldeneye, Viguiera […]

  9. […] the search engine recognized me as an artist! I’m the Michelangelo of milkweed, the Goya of goldeneye, the Rembrandt of rosinweed, the Miró of Mirabilis, the Titian of Tinantia, the Gauguin of […]

  10. […] winter, and here you see the geometry entered into by a seed head of goldeneye, Viguiera dentata, whose golden eye your eye may want to gaze back on. This picture came from the same place in northwest Austin’s Bull Creek watershed, and the […]

  11. […] I’ll show you from that session, was the scraggly and therefore intriguing remains of some goldeneye, Viguiera dentata. I’d hoped for fog pictures that morning, and although I didn’t get […]

  12. […] like a reminder of what individual flower heads of this species looks like, you can revisit a post from last fall or one from last month. The patches of light gray in the background and near the lower left are the […]

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