Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Small palafoxia

with 37 comments

Here’s a little wildflower you haven’t seen in this blog till now: Palafoxia callosa, called small palafoxia. On October 10th I found this opening flower head adjacent to the goldeneye that appeared in the last post and that has offered up its color but none of its form as the background for today’s picture.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 26, 2012 at 6:15 AM

37 Responses

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  1. My imagination thinks of them as a bunch of partially-peeled grape-flavored bananas with purple skins to match. Not considering size scaling. They could be weirdly appropriate in science fiction imagery.


    October 26, 2012 at 6:26 AM

    • Someone has an active and science-fictiony imagination this morning. Might the mention of two types of fruit tell us that you were hungry when you commented? In any case, you may have hit on an idea for a new breakfast cereal for kids, which would include what look like little grape-flavored and -colored bananas.

      You mentioned scaling: I neglected to say that even when fully open, a palafoxia flower head of this species is at most 5/8 of an inch across. The opening buds are more saturated in color than the fully open flower heads, in which the disk flowers have shades of pink, pale pink, and white.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 26, 2012 at 6:56 AM

  2. Sheer delight!


    October 26, 2012 at 6:32 AM

  3. Wow, stunning photo, Steve!

    Mind Margins/Run Nature

    October 26, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    • Thank you, Angela. I’d call it minimalism of composition and maximalism of color. I was excited when I saw this through the camera’s viewfinder.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 26, 2012 at 7:41 AM

  4. One of your most lovely portraits yet.


    October 26, 2012 at 8:15 AM

  5. Looks very dainty. Almost exotic.


    October 26, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    • You’re free to think exotic, invited to do so, even if this is a common wildflower that can be found in Austin for most of the second half of the calendar year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 26, 2012 at 8:48 AM

  6. Bin nur sprachlos über soviel Schönheit!!


    October 26, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    • Mathilda says that she’s been left speechless by so much beauty. Such is the power of nature.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 26, 2012 at 10:35 AM

  7. Palafox Pier and Yacht Club in Pensacola was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. I presume it’s been rebuilt. In any event, it’s the only other time I’ve heard of Palafox, which I now know is a Spanish family name as well. There’s another species of the palafoxia that’s native to Florida. Nice!


    October 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    • The genus name apparently pays tribute to either of two men named Palafox, one a general and the other a prelate. I’d never heard about the Florida species, which I see is endemic there. Showy palafoxia, Palafoxia hookeriana, doesn’t grow in Austin but I’ve found it as close as Bastrop, and you have it near the coast. It’s worth being on the lookout for.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 26, 2012 at 11:11 AM

  8. Really lovely.


    October 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

  9. What a gorgeous combination of colours! It’s a very pretty flower, but with that background it really is stunning!


    October 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    • You may be familiar with the adage that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location. I’ve been tempted to say at times that the three most important things in photography are background, background, and background. In this case, the out-of-focus yellow of the goldeneye definitely played up the saturated violet color of the palafoxia.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM

  10. Very nice.


    October 26, 2012 at 3:41 PM

  11. Gorgeous!

    mary mageau

    October 26, 2012 at 6:31 PM

  12. Brilliant!!


    October 27, 2012 at 9:14 AM

  13. ¡Impresionante!


    October 27, 2012 at 12:17 PM

  14. Another stunning image!!!


    October 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM

  15. Stunning macro shot! I love this!


    October 27, 2012 at 3:46 PM

  16. […] as small palafoxia made its début a few days ago, rose pavonia makes its first appearance in these pages […]

  17. Fantastic shot: fantastic colors, vibrating and full, fantastic contrast and fantastic elegance of the shapes.


    November 1, 2012 at 3:30 AM

  18. A very beautiful photo and I love the bokeh !

    Inspired and pretty

    November 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

  19. I adore these colors !


    January 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM

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