Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Prairie verbena

with 18 comments

Click for greater size and clarity.

“What? All you’re gonna give us of one of the most common wildflowers in Texas, and one that you never even showed us a single picture of in your blog, is a violet-colored glow as a background for something else?”

Okay, you got me, I’ll make amends. Here’s a picture of prairie verbena, Glandularia bipinnatifida, in its own right. For more information, and to see a state-clickable map of the many places in the United States where this species grows, you can visit the USDA website. Prairie verbena is also native to Mexico.

As in yesterday’s post, the date was October 15, and the place the south side of Great Hills Park, just half a mile downhill from where I live in northwest Austin.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 10, 2012 at 6:22 AM

18 Responses

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  1. I love it when you share the USDA links with us. Turns out that these wild verbenas are compact plants and impressive bloomers too. Thanks for sharing this wild, orchid beauty! ~Lynda


    November 10, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    • You can see on the USDA map of Texas how this species carpets most of the state. I notice that it’s in some Alabama counties, too, but you may be north of them. Interesting that you see a similarity to orchids, which are as sparse in Austin as prairie verbenas are common.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2012 at 8:44 AM

  2. This native vebena is a trooper. It blooms is places when nothing else is in bloom. I like this plant a lot. Nothing wrong with posting what many consider a common plant. All your macros make whatever you photograph look beautiful.


    November 10, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    • Thanks for your compliment, Yvonne. This native verbena is indeed a trooper. It’s most prolific in Austin in the spring, when it can form large colonies, but smaller amounts of flowers continue through the summer and fall. It’s not that I avoid the species that are common here, many of which I find to be unsung or undersung and therefore deserving of being promoted; as the months pass, all the most familiar wildflowers have gradually been putting in an appearance, and there are still some more to come.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2012 at 8:52 AM

  3. I was hoping you’d show us the violet glow close up.Thanks Steve!


    November 10, 2012 at 9:46 AM

  4. As you often do – inspired me to see if we had a cousin of this plant where I live. No – we have a coastal sand verbena, but it is very very rare. That makes me sad. Does your wildflower have a scent?


    November 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    • It does have a scent, especially en masse, though I haven’t found it as appealing as the (presumably concentrated) verbena fragrance in certain soaps. There are several species of sand verbena in Texas that I hope to photograph one day; if any of them grew in central Texas, I would have taken pictures by now.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

  5. so lovely~


    November 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

  6. That’s really pretty! Too bad it doesn’t seem to like colder country!


    November 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    • I knew that this species grows through large parts of the Great Plains, but I see that it’s found as far north as Wyoming and South Dakota. Both of those states get pretty darn cold in the winter, so it seems there’s a chance prairie verbena could spread to Montana. For your sake, I hope so.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 11, 2012 at 7:25 AM

  7. There sure is beauty in the common ones!


    November 11, 2012 at 2:13 PM

  8. […] surrounded you; contained within that huge stand was a smaller—and necessarily lower—one of prairie verbena, Glandularia bipinnatifida, whose purple flowers color the near half of the photograph. As for the […]

  9. […] which this closer view may explain. As was true two posts ago, the purple comes from flowers of prairie verbena, Glandularia […]

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