Prairie flameleaf sumac, at last on the prairie
The last three posts brought you photographs that included prairie flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata, at its colorful best. I took those pictures little more than a mile from my home at an undeveloped property behind Seton Northwest Hospital on November 20, but that had been a last stop in a photo tour that lasted four hours, most of which time I spent on the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin. Because I hadn’t been to the prairie for weeks I was glad to get back there, and this picture shows you several reason why.
Notice that even these saplings of flameleaf sumac were turning bright colors, so it’s not just the maturer trees that do. Mixed in with the young sumacs were the seed head remains of two wildflowers. The spiky ones were Liatris mucronata, called gayfeather and blazing-star, a photograph of which you saw in its fresh state on this same property four months ago. The many spherical seed head remains were Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheel and Indian blanket, a wildflower that has also appeared time and again in these pages.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman