Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 21st, 2012

Silverleaf nightshade fruit

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Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

In 2011 I showed photographs of a bud and the center of a flower of silverleaf nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium, one of the most common wildflowers in central Texas (so common that some people consider it a weed). Now here’s a picture taken at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on December 4th, 2012, showing the small fruits of this native species. If they look a bit like cherry tomatoes it’s not coincidental, as tomatoes are also in the nightshade family (and used to be classified in the same Solanum genus). The shriveled leaves and grayish stalks are part of the nightshade, while the tan stalks and slender brown leaves are from a native grass known as little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Texas yellowjacket

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Yellowjacket on Poverty Weed Branch 2876

Click for better clarity, even if smaller size.

Although I didn’t disturb the red admiral that you saw yesterday, even when the front of my camera lens got close to it, eventually a yellowjacket flew in and chased the butterfly away. (I just noticed that yellow trumped red in this instance.) The yellowjacket landed on the poverty weed branch, and I thought it might also want the liquid in the small opening that had attracted the butterfly; but no, the yellowjacket soon flew away and didn’t come back, at least not while I was there.

The curving little twig at the top right of this photograph is the same one that appeared close to the butterfly’s eye in the previous picture.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 21, 2012 at 6:18 AM

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