Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Green lily no longer green

with 8 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

It’s been the better part of a year since these pages have featured the flowers of Schoenocaulon texanum, known as green lily or Texas sabadilla. Last May I showed a “Twin Towers” picture of flowering green lilies growing in the same place where I wandered on February 1st of this year, so now you get to see what became of a flower stalk of this species. If I hadn’t already told you that this photograph and the one from last year show the same species, I don’t think you’d be able to tell.

Math-minded as I am, I was especially intrigued by the way the tip of this seed stalk had spiraled inward as it dried out. And if you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 1, 3, 14 and 16 in About My Techniques are relevant to this image.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 15, 2013 at 6:20 AM

8 Responses

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  1. One of my favorite “rescue” plants, found years ago at a site in South Austin. Doing well in my prairie. Great garden plant. Beautiful long-lasting blooms. Needs to be in the market place. Maybe someday…


    February 15, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    • I wonder why this plant isn’t better known, especially because, as you say, its pretty flowers last a good while. I’m thankful for the little group of these that has taken up residence on the right-of-way in my neighborhood, and that I can go visit again later in the season.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 15, 2013 at 8:15 AM

  2. I don’t know this plant. Wish that I did that and that I could find some to rescue as well.


    February 15, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    • Looks like Williamson County is at the tip of this species’ range, but perhaps you’ll luck out on a future trip heading southwest from where you are.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

  3. It looks like a tentacle of an alien octopus. Awesome shot!


    February 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

  4. OK – let me give it a try. Logarithmic spiral? It’s just amazing to see all these patterns – and pretty darned amazing to see how many pages on the internet are devoted to more spirals than I ever imagined existed.


    February 16, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    • I used the term spiral loosely, not trying to match this stalk’s shape to any particular type of spiral (of which there are many, as you found out). For this to be a logarithmic spiral, I’d expect the tip to curve back around more tightly. The other dry green lily stalks in the vicinity were pretty straight, so this one seems to be an anomaly that I don’t know enough to account for, but because it was different from the others it appealed to me more as a subject for pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM

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