Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Named after Georg[e] Engelmann

with 15 comments

Engelmann Daisy Flower Head and Buds 8610

Click for greater sharpness and size.

In honor of the German-born medical doctor and botanist Georg[e] Engelmann, who emigrated to the United States in the 1830s, we have the scientific name Engelmannia peristenia and the common name Englemann (or Engelmann’s) daisy.  I took this photograph of an Engelmann daisy flower head and buds along Great Northern Blvd. on February 19. (I’d also seen a few Engelmann daisies scattered around town even earlier.)

The Engelmann daisy grows from eastern Arizona to western Missouri, and from South Dakota to Mexico, as shown on the state-clickable map at the USDA website.

You can read about Georg[e] Engelmann in a Wikipedia article, much of it based on a biographical memoir by Charles A. White. In the first of those, you’ll learn how Engelmann saved the French wine industry with good old native American grapes.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2013 at 6:18 AM

15 Responses

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  1. So lovely, especially the exuberance in those buds. While it’s not perfectly analogous, the green and gold does remind me of Frost’s wonderful poem: “Nature’s first green is gold…” It’s true with some of the subtle leafing taking place now, even though the gold and green are perfectly obvious here.


    March 3, 2013 at 8:26 AM

  2. We hear much about alien plants imported for benign purposes, only to wreak havoc with the local environment (ref. kudzu and KR Bluestem). The rescue the French wine industry from Phylloxera with the alien American vines – in which Engelmann played a part – is an interesting counter-example.

    Bobby Gierisch

    March 3, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    • That’s a good way to put it, a counter-example to the often destructive effects of alien species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM

  3. Beautiful shot!

    Tina Schell

    March 4, 2013 at 8:12 AM

  4. What a beautiful portrait of this sprightly daisy. She’s a real little dazzler.

    Mary Mageau

    March 4, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    • In addition, the leaves of Engelmann daisies are covered with soft hairs and are therefore pleasant to touch.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2013 at 6:41 PM

  5. I’d always heard that France’s wine grapes grew on American rootstocks, glad to learn more about that. Engel Mann was an incredibly energetic individual, certainly never rested on his laurels

    Robert Parker

    May 9, 2018 at 5:26 AM

    • You’ve been way ahead of me if you already knew that France’s wine grapes grew on American rootstocks. According to that Wikipedia article, you’ve also been way ahead of most people in knowing about the “important, but little known role in rescuing the French wine industry.” Our schools’ history textbooks concentrate on politicians at the expense of people like Engelmann.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 9, 2018 at 5:59 AM

      • Well, you know that upstate NY has literally hundreds of wineries now, and knowledgeable viticulturists, vinologists, vintners, winemakers (whatever the heck they like to be called!)
        And in Geneva, a few miles from my hometown, is Cornell’s NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, so it’s pretty much impossible to not hear about this stuff.

        Robert Parker

        May 9, 2018 at 7:53 AM

      • But what I hadn’t ever heard, I think, was the name Engelmann, the angel of the French vineyards, so very glad to learn of him.

        Robert Parker

        May 9, 2018 at 7:55 AM

        • The next time you’re in your home area you might stop in at a few of the vineyards or at the Agricultural Experiment Station and ask people there if they’ve heard of Engelmann.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 9, 2018 at 8:22 AM

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