Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Visitor to a Mexican olive flower

with 6 comments

Katydid Nymph on Mexican Olive Flower 9024

Click for greater clarity.

When I was at the Bullas’ place on February 24th I got close to this flower on a Mexican olive tree, Cordia boissieri, and in looking through my macro lens I found what appeared to be a katydid nymph that was mostly inside the flower. The insect soon moved, but not before I managed to get a picture of it.

The Mexican olive grows natively in Mexico, of course, but also in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. As was true here, people have planted the tree as an ornamental farther north in Texas.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2013 at 6:18 AM

6 Responses

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  1. I think he thought you were taking a photo of him, he’d be upset if he thought you were more interested in the flower.


    March 9, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    • I’m certainly willing to have the one lead to the other: so many times a would-be flower picture has ended up as a photograph of something different and occasionally (though not here) dramatic, like one little creature eating another. We usually think of flowers as ornamentation, but for many small beings flowers and plants are their world.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 9, 2013 at 1:18 AM

  2. I found a wonderful article about a Mexican olive tree at the Alamo – every sort of story could be spun about that!

    There was a little detail in the article I thought particularly interesting. The author says, “The Anacahuita sports fuzzy leaves with delicate hairs, a classic adaptation of xeriscape plants. The fine fur helps conserve moisture.” You may have mentioned that here, but I missed it. It’s interesting now to think of all the “fuzzy” plants we’ve seen, and ponder how even those hairs are part of the plants’ adaptation.


    March 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    • That’s a good article you found: sounds like it could generate a story in your blog one of these days. I’ve visited the Alamo various times, but I didn’t notice that tree.

      You’re right that I’ve often shown fuzzy plants here. Aside from the hairs’ usefulness to the plants, they make for appealing pictures. I’ve sometimes thought that similar to the way in which the musical “Hair” caught the zeitgeist of the 1960s, a botanist should write a book with the same title showing the ways that various kinds of hair collectively epitomize the plant kingdom.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 9, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      • It’s taken three years, but I finally found a Mexican olive — down at the Brazoria wildlife refuge. It’s part of a native wildflower display in front of the visitor center, but still: it’s there. No one knew what it was, but it seemed vaguely familiar. A search for “native Texas tree white flowers fuzzy leaves” did the trick. Remember the movie, “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”? Maybe there could be another book: Botanica Ventura: Plant Detective.


        March 28, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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