Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Crenels and merlons, yet no struggle other than to take a good picture of their botanical analogues

with 16 comments

Tetraneuris scaposa Bud Beginning to Open 9319

Crenels and merlons of the military sort are largely extinct, but four-nerve daisy buds produce their own kind naturally and, because the two Tetraneuris species here* are quite common, in great numbers. So, though not felled in combat, I lay on the ground, where I could find a good angle to photograph this vivid bud in the early stages of opening into a flower head. Add this picture of a fuzzy little wildflower to the others you’ve recently seen from my visit to the front yard of native plant lovers Dale and Pat Bulla in northwest Austin on February 24th.


* This photograph happens to show Tetraneuris scaposa; T. linearifolia has similar buds but somewhat different leaves.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 10, 2013 at 6:20 AM

16 Responses

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  1. Perseverance provides us a perfect portrait.
    Truly lovely, Steve!


    March 10, 2013 at 8:09 AM

  2. beautiful ‘fingers’. 🙂


    March 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

  3. Ah, dream of a Macro shot.


    March 10, 2013 at 2:50 PM

  4. You do very beautiful photos !
    I adore your job !
    Congratulations !!!!!!


    March 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM

  5. I rarely draw a complete blank with words, but crenels and merlons did it for me. I had no idea. Strangely enough, I have a photo in my files of a home which has them – Horace Walpole’s summer home, Strawberry Hill.

    Now it all makes sense, of course, and I have two new words. When I first saw the flower, it reminded me of one of those specialized spoons for getting spaghetti out of the pot. The flower’s much prettier, of course, but probably not sturdy enough for kitchen use.


    March 10, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    • I see what you mean about Horace Walpole’s house, and also about the specialized spoon for spaghetti. The bud is not only too soft for that use, but much too small.

      I’ve known the adjective crenellated for a long time, but merlon was new to me. Crenel, by the way, is related to cranny. That connection can help you remember which one is the merlon and which the crenel.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      • I follow the blog of a physician who lives with her husband in Yellow Knife. Winter is – memorable – up there, and when I looked at her blog today, she had a photo of an ice castle with crenels and merlons. It’s the fifth photo down.

        There are better photos of the castle and of the art show they held inside it here .

        Learn a word, use a word!


        March 11, 2013 at 9:45 PM

        • A few minutes before I saw this comment, I’d replied to one by Kathryn Ingrid on my language blog, agreeing that it was good of her to have quickly found a way to use endozoochory in a sentence. You’ve summed that up well in your adage “Learn a word, use a word!”

          Warmth-loving me would have a hard time in Yellow Knife. Your characterization of winter near the Arctic Circle as “memorable” is a subtle way to put it.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM

  6. Meant to mention here: loved your comparison to crenels and merlons (glad you provided a link!). Just the sound of those words is evocative. When I first looked at this flower bud, I thought of a medieval crown, but crenel is much closer to the mark.

    Susan Scheid

    March 13, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    • Since you mention it, I can see the resemblance to a crown, too, so now we have crenels and merlons and coronas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2013 at 2:46 PM

  7. […] linearifolia, or four-nerve daisy, the species that prompted the discussion two years ago about crenels and merlons. While that still applies, this latest view offers a composition different from any I recall ever […]

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