Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

White prickly poppy in a colony of four-nerve daisies

with 25 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

It was April 9 when I photographed this white prickly poppy, Argemone albiflora, minus two of its petals, in a colony of four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia. The place was close to the spot on Braker Ln. where I’d found an early Mexican hat flowering in February.

The patterns in the prickly poppy’s petals are special, aren’t they? If you’d like a closer and somewhat different view of a petal, you can look back at a post from last June. And if you’d also like a reminder of what the new basal leaves of a white prickly poppy look like, you can return to a post from this March.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 25, 2013 at 6:16 AM

25 Responses

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  1. Incredible detail in this Steve, glad I clicked on the larger image to see even more of it!


    April 25, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    • It’s good that you did. You can imagine how much more detail there is in the full-size original (of course that’s true of all the pictures posted here).

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM

  2. So beautiful. I’ve never seen this kind of Poppy…..


    April 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

  3. Poppies of all types have always been favourites of mine. I have only seen Argemone albiflora in photographs, never in real life. It doesn’t look like a good pick for the garden, but it is beautiful in its own way. I did click on the link for the close-up of the petal. The patterns are quite special, as you promised.


    April 25, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    • Argemone albiflora is the only poppy that grows natively in central Texas, but it’s plentiful here in the spring, so I’ve gotten to know it well over the years.

      The closeup of a petal reminds me of the patterns in a finely woven white fabric.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2013 at 12:58 PM

  4. Can’t argue with the visible prickliness of this beauty!


    April 25, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    • Unfortunately my skin hasn’t argued successfully against that prickliness—but that’s sometimes the price of recording beauty.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2013 at 1:08 PM

  5. Beautiful:)


    April 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

  6. Superb quality and sharpness and a striking image too.


    April 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    • I’m pleased that you find this a worthy lensscape. As always, I’ll give the credit for sharpness to my lens.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2013 at 4:54 PM

  7. Hi Steve, I came over from Linda’s blog. So glad I did. Your photo is quite superb. My sincere congratulations.


    April 25, 2013 at 10:00 PM

  8. Beautiful. Our poppies are just starting over here. Later we get a yellow one that is quite prickly too, Glaucium flavum.


    April 26, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    • I wasn’t familiar with Glaucium flavum so I looked it up. Wikipedia says it “is native to Northern Africa, Macronesia, temperate zones in Western Asia and the Caucasus, as well as Europe. Habitat: the plant grows on the seashore and is never found inland. All parts of the plant, including the seeds, are toxic and can produce a range of symptoms up to and including respiratory failure resulting in death. It is a noxious weed in some areas of North America, where it is an introduced species.” Where I am isn’t one of those areas; where you are, the species is native, so you can enjoy it in good conscience.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 26, 2013 at 6:01 AM

      • I like it because as well as being beautiful it can survive in amazingly hostile looking environments like sand dunes close to the sea.


        April 26, 2013 at 7:29 AM

        • The nearest coast to me is 3–4 hours away. I wish I lived closer so I could visit some of our seaside species.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 26, 2013 at 7:33 AM

  9. […] the corner from the white prickly poppy, and a short while earlier, I’d lain down among some rain-lilies, Cooperia pedunculata, to […]

  10. […] post showed you the bud of a rain-lily, Cooperia pedunculata, along Stonelake Blvd. on April 9. The time before that you saw a white prickly poppy flower in a colony of four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia. […]

  11. No more need to wish I could see these. I saw hundreds – perhaps even thousands – on my trip last weekend. I did notice that they coexist with cattle quite nicely – apparently we’re not the only ones who don’t like all those thorns.

    They had much more pollen than I’d imagined, as your photo shows, And I do like that you showed one with missing petals, for a better look at the center. It occured to me this flower’s a botanical example of that “crack in everything” Cohen sings about – the one that lets the light get in.


    April 28, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    • It’s good that you got to see plenty of these when you traveled west last weekend. I’ve also been aware of their coexistence with cattle (and horses) from some photo sessions I’ve had along FM 969 near Bastrop, about 20 miles east of Austin. The largest colony I’ve ever seen, though, was the one you saw about a year ago, which I found in Burnet County about an hour northwest of Austin.

      The petals of the white prickly poppy are fragile and they fall off easily. It’s common to see one of these flowers with no petals left at all, just the central globe of stamens surrounding the one pistil.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 28, 2013 at 7:30 AM

  12. Well, that’s adorable, like something out of a children’s fairy tale. Princess and the Pea, maybe?

    Susan Scheid

    April 28, 2013 at 9:50 PM

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