Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Three native plants, none of them aquatic

with 11 comments

Coreopsis, Mexican Hats, Poverty Weed by Brushy Creek Lake 8479

Click for better clarity and color.

The most prominent wildflowers here are coreopsis (Coreopsis sp.). The darker flower heads below them are Mexican hats (Ratibida columnifera), and you can also make out some dried remains of the same at the lower left. The slender, leafy bush is a young poverty weed (Baccharis neglecta). None of these species is aquatic or even needs to be near a body of water, but—like the Desmanthus you saw last time—all three of these were flourishing on the shore of Brushy Creek Lake in the town of Cedar Park when I visited on May 22.

This was the only coreopsis I saw in the park that day, but if you want a striking reminder of how much nature can vary from year to year, check out a panoramic view of this site from the spring of 2010.

You’re in for an unusual take on coreopsis and water next time, so stay tuned.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 21, 2013 at 6:18 AM

11 Responses

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  1. What a refreshing sight! We’re a little short on blue water of any sort around here – in the bays and bayous colors tend to get muddied up, and they’re not so attractive. Your nice water and perky flowers are a perfect post for the first day of summer.


    June 21, 2013 at 6:48 AM

    • Your mention of the first day of the new season reminded me of the line “Sumer is icumen in,” and I can substitute a cardinal for the cuckoo, even as you replace your bays and bayous with bluer water.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2013 at 7:02 AM

  2. I’ve never seen coreopsis with anything but yellow! I thought these were the ones like the one I named Crucible.


    June 21, 2013 at 7:20 AM

  3. Refreshing!

    Bonnie Michelle

    June 21, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    • How interesting that you and Shoreacres (in the first comment) both chose the word refreshing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2013 at 7:43 AM

  4. Wow! I went to your 2010 photo and you’re right! The difference is remarkable!


    June 21, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    • Thanks for taking that look back, Karen. I’ll copy here what I wrote in response to your comment on that earlier post:

      Isn’t it startling how different the same place can be from one year to another? That was an early lesson I learned when I got interested in native plants. In particular, I’d photographed a dense colony of prairie verbenas one year, and when I went returned on the same date the following year there wasn’t a single flower in sight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2013 at 7:59 AM

  5. I love these little coreopsis, they are so cheerful, bright, and profuse bloomers. Better than that, they are reliable re-seeders for me here, and that is always a bonus in my book!

    The water’s rippled and fading color value as a background is beautiful!


    June 21, 2013 at 12:28 PM

  6. […] a member of the sunflower family that looks something like the coreopsis I featured recently, but even more like the Indian blanket you’ve seen so much of here this […]

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