Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Navajo tea from below

with 19 comments

Two Navajo Tea Flowers from Below 5994

Click for greater clarity.

Another kind of wildflower I saw on June 20 at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve was Navajo tea, Thelesperma simplicifolium, a species making its debut in these pages today. If these flowers remind you of the greenthread that has appeared here several times, it’s because the two are closely related members of the same genus. The “prongs” visible at the base of each Navajo tea flower head are similar to those on the base of a greenthread bud I showed early last year.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 9, 2013 at 6:15 AM

19 Responses

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  1. Great photo – love the color combination of yellow and blue


    July 9, 2013 at 6:25 AM

  2. A new take on “tea for two”!

    Marcia Levy

    July 9, 2013 at 6:30 AM

  3. What a great name!

    Lisa Vankula-Donovan

    July 9, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    • Delena Tull says of the genus Thelesperma: “The flowers and leaves of these tall spring and summer wildflowers make a fine tea… One [dried] bundle made from a 12- to 18-inch stalk is good for one cup of tea.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2013 at 6:52 AM

  4. “Tea for two” occurred to me, too. I love the diagonal “lean” of the flowers. The photo wouldn’t feel so lively if they were standing straight up.


    July 9, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    • I definitely played up the “lean” of these long flower stalks to avoid what would otherwise have been a more static picture. Although I’ve photographed Navajo tea often enough, this is the first time I can remember emphasizing the diagonality in this way (and WordPress doesn’t like my word diagonality).

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2013 at 7:43 AM

  5. Super photo Steve! I too love the movement in the composition you chose.


    July 9, 2013 at 9:26 AM

  6. Hi, Steve. Really like the low angle and the diagonal lines!


    July 9, 2013 at 9:49 AM

  7. Nice shot of Cosmos…..


    July 9, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    • Ah, but this is Navajo tea. I’ve looked up the genus Cosmos and I see it’s in the sunflower family too, so I can understand why you see a resemblance.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2013 at 12:36 PM

  8. Oh my gosh!!!


    July 9, 2013 at 4:13 PM

  9. I’ve always thought yellow and blue make a great combination, and this shot proves it. Pin sharp too. Superb!


    July 10, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    • I’m with you in liking yellow and blue together. (I’m sorry for the delayed response. I just read on another blog that some people were having problems with WordPress putting legitimate comments into their spam folders, so I took a look at mine and found your comment in there.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

  10. […] Now that’s a novel (but confused) spelling of Navajo. The search led to the wildflower colloquially called Navajo tea. […]

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