Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Double entendre time again

with 17 comments

Zexmenia Flower Head 8472

Click for greater clarity.

Botanists know it as Wedelia texana, but the common name is zexmenia, which native plant folks (and many botanists) can’t resist transforming into sex mania. The details may seem an anticlimax now, but I’ll add that I photographed this zexmenia along the Turkey Creek Trail at Emma Long Metropolitan Park on July 5th.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 10, 2013 at 6:18 AM

17 Responses

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  1. Steve…….this image shines as an example of great Bokeh. I try all too often to be on the right plane of focus or angle to keep the focus uniform, sharp. But damn, I look at this image and the out of focus speaks in such harmony with the sharpness………..thanks for the awakening……..en theos..jim

    Developing A New Image

    August 10, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    • Like you, Jim, I usually try to get as much in focus as possible and generally prefer small apertures because of their greater depth of field. In this case there wasn’t a lot of light, and I didn’t want to use flash, so even with an ISO of 800 the smallest aperture I could muster was f/5. There was nothing to do but live with f/5 and go for a softer look. Purist that I am, I’m still bothered by a couple of the protruding flower parts that go out of focus, but the overall effect seems all right, and your comment is a welcome validation. Thanks.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2013 at 6:59 AM

  2. Hahahahahahahaha!!! No way!!!! I’d never heard it referred to quite that way! Btw, yours was the first post I read this morning. Nice to start the day with a smile. Thank you!

    SmallHouseBigGarden

    August 10, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    • You’re welcome, Karen. We have to hope that your smile matched the spirit of this wildflower’s altered name, but we won’t put you on the spot. Enjoy the rest of your smile-begun day.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2013 at 7:07 AM

  3. That’s clever. I like the things we can do with words to make us smile and laugh.

    Also, I like your phrase ‘Click for greater clarity’. This is so true in our lives today.

    Melanie and I headed out for our walk this morning just as the sun rose at 6. It was 60˚ and clear. The quiet was very noticeable. The pond we passed had a fine mist above it. Your photo and our walk started our day well.

    Thanks…

    Jim in IA

    August 10, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    • Along the lines of your second paragraph (with overtones from the ending of your first), in looking back at the students I had over the years, I wish I could have clicked some of them to induce greater clarity in their thinking.

      60° is a temperature we probably won’t see outdoors again in Texas for a couple of months. Latitude can make a huge difference. In any case, I’m glad your day started out well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM

  4. Zexy indeed!

    Emily Heath

    August 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM

  5. As a master gardner intern I am happy to have found your blog. I hope you show more interesting nature shots.

    • Welcome, Ronnie. More nature pictures there shall be. In the meantime, you’re welcome to browse back at any of the more than 900 posts that have already appeared. (I can’t believe I’m crazy enough to have done that many in two years and two months.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

  6. Zexmenia and anti-climax. There’s a nice double-entendré pair for you. Nice photo and, while it may not have been your plan, it worked out well and would be what many shoot for.

    Steve Gingold

    August 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    • Good of you to catch the rating implication of that second word with an x in it. And yes, the photograph worked out well enough, so I can’t complain too much.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2013 at 5:09 PM

  7. My goodness, did I learn a lesson today. I looked at your photo, and thought, “That seems to be the flower in that vacant lot…” So, I looked it up in Enquist. Clearly, Zexmenia wasn’t my yellow vacant lot flower. Too tall. So, I picked up my books, got in the car and drove to the lot. They’d mowed (sigh) but there were a few left, and I finally decided it was the weedy dwarf dandelion shown in Tveten.

    I brought one home, checked out the rays (five teeth), the color and arrangement of the leaves, and all seemed well until I looked online. None of the photos there looked like my flower or Tveten’s! I did see that there are five Krigia species around here, so…

    In any event, my hat’s off to you and all the other wildflower identifiers out there. Good grief! Don’t I remember you saying there’s some little phrase for all these yellow flowers that look like one another, too?

    shoreacres

    August 10, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    • Welcome to the world of DYCs: Darn (or Damn) Yellow Composites. Somebody remarked that the Creator seems to have had an inordinate fondness for beetles, and the same could be said about DYCs. I’ve learned to identify several hundred wildflowers in my area (not just among DYCs), but others still perplex me, and no doubt some of my “identifications” are wrong. I’ll add that botanists keep reclassifying things: some species get new names but remain species, while in other cases formerly separate species get merged, and formerly single ones get split into two. It’s a confusing world out there. As for zexmenia, two things that distinguish it are the orange cast of its flowers and the shape of its leaves, which have the overall outline of a narrow kite.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 11, 2013 at 7:50 AM

  8. Who can resist a double entendre?

    composerinthegarden

    August 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

  9. […] that the search engine led the undoubtedly let-down men (I assume) to shows a wildflower called zexmenia, which native plantophiles jokingly call sex […]


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