Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Pickerelweed flowers

with 11 comments

Pickerelweed Flowers 5590A

Damselflies often hang out around bodies of water. That was true of the one you saw last time, and you could even say it was true of this pickerelweed, Pontederia cordata, that I found nearby at the edge of a pond on the Mueller prairie restoration on August 30. The yellow-orange in the background was from a pickerelweed leaf that had become discolored; in fact I’ve noticed that the leaves of several plants that live at the water’s edge have a tendency to turn warm colors, as you can see from photographs in which I’ve shown a yellowing leaf of a bulrush and a cattail.

Today marks the first appearance in these pages for Pontederia cordata, which grows natively not only in many parts of the United States but also as far north as Canada and as far south as Argentina; no piker, this pickerelweed.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 5, 2013 at 6:00 AM

11 Responses

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  1. Their color is especially pleasing to me. And, I like the little yellow accent spots.

    Jim in IA

    October 5, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    • Landscape painters and outdoor photographers know that things in the shade take on a blue cast, and I observed that in this photograph. The flowers on the sunny side of the spike are violet-colored, while those on the shaded side look blue, so you get two for the price of one to be pleased with.

      People have speculated that those yellow accent spots guide insects to the flowers. The yellow certainly draws human eyes, even if our eyes are pollinators only of our imaginations.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 5, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      • It makes sense to me that the yellow spots would be guides. There are a lot of empty holes where a bee or butterfly could miss the target without help.

        Jim in IA

        October 5, 2013 at 7:41 AM

  2. Beautiful and delicate!!!

    Elisa

    October 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM

  3. Pickerelweed are lovely flowers that are widespread in the northeast too. The warmth of the yellowing leaves in the background add some nice color to this, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    October 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    • I’m happy to hear you’ve gotten to play with pickerelweed in the Northeast, Steve. As you say, the yellowing leaves behind this one made it unique in my experience.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2013 at 8:45 PM


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