Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Hooker’s palafoxia

with 26 comments

Hooker's Palafoxia Flower Head 6522

If green predominated in the last two pictures from Bastrop State Park on September 6th, Hooker’s palafoxia, Palafoxia hookeriana, against a clear panel of sky presents quite a different color scheme, one in which pink carries the day. This is a larger and showier species than the small palafoxia you recently saw, but you have to travel a little east of Austin to begin finding it. It’s also different from small palafoxia in its stickiness, as you can infer from all those minuscule hairs with tiny droplets at their tips. What purpose that goo serves, I don’t know.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 11, 2013 at 6:05 AM

26 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. This one brightens my day, Steven!


    October 11, 2013 at 6:38 AM

  2. A beautiful shot, Steven. Goo included.

    Mufidah Kassalias

    October 11, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    • Go goo!

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2013 at 6:54 AM

      • 🙂

        Mufidah Kassalias

        October 11, 2013 at 7:04 AM

        • That was easier than trying to find something to rhyme with Mufidah or Kassalias (especially since I don’t know which syllable you stress in either name. Maybe on your About page you can add a snippet of you pronouncing your name.)

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 11, 2013 at 7:23 AM

          • Ah, that’s a good idea. I’ll have to think about it, as many people pronounce my surname with an English (language not country) emphasis but, of course, it’s a Greek name so the emphasis is different in Greek.

            Mufidah Kassalias

            October 11, 2013 at 9:22 AM

  3. That’s an especially nice pink. I like the tiny droplet hairs.

    Jim in IA

    October 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM

  4. Yes, very pretty indeed. Love the detail and quite an interesting name.

    Lisa Vankula-Donovan

    October 11, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    • According to my main resource, the genus Palafoxia was “named either for José de Palafox y Melzi, 1780–1847, a Spanish general, or for Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, 1600–1659, a prelate.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2013 at 7:34 AM

  5. I love pink !! 🙂


    October 11, 2013 at 7:46 AM

  6. Bold in its delicacy.


    October 11, 2013 at 8:18 AM

  7. Beautiful!


    October 11, 2013 at 8:41 PM

  8. Well – if Jimi Hendrix could sing about a Foxy Lady, I think we surely can celebrate a Foxy Palafoxia!

    Palafox Street, the main north/south artery through Pensacola, is named for José de Palafox y Melzi, the Spanish military hero – likewise Palafox Pier and Marina. That might suggest that Melzi’s the one who’s memorialized in the name of this little beauty.


    October 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    • I just found a website that says Palafox is the “Castilianized form of Catalan Palafolls, habitational name from a place of this name in Catalonia. This form of the name is mainly found in Mexico.” Another website notes that “the surname appears to derive from the Latin term ‘palatiolos,’ which means ‘small palaces.'” Now maybe I can get away with saying these wildflowers are small palaces of delight.

      This “foxy palafoxia” grows in various counties from Bastrop east to the coast, so perhaps you’ll get to see it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2013 at 10:19 PM

  9. Very special and wonderful, I really enjoyed the beautiful pink flower and how you used the bright blue sky as a backdrop to your photo.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    October 12, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    • Thanks, Charlie. I often get down low and aim somewhat upward to use a blue sky as a neutral background. Here the azure of the sky does a particularly good job of contrasting with the palafoxia’s color.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 13, 2013 at 7:21 AM

  10. I like the detailed pubescent calyx and stem shown here.

    M. Firpi

    October 13, 2013 at 9:56 PM

  11. Hot stuff. I wonder if the sticky ooze is meant to coat creeping insects a bit so that when they get up to the flower, the pollen will adhere to them better for transport? In any event, it adds a delightful sparkle to the less showy parts of the plant.


    October 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    • Your hypothesis about the ooze is plausible. I wonder what botanists have learned about the stickiness.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2013 at 1:23 PM

  12. […] velvetleaf mallow flower. If you’re wondering whether this plant is sticky to touch, the way you saw that Hooker’s palafoxia is, the answer is […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: