Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Hooker’s palafoxia from above

with 8 comments


And here’s a view from above of an opening Hooker’s palafoxia, Palafoxia hookeriana, and even without the addition of the skipper I think you’ll agree that this is one showy wildflower. Like the last few pictures, today’s comes from Bastrop State Park on September 6th.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 12, 2013 at 6:07 AM

8 Responses

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  1. The skipper looks for all the world as if it might be thinking, “I don’t care how close you get, I’m not leaving this buffet table”. I had no idea their proboscis was so long, although, proportionally, it looks similar to that of the elephant.

    The flower detail I really like are those pink curly things (anthers?) clustered in the middle. Not only do they look like the zodiac sign for Aries, the curl echoes a curled-up proboscis.


    October 12, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    • I’ve noticed over the years that some butterflies seem so intent on what they’re doing that they let me get very close. On rare occasions I’ve been looking through the viewfinder as I compose a macro shot of a flower, when all of a sudden an insect has landed right on that part of the flower. I don’t think the proboscis in this picture is unusually long, based on my experience, but I don’t know how representative my experience is.

      I’ve observed those pink curly things, or similar appendages, in some other members of the sunflower family, e.g. the skeleton plant:


      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM

  2. Aw! And in awe. Simply adorable, Steve.


    October 12, 2013 at 12:17 PM

  3. Those skippers are masters at finding ways to show off, even when their wings are folded. Feeling a little dull? Just pop into a spectacular backdrop and you’re still the cynosure…


    October 18, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    • You get bonus points for being the first person ever to use the word cynosure on this blog. Oh, that metaphorical (and etymological) dog’s tail.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2013 at 1:26 PM

  4. Where did the name come from. Hooker’s palafoxia

    Betty Paar

    October 23, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    • 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.” The Hooker that this species honors is William Jackson Hooker, 1785–1865, director of Kew Gardens.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 23, 2013 at 6:35 PM

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