Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rattlebush colony drying out

with 13 comments

Sesbania vesicaria Colony Drying Out 8813

Click for greater clarity and considerably larger size.

Another thing I encountered in a field in Heavener, Oklahoma, on November 11th was a colony of rattlebush that had gone to seed and dried out. I didn’t know what species it was, but in checking species distributions later I concluded it must have been Sesbania vesicaria. The common names rattlebush and rattlebox come from the fact that the drying seeds end up loose inside their pods and really do rattle around when the pods are shaken.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 15, 2013 at 5:58 AM

13 Responses

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  1. I wonder how Heavener is pronounced.

    Jim in IA

    December 15, 2013 at 6:40 AM

    • In a comment on yesterday’s post, your former statemate Shoreacres found from Ancestry.com that Heavener is most likely an Anglicized version of Häfner. That German word is pronounced the same as Heffner, so I’m guessing Heavener is pronounced like English heaven with an extra er. But that’s only logic, and people sometimes pronounce names in non-expected ways, so I suppose I should call someone in the town and ask.

      I just followed my suggestion and called the Heavener Public Schools. I got a recording in which the person pronounced the first part of the name the same as the word heave. Oh well, I still prefer Heaven-er, which I think has better P.R. value, so maybe the townspeople should give Heave-ner the old heave-ho and start saying Heaven-er.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 15, 2013 at 7:00 AM

      • You and shoreacres took that ball and gave it a mighty heave. I appreciate that. The heave-ner version is the one I suspected would win.

        Thanks, you two.

        We are in Logan, OH, tonight. Plan to hike some in Hocking Hills St Pk in the morning before heading toward IA. Should be calm and in the 20s.

        Jim in IA

        December 15, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    • According to the desk clerk at the Green Country Inn there, some people say “HEV-ner”, but most people from the area say “HEAVE-ner”. “HEAVEN-er” is a sign of someone From Away. 😉


      December 15, 2013 at 7:03 AM

  2. That’s funny. We must have been on the phone at the same time.

    I just learned that this plant also goes by the name “bag-pod”. The seeds certainly do look like they’re contained in a little bag. They remind me of mountain laurel.

    I still haven’t identified a couple of seed pods from my trip. Do you know of any website for our area like this one, from the UK? It surely would be handy.


    December 15, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    • I’ll have a better view of one of the “seedbags” coming up next.

      I wish I did know of a seed website for Texas like the one you found for the UK. In many species flowers appear for a relatively short time, while dried fruits and seeds (and their remains) can linger for months or even into the next year. Because those long-lasting dry forms are the ones I encounter much of the time, I’ve made it a point to photograph them, and in the process I’ve learned to identify a few species in the off-seasons.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 15, 2013 at 8:04 AM

  3. Strong painterly quality is evoked in your image.


    December 15, 2013 at 8:24 AM

  4. Early musical instruments.


    December 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM

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