Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Cattail like fur

with 18 comments

Cattail Seed Head Decomposing 6184

Have you ever noticed that the decomposing seed core of a cattail, Typha domingensis, looks like fur?

I photographed this one at the Arbor Walk Pond on December 4, 2013.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 13, 2014 at 6:09 AM

18 Responses

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  1. These are incredible textures created by nature. I’ve just taken an image of a Mimosa, and they look like silky puffs when in bloom. Afterwards, they turn white, but are still silky and fluffy.

    • Textures are definitely playthings for the eyes of photographers. I’ve played with two Mimosa species native in Texas, M. borealis and M. roemeriana.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      • I’ve literally grown up with the M. pudica. Here in P.R. it’s a curiosity and children are introduced at an early age. Do M. borealis and M. roemeriana exhibit the seismonasty (or thigmonasty) movement response? I’ve just read about that last night and it seems M. pudica developed it as a means for survival; but of course, I’m not a botanist. I think it’s with the M. pudica only, isn’t it? I also read the same “thigmonasty” mechanism occurs in the Venus Flytrap plant and it’s even more dramatic and evident. We have the M. roemeriana here.

  2. Strangely intriguing, and draws me into details and layers that you’ve captured.


    January 13, 2014 at 8:42 AM

  3. Really sharp. What lens did you use? The analog to my 105 micro?

    Pairodox Farm

    January 13, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    • Yes, it’s the lens I use more than all my others put together, the Canon 100mm macro. I see that the aperture was f/7.1, and that was helped along by the fact that the fluff down the center of this photograph lay in approximately a plane.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2014 at 9:52 AM

  4. We have a ravine behind us. There is a small spot where water sits most of the time. I went to a place not far away with cattails, dug some up, and transplanted them to the spot near us. I hope they grow.

    Jim in IA

    January 13, 2014 at 9:51 AM

  5. That not only looks like cat fur, it looks like fur that belongs to a cat that’s just had a territorial dispute or gotten involved in a competition for a girl-cat!


    January 15, 2014 at 9:10 AM

  6. […] photograph, the seeds that had gotten caught on the dry pods were either from poverty weed or cattails, both of which were shedding plenty of fluff […]

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