Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A pungent but not prickly red and green

with 23 comments

Wild Onion Buds and Flower with Looping Stalk 3735

In contrast to the Christmas cactus, a different red and green that I found at McKinney Falls State Park on March 13th was this wild onion, Allium canadense var. canadense, with a curiously looping stalk.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 5, 2014 at 5:00 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Beautifully brilliant love the sharp focus.

    Ian Scott

    April 5, 2014 at 5:42 AM

    • Thanks. I generally aim for (in both senses) sharp focus, as here, but occasionally I go for a softer effect, especially when there’s not much light.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 5, 2014 at 5:51 AM

  2. Very attractive.


    April 5, 2014 at 5:51 AM

  3. Is it edible?

    Jim in IA

    April 5, 2014 at 7:48 AM

  4. beautiful and what a composition, love it!


    April 5, 2014 at 10:44 AM

  5. Stunning macro!


    April 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

  6. Great shot. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    April 5, 2014 at 6:45 PM

  7. Beautiful shot Steve! Its shape reminds me of a musical instrument. French horn maybe? I have wild onions here that I smell once in awhile, but I have never seen them. I’ll have to dig deeper and see if I can locate them.

    Michael Glover

    April 7, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    • Now that’s a novel description: wild onion as French horn. The wild onions here aren’t at all hard to find, and I noticed plenty of them as I wandered around in nature this afternoon. Sometimes I smell one before I see it, especially if I’ve trodden on it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 7, 2014 at 10:47 PM

  8. I especially enjoy your photos that evoke a response best summed up as, “But how did it do that?” I suppose, “What caused that?” would be a more scientific way of phrasing it, but never mind that.

    I especially like the stretched “skin” on the left. I recently ordered a copy of a 1906 book, and when it arrived, it had an onion-skin dust jacket (and uncut pages!) The book’s onion skin looks much more like your photo than what we see in the grocery stores.


    April 9, 2014 at 6:54 AM

    • From seeing a fair amount of wild onions lately, I have to say that they usually look unruly at this stage, with bulblets and stalks positioned in ways that strike me as disorganized. Onion-skin membranes like the one you’ve commented on are a common element of the mix, but they hadn’t triggered a thought of onion-skin paper, so far removed am I from the era of typewriters, which those of us of a certain age lived in much more recently than 1906. Most of the books with uncut pages that I used to buy were French, and now I find myself thinking of French onion soup.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 9, 2014 at 8:11 AM

  9. This is a beautiful shot. So much to look at here–including the stretched “skin,” which I would have missed had I not seen shoreacre’s comment.

    Susan Scheid

    April 9, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    • There is a lot to look at, and you’re making me think I’d do well to photograph other individuals of this species to build a collection of wild onion variations.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 9, 2014 at 10:14 PM

  10. […] couple of times in these pages I’ve showed you pictures of the wild onion that botanists classify as Allium canadense. It so happens that both of those specimens were of the […]

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