Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Golden groundsel in a colony

with 5 comments

Golden Groundsel Flowering in Colony 5241

Golden groundsel, Packera obovata (formerly Senecio obovatus), thrives in shade or partial shade, where it can form colonies. For several springs in a row I’ve gone back to a creekside along Old Lampasas Trail to photograph this colony, as I did on March 24th. Packera obovata is a close relative of the butterweed that you saw from a distance in the last post.


I’m out of town for a few days. Feel free to leave comments, but it may take me a while to answer them.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 17, 2014 at 6:01 AM

5 Responses

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  1. Now and then, when I see such beautiful wildflowers, I remember Ann Zwinger’s cautionary comment: “Flowering is, after all, not an aesthetic contribution, but a survival mechanism.” I think I’d prefer to say flowering is not only an aesthetic contribution, but it’s still good to remember there’s much more of interest in flowers than, “Oh! Pretty!” (Which these are.)


    April 17, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    • No doubt about it: flowers are reproductive organs. I seem to remember reading that people in the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans didn’t know that, but I don’t know if that claim is correct. In any case, there’s nothing wrong with having something be useful and beautiful, now is there?

      I had to look up Ann Zwinger, who I see is still alive at age 89 (a Fibonacci number). I’ll see if any of her books are available in the Austin library so I can get a sense of her style.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 18, 2014 at 7:33 AM

  2. […] on a mushroom hunt close to the place on Old Lampasas Trail where I went back and photographed the golden groundsel the next day. I led our little group to the spot where some years earlier I’d found a colony […]

  3. We get that here, I think, or something very like it. Same holds for the fleabane.

    Susan Scheid

    April 24, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    • I suspect “something very like it” is the case, as there are a slew of species in the genus Senecio (or the genera like Packera into which a bunch of them have been reclassified). There are also many species of Erigeron, including the philadelphicus that is almost universal across North America.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2014 at 7:36 PM

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