Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Philadelphia freedom

with 17 comments

Philadelphia Fleabane Daisy 5289A

On the bank of the little creek with the “corrugated” algae in it was this Erigeron philadelphicus, called Philadelphia fleabane. A flower head of this species has even more white rays—John and Gloria Tveten say the count of threadlike segments can go above 150—than the prairie fleabane you’ve seen here several times.

Don’t let the name Philadelphia fool you: this species grows in Mexico and in almost all American states and Canadian provinces, as you can confirm on the USDA’s state-clickable map. That’s one hardy plant that can tolerate such extreme differences in climate.

Today’s picture is from March 24th along Old Lampasas Trail in northwest Austin.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 22, 2014 at 5:15 AM

17 Responses

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  1. I’ve always liked the fleabane, small and bright.

    Jim in IA

    April 22, 2014 at 6:43 AM

  2. This is, indeed, the little beauty that was so prolific the afternoon I photographed the frog. I was sure I had identified it properly, but now it’s confirmed.

    The top flower, with its two bud “arms” extended, looks like it might be dancing to Sir Elton’s great song, which just happens to be playing this very minute.

    shoreacres

    April 22, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    • Like you, I anthropomorphized that flower stalk and saw outspread arms on a stick figure with a flower head for its head.

      One question remains: is the song playing by coincidence or did you put it on to accompany your comment?

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 22, 2014 at 7:21 AM

      • Your title reminded me of it, and so I put it on. I may have it in my head for the rest of the day. Of course, that’s not the worst thing in the world.

        shoreacres

        April 22, 2014 at 7:23 AM

        • Last year a gallery in Austin featured paintings by Bernie Taupin, the lyricist on “Philadelphia Freedom.” I can’t say that his art did anything for me, but I’m grateful for his decades-long collaboration with Elton John.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 22, 2014 at 7:40 AM

  3. Just beautiful. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    April 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

  4. The fleabanes always remind me of stick figures or those figures made from pipe cleaners. Nice shot, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    April 22, 2014 at 6:18 PM

  5. You certainly captured the beauty of that little plant, Steve!

    montucky

    April 22, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    • And for once it’s a plant that grows in your part of the world, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 22, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      • Yes, and it’s that familiarity that makes me really appreciate your photograph!

        montucky

        April 22, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        • Then I’m glad that familiarity bred appreciation and not that other thing that the saying talks about.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 22, 2014 at 9:51 PM

  6. Simply stunning!

    shabnamphoto

    April 23, 2014 at 4:56 AM


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