Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Pointy wild onion bud

with 13 comments

Pointy Wild Onion Bud 6946

Another I wandered in the greenbelt north of Old Lampasas Trail on April 24th I saw this pointy bud of a wild onion, Allium canadense var. canadense.

This is the first in a four-part series in which each photograph will give you a close view of a bud.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 25, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

13 Responses

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  1. Ok, you know how I like to throw out the first words that come to mind? Well, today it’s two words – dainty and elegant :). Happy Friday, and by the way, the nasty snow is all gone!! Hopefully that’s it for this year.


    April 25, 2014 at 6:07 AM

  2. Beautiful.


    April 25, 2014 at 6:15 AM

  3. Now you’re starting to sound like me with the “pointy wild onion bud”! I tell folks that ask, I have two classifications of wildflowers: Alive or Dead. So I sometimes will label my pictures as “A live yellow plant”.
    Great macro shot, by the way!


    April 25, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    • Not being a botanist, I often can’t identify plants, but over the years, with the help of field guides and people who know a lot about native species, I’ve gotten familiar with many of the wildflowers that grow in my area. That’s why I believe that this bud is from an Allium canadense. In any case, I’m happy that you enjoy this macro view, as do I.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM

  4. Great shot!


    April 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

  5. Your comment about your learning process — especially the field guides — reminds me of a great poem by Howard Nemerov called “Learning the Trees.” Obviously, it applies to flowers, too, but it’s a wonderful celebration of the relationship between book learning and field experience. I especially like these two stanzas:

    “Still, pedetemtim as Lucretius says,
    Little by little, you do start to learn;
    And learn as well, maybe, what language does
    And how it does it, cutting across the world

    Not always at the joints, competing with
    Experience while cooperating with
    Experience, and keeping an obstinate
    Intransigence, uncanny, of its own.”

    You can see the whole poem here.


    April 25, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    • Now that’s a good and appropriate connection to have made. Most of the botanical terms that Nemerov rattles off in his poem are of Latin origin:

      But best of all are the words that shape the leaves—
      Orbicular, cordate, cleft and reniform—
      And their venation—palmate and parallel—
      And tips—acute, truncate, auriculate.

      That last one, auriculate, means ‘in the shape of little ears.’ Cute, no? The Latin word in the first line you quoted, pedetemtim, was new to me. My Oxford Latin Dictionary (which I bought at a half-of-half-price sale a few years ago and still paid a lot for) explains it, and its literal meaning is ‘to probe with the foot,’ something I surmise one does slowly, cautiously, little by little, in case there’s danger.

      I’ve often—and recently—had the experience Nemerov describes of trying to match up a general botanical description from a book with an actual plant that may refuse to comply in some respects to that description.

      In the digital age, when more and more people are reading on screens of computers and tablets and phones, one part of Nemerov’s poem is becoming less germane:

      That’s done indoors,
      Out of a book, which now you think of it
      Is one of the transformations of a tree.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2014 at 9:38 PM

  6. Wonderful photo, love the color and the detail you captured.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    April 25, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    • I’ve often been impressed by the details of small things in nature, this being yet another. I’m happy to have shared it with you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 26, 2014 at 4:35 AM

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