Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Phacelia integrifolia

with 13 comments

Phacelia integrifolia Flowers 9278

As much as I’d gone to Monahans Sandhills State Park on April 12 to see the dunes, I was pleased to find some native plants there, too, even if the wind and the overcast sky made photographing them difficult. From the blue curls that grow in Austin I knew that the flowers shown here must be a relative, and after looking through botanical sources I’d say this is probably Phacelia integrifolia, known as gypsum phacelia and scorpionflower.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 8, 2014 at 6:00 AM

13 Responses

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  1. Now those are beautiful curls. I tried to take a photo of my phacelia (just starting to flower) but the photos were terrible. I’ll try again another day.


    May 8, 2014 at 6:43 AM

  2. Those look well protected from the elements. Nothing big and showy.

    Jim in IA

    May 8, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    • In the harsh environment of west Texas, I’d say every plant has learned to protect itself from the elements.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 8, 2014 at 7:35 AM

  3. all of this detail and the many shades of purple excite me!!!


    May 8, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    • And I, as a stranger in a strange land out there, was excited to see a plant whose genus I could recognize immediately, even if I didn’t know the species. The shades of purple, different from the colors of the local Austin species, appealed to me as much as they do to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 8, 2014 at 7:44 AM

  4. I smiled at the change in common names from Austin — where the plant is known as “caterpillar” — to the Monahans area, where the presence of gypsum and scorpions in the names reflect the larger environment. In both cases, the flowers are beautiful.

    It looks like some of the environment is clinging to these flowers, in the form of sand grains.


    May 8, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    • Ah yes: context, context, context. Gypsum and scorpions aren’t common in Austin, but further west.

      And yes again: when you’re growing in sand dunes, sand gets on you. The same is true for human visitors, as I can attest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 8, 2014 at 8:58 AM

  5. Gorgeous!


    May 8, 2014 at 12:13 PM

  6. So beautiful. Great shot! 🙂


    May 11, 2014 at 11:22 PM

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