Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Globe mallow

with 25 comments

Globe Mallow Flowering 9965

Another wildflower I photographed at the “vacant” lot in Post, Texas, on April 17th was this globe mallow, Sphaeralcea angustifolia. I’d seen this species in other places during the trip to west Texas, where it’s fairly common, but not till the last day did I finally photograph one.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 16, 2014 at 5:58 AM

25 Responses

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  1. Lovely colour.


    May 16, 2014 at 6:19 AM

    • According to the website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, “This plant’s flowers can be lavender, salmon, red, and pale pink,” but I think the color shown in today’s picture is the only one I saw.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 16, 2014 at 6:34 AM

      • Speaking of lavender, I realised today that the description angustifolia doesn’t only apply to lavender, as I naively assumed. This is how I first met the word http://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/the-lavender-lady/


        May 16, 2014 at 7:54 AM

        • Ah, I see. The epithet angustifolia means ‘with narrow leaves,’ so botanists have applied it to plenty of plants that fit the description. The angusti- part is related to our word anguish: anguish is a kind of emotional constricting.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 16, 2014 at 3:16 PM

          • Oh….intriguing….angusti, related to anguish. Delightful piece of information. Thank you.


            May 16, 2014 at 9:49 PM

            • You’re welcome. I remember driving in Mexico decades ago and seeing a road sign with the words “Puente Angosto,” which is to say “Narrow Bridge.”

              Another related word is German Angst.

              Steve Schwartzman

              May 16, 2014 at 10:50 PM

  2. Beautiful shot of a lovely flower.


    May 16, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    • This wildflower doesn’t grow near Austin, but I look forward to seeing it on my infrequent trips to west Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 16, 2014 at 6:54 AM

  3. Simply beautiful!


    May 16, 2014 at 6:56 AM

  4. Very nice flower. I like the colour very much.


    May 16, 2014 at 7:04 AM

  5. The angle of the flower makes it look very welcoming…a nice change from our rainy, gray day up here.

    Marcia Levy

    May 16, 2014 at 7:43 AM

  6. Quite stunning


    May 16, 2014 at 9:52 AM

  7. Beautiful lighting and detail!


    May 16, 2014 at 9:55 AM

  8. I just discovered there’s another species, farther west, whose name evokes a different reality: Sphaeralcea ambigua. It seems many people are allergic to it, and in Spanish it’s known as Hierba Muy Mala.

    Are the petals of this one waxy? It could just be the lighting, but the bloom reminds me of the shine found on the Carolina buttercup.


    May 18, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    • I just looked in my plant atlas and found that there are nice species of Sphaeralcea in Texas, though none shown for your county or mine. I rarely get to see globe mallows and I spent just a short while with this one, so I don’t know if the petals are waxy or merely appear to be. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has has cultivated some globe mallow plants in the past, and if that’s still the case the next time I go there I’ll investigate the waxiness of the petals.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 18, 2014 at 9:37 AM

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