Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for May 18th, 2014

Red paint comes in all colors

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Castilleja purpurea var. purpurea Flowers 0097

When my clever friend Roy Halliday and I were still teenagers, he came up with the idea for a paint company that he would name The Red Paint Company, and whose motto would be “Red paint comes in all colors.” Ah, those were the days.

And why, you might wonder, am I bringing that up now in a nature photography blog? It’s because there’s a native wildflower in Texas that botanists have classified as Castilleja purpurea, commonly called prairie paintbrush. You’ve probably recognized that purpurea means ‘purple,’ but the problem is that the species comes in a trio of main colors with many additional subtle shades, so botanists have split the species into three varieties. The one you see here is Castilleja purpurea var. purpurea. Say ‘purple’ twice, even in Latin, and there’s no doubt about which color we expect to see.

I took this picture along US 84 near the town of Coleman, Texas, on the way back from Lubbock to Austin on April 17th. It rained on and off, but luckily there was a pause in the vicinity of this town and I spent probably an hour taking pictures in two roadside locations.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 18, 2014 at 5:59 AM

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