Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Cedar sage flower

with 34 comments

Cedar Sage Flower 1540

From April 22nd, here’s a closeup of a cedar sage flower, Salvia roemeriana, growing wild along Morado Circle in my northwestern part of Austin.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 30, 2014 at 6:00 AM

34 Responses

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  1. Nice. Hey Steve … I’ve probably asked this before … but am too lazy to back into my archives to check on your answer. What camera are you using? I ask because I was just beginning to think about moving from a Nikon D600 to the D800. I’ve read up to discover that the only good reason for making the move is the size of the sensor. The D600 is 24MP while the D800 is something like 36MP. Many folks have said that the larger sensor allows for crazy-crisp images, such as yours … and I’m wondering, therefore, what you use. No rush … D

    Pairodox Farm

    May 30, 2014 at 6:52 AM

    • A year and a half ago I got the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, my first full-frame digital body, with a 22-megapixel sensor. Before buying it, I was attracted to the then-new Nikon D800 (or the D800E, which produces even sharper pictures), but switching to Nikon would have meant spending a lot of money for a whole new set of lenses. I ended up staying with Canon, but part of me is still sorry not to have made the switch. Let’s hope Canon comes out with a body that can outdo the D800E, although by the time it does, Nikon will probably have come out with something even better.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 30, 2014 at 7:13 AM

  2. What an interesting photo – it has my imagination going again :). It almost looks like an insect with its feelers reaching out, or even a snake with its mouth open, ready to pounce. And no, I haven’t been drinking LOL!


    May 30, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    • If you’ve been drinking, so have I. When I looked at this picture last night, I too saw a wide-open mouth, though I didn’t attach it to a snake or any particular kind of animal. In fact that was at about the same time I was looking at your latest (as of last night) post, so we seem to be on the same wave length. I’m sure the image of an open mouth has nothing to do with your girls’ night out in Toronto.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 30, 2014 at 7:17 AM

      • Well no, except for the fact that we haven’t seen each other in a while, so we probably never once shut our mouths! LOL


        May 31, 2014 at 5:25 AM

  3. Perhaps because it’s the height of crawfish season, that’s what I saw first, with its antennae extended and its feet dangling down. It tickled me to recognize the second part of Salvia roemeriana, with its reference to the good Dr. Roemer.

    Apart from all those associations, the flower looks like it’s been sprinkled with the same farina that I associate now with mealy blue sage.


    May 30, 2014 at 7:18 AM

  4. there is so much action implied in this shot…brilliant perspective!


    May 30, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    • How interesting that this perspective lets you infer activity. In light of your comment (and the two before it), I’m tempted to say “small flower, big imagination.” Thanks for letting me know.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 30, 2014 at 8:26 AM

      • It really looks like an insect in “jumping off” mode… Such a different way of shooting something usually seen as still life.


        May 30, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        • You have got a vivid imagination. I often look for different ways of portraying things, so I’m glad this one provided the raw material for your sight to play with.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 30, 2014 at 11:47 AM

  5. Beautiful and apparently very sweet to eat.


    May 30, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    • I didn’t know that. Salvia roemeriana has stopped flowering already, but the next time I see some of these flowers (which might not be till next spring) I’ll taste one to see what I think.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      • Excellent. I will look forward to your taste test report.


        May 31, 2014 at 6:51 AM

        • I didn’t have to wait till next spring. A couple of days ago I found a few late but bright cedar sage flowers in the shade beneath an Ashe juniper tree (colloquially called a cedar here). I tasted a couple of the flowers but could detect no sweetness or pleasantness at all. Whether those flowers were typical or atypical I don’t know; perhaps another experiment next spring will decide the matter.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 18, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    • Sweet they are! As a child I would raid annual displays of Salvia, pulling out the inner petal and suck on the stem. Yum.

      Midwestern Plant Girl

      May 30, 2014 at 5:31 PM

  6. What a stunning red!

    Midwestern Plant Girl

    May 30, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    • Definitely a saturated red, no question about it. I look forward to seeing these flowers in the same place(s) each spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 30, 2014 at 7:03 PM

  7. At first glance, I thought this was some sort of miniature lobster! Guess I’m hungry . . .

    Susan Scheid

    June 1, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    • One of the previous commenters says that these are edible, so go ahead and assuage your hunger if you can find any red sage flowers near you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2014 at 4:42 PM

  8. […] though Penstemon is in a different botanical family from the sages, this plant reminds me of the cedar sage I showed you last […]

  9. […] From the same June 13th session along Great Northern Blvd. that produced the recently shown bush sunflower pictures comes this photograph of mealy blue sage flowers, Salvia farinacea. The last Salvia you saw in these pages was the bright red cedar sage. […]

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