Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Antelope-horns flower globe

with 26 comments

Antelope-Horns Flower Globe 5619

In this morning’s post you saw a closeup of two flowers of antelope-horns, Asclepias asperula. I mentioned that they were part of a globe of flowers, but perhaps I should have added that a globe is a common (but not mandatory) shape for the inflorescence of this species. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then let me save about 900 more of them and show you one of those flower globes now. The photograph is from April 1, 2013, on the right-of-way beneath the large power lines west of Morado Circle. I think you’ll find this a good example of global forming.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

26 Responses

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  1. Fabulous looking plant! Thanks for showing us the close-up details too 🙂

  2. That looks familiar. Our species has a red-orange flower shaped the same basic way.

    Jim in IA

    June 1, 2014 at 3:43 PM

  3. One of the more interesting insects that live on our milkweeds is the Milkweed Beetle. http://www4.uwm.edu/fieldstation/naturalhistory/bugoftheweek/red-milkweed-beetle.cfm
    As the article describes they have interesting features and make use of the toxins in the plant. As a kid, I learned how to pick them up carefully with two fingers, one on each side. I would hold them up close to my ear and hear them squeak.

    Jim in IA

    June 1, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    • That’s one colorful beetle. I’ve seen others with bright colors, but I’ve never been fortunate enough to hear one squeak. If you can get the right kind of equipment you might try to make a recording.

      Making use of milkweed toxins is the familiar ploy of monarch caterpillars (and then butterflies).

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2014 at 3:58 PM

  4. “good example of global forming”? I’d say GREAT example! Really, this is terrific.

    Susan Scheid

    June 1, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    • Thanks, Susan. I was doing a bit of wordplay by changing one sound in the phrase “global warming.” Language aside, these milkweed globes caught my attention as early as around 1979, long before I got interested in native plants. I remember the specific place where I first saw one of these globes, and I knelt to smell the strange flowers, which turned out to be quite fragrant. Not till two decades later did I learn what I’d encountered.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM

  5. I’m rather partial to the magenta/pink flowers of our local milkweed, but these creamy inflorescences are quite lovely.

    Steve Gingold

    June 1, 2014 at 5:11 PM

  6. I would rather global forming than global warming.


    September 3, 2015 at 8:23 AM

    • Good one! I’m glad to see you warming up to the subject.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 3, 2015 at 8:27 AM

      • I blame the spring air. It’s balmy.


        September 3, 2015 at 8:32 AM

        • If you were in Texas and talking about the advent of spring you’d be balmy indeed.
          In another couple of weeks here we should begin to notice, especially in the morning, the first faint cooling down of late summer.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 3, 2015 at 8:40 AM

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