Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two antelope-horns flowers

with 17 comments

Tiny Beetle on Antelope-Horns Flowers 3206

The most widespread milkweed in Austin is Asclepias asperula, commonly called antelope-horns. Here’s a closeup of two flowers on a flower globe of this species, along with a tiny two-toned beetle. In that last sentence I’ve played up the number two, but you can see that milkweeds inherently do things in fives.

This picture is from the Smith Memorial Trail in northwest Austin on April 29th.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 1, 2014 at 5:55 AM

17 Responses

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  1. Lovely to see a close-up of the horned flower. Mmmm…now I am trying to imagine an even-toed, 5 horned antelope.


    June 1, 2014 at 6:50 AM

    • Your comment suddenly reminded me of a novelty song that was popular in 1958 and that talked about a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people-eater:

      I think I’ll stay with the milkweed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2014 at 7:01 AM

  2. Our local species is growing. But it is not close to flowering. Wikipedia says there are 140 species.

    Jim in IA

    June 1, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    • There’s that telling difference in latitude again. The antelope-horns here are finished flowering (which reminds me that I should keep my eyes open for some pods now). From what you say, you have some pretty flowering to look forward to.

      We have seven species of Asclepias in Travis County (the county that includes Austin), plus some other genera in the milkweed family.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2014 at 7:34 AM

  3. Nice close-up image!


    June 1, 2014 at 8:12 AM

  4. A lovely photo and a timely reminder to go looking for Asclepias tuberosa, aka Butterfly milkweed. I’m positive I saw it in ditches here last year, but before I snapped to and went back to check it out, the flowers had disappeared and I couldn’t find the stands. It’s shown in both Galveston and Chambers county — also Travis.


    June 1, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    • Some years ago I found (and photographed) Asclepias tuberosa growing in your part of the state, specifically at the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge:


      Years ago I also photographed a wasp on Asclepias tuberosa at Bastrop State Park. People cultivate the plant in Austin, for its own sake and for the sake of monarchs, but I don’t think I’ve ever been fortunate enough to find it growing in the wild here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2014 at 9:50 AM

  5. These are beautiful!


    June 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM

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