Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for July 5th, 2014


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Crested Coral Root Orchid 0151

Lurid: now that’s a word you probably never expected to find in reference to a native plant. Neither did I, but here’s what Joe Liggio and Ann Orto Liggio write in Wild Orchids of Texas as their first sentence for the entry on Hexalectris spicata var. spicata: “The brightly colored, even lurid, flowers of the crested coral root grow on a tall, leafless stalk of fleshy pink.”

In some parts of the world orchids are quite common, but I rarely get to see any in central Texas, so I was excited when Sue Wiseman e-mailed me near the end of May to say that she and some other native plant folks had found several crested coral root orchids growing in a little group along a trail in the Williamson County Southwest Regional Park. On June 2nd I went there and took a bunch of photographs, both by natural light and with flash; the picture you see here was one of the natural light portraits. Because these orchids tend to grow in the shade, I had to use a wide aperture, and that accounts for the overall softness of the parts of the plant other than the one flower I focused on. I hope you’ll agree that the effect works well here.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 5, 2014 at 5:58 AM

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