Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

American germander buds

with 33 comments

American Germander Buds 1857

American germander = Teucrium canadense.

June 10th: a shaded area along a tributary of Bull Creek.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 12, 2014 at 5:56 AM

33 Responses

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  1. So lovely. These closeups of wildflowers are incredible.


    August 12, 2014 at 6:07 AM

  2. This is such a lovely shot Steve…great green!

    Sid - The Wanderer

    August 12, 2014 at 6:19 AM

  3. So many shades of green! The background certainly complements the plant, and the photo as a whole reminds me a good bit of the subtle greens and whites of snow-on-the-mountain (and prairie, too, for that matter).

    The word “germander” seems so familiar, but I couldn’t find anything familiar, other than the name of the plant. Since I couldn’t find a good definition, I made one up. “Germander”: a verb meaning to wander or meander through the German countryside. “Hans germandered through the far reaches of the Black Forest.”


    August 12, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    • You’re right, and I could have called this photograph “Study in Green(s)” (which suddenly reminds me of A Study in Scarlet).

      That’s a clever definition you’ve come up with for germander. The word’s actual components, which you can see at


      are fascinating. The first is the same as in the first part of chamomile, and the second is related to druid.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2014 at 7:07 AM

      • The photo’s so striking I came back for a second look, and discovered something I had missed: the way the plant appears to be bending toward the source of the light. This is another photo that could grow on a person.


        August 12, 2014 at 7:45 AM

        • It was the curve into which the plant had grown that caught my attention, too. I can still picture the place where it was but I can no longer remember which direction I faced relative to the site. The sunlight seems to have come from behind and to the left of the way I was facing, but that would have been only temporary as the sun followed its course through the day. As a result, I don’t think that plant could have been responding directly to the light, but the curve lent itself to a good portrait.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 12, 2014 at 8:16 AM

  4. Lovely in monochrome.


    August 12, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    • You’ve suddenly reminded me that in the 1940s (or thereabouts, and probably earlier too) Hollywood produced some movies in sepia and white rather than the conventional black and white. I’m not aware of any films in green and white, but who knows? In the meantime you’ve got this still image.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2014 at 7:27 AM

  5. Love this elegant shot, showing how the plant arrays its buds around the stem. And green on green~very nice. That is something I’ve thought of trying but somehow I always find myself splashing in other colors. No restraint.
    I’m going germandering now….


    August 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    • Linda (shoreacres) will be happy to see you acting out her verb. I see that American germander is aptly named, growing as it does in all of the 48 contiguous states, so you can incorporate some real-live plants of this species into your germandering.

      I’ll take as much elegance as I can get, Melissa. I don’t think I was thinking about green on green when I took this picture—I was too busy trying to get various parts of the germander in focus—but the monochromatic look works well. In a similar way, maybe while you’re out germandering you’ll succeed in restraining your colorful impulses and do a monochromatic painting (not that there’s anything wrong with lots of colors).

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2014 at 1:04 PM

  6. So many wonderful shades of green….my favorite color. I also like the curve and the detail of the buds as they ride up the stalk.

    Unfortunately, unlike Linda and Melissa, the word that comes to my mind is “gerrymander”” which then leads me for no certain reason beside a similar sound to Jerry Mathers and “The Beav” and down the rabbit hole I go……. “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” 😎

    Steve Gingold

    August 12, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    • BTW, in case it isn’t obvious…I’ve had a very trying day. :mrgreen:

      Steve Gingold

      August 12, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      • If you’ve had a trying day, try, try again.

        Steve Schwartzman

        August 12, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        • Nooooooo! I ripped the back off our delivery truck in an underpass. I don’t think another attempt will be of any benefit. I have to take it in for assessment in the morning…..no low bridge or underpass between the shop and the shop. But we are expecting a deluge tomorrow and there is a big hole at the end of the truck. It’s tarped for overnight, but the tarp has to be removed for driving so the box will get soaked.
          Hopefully, tonight I will dream of Tansy or Thistle or Horse Nettle or Germander….anything but low bridges.

          By the by…spell-check doesn’t like “Germander” and suggested…..gerrymander.

          Steve Gingold

          August 12, 2014 at 6:40 PM

          • Uh oh, I thought you were joking about having had a trying day. Sorry.
            Spell-checker can be enough to give anyone a hard day.

            Steve Schwartzman

            August 12, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    • Happy favorite color to you, then. I think I did better with all these shades of green than I realized at the time.

      As for the name of this plant, Steve, you’re not alone in thinking of the word gerrymander. Check out the title I gave to a post about these plants last year:


      When I was a kid my family had a set of Alice in Wonderland records that included the song you quoted, which I can still hear in my head.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      • Great minds and all. I guess that was either before I started following or else I missed it…..maybe I was out buying a Big Gulp.

        Steve Gingold

        August 12, 2014 at 6:42 PM

  7. What a delicious green beauty! The details of your shots are stunning and intricate, it makes the encounter very up close and personal! Lovely!


    August 12, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    • I like your description of this as “a delicious green beauty.” Too bad germander isn’t edible (as far as I know). You’re not alone in using the phrase “up close and personal” to describe some of the photographs that have appeared here thanks to a good macro lens. Bringing things around to your domain: perhaps you can turn a plant like this into a design for one of your fanciful shoes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      • I have used flowers as inspiration for some of my shoes and this green beauty would make a lovely design, perhaps I will do just that!


        August 12, 2014 at 8:36 PM

  8. No problem, Steve.

    I am sure you realized that I meant deluge rather than deluxe.

    Steve Gingold

    August 12, 2014 at 7:45 PM

  9. The background fade is wonderful for accenting these buds in the foreground.


    August 20, 2014 at 7:42 AM

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