Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A bluebell bud

with 29 comments

Bluebell Bud 9980A

Yesterday you saw a flower of Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum, a species known as bluebell, bluebell gentian, and prairie gentian. That July 29th picture came from land at the southeast corner of Dessau Rd. and Wells Branch Parkway on the Blackland Praire in northeast Austin. I’d stopped there the previous day, but only after photographing for a couple of hours elsewhere, so by then I was tired and didn’t stay long. Still, I did spend enough time on July 28th for a few photographs, including this abstract and elongated one showing the twists and counter-twists of a bluebell bud.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 8, 2014 at 5:56 AM

29 Responses

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  1. The sense of movement is remarkable, with the whorled bud leaning to the right and the slender sepals (??) leaning leftward. I especially like the way each little “hooked” end is facing a different direction, and the deeper colors of the background. It’s really amazing to see so much going on in a photo of a single bud.


    September 8, 2014 at 6:09 AM

    • I’ve looked in several books but haven’t found a statement of what those long “prongs” are. I’m tempted to say bracts, but I wish some source would confirm it. Whatever they are, you’re right that they provide a lot of visual interest, and they’ve fascinated me for years, as have bluebells in general.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 8, 2014 at 7:48 AM

  2. Steve, I’m delighted to see your close up. The compositions of this image tells a few stories about aesthetics and designs by Mother Nature. Well done.


    September 8, 2014 at 7:17 AM

  3. Gorgeous twirls; icecream like at the top. Right now our city bluebells are starting to look like this. http://www.proimagenz.com/keyword/bluebells/bluebells Not the same bluebells, of course.


    September 8, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    • That’s a good comparison to swirls and twirls of soft ice cream.

      From a distance your bluebells might pass for the the ones in Texas. Do you know what genus and species they are?

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 8, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      • Apparently they are English bluebells hyacinthoides non-scripta.


        September 8, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        • Interesting: Hyacinthoides is the genus in the presentation that Steve Gingold linked to below.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 8, 2014 at 8:54 PM

          • So it is. The presentation shows the Spanish bluebells but how one tells the difference I don’t know. They look so alike to me.


            September 8, 2014 at 9:40 PM

            • Looks can be deceiving, but if you speak English to the Spanish ones or Spanish to the English ones you get no reply.

              Steve Schwartzman

              September 8, 2014 at 9:52 PM

              • Ah, that’s an excellent method. Now all I need to do is learn some Spanish.


                September 8, 2014 at 10:00 PM

  4. Absolut schön!!!


    September 8, 2014 at 9:54 AM

  5. WOW!!

    George Weaver

    September 8, 2014 at 10:47 AM

  6. I’m sitting here at work, recovering from back-to-back laboratory sessions, and clicked into this post and the very first audible words out of my mouth were ‘OH WOW.’ This one should be classified among the best-of-Schwartzman-best images. Such color, such movement … a winning combination. D

    Pairodox Farm

    September 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    • Thanks, D. Yours is the second WOW in a row (and both written in all capitals). These are great buds to play with because of their shapes and colors, and you can tell I had fun.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 8, 2014 at 12:32 PM

  7. I have no idea who this guy is, but if you click through his presentation you will see that he agrees with you.http://prezi.com/jbkyfh-w4-ao/anatomy-of-a-bluebell/
    There is so much to like about this image, Steve. What others have said…plus…no eyes.

    Steve Gingold

    September 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    • He gives the anatomy of a different kind of bluebell (that’s the problem with common names), one that’s not in the same botanical family, but I’m hoping he’s still right about the structures in back being bracts.

      I’m glad you like this image, Steve, which is eyeless except for one of mine in conceiving it through the viewfinder.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 8, 2014 at 1:51 PM

  8. Sometimes it *is* nice to post twisted stuff.


    September 8, 2014 at 3:47 PM

  9. Stunning.

    Lisa Vankula-Donovan

    September 9, 2014 at 4:48 AM

  10. […] Schwartzman showed us a bluebell gentian bud, in north-east Austin, Texas, which prompted me to check out our bluebells in Little Hagley Park, […]

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