Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Later than usual

with 33 comments

Tiny Black Bee in White Prickly Poppy Flower 1356

August is too late for large quantities of white prickly poppies, Argemone albiflora, but there can still be stragglers, and in fact I was surprised to come upon one just last week. Back on August 5th at Brushy Creek Lake Park in the town of Cedar Park (on the same outing that brought you a photograph of Clematis and clouds) I’d come across the white prickly poppy shown here, which had attracted some tiny insects. They kept darting about on the flower’s stamens so I used a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec. to stop their motion.

Argemone albiflora is the only species of poppy native to the Austin area. Don’t you like the way all its yellow-orange stamens surround the lone red and velvety-looking stigma? This species of poppy also has very delicate petals, details of which I showed in a 2012 post. If you’re not familiar with white prickly poppies, you may also want to take a look at the intricate and fractal-like patterns in these plants’ leaves. And if you haven’t gotten link-happy by now, you can see one of these pristine white flowers serving as an emblem of resurgence after the devastating Bastrop wildfires of 2011.


Happy autumnal equinox tonight (Austin time), and may you all retain your equanimity.


I’m out of town for a while. Of course you’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if it takes me longer than usual to respond.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 22, 2014 at 5:51 AM

33 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Very pretty. A pity about the prickles, from my human point of view.


    September 22, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    • This plant and the eryngo you recently saw do, from the human point of view, have sharp points, but the risk in handling them is worth it for the pictures they provide.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 22, 2014 at 7:58 AM

  2. Bien centrée cette image. Toujours une belle lumière et de belles couleurs.


    September 22, 2014 at 6:29 AM

  3. As you know, I like everything about this flower, and I’ll never see too many photos of it. I’d forgotten the black and white treatment of the leaves, which still looks like frost to me. And the one taken at Bastrop is deeply touching. I’m glad to see the texture of the petals here, too. They always remind me of the white tissue paper that’s my cat’s favorite toy — after she’s spent a few days “processing” it.


    September 22, 2014 at 6:34 AM

    • The crinkly texture of the petals is one of many fine things about this plan, so I can understand why it’s among your favorites, and I feel the same way.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 22, 2014 at 9:34 PM

  4. Superb shot!
    Best regards, Dina


    September 22, 2014 at 6:35 AM

  5. Poppies are such fascinating plants. (To your question, “Don’t you like the way all its yellow-orange stamens surround the lone red and velvety-looking stigma?” my answer is unequivocally YES!)

    Susan Scheid

    September 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    • I’d expect nothing less than an unequivocal YES from a bearer of XX chromosomes, Susan, about all those worshipful stamens.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 22, 2014 at 10:21 PM

  6. Gorgeous capture – love the crinkly tissue-paper petals and that deep egg-yolk yellow centre. Is this related to the Romneya coulteri / Californian tree poppy? Looks a lot alike apart from the red stigma and no prickles!


    September 22, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    • I don’t think I’d heard of Romneya coulteri, so I looked it up and saw the resemblance of its flowers to those of the white prickly poppy. I also confirmed—as if the photograph I found hadn’t already done so—that Romneya is indeed in the poppy family.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 22, 2014 at 10:24 PM

  7. Absolutely beautiful poppy, I have never seen one like it! Love the paper quality of the white petals paired with yellow and red, so fragile, simple and elegant display!


    September 22, 2014 at 10:47 AM

  8. Beautiful! It also resembles the California Tree Poppy flower!


    September 22, 2014 at 11:27 AM

  9. I am having a hard time deciding if my thought is amazing plant or amazing photo…I do really like both.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    September 22, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    • I’d be happy to take some of the credit away from the amazing plant, Charlie. The insect is too tiny for me to want to take any credit away from it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 22, 2014 at 10:49 PM

  10. Beautiful. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    September 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

  11. Such a pretty flower. Hope your out of town trip is an enjoyable one


    September 22, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    • I’ve already seen some photogenic plants in New Mexico, Nora, but the weather hasn’t cooperated yet. My chance will come.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 22, 2014 at 10:51 PM

  12. Yes, those anthers look so soft and rich enveloping the stigma. It’s a lovely flower and the texture of the petals completes the package.

    Steve Gingold

    September 22, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    • I’m sorry you don’t have these in New England, Steve. I know you’d have fun playing with them (photographically if not tactilely).

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 22, 2014 at 10:53 PM

  13. stunning


    September 22, 2014 at 10:05 PM

  14. Five minutes to go until the equinox. I’m ready and I see that you are too. Bring it on!


    September 22, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    • I’m one time zone west of my usual one, so the equinox came an hour earlier according to the clocks here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 22, 2014 at 10:57 PM

  15. You’ve gone O’Keeffe on us with this one! Love it. Although I am late, I am full of equinimity. No wait. That would be horsey. You know what I mean…


    October 11, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    • By coincidence, at the time of this post I was off on a trip that ended up including at least two museums in the Southwest where I saw paintings by O’Keeffe. You’ve put me in good company. You’ve also put me in good spirits with your play on words: “equinimity.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2014 at 11:17 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: