Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rosy purpe and pale lavender

with 7 comments

Most of the Ammannia plants I found on August 6th at the edge of a pond on the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin had flowers of a rosy purple color:

Ammannia Flower Close 1563

A few of the plants, however, had flowers that were so pale a violet color as to seem almost white:

Ammannia with Pale Flowers 1577

These plants might be a different Ammannia species, A. robusta. If so, then I’ve doubled my fun by finding two species that were new to me at the same time.

Note once again the yellow flowers of Ludwigia octovalvis in the background.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman


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 25, 2014 at 5:23 AM

7 Responses

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  1. Interesting petal placement, there is actually a large space between the petals and that is unusual for me. I love it that.


    September 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM

  2. Did you say that this is sometimes called “Seedbox”? I seem to recall coming across that in an Illinois guidebook, only here it is a rather violent yellow. I like this one much better. Isn’t it fun to come across a new species?


    September 25, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    • It isn’t the Ammannia that’s sometimes called seedbox but the Ludwigia, whose bright yellow flowers you can see in the background in today’s picture.

      Yes, I’m always excited when I find a species that’s new to me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 25, 2014 at 11:37 PM

  3. It would be interesting to know if they are subspecies with the differing color. I have several plants of Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) which varies between blue and purple and, as I have discovered in my yard, occasionally very pale blue or almost white depending on how brightly it is lit by the sun. According to Go Botany, of the New England Wildflower Society, all three are still the one singular species.

    Steve Gingold

    September 25, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    • Apparently it can be hard to distinguish among the several Ammannia species, and as I’ve seen these plants only once, I’m afraid I don’t know enough to form an opinion about subspecies. This is one of those times I wish I knew a lot more botany.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 25, 2014 at 11:41 PM

  4. I kept looking and looking at Ammannia, and finally figured out why it was resonating so. It reminded me of another word which isn’t related, but the coincidence is interesting.

    If I’ve got this right, Ammannia is named for Paul Ammann (1634–1691), director of the medical garden at the University of Leipzig.

    The Amana Colonies, very close to my home town and close to where Jim lives, were given that name because no one in Iowa could pronounce the original German name the colonists wanted to use: Bleibetreu, German for “remain faithful.” Amana, an Old Testament word that means “perennial,” was close enough, so the Amana Colonies they became.

    The flowers certainly are perennial, and the Colonies still are around, so it’s at least a nice way for me to remember the scientific name of the flower.


    September 26, 2014 at 9:51 PM

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