Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Apache plume really is in the rose family

with 23 comments

Apache Plume Flower 0061A

In case you’re having trouble believing that the plant you saw last time, the Apache plume with all the swirly strands, really is in the rose family, this picture of one of the plant’s flowers might convince you. Perhaps the paradoxa in the scientific name Fallugia paradoxa is a reflection of that surprising reality.

Like the previous photograph, this one comes from Petroglyph National Monument in northwest Albuquerque on September 23rd.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

23 Responses

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  1. Beautiful – looks like it was painted with light


    October 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    • Your comment reminds me that in 1839 Sir John Herschel used two Greek words to create the term photography, meaning ‘written with light.’

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2014 at 1:49 PM

  2. Apparently, a rose by another name is an Apache plume.

    Steve Gingold

    October 18, 2014 at 6:38 PM

  3. They look like tiny gemstones ! How do we shoot with background completely dark ? Was it originally so ?


    October 18, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    • The white of the flower in the sunlight was so much brighter than the background that the camera sensor rendered the background dark. There were some gray areas but I burned them in (I’m using the old film photography term) to make them match the predominant black.

      When there’s enough contrast between a brightly lit subject and a dark background, it’s possible for the background to be rendered black (or almost so), with no need for any further darkening. Here’s an example:


      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      • Thank you very much Steve.I will look into these concepts in more detail way and will try to use them some day.I am not sure if it will work with point and shoot camera but I will try.I didn’t know what a point-and-shoot camera means few months back,so you can know I am zero in basics.Thank you for explaining and giving me time 🙂


        October 18, 2014 at 11:17 PM

  4. This is so wonderful. I never imagined anything would nudge the white prickly poppy out of first place as my favorite white flower, but I may have to rethink that. The petals look almost starched, and the delicate shadows of the anthers and filaments (yes?) are exquisite. What a treat this one is.


    October 18, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    • Of the reasons you give for liking this so much, I think it must indeed be the shadows of the anthers and filaments (yes). that do it for you. The stamens of the white prickly poppy, which are short and stay clustered in a ball, don’t cast distinct shadows, so chalk your new liking up to individualism.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 19, 2014 at 8:11 AM

  5. Beautiful!


    October 18, 2014 at 10:32 PM

  6. your fotos inspire me.


    October 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM

  7. Well, ok, I believe you now 🙂


    October 18, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    • Your comment reminded me of mathematics, one goal of which is to prove that certain things, some of which seem implausible, are so.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 19, 2014 at 8:14 AM

  8. I was about to mention the flower in a comment on your previous post, then realised that you had already posted the beautiful bloom of the apache plume.


    October 19, 2014 at 4:20 AM

    • Sorry I didn’t leave you room
      To write of the beautiful bloom
      Of the desert’s Apache plume.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 19, 2014 at 8:17 AM

  9. ooohhhh !!!!!


    October 19, 2014 at 12:45 PM

  10. Stunning shot. 😍

    Raewyn's Photos

    October 20, 2014 at 12:58 AM

  11. i paused on the previous image and agreed – one could easily associate it with clematis, but i also believed you! it’s great to see this delicate version. z

    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    October 25, 2014 at 7:11 PM

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