Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Another December wildflower

with 19 comments

Clematis drummondii Flower Opening 0686

Another wildflower I saw this month was Clematis drummondii, known colloquially as old man’s beard because of the wispy strands this vine’s fertilized flowers produce. Here I looked down at a bud that was opening along the margin of Great Northern Blvd. in north-central Austin on December 3 at the same time as quite a few bush sunflowers were doing their floral thing there too.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 23, 2014 at 5:27 AM

19 Responses

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  1. Beautiful things are always a gift, of course, but somehow more so when not expected.


    December 23, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    • I agree with you that this Clematis blooming so late in the year makes it more valuable. It’s quite a versatile species, and while it produces the greatest number of flowers in the spring and summer, I have seen if flowering in December in previous years, too, even if, as here, in small quantities. Still, I wasn’t expecting to see any of these flowers, so I’m glad I did.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 23, 2014 at 11:55 AM

  2. Gorgeous, Steve!
    Our best wishes for a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
    God jul!
    Dina, Klausbernd, Siri & Selma


    December 23, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    • And the same to all of you, Dina.

      I’m tempted to add that I often talk to Siri, but you can guess that I’m referring to the Siri that lives in my iPhone.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

  3. Another stunning photo. Merry Christmas to you and a prosperous New Year. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    December 23, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    • A change in viewpoint—in this case a look straight down at the opening bud—can make quite a difference.

      Many people speak Spanish in Texas, so I’ll wish you Feliz Navidad y un próspero año nuevo (which is what you wished me).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

  4. The muted colors and the rain (dew?) drops make this one even more special. It’s amazing that those tight, solid little buds give way to such flowing beauty.

    Speaking of Old Man’s Beard, I wonder if anyone has spotted an example of Clematis clausius this year? (I just couldn’t help myself…)


    December 23, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    • There was a very fine drizzle that morning, the cumulative effect of which was the drops you see here (and another effect was that after a while I had to stop photographing because I was worried about my camera getting too wet).

      The Clematis clausius is great. I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it first.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 23, 2014 at 6:52 PM

  5. I hope you never run out of these! This time of year I really need to see your flowers!


    December 23, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    • This picture is from three weeks ago, Terry, but even with cool weather I’m still seeing some wildflowers around town and will bring you another one as soon as tomorrow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 24, 2014 at 7:32 AM

  6. An unusual and beautiful picture with the many tiny details (such as the hairs) and the odd shapes. And of course the droplets set it off. It really caught my attention as I scrolled down my WordPress Reader.


    December 23, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    • I appreciate your appreciation, Jane, and for letting me know how the picture caught your attention as you scrolled down your WordPress Reader. With those little hairs that you noticed, I think the plant is already practicing for the bearded state that is its destiny. The drops of water had accumulated from the fine drizzle that was still coming down while I worked, and that eventually led me to stop out of concern that my camera was getting too wet.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 24, 2014 at 7:45 AM

  7. Interesting and very unique…I am always looking for suggestions that will catch your eye for my garden.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    December 23, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    • Whether this species could survive so far from its homeland, I don’t know, but I imagine someone has tried the experiment.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 24, 2014 at 8:16 AM

  8. Quite different in appearance than those that climb the support in our yard. Tight buds are so intriguing and full of promise.

    Steve Gingold

    December 24, 2014 at 3:37 AM

  9. Bejeweled 🙂 Have a great Christmas and New Year, Steve!

    Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

    December 24, 2014 at 5:05 PM

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