Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Hudson flax

with 36 comments

Hudson Flax Flowers 2382

Another wildflower I saw when I stopped along TX 29 a little east of Llano on April 7th was Hudson flax, Linum hudsonioides, which makes its debut here today.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 1, 2015 at 5:21 AM

36 Responses

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  1. Such a vibrant wildflower! This one would be hard to miss. Many of the wildflowers where I live are quite small, pastel coloured and delicate looking. We do have many bright, colourful and interesting blooms on our trees and shrubs though.


    May 1, 2015 at 5:53 AM

    • We have our share of small and delicate wildflowers too. I’d say Hudson flax might even be considered in that group (or at least closer to it than to the paintbrushes and bluebonnets of the previous post, because this closeup makes the flowers seem larger than they are: their actual size is about three-quarters of an inch across, or 18mm.

      No question that Australia has some great and ornate flowers. I was sorry that during my one and only visit there, which was for a wedding, I didn’t have more time to pursue your fabulous flora.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2015 at 7:58 AM

  2. Fragility is a remarkable strength in the land of opportunity. ~Y. Alvarado


    May 1, 2015 at 10:11 AM

  3. Another one that’s new to my experience. How delicate and lovely!


    May 1, 2015 at 11:55 AM

    • This is primarily a Texas species, Gary, so I’m not surprised you haven’t run across it till now (vicariously through this post).

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2015 at 4:53 PM

  4. This blog earned a Bean Pat as blog pick of the day. Check it out at: http://patbean.wordpress.com

    Pat Bean

    May 1, 2015 at 12:47 PM

  5. Great photo. You do have a lot of wildflowers in Texas

    Raewyn's Photos

    May 1, 2015 at 6:04 PM

    • That we do, no question about it: so many that I spent more than four hours photographing them yesterday and a similar amount of time again today.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2015 at 7:50 PM

  6. This debut certainly receives high praise. Lovely rich deep colors that complement each other so well.

    Steve Gingold

    May 1, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    • Thanks. Although I’ve photographed this species from time to time, I’d say this is the most effective view I’ve managed to get. You can form an idea of the botanical richness of central Texas from the fact that after almost four years of posting, I’m still able to show new species from time to time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2015 at 7:48 PM

  7. I can’t get over the striations radiating out from the center. Lots of flowers have different colors in the center, of course, but I don’t remember seeing anything quite this sharp. The colors remind me of West Africa. It’s the sort of combination often seen there, especially in Kente and Fante cloth from Ghana.


    May 2, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    • I’ve wondered if those red lines radiating out from the center might serve to attract pollinators into that polleny center.

      As for the colors in your linked picture, you may have heard me say that I wish Americans dressed as colorfully. According to the Wikipedia article at


      “Legend has it that kente was first made by two Akan friends who went hunting in an Asanteman forest found a spider making its web. The friends stood and watched the spider for two days then returned home and implemented what they had seen.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2015 at 5:12 AM

      • Here’s a tongue-in-cheek version for our day.

        “Two hipsters went into the forest to take selfies to impress their friends. They never saw the spider making its web, because they were fixated on their smartphones. When they walked into the web, they tore it down, saying, “Totes gross!” They looked around to see if they could find the spider, to take its photo, but after a minute they became bored. They returned home, and told people there was nothing to see in the forest. Meanwhile, the spider returned and spent two days rebuilding her resplendent, multi-colored web.”

        The end.


        May 3, 2015 at 7:21 AM

        • I see you’ve been observing people around you: hard to miss them these days, I’m sorry to say. Spanish has a good word to describe such a person: ensimismado, literally in+oneself+ed. I don’t know if “You’re so inyourselfed” will catch on in English, but we can already say “You’re so into yourself” or “You’re so full of yourself.”

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 3, 2015 at 7:30 AM

          • There’s a title in my draft file, waiting for a post: “Me, My Selfie, and I”


            May 3, 2015 at 7:47 AM

            • That’s an excellent title. I’ll wait to see what text you put under it.

              Steve Schwartzman

              May 3, 2015 at 7:51 AM

              • It’s only taken a year and a half, but the text — and photos — are in process.


                November 6, 2016 at 10:37 AM

                • I’m impressed that you remembered this conversation from a year and a half ago.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  November 6, 2016 at 10:45 AM

                • It’s really not that impressive, since I’ve had the title in my drafts file all this time, waiting for the time to be right. I’ve learned that when something is good, it’s best to keep it around, so that I don’t forget it.


                  November 6, 2016 at 11:01 AM

  8. Very, very nice images. Thank so much!

  9. Another wonderful shot ! I love the center, it is really pretty and so regular. It’s crazy what nature can do.


    May 4, 2015 at 11:47 AM

  10. So of course, living in the Hudson Valley, I’m curious about the name “Hudson flax.”

    Susan Scheid

    May 6, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    • The species name hudsonioides means ‘resembling Hudsonia. I looked up Hudsonia and found that it’s a North American genus with three species. Then I found an old book online that says the genus name was a tribute to William Hudson, F.R.S. Next I looked up F.R.S. and found that it’s an initialism for “Fellow of the Royal Society.” The Wikipedia article at


      identifies William Hudson as an 18th-century British botanist, so unfortunately for you there’s no connection to the Hudson Valley. However, the species Hudsonia ericoides, as I learned from the Wikipedia article at


      grows (among other places) in the Long Island pine barrens.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 6, 2015 at 7:29 PM

  11. This is an exquisite photo, Steve. Aren’t the rays pretty? So sunny.


    May 14, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    • Sunny, yes, in contrast to the days since the posting date that have been unmitigatedly overcast, drizzly, and rainy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 14, 2015 at 10:18 AM

  12. And look, I made it into May!


    May 14, 2015 at 10:02 AM

  13. […] held that opinion from the beginning of the craze. In May of 2015, during a conversation about vibrantly-colored clothing, Steve Schwartzman referenced an old story about the origin of […]

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