Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bluebell gentian flower unrolling

with 12 comments

Opening Bluebell Flower with Hole in It 1991

Don’t know what it is with 2015, but I haven’t seen any bluebell gentians (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum) this year.* Last year on August 6th in far northeast Austin I photographed this unrolling bud that had caught my attention because of the prominent hole in one petal. I’ll anticipate your question and say that I don’t know what caused the hole itself and the rings around it.


* Two days ago I was pleasantly surprised to come across a few late bluebell flowers, but as I’d already prepared this post I decided to keep it in the lineup.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 12, 2015 at 5:03 AM

12 Responses

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  1. The sidelighting and soft cloudy sky background make for a nice portrait, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    August 12, 2015 at 5:40 AM

    • Not only sidelighting, but I had to lie on my side on the ground and aim somewhat upward to have soft clouds rather than junk behind the bluebell.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2015 at 6:32 AM

  2. In one of the best coincidences in the history of your blog, just yesterday Blue Bell trucks started rolling out of their Alabama plant. Ice cream lovers who’ve been in a fetal position since the plants closed started unrolling and coming alive, scanning the horizon for evidence that a local delivery was about to close the great hole in their life, and running rings around one another in excitement.

    It only adds to the fun that your gentian is almost exactly the color of the swirl that runs through Blue Bell’s Southern Blackberry Cobbler.


    August 12, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    • And look how you’ve cobbled together an unfolding Texas wildflower and the revival of a Texas ice cream brand. Well done with words.

      I haven’t noticed any capitalized Bluebells around here yet, but I expect I will the next time I’m in a supermarket. And maybe I’ll even find a few more of the floral variety before it’s too late in the season. The few I found two days ago were by a little pond outside of the Cedar Park Cotsco, which I don’t think carries Bluebell ice cream.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    • It is so much fun to read your comments, Linda!


      August 13, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    • I happened to walk down the ice cream aisle in my neighborhood H.E.B. supermarket last night but I saw no Bluebell there yet.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 13, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      • Here’s the scoop. Since only the Alabama plant is up and running at this point, the trucks are stocking distribution centers across the country as a first step. It’s a smart move. I don’t think Texans would be too pleased to have the first ice cream available only in Alabama.

        The Alvin center received its first shipment today, and there were plenty of people excited to see the trucks on Houston’s 610 Loop. The trucks have been sighted around Brenham, too. The ice cream will be in stores around mid-September, and H.E.B. is at the top of the list to receive the first shipments.

        I know entirely too much about this process.


        August 13, 2015 at 8:43 PM

        • Yes, I’d say you’ve gotten mildly obsessed with matters Bluebell. I like their coffee and Dutch chocolate flavors because they don’t contain artificial flavors and colors, things that I can be mildly obsessed about.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 13, 2015 at 8:51 PM

          • The truth is, I prefer Talenti gelato to Bluebell. But it’s such a good company, and they’ve treated their employees so well through all this, I’m excited to see them getting back in business, and I will do my part to support them with a purchase or two.


            August 13, 2015 at 8:57 PM

  3. […] In a recent post that used a picture from 2014 I mentioned my late-in-the-season find this year of a few bluebells, Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum. The flowers were down low, close to a creek or pond adjacent to the Costco in Cedar Park, a little bit of nature I’d been meaning to explore photographically for some time but finally got around to checking out. In fact I ended up photographing there three times in August, with this view being from my visit on the 11th of the month. The yellow in the background came from some flowers of partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata. […]

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