Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Aphanostephus skirrhobasis

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Aphanostephus skirrhobasis Bud Opening 5734

When I visited Bastrop County on June 4th I photographed this opening Aphanostephus skirrhobasis bud rising above the typical reddish earth of that area. If Aphanostephus skirrhobasis is too much of a mouthful, you can go with the rhyming common name lazy daisy.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 15, 2015 at 5:11 AM

29 Responses

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  1. Oh, lovely! Beautiful light and detail.

    Lemony (Gr)Egghead

    August 15, 2015 at 7:06 AM

  2. This is one of those images I could stare at and enjoy for a long time. It’s got that delicate, soft and “gentle” and even tender feel to it. I expect it to keep unfurling as I watch it.


    August 15, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    • I’ve never made any time-lapse videos, but it sounds like your imagination can go a long way toward creating one showing this little flower head unfurling. I was as happy to get this still image as you are to see it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 15, 2015 at 11:10 AM

  3. Languid lazy daisy and ever so beautiful, too.


    August 15, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    • That’s only the second time anyone has used the word languid in a comment here. Your alliterative languid and lazy do deftly describe the daisy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 15, 2015 at 11:18 AM

  4. In the process of deciphering Aphanostephus (I think it’s from the Greek aphanes, “obscure, inconspicuous, invisible”, and stephanos “a garland or crown”), I found myself pondering what fun it must have been over the centuries to name some of these plants.

    Perhaps that’s why so many plants have a multitude of common names: the pure enjoyment of the naming process. Not only that, there seems to be an unexpected connection between you and your subject here — at least etymologically!

    “Lazy daisy” was one of the first embroidery stitches I learned. It’s a simple chain stitch that’s often used for flowers, but I can guarantee none of my flowers ever rivaled this one.


    August 15, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    • The best source I have for such things, Shinners and Mahlers Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas, agrees that your etymology of the genus name seems the correct one. The book adds that the name would have been chosen in reference to the seed heads’ inconspicuous pappi. I’ll add a bit of etymology about Greek aphanes, which is a compound of a[n], meaning ‘not,’ and the root of the verb phainein, meaning ‘to show’ (as in fantasy, phantom, diaphanous, phenomenon, and other words). And of course you’re right about the extra connection to the photographer in this case (yay me).

      As in the parable of the blind men and the elephant, different people single out different things in a plant, and so there are often multiple common names for it. Ultimately (or from the outset), botanists are just people, too, and as a result there have often been various scientific names for a given species.

      Digital photography uses points finer than those in any stitch or piece of embroidery, but a good photographer has to be anything but lazy in sewing together a good image.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 15, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      • I think those who name plants should be most careful to avoid choosing ‘disease’-sounding words….skirrhobasis…really horrible for such a lovely plant!


        August 17, 2015 at 6:33 AM

  5. Beautiful photo with this perfect blurred background.


    August 15, 2015 at 1:42 PM

  6. Another tongue twister. Nicely done, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    August 15, 2015 at 6:55 PM

  7. So beautiful

    Raewyn's Photos

    August 15, 2015 at 7:47 PM

  8. The easy thing to say is simply ~ Lovely!
    (I know, it’s been awhile.)


    August 16, 2015 at 1:57 AM

    • Hi again, Lynda. It has been a while.
      I love these lovely little opening flower heads in the sunflower family.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 16, 2015 at 8:09 AM

  9. […] on the Fourth of July.) This time the warm background color came not from the earth, as it did in the photograph of the lazy daisy, but from some drying narrowleaf pinweed, Lechea tenuifolia, of which you’ll learn more next […]

  10. What a beautiful capture of this very stunning stage!

    Birder's Journey

    August 17, 2015 at 7:29 AM

  11. And those of us (me included, for sure) who won’t even attempt the “proper” name for this plant are grateful for a simple, memorable name like lazy daisy!

    Susan Scheid

    August 24, 2015 at 6:27 PM

    • Yes, let’s keep it as simple as lazy daisy. Did you know that the word daisy conceals a poetic metaphor? It began as the Old English phrase that is now ‘day’s eye.’

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 24, 2015 at 9:10 PM

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