Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Halberdleaf rosemallow

with 40 comments

Halberdleaf Rosemallow Flower Base 2290

On August 26th I photographed this halberdleaf rosemallow flower, Hibiscus laevis, that had been planted alongside the pond behind the Central Market on North Lamar (the same place that yielded the recently shown photograph of a dragonfly on a horsetail). This species of mallow is native in various parts of east Texas and grows as close to Austin as two counties away.

After two days of poison ivy, I expect today’s post will come as a relief to many of you.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2015 at 5:36 AM

40 Responses

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  1. I just looked at my photo of this same species, taken in High Island. It shows the crepe-papery petals, the deep rose center, and an abundance of pollen, but it also looks exactly like hundreds of other photos I brought up with an image search. It’s pretty, but pedestrian.

    Your willingness to get down and dirty for the sake of views like this is deeply appreciated. Putting your rose mallow and my rose mallow next to one another on the screen provides a pretty good photography lesson.


    October 1, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    • If getting down and dirty were the worst of it, I’d be happy. Two days ago some of my pictures came at the cost of a couple of run-ins with fire ants, and last week it was chiggers and mesquite thorns. The eyes of Texas may be upon you, but the marks of those other things are still upon me.

      That’s what I get for being a pedestrian in nature, but I try to make my photographs less pedestrian by sometimes choosing unfamiliar vantage points and angles. I like this abstract view, though I recognize that someone who saw only this image would come away with an imperfect and misleading idea of a what a halberdleaf rosemallow flower looks like. Teacher that I am, I nevertheless claim art and not botany here. Thanks for your appreciation.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2015 at 7:26 AM

  2. How beautiful. Like an art deco glass lampshade.


    October 1, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    • It would make a good lampshade, wouldn’t it? I give you leave to craft one like this.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2015 at 8:14 AM

      • Oh, Steve, I wish I was that creative – nature throws us so many interesting shapes, textures and patterns. Sadly my only creativity lies in photography and gardening.


        October 1, 2015 at 10:45 AM

        • That’s certainly not a talent I have, either. If you encounter any lampshade makers who might be interested, please send them my way.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 1, 2015 at 2:11 PM

  3. Beautiful perspective. (I’m sorry for your chiggers. Persistent little rascals.)


    October 1, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    • Persistent rascals they are, and for much of the year here, unfortunately. I don’t let them stop me, but I sometimes suffer afterwards.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2015 at 3:00 PM

  4. Wow, a really lovely shot. I like this abstract view a lot. So sorry the slings and arrows of nature are upon you…


    October 1, 2015 at 10:46 AM

    • You know my fondness for abstraction. That makes me wonder to what extent you’ve leaned toward the abstract in any of your paintings.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2015 at 3:01 PM

      • I seem to resist it. The one on my easel right now was intended to be an abstract, but it galloped away with me, bit in its teeth, and is going to be a full landscape. sigh. However there is hope~my daughter told me yesterday she wants to be an abstract painter. I’ll keep you posted 🙂


        October 2, 2015 at 9:25 AM

  5. Hey, I liked the interesting detail in the poison ivy shots…I really enjoyed the gorgeous colors in today’s shot.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    October 1, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    • Poison ivy doesn’t have the natural constituency among people that pretty wildflowers do, but like any plant it has its intricacies and unique properties. I’m glad you found some things to like in both areas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2015 at 6:29 PM

  6. Lovely aspect!

    • Your second word reminded me of Byron’s poem:

      She walks in beauty, like the night
      Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
      And all that’s best of dark and bright
      Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
      Thus mellowed to that tender light
      Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

      One shade the more, one ray the less,
      Had half impaired the nameless grace
      Which waves in every raven tress,
      Or softly lightens o’er her face;
      Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
      How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

      And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
      So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
      The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
      But tell of days in goodness spent,
      A mind at peace with all below,
      A heart whose love is innocent!

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2015 at 6:31 PM

  7. Wow, a sunrise within a flower blossom!


    October 1, 2015 at 5:32 PM

  8. A unique design taken by a unique viewpoint! Well done! 🙂


    October 1, 2015 at 5:57 PM

  9. Stunning composition!

    Birder's Journey

    October 1, 2015 at 8:43 PM

  10. So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
    The smiles that win, the tints that glow, To quote your Byron again, these lines sum up your photo, the sight of which leaves my mind at peace.


    October 2, 2015 at 6:00 AM

    • The view from below, with the flower as a parasol, denied the gaudy light of day, and so the tints that glow have left your mind at peace—which is a good place to be.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 2, 2015 at 6:28 AM

  11. What beauty Steve!

    Maria F.

    October 2, 2015 at 12:33 PM

  12. Lovely and with the Schwartzman blue just peeking in the edges.

    Steve Gingold

    October 2, 2015 at 1:15 PM

  13. Stunning!


    October 2, 2015 at 5:53 PM

  14. That is just beautiful! A wow shot. I laughed when I read about the ‘no poison ivy’.


    October 3, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    • For lots of people in the United States, poison ivy is no laughing matter, alas, so this picture of the mallow would indeed be a welcome change of subject for them. I’ve been fortunate never to have had a reaction to poison ivy, and I expect to keep it that way.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 3, 2015 at 7:39 PM

      • Oh dear sorry I didn’t mean anything disrespectful .. And yes I so enjoyed the mallow pic


        October 3, 2015 at 7:45 PM

        • And I didn’t mean to suggest that in my reply, either, Julie. I didn’t take your comment disrespectfully at all. I was just springboarding off the word laughing and giving you more information about this plant that I assumed you wouldn’t know much about over there.

          I hope you’ll get to see one of these lovely mallows in person someday.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 3, 2015 at 7:53 PM

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