Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

And still another wildflower in winter

with 24 comments

Clematis drummondii Flower 1295

Above is a flower of Clematis drummondii, which I photographed along Great Northern Blvd. on December 23rd of last year. From the same place and time—to within a few feet and minutes—you’ll find below (and seen from below) the silky strands produced by fertilized female flowers of this species. Eventually those strands turn duller, and in that stage they account for the common name of this vine, old man’s beard.

Clematis drummondii Turned Silky 1308

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 8, 2016 at 4:56 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Beautiful color and definition.


    January 8, 2016 at 5:56 AM

    • I’ve more often photographed the stage shown in the second photograph than the one in the first.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 8, 2016 at 6:06 AM

  2. Another wildflower but one of my favourites.


    January 8, 2016 at 6:18 AM

    • The flower per se or what it becomes—or both? I’ve been fixated mostly on the post-flower stages.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 8, 2016 at 6:26 AM

  3. If that stretch of Great Northern Blvd. can provide these clematis, too — well, you’re lucky, indeed. When I was prowling Kerr and Medina counties last fall, I found an enormous spread of these overgrowing a fenceline and other bushes. Most had turned fluffy, but there were a few flowers still in the silky stage of your first photo, and I was pleased to be able to get a photo of them.

    I’ve never been able to pinpoint what the earlier stage reminds me of, but this morning it came to me: bean sprouts.


    January 8, 2016 at 7:58 AM

    • That’s good, I can see bean sprouts now too. Too bad Clematis flowers aren’t edible (as far as I know, anyhow).

      As fond as I am of the natural fringe along Great Northern Blvd., in the interest of fairness I have to say that I find Clematis drummondii in many places around Austin. In fact, just as you saw some in Kerr and Medina counties, I saw some in Big Bend. “Ubiquitous” is too strong a word for it, but the plant sure is common in certain areas.

      Now that you’ve experienced and photographed this vine for yourself, perhaps you have plans to make the species the subject of a future post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 8, 2016 at 9:11 AM

      • There are plans, as a matter of fact. While the clematis won’t be the protagonist, it certainly will be part of the supporting cast when I write about the good Mr. Drummond.


        January 9, 2016 at 7:17 AM

  4. I can see the beansprout allusion but that isn’t what it reminds me of. I stared at it and can’t quite place it but it is really nice, focused on like this. A star in its own right.


    January 8, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    • Like you, in the flower I see a three-dimensional asterisk of sorts. We think of flowers as having petals, but this kind doesn’t.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 8, 2016 at 9:17 AM

  5. ¡Qué maravilla! La segunda fotografía me gusta especialmente.

  6. They sure are pretty. In another six months they’ll be blooming here too.


    January 8, 2016 at 9:25 PM

  7. Our clematis is pretty sere and the flowers have dried to tight brown clusters of fiber at this late stage of the year…actually early per the calendar. We have a few native Clematis in N.E. but I have yet to photograph one.

    Steve Gingold

    January 10, 2016 at 5:56 AM

    • By December the Clematis drummondii flowers are usually done for the season, but the lack of a freeze (which has continued this far into January) let them continue. I’m looking forward to someday seeing a native Clematis of yours, as you are too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2016 at 6:23 AM

  8. Stunning photo.


    January 10, 2016 at 12:54 PM

  9. Very delicate ..


    January 10, 2016 at 3:26 PM

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