Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

First southern dewberry flower of the season

with 27 comments

Southern Dewberry Flower 5861

On February 22nd at the Arbor Walk Pond I saw my first southern dewberry flower, Rubus trivialis, for 2016. As was true for some other species you’ve seen here recently, this wildflower was putting in an early appearance: typically southern dewberry begins blooming in March.

UPDATE: I finally figured out what this flower has been reminding me of. It may seem far-fetched, but I’m reminded of the white-shirted man in Goya’s painting “El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 4, 2016 at 4:58 AM

27 Responses

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  1. There’s nothing, at all, trivial about this beautiful bloom. D

    Pairodox Farm

    March 4, 2016 at 6:46 AM

    • Well said. English has added a negative sense to trivial, but the original Latin idea was ‘like one road [via] T-ing into another,’ which is a ‘commonplace’ occurrence. (Each part of the intersected via counted as a road, hence the ‘three.’) Southern dewberry is indeed commonplace in this part of Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2016 at 7:50 AM

  2. Your photo’s crisper, with more detail in the petals and more pronounced “crinkle” in the petals, but I found my first ones on February 26, and have an image that’s amazingly similar to this one: right down to the placement of the shadows. They’re such pretty flowers, and have a practical purpose, too. They make it easier to spot the brambles and stay out of them: or, at least, not sit on them. (Lesson learned, there.)

    I’ve seen them along the railroad tracks in Kemah, at my local nature center, and at the Brazoria wildlife refuge. It may be early, but they’re here, and abundant. I’ve been meaning to mention that I saw Indian paintbrush last weekend, along with a few Gaillardia, plenty of deer vetch, and Carolina wolfberry (Lycium carolinianum). It’s a good thing I snapped to, and decided it was time to get out and about. Spring’s here.


    March 4, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    • I’m happy to hear about the coincidence in compositions between the two photographs. Earlier this morning I noticed that the petals in this picture not only form a cross but also suggest a ghostly figure with outstretched arms.

      As for the ubiquitous brambles, the pad that I carry with me helps ward them off.

      Jumping ahead in the season, I was reminded by your mentioning places in your area that once, more than a decade ago, we were approaching Houston on US 290 and saw people gathering dewberries on the side of the highway.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2016 at 8:14 AM

    • Over by the coast you’re ahead of us with your paintbrushes and Indian blankets, but no matter how we look at it spring has sprung, and it’s good that you sprang into action.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    • I saw my first (and only) Gaillardia flower head of the season yesterday.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2016 at 6:33 AM

      • And after a week of sunshine, I saw my first pink evening primrose at the Brazoria Wildlife Reserve on Sunday. They were few, and scattered, but there they were. I dithered about them for a while, because they were larger than I’ve seen, and veined with a deeper pink. Maybe they just were showing off, because they were the first.

        What I didn’t see was mosquitos. I ended up spending the whole day there, hiking as many paths as I could manage. I figured by the time this next batch of rain comes through, it’s not going to be so pleasant down by the sloughs. I can deal with mud, but I’m not so fond of clouds of marsh mosquitos.


        March 8, 2016 at 1:12 PM

        • I saw my first pink evening primrose here on February 22 on the same outing to the Arbor Walk Pond that produced my first picture of a southern dewberry flower. Quite a few of both flowers are coming out in Austin now.

          For much of the year I can’t stay in my yard for more than a few minutes because of the mosquitoes, but I spent a while taking pictures alongside my house on Sunday and had to shoo away just one mosquito. That won’t last long, especially given today’s rain. Give me mud over mosquitoes any time.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 8, 2016 at 1:40 PM

  3. Very beautiful!


    March 4, 2016 at 11:27 PM

  4. Simply perfect.


    March 5, 2016 at 5:38 AM

  5. Reminds me of an apple flower. Isn’t it fun to get reacquainted with spring flowers?

    Steve Gingold

    March 7, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    • Yes, I think of them as old friends. But then I think of each season’s wildflowers that way because down here we don’t have that long flowerless winter that you do which makes the spring stand out more than any other season.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2016 at 3:41 PM

      • Yes, without winter how boring would spring be? Well, not boring at all but the cold being gone and the return of warmth and green is more special.

        Steve Gingold

        March 7, 2016 at 3:50 PM

        • When I lived in Honduras I experienced a place with no seasons. People who grow up without seasons don’t miss the changes.

          I forgot to mention in reply to your first comment that apples are in the same botanical family as dewberries, hence the resemblance of their flowers.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 10, 2016 at 9:27 AM

  6. Beautiful bokeh on this one Steve.

    Maria F.

    March 7, 2016 at 7:16 PM

  7. Lovely, lovely. Such pretty, plain little whites! Growing them in my yard this year. May as well pick ’em where I live rather than going to FIND them.


    March 10, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    • We’re still hunter-gatherers when it comes to dewberries but we plan to hunt down and gather a good harvest later this spring. We hope your cultivation works out and that you’re berry happy later in the season.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2016 at 9:22 AM

      • We have our favorite spots too for wild dewberries, but some of the better more productive picking fields near us were traded for house seeds instead. :/


        March 10, 2016 at 11:03 AM

        • Your comment inspired me to fantasize a seed that we can plant and have it grow into a house.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 10, 2016 at 2:09 PM

          • The development apparently has a patent on them as they are replacing woodlands, wetlands, and prairies at a break-neck pace. Perhaps they have a few extra to spare…


            March 10, 2016 at 2:20 PM

            • It would be nice if you could gather up a free house as easily as you gather dewberries.

              Steve Schwartzman

              March 10, 2016 at 2:34 PM

              • Dream on, Tiger.


                March 10, 2016 at 2:39 PM

                • I took one year of German in high school and I remember a saying we learned: Es ist alles möglich, Everything is possible.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  March 10, 2016 at 2:57 PM

  8. […] UPDATE: I’ve added a fanciful addition to the end of the recent post showing a southern dewberry flower. […]

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