Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Economical spiderwort

with 14 comments

Spiderwort Flowers and Buds at an Angle 7238

The nouns ecology and economy have as their first element the Greek noun oikos, meaning ‘household,’ so I’m playing with words in this post’s title because the spiderwort (Tradescantia* spp.) shown in today’s picture was one of a group that bloomed alongside our house at the beginning of the month. I also played with the perspective—neither horizontal nor vertical, neither upright nor sideways—when I photographed these flowers and buds on March 6. (That exemplifies point 10 in About My Techniques.)


*You came across the name Tradescant near the beginning of a post last week.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2016 at 5:08 AM

14 Responses

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  1. I appreciate your footnote about Tradescant in your previous post. You just saved me a “now, where did I come across that?” search.

    For whatever reason, things seem especially lush this spring. I commonly see large colonies of things like evening primrose, but when I was out last weekend, I saw blooming huisache everywhere, and ditches filled with spiderwort. I’ve come to enjoy the jumble of spiderwort buds and blooms, and this is a great view of them.

    The perspective is unusual, too. It occurs to me we could say you take an ecumenical approach to photographic techniques: in the sense that you’re willing to draw on the whole world of what’s available.


    March 22, 2016 at 6:10 AM

    • I’ve always thought Tradescant a strange name but haven’t found an authoritative source tracing its origin. A Wikisource article says that the name “occurs as Tradeskin or Tredeskin at Walberswick, Suffolk, in 1661.”

      I’ve noticed that species vary in their lushness from year to year, especially if you take location into account. For example, a stretch of Highway 71 west of Austin that I drove yesterday was better last year. In contrast, TX 29 east of Llano was about as good for wildflowers as last year. In any case, I’m heartened to hear that the land near you is lush. I’ve been seeing flowering huisaches here in good numbers; most of them just took a few weeks longer to get started than the one I showed here last month.

      I’ll gladly accept being called ecumenical.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2016 at 7:44 AM

  2. Gorgeous shot!


    March 22, 2016 at 6:52 AM

  3. Very pretty – the color is jewel-like


    March 22, 2016 at 7:12 AM

  4. Nice. One of my favorite garden flowers that grows along our driveway and an annual subject.

    Steve Gingold

    March 22, 2016 at 6:02 PM

  5. Pretty flowers expertly captured. Loving these colors too!


    March 22, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    • Nora (above) found the color similar to that of amethyst.

      This is one time when I didn’t have to go anywhere to find wildflowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2016 at 8:28 AM

  6. I like the diagonal approach to this image – it feels right. A very pretty flower (I don’t remember coming across it in the UK) and a superb, pin-sharp image.


    March 23, 2016 at 3:09 AM

    • I’m glad to hear the diagonal composition resonates with you. These flowers can be hard to photograph close-up because parts of them are at different distances. I used a flash so I could get a smaller aperture and greater depth of field.

      According to the article at


      Tradescantia is a New World genus but some of its members have been spread to other parts of the world.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2016 at 8:52 AM

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