Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A drizzle-drazzled droplet-dazzled view of a straggler daisy

with 37 comments

Straggler Daisy Flower Head with Drizzle-Dropped Funnel Web 8179

Click for larger size and therefore more detail.

The diminutive plant known as the straggler daisy, Calyptocarpus vialis, forms a natural ground cover in some parts of Austin. Here from the morning of March 17th in Great Hills Park is the little flower head of a straggler daisy with drizzle on it, along with much more sparkling drizzle on the spiderweb around it. To give you a sense of scale, I’ll add that a flower head in this species typically runs about a quarter of an inch (6mm) in diameter.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2016 at 5:01 AM

37 Responses

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  1. Say that 5 times really fast.


    March 30, 2016 at 6:28 AM

  2. I like the name. Big name for such a small flower and plant.

    Jim Ruebush

    March 30, 2016 at 6:51 AM

    • To the saying that big things come in small packages you’ve added the notion that little things can come with big names.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2016 at 7:18 AM

  3. Is this the plant I’ve been calling “horse herb”? One gardening lady told me “it’s a weed” – but I actually like it, prefer it over grass. 🙂


    March 30, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    • Yes, I’ve seen this plant referred to in some sources as horse herb. As a substitute for the grasses normally used in lawns, it requires less maintenance and produces more-noticeable flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    • You might enjoy this fact sheet from a Native Plant Society chapter. I’ve had it in my files since I first met this plant, and was trying to figure out what it could be.


      March 30, 2016 at 7:41 AM

      • That would be this fact sheet.


        March 30, 2016 at 7:42 AM

        • The fact that your fact sheet mentions this species growing as far south as central America makes me wonder if I ever saw it when I lived in Honduras so many years ago.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 30, 2016 at 7:55 AM

  4. I first met this one back in the days when I still considered everything not in a flower bed a “weed.” In fact, it surely was one of the first wild flowers I photographed. I first learned to call it lawn flower, and then was introduced to its other names.

    Whether by chance or by choice, this is quite common here as a ground cover, but I’ve never seen it looking as elegant as in your photo. The droplets look like a scattering of diamonds. That made me wonder if there was any plant with diamante in its name. The only one I found with a quick browse lives in Chile.


    March 30, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    • In spite of Thoreau’s admonition that in wildness is the preservation of the world, many people consider many wild plants, particularly those without showy flowers, to be weeds. I think straggler daisy colonies in your area (or any other) are much more likely to be there naturally than by choice. We had a fair amount of it growing naturally at our former house, and I’ve begun noticing some at our current house.

      Over the next few weeks I’ll be showing one and possibly two more pictures with prominent water droplets.

      I didn’t search for diamante but I did find some plants with diamond in their names:


      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2016 at 8:07 AM

  5. Lovely image Steve .. And such a tiny flower


    March 31, 2016 at 2:58 AM

  6. […] patches of ground blanketed with drizzle-bejeweled spiderwebs like the ones you saw last time surrounding a straggler daisy. Some of the webs had a noticeably dark funnel, and in one of those I glimpsed a spider waiting […]

  7. Bejeweled beauty 🙂

    • Alliteratedly so.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2016 at 7:52 AM

      • Stunned into just a few words 😉 I only figured it all out from reading your words about the cobweb! Absolute magic. Just love seeing serendipity at work in nature 🙂

        • Yay, magic! Being magically stunned is all right with me.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 2, 2016 at 10:21 PM

          • Stupefied!

            • After stunned and stupefied, the next stu- that popped into my head was studious. Many of the things we study are indeed astonishing. The word historian in me can’t resist pointing out that stun, astound, and astonish are etymologically just variants of the same word.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 3, 2016 at 8:48 PM

              • Stupefied came to mind as JK Rowling used the word Stupefy as the magical incantation to stun and immobilise an opponent. She was rather good at word play herself as a writer! Diagon Alley was always my favourite of hers 😉

                • You’ve reminded me that when I was a child there was a comic strip called Alley Oop:


                  The name seems to have been a cross-language pun, with the original presumably being French “Allez, hop,” an imperative meaning something like “Get going now.”

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 4, 2016 at 7:03 PM

                • It’s a phrase I remember being used a lot when you were getting onto something! Like a horse. My mum used to say it a lot but I now wonder if it’s something she learned from her own parents or from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band!! I have never heard it said by a French speaker though, so I guess it’s a bit of a dated term over there 😉 Allez allez is the usual. Another one my mum used to say was “hop to it” usually in reference to chores!

                • We can say “Hop to it” over here too, but not the “Hop it” I’ve heard in British movies that seems to mean “Get out of here.”

                  I searched and found examples, including recent ones, of “allez hop” in French:


                  Like you, I’ve heard “allez allez”.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 5, 2016 at 9:49 PM

                • They looked like text books or something! Yeah, hop it is a polite way to tell someone to p!$$ off. If I said it to any of today’s youth loitering in the village with the only intent of being annoying I’d probably be laughed at for using archaic (to them) English, followed by a string of less polite modern phraseology 😉

  8. The dewy sheet web adds an awful lot of interest to this already interesting little flower. I’ve seen a few posts on Facebook of early flowers here in the northeast, but have yet to see a wild one for myself. Daffs, croci, and a few other bulbs but no wild things.

    Steve Gingold

    April 2, 2016 at 6:07 PM

  9. […] I’d immediately followed up the recent consecutive posts showing drizzle drops around a straggler daisy and then around a funnel web spider, you might have thought I’d been dropped on my head. Now […]

  10. […] dark bird winging west. Oh, the world of illusions we live in. Casting the magic shadow spell was a straggler daisy plant, Calyptocarpus […]

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