Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two prairies

with 13 comments

Prairie Bishop's Weed and Prairie Verbena Flowering 8635

The two prairies referred to in the title are prairie bishop’s weed, Bifora americana, and prairie verbena, Glandularia bipinnatifida, which I found flowering together on March 20 in the area along Yaupon Dr. that produced the pictures you recently saw of corn salad.

For a much closer and more inviting look at prairie bishop’s weed flowers, be sure to check out a post from 2012.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 2, 2016 at 4:56 AM

13 Responses

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  1. I am becoming increasingly interested in pairings like this natural bouquet. I know this isn’t a very elevated comment, but isn’t it pretty?


    April 2, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    • I’m glad to hear from another person who favors pairings. I might have mentioned that one of the photo books I conceived has the working title Combinations. Every picture would have at least two kinds of wildflowers in it. Given the number of native species we have here, many thousands of combinations exist, though some occur much more commonly than others, what with the differing bloom times.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2016 at 3:08 PM

      • That is a spectacular idea. I hope you pursue it.


        April 4, 2016 at 9:21 AM

        • I plan to, but given the cost of color reproduction on paper I’ll most likely have to settle for a digital edition, which I know you’re not fond of. My attempts a few years ago to interest publishers never panned out, though that was long enough ago now that maybe I should try again.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 4, 2016 at 9:29 AM

  2. That’s the prettiest purple in the world — and how interesting that it has those touches of turquoise. I’m becoming more aware of how much color variation there is in these plants: even in the same species. I saw what I’m sure was prairie verbena today, but it was closer to magenta. There were some usually pink evening primrose that appeared to be pure white, and of course the Indian paintbrush can run the gamut from deep reds to coral to orange. Spiderwort’s another. Some are that clear purple, and others tend toward magenta.

    I like the pairings, too. I suppose the best known is the bluebonnet-Indian paintbrush combo, but I’ve seen blue-eyed grass and primrose together a lot this year. And believe it or not, today I saw a few fully-formed dewberries turning red. Things seem to be moving along at a record pace.


    April 2, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    • Some friends of mine half an hour to the west of Austin reported recently finding a few white verbena flowers on their property. I’ve seen white variants of other purple flowers (e.g. spiderworts and even bluebonnets) but never verbena, as far as I recall. The touches of turquoise are quite common in prairie verbena flowers, apparently a consequence of aging, though I’ve never done any research to confirm that.

      We saw some mulberries beginning to redden this afternoon, so I’m not surprised to hear the dewberries are coming along, give the early start they had this year. We’re hoping to go gather a bunch this year the way we did several years ago, and perhaps you’re making similar plans (and investing in some good gloves).

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2016 at 10:34 PM

  3. Lovely little natural bouquet. Another case of peaceful coexistence.

    Steve Gingold

    April 3, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    • I was out a few hours ago and found a field with large amounts of prairie bishop’s weed. Before that I’d been in another location photographing other instances of peaceful coexistence.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 3, 2016 at 5:00 PM

  4. […] up as it opens into a flower head. The purple in the top photograph’s background came from prairie verbena flowers (Glandularia bipinnatifida). The second picture shows a mostly upright bud opening at a time when […]

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