Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two slender vervain flower spikes

with 21 comments

Two Slender Vervain Flower Spikes 9656

When I stopped to take pictures along Clovis St. on March 25th I photographed these close-together flower spikes of Verbena halei, known as slender vervain or Texas vervain. Each flower is about an eighth of an inch (3mm) across.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 6, 2016 at 5:08 AM

21 Responses

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  1. Fantastic picture! 🙂


    April 6, 2016 at 5:45 AM

  2. I like the crop on this


    April 6, 2016 at 7:22 AM

    • It seemed the most natural way to frame this view. The extra sky to the left and right added nothing to the image of the flowers as flowers. In a different context, if I wanted to impart a sense of two things being together in a larger world of emptiness, I could go with the full frame.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 6, 2016 at 7:41 AM

  3. This is a flower I’ve found in every location I’ve visited over the past month. They’re not always abundant, but they’re present. I’ve also found them among the most difficult to photograph, particularly in a stiff wind, when it’s been hard to keep more than one spike in focus. This sinuous pair is a real treat that made me smile as soon as I saw them.

    I just realized this morning what the tips of these remind me of: new asparagus.


    April 6, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    • I also saw asparagus here when I looked at the image early this morning. The asparagus I ate last night may have reinforced the resemblance.

      As you’ve said, slender vervain is quite common. At the same time, the slenderness of the plant, especially in contrast to the showiness of the larger prairie verbena, probably keeps this delicate species from becoming better known.

      Also as you said, the slenderness of the plant can make it a difficult subject for photographers, even without wind. The multiple spikes are almost always at different distances from the camera, so it’s hard to get them all in focus. I took advantage of the fact that the two spikes shown here were in such close contact.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 6, 2016 at 8:00 AM

  4. A dance of nature…


    April 6, 2016 at 9:07 AM

  5. beautiful photo


    April 6, 2016 at 10:50 AM

  6. Lovely shot.


    April 6, 2016 at 4:58 PM

  7. Makes me think of Steven and the Beanstalks.

    Steve Gingold

    April 11, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    • I must have missed that fairy tale.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 11, 2016 at 2:28 PM

      • It was much overshadowed by the tale of your better known distant cousin 5 times removed John.

        Steve Gingold

        April 11, 2016 at 2:33 PM

        • You’ve reminded me, tangentially, that I was much removed from my home territory of New York when in San Diego in the summer of 1967 I saw the first Jack in the Box restaurant I’d ever encountered.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 11, 2016 at 2:38 PM

  8. This is one I didn’t appreciate appropriately until I got in for the extreme closeup in person. Lace and verticality. Sweetness and light. Lovely.


    April 12, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    • I think the slenderness of this species causes many people to pass it by without taking that closer look, like yours, that leads to appreciation.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2016 at 3:24 PM

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