Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Anemone seed head coming apart in front of a mealy blue sage flower spike

with 18 comments

Anemone Seed Head Coming Apart by Mealy Blue Sage Flower Spike 9973

Click for greater clarity.


Remember the flowers of Anemone decapetala that you saw here in January and March? Now you get to look at a later stage in which a seed core has loosened up and is beginning to disperse its seeds (or disburse them if you’d like to think they’re the wealth of the species). And how about those fine hairs attached to the seeds?

Paralleling the anemone in the background is a flower spike of mealy blue sage, Salvia farinacea.

This photograph is from April 3 along E. University Blvd. in Georgetown, as was yesterday’s picture of a wild onion bud.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 10, 2016 at 5:11 AM

18 Responses

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  1. Very interesting. A winner!

    Sherry Lynn Felix

    April 10, 2016 at 5:43 AM

    • I was experimenting here with the sage in the background, so it’s good to hear that you like the result.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 10, 2016 at 5:56 AM

  2. Love the tiny details and the composition, Steve. I like the soft blue and purple background in one corner and the green with a little spot of sage in the opposite one.


    April 10, 2016 at 6:27 AM

    • This was an experiment, Jane, so I appreciate your analysis. I see now that the white areas of the sage went out of focus to form soft and light counterparts to the dark round seeds of the anemone.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 10, 2016 at 6:53 AM

  3. That phrase? “The shock of recognition”? That’s what I experienced when I opened this page. Two weekends in a row, I found a few white Anemone decapetala, and was delighted. They were mixed in with what appeared to be hundreds of grasses of some sort, with smooth, green seed heads that were so attractive. Some of the seed heads were coming apart, and they were attractive, too, with their bits of fluff. I took a few photos, thinking I’d make a run at identifying them when I got home.

    Well, I just identified them. I was sitting right in the middle of the blooming anemones and their seed heads, and never made the connection between the stages. As the old song has it: I once was blind, but now I see.
    What a lesson this is!


    April 10, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    • The lesson didn’t lessen your enthusiasm for the shock of recognition. One advantage of being out in nature regularly is that we get to see things in their different stages and make connections. There are some seed head remains that I’ve learned to recognize as the vestiges of certain wildflowers, but in other cases the connections still elude me. I’ve long thought that field guides should show all the conspicuous phases of a species, but then the resulting book would be much bigger, heavier, and more expensive. A digital field guide, though, could accommodate all the phases.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 10, 2016 at 7:41 AM

  4. Just plain lovely!
    Have a great Sunday,


    April 10, 2016 at 8:01 AM

  5. I really like what you did, with the sage in the background. I am experimenting with something similar in a painting right now~I’ll let you know how it turns out. Fun to see the seedhead just before dispersal.


    April 10, 2016 at 11:22 AM

  6. I guess it behooves me to mention how much these seeds remind me of milkweed. Or maybe it behoofs me. It’s a nice line up. I am imagining it with the Sage flower perpendicular to the Anemone.

    Steve Gingold

    April 11, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    • It behooves me to say I’m enjoying your verbal volleys today. Yes, anemones and milkweeds seem to provide instances of convergent evolution when it comes to their seed dispersal.

      Mealy blue sage flower stalks are long enough that once in a while one will depart from its predominantly vertical stance and curve sideways. As a result, the composition you imagined is possible, but I don’t remember ever finding an anemone adjacent to a horizontal sage stalk to take a picture of that combination.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 11, 2016 at 2:48 PM

  7. Beautiful Steve ..


    April 12, 2016 at 4:51 AM

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