Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two fringed puccoon flowers

with 7 comments

Fringed Puccoon Flowers 0527

Look at the crinkly yellow flowers of fringed puccoon, Lithospermum incisum, that I found at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County on April 8.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 26, 2016 at 5:03 AM

7 Responses

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  1. It took me a few minutes, but I finally got it. Lithospermum is the source of another popular name for the plant: narrowleaf stoneseed. Not only that, this beauty was the 2008 Kansas Wildflower of the Year. There’s a nice article here that includes this interesting tidbit: “These showy early spring flowers are cross-pollinated. However, a second set of self-pollinating flowers is produced in late spring or summer. The casual observer may be unaware of these later flowers because they are much smaller and the colorful corolla is minute (less than 1/4 inch long) or completely missing.”

    They certainly do glow, and who wouldn’t like that crinkle?


    April 26, 2016 at 7:21 AM

    • We’re on the same wavelength because last night I thought about adding a line about the cleistogamous flowers that follow the first set. You’ve done it for me.

      A wildflower of the year strikes me as better than being stuck with a permanent “official state wildflower.” Better still, because of its currency, would be a wildflower of the season or even a wildflower of the month. The opening presentation at each meeting of Austin’s NPSOT chapter includes a plant of the month.

      I also though of adding a note that people who want to be part of the world of “art” photography have to print their pictures dark, but I didn’t want to come off sounding cynical.

      Your last sentence led me to search for the exact phrase “crinkle and glow,” which turned up 7 times.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 26, 2016 at 7:47 AM

  2. Going in a totally different direction, every time I hear Puccoon, I think of “poltroon”. One is much lovelier than the other.
    These are delightful blooms. Nice job showing them off. Those crinkled petal edges are wonderful.

    Steve Gingold

    April 26, 2016 at 5:40 PM

    • You’re welcome to go in a different direction, especially if it involves words. Here’s the American Heritage Dictionary‘s etymology of poltroon: “French poltron, from Old Italian poltrone, coward, idler, perhaps augmentative of poltro, unbroken colt (from Vulgar Latin *pulliter, from Latin pullus, young animal.”

      As for puccoon, it’s from an Algonquian word meaning ‘red,’ and the same root shows up in pokeweed.

      I appreciate your finding this a nice way to show off these crinkly flowers. I’d seen some a few weeks earlier in Austin but found this plant out in the Hill Country more photogenic.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 26, 2016 at 6:16 PM

  3. I, too, find Puccoon a delightfully evocative word, but in my case, it made me see the flowers as the cartoony yellow, Puckish eyes of a Raccoon. 8-D


    May 2, 2016 at 1:48 PM

  4. […] I saw in early June in Illinois Beach State Park was hairy puccoon, Lithospermum caroliniense. The fringed puccoon I’m used to from Austin, L. incisum, also grows up there, but I didn’t see any, […]

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