Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A vivid horsemint

with 13 comments

Horsemint Flowering by Clasping-Leaf Coneflowers and Firewheels 4657

In the previous post the indistinct purple in the background came from horsemints (Monarda citriodora). Now here’s a focused look at one of them, again in the Balcones District Park on May 13th. Pretty rich, huh? The supporting yellow belonged to clasping-leaf coneflowers (Dracopis amplexicaulis) and the red to the usual Indian blankets (Gaillardia pulchella).

Note: I’m away from home and will be for a while. Please understand if I’m late replying to your comments.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 14, 2016 at 5:03 AM

13 Responses

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  1. Interesting. It looks like 3 tiers. Are there always 3?

    Jim Ruebush

    June 14, 2016 at 6:29 AM

  2. Very vibrant, the background too.


    June 14, 2016 at 3:46 PM

  3. Looks like you got it at peak. Lovely spike of flowers.

    Steve Gingold

    June 14, 2016 at 7:04 PM

  4. A very nice image, Steve.

    Mike Griffiths

    June 14, 2016 at 10:41 PM

  5. […] the Balcones District Park on May 13th I found not only a firewheel with conjoined flower heads but also a strangely contorted stalk of Gaura […]

  6. Speaking of masses of wildflowers, I only thought I was seeing something special on my way to the hill country. It’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve never seen such masses of wildflowers in my life. The horsemint was particularly lush — often paired with gaillardia. I saw many plants with four or five tiers, and found one with six. My only regret is that my photos of the greatest spreads of flowers along the roads didn’t come near to capturing what I saw. I suspect I should have been using my telephoto lens. But I have enough good photos to be happy, and enough just-ok photos to serve as remembrances.

    Your mention of the clasping leaf coneflowers in the background of this photo reminds me that there are, in fact, coneflowers galore popping up around here. I found a few in a local ditch, but now they’re beginning to bloom more profusely, and I’ve seen a couple of lots where there might be thirty or forty plants. Now that I’ve seen the leaves, the name makes sense. They’re truly majestic plants.


    June 17, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    • It’s excellent that you got to see central Texas in such a good season for colonies. Recording those masses of wildflowers can be daunting: how to get the camera to show the splendor of what we see? On the prairie northeast of Austin in May I came across the best extended colony of clasping-leaf coneflowers I’d seen since I got started with native plants in 1999. Twice I took people (first three, then two) out to look at them. I have a picture of one part of that colony scheduled for next week, but I don’t know if it will do justice to the reality we saw in person.

      I was sorry to leave Austin while the wildflowers were still so good, but I thought that in compensation I might find colonies springing up a month later in the Midwest. I did find individual wildflowers and some small groups, but no colonies of the sort I’m used to back home. Central Texas is special.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 18, 2016 at 5:12 AM

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