Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Another verbena

with 20 comments

Gray Vervain Flower by Prairie Fleabane Daisy 0298

Over the past five years here you’ve seen two native verbenas that are common in central Texas, prairie verbena and slender vervain, as well as one that I only occasionally come across. Making its debut here today is yet another: gray vervain, Verbena canescens. While it’s fairly common, it’s also diminutive and somewhat nondescript, so I expect not many people pay attention to it.

The background halo in this view from April 4 along Bluegrass Dr. was a prairie fleabane daisy, Erigeron modestus, a species you last saw acting as a perch for a katydid nymph.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 19, 2016 at 4:53 AM

20 Responses

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  1. A creative way to feature this wee flower.


    June 19, 2016 at 8:36 AM

  2. Great shot, Steve – love the well-placed halo!


    June 19, 2016 at 8:39 AM

  3. excellent framing ! 😀

  4. Prairie verbena I know for certain, as well as Brazilian vervain — that hugely invasive plant that’s everywhere just now. But I’d been assuming I was seeing lots of Verbena xutha. Now, I’m thinking a portion of it may have been Verbena halei. I think I remember seeing something in the hill country that I assumed was a stunted vervain. It’s just possible it was this gray vervain.

    I’ll say this — they all have verve!


    June 19, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    • A verve for vervain’s not a bad verve to have. Brazilian verbena has made its way to Austin (including Great Hills Park in my neighborhood) as well, but I’ll never show it here because it’s not native. I think I originally confused V. canescens with V. halei. I find the latter more attractive.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 19, 2016 at 9:21 PM

  5. The katydid nymph do they resemble their parents Steve? The adults sure can take a big chomp out of greenery. I like your verbena very much btw 😃


    June 20, 2016 at 1:12 AM

  6. What a delightful portrait of a blooming verbena, set off by a halo of white from the plant behind it. I have always loved the colour of the verbena – so richly purple.

    Mary Mageau

    June 20, 2016 at 7:44 PM

    • In central Texas we have four or five native species of verbena, so I rarely go out without seeing at least one of them. Lucky us.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 20, 2016 at 10:42 PM

  7. What an interesting lineup you’ve created.

    Steve Gingold

    June 22, 2016 at 3:14 AM

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