Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Obedient

with 33 comments

Your photo is *probably* Physostegia virginiana. I hesitate because P. angustifolia is virtually identical in this area of the country. Both typically have thin leaves in SW MO, which is odd and unlike other parts of the country. From plant lists the pattern seems to be that angustifolia prefers limestone-based drier prairies and glades.

On June 2nd we left on a driving trip to the north-central United States that ended up covering over 3700 miles and lasting 21 days. On June 4th we met up with Scott Lenharth, a native plant person that we’ve known since his years in Austin. He’s now back in southwestern Missouri, and that’s where he took us to see the Diamond Grove Prairie several miles east of Joplin. The first thing I photographed was an obedient plant. Scott wrote later to say that it was probably “Physostegia virginiana.  I hesitate because P. angustifolia is virtually identical in this area of the country.  Both typically have thin leaves in SW MO, which is odd and unlike other parts of the country.  From plant lists the pattern seems to be that angustifolia prefers limestone-based drier prairies and glades.  All of that pondering aside, obedient plant is awesome.” May you all be duly awed.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 1, 2016 at 5:11 AM

33 Responses

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  1. Steven, that is such a sweet flower blush pink with little dark faces, would make a very pretty card! Carina

  2. Good work, Steven.

    elmdriveimages

    July 1, 2016 at 6:52 AM

  3. The bright blue sky was perfect for the bold colors of the standing cypress, but the background here — more delicate, and not so overpowering — complements the flowers wonderfully well. The square stem shows up nicely, too.

    I’m fairly certain it was obedient plant I found colonizing the ditches of Brazoria county earlier this year. They were deeper pink, but had narrow leaves and square stems, and the flowers tended to stay put when I bent them this way and that. I was going to say they weren’t branched, like this one, but when I finally found the photos, I saw I was wrong; many of the plants were branched.

    shoreacres

    July 1, 2016 at 6:58 AM

    • I hadn’t yet read your comment when I answered the previous one with a reference to the pretty sky. Most of the other wildflowers I photographed there were low to the ground, so I couldn’t manage to include the sky with them.

      I suspect you’re right about having seen obedient plants in Brazoria. Marshall Enquist includes three species of Physostegia. More to the point for you, the Tvetens said of Physostegia intermedia: “This attractive member of the mint family forms large colonies in wet ditches and marshes around Houston, often growing directly in standing water.”

      For whatever reason, I’ve rarely come across obedient plants in the Austin area. Too bad they aren’t more obedient to my wishes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2016 at 7:54 AM

  4. I am truly awed. 😉
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Pit

    Pit

    July 1, 2016 at 8:01 AM

  5. Did you turn a bloom around on its stem? 🙂

    melissabluefineart

    July 1, 2016 at 9:20 AM

  6. I was about to say the same as Linda above. I think the cloudy sky is just right for a background here.

    Steve Gingold

    July 1, 2016 at 11:46 AM

  7. Wonderful photo!

    Roland Theys

    July 1, 2016 at 12:05 PM

  8. Having been a member of the Missouri Native Plant Society and a representative on the state board, I got to go with the best folks to the native plant areas all over Missouri. I would have told you about my favorite prairies. But I bet you talked to George Y before you went. He would know where everything was!
    I didn’t live there long, but really got to see a lot of the wildflowers all over the state.

    Judy T

    July 1, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    • I wish I could have spent more time seeing prairies, and Scott would gladly have shown us more, but the goal of this trip was to visit the Chicago area. I’d done some research on scenic nature places in Missouri but we didn’t make it to a single one. Oh well, we still accomplished a lot, both culturally and in nature.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2016 at 3:53 PM

  9. Very nice shot.

    Beautywhizz

    July 1, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    • This was yet another head-close-to-the-ground picture. There’s sometimes no better perspective.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2016 at 3:56 PM

  10. Pretty, indeed. The image has it all … color, texture, and botanical interest … who could ask for more?

    Pairodox Farm

    July 1, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    • Perhaps you were thinking of the Gershwins. If I can take liberties with the species, I’ll say:

      I’ve got [four-nerve] daisies in green pastures prairies.
      Who could ask for anything more?

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2016 at 7:41 PM

  11. Duly awed Mr Schwartzman 😄

    Julie@frogpondfarm

    July 2, 2016 at 1:26 AM

  12. The sky made a perfect backdrop for this pretty flower

    norasphotos4u

    July 2, 2016 at 10:49 AM

  13. Gorgeous portrait of it!

    kathryningrid

    July 7, 2016 at 7:37 PM


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