Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Hoary puccoon

with 21 comments

Hairy Puccoon at Illinois Beach 7036

One of the most common wildflowers I saw in early June in Illinois Beach State Park was hoary puccoon, Lithospermum canescens. The fringed puccoon I’m used to from Austin, L. incisum, also grows up there, but I didn’t see any, probably because it had bloomed earlier in the spring.

Below is a closer look at the way some hoary puccoon flowers brightened the beach on the overcast morning of June 7.

Hairy Puccoon Flowers Close 7065

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 6, 2016 at 4:50 AM

21 Responses

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  1. They are quite beautiful and the color is rich.


    July 6, 2016 at 9:05 AM

  2. Lovely images, Steve, but I miscommunicated~it is called “Hoary” Puccoon. I believe there is also a Hairy.


    July 6, 2016 at 12:39 PM

  3. Such a wonderful flower .. Love the close up Steve


    July 6, 2016 at 2:11 PM

  4. I really enjoy finding flowers with a ripple to the petals and your close up portrays that texture nicely. I think every time you post a puccoon I have to mention that it reminds me of poltroon although I suppose it is rather cowardly of me not to say it to its face.

    Steve Gingold

    July 6, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    • Good wordplay with puccoon / poltroon. The cowardly might consider it picayune, but not a fearsome lover of words.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2016 at 2:51 PM

  5. Well. I’m reevaluating. Despite my mutterings about preferring ocean to lake, I must say the beach aura in the first photo is deeply appealing. Sand, grasses, and flowers make a wonderful combination, and yellow flowers make it even better. Beyond that (and given that I can be a little slow, sometimes) it occurs to me that there’s more than a difference in latitude involved here. Fresh water instead of salt no doubt means there are more differences in the flora than I’ve ever considered.

    Did you get to Sleeping Bear Dunes?


    July 6, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    • As we discussed once before, the Great Lakes (in this case Michigan) are so large that I experience them as if they were part of an ocean. In Illinois Beach State Park I encountered many species of wildflowers close to the shore and a little further inland. I’ve never seen such a rich flora along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, though I’ll grant you I haven’t spent as much time there as I should. Your notion that fresh water fosters the diversity I saw in Illinois is plausible, but my experience is too limited to assess it.

      Milwaukee marked the northern limit of out trip, and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore the eastern limit, so we didn’t get to Sleeping Bear Dunes, which I’d not heard of.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2016 at 9:01 PM

  6. This blog earned a Bean Pat as blog pick of the day. Check it out at http://patbean.wordpress.com

    Pat Bean

    July 6, 2016 at 4:54 PM

    • The Illinois dunes and Indiana dunes are both good places to visit. If you haven’t been there, it’s worth a summer trip.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2016 at 10:03 PM

  7. Superb photo!

    Roland Theys

    July 7, 2016 at 5:50 AM

  8. “Hoary puccoon” sounds like an elderly and whimsical multimillionaire or something. It’s much fresher and sunnier looking than it sounds!


    July 7, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    • Because of the sound of the word and its infrequent use now, hoary makes people think of unsavory things. This sunny picture sets things aright.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2016 at 9:05 PM

  9. Oh to stand there and see such beauty! My goodness.
    There’s nothing better than wildflowers.


    July 11, 2016 at 6:02 PM

    • I already miss my time in northeast Illinois, but when it comes to wildflowers Texas hold its own, as shown in most of the posts that have appeared here over the past five years. Brows around in the Archives (the pop-up menu in the right sidebar) and you’ll see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2016 at 6:58 PM

  10. […] mound in the foreground and several others farther back. The yellow-orange wildflowers are the hoary puccoon that you saw closer views of a few weeks […]

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