Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Like a light in the dark

with 20 comments

"One of the cinquefoils - I'm guessing the native Potentilla simplex."

Here’s another picture from the Diamond Grove Prairie in southwestern Missouri on June 4. Scott Lenharth identified the wildflower as “One of the cinquefoils — I’m guessing the native Potentilla simplex.”

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 9, 2016 at 4:58 AM

20 Responses

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  1. Such a perfect title for this sweet little plant – beautiful. Btw, posted a vegetarian dish especially for you,maybe go and have a look😃

    • Thanks, Carina. The obvious five-ness (cinq) of this flower reminds me that eggplant is in the nightshade family, whose members also typically display five-ness.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2016 at 7:26 AM

  2. Although we humans have tended to cultivate the overblown and brilliant there is nothing like these perfect simple flowers – thanks Steve :>

    Chas Spain

    July 9, 2016 at 6:16 AM

  3. The title you chose for this small flower is so evocative. Given events of this past week, it hints at the power of life and beauty, that stands in opposition to death. It’s a reminder of the prairies, still gleaming in the midst of so much overbuilt, gray sameness. And, it suggests that an individual of any species can have as great an impact as a crowd.

    That may be a lot to load onto one little flower, but on the other hand, look at the petals of this gem. They’re heart-shaped: suggesting a gift from nature’s heart to our own.


    July 9, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    • I’d originally (which means four days ago) called this post “Floral sunshine.” I changed it to the current title without having in mind the recent events you’re referring to, but perhaps my subconscious was saying something. Consciously, I was thinking of the visual effect the bright flower had in broad daylight, namely making the background look so dark by comparison. My decisions in the way I processed the raw photographic file enhanced that contrast between light and dark, but again with no ulterior motive based on current events (the most recent of which hadn’t happened yet). In short, though I didn’t intend the image as an emblem of hope, a thing can have multiple interpretations and even multiple causes, so you’re justified in seeing this image the way you did.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2016 at 7:49 AM

  4. I totally agree with Carina.


    July 9, 2016 at 8:38 AM

  5. I seem to have a couple of cinquefoils in my garden – a creeping one and a silverweed. I rather like the leaves of the silverweed, but neither seems to have many flowers. I shall take a closer look at the next one to open to see if they have this delightful heart-shape.


    July 9, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    • At least you have some to look at, Jude. Good luck when it comes to the heart shape.

      This was a new genus for me. In looking online I see that there are plenty of Potentilla species in the United States, but hardly any make it to Texas, and even then with only a faint presence, and none in my part of the state.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2016 at 10:46 AM

      • I think the creeping cinquefoil can be quite a nuisance, so maybe I need to remove that one…


        July 9, 2016 at 10:48 AM

        • Your mention of creeping reminded me of this:

          To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
          Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
          To the last syllable of recorded time….

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 9, 2016 at 10:52 AM

  6. The colour really stands out in the black background. Fantastic shot.


    July 9, 2016 at 4:31 PM

  7. Lovely flower. The yellow, although standing out boldly, is quite understated in its brightness.

    Steve Gingold

    July 10, 2016 at 2:29 PM

  8. Very pretty indeed 🙂


    July 11, 2016 at 1:54 AM

  9. On my screen it looks like the flower is floating on a still deep green pond (like a water lily) with the way the background looks. It’s such a contrast and really sets off the gorgeous yellows.


    July 21, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    • I was there and know the place was a prairie, so my mind forecloses the image of a pond. Still, I understand how you can see this flower as if floating on dark water, and I welcome your imagining.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 21, 2016 at 11:10 PM

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