Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Echinacea on the prairie

with 18 comments

Echinacea pallida 6763

As we drove through northeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Missouri on June 4th we saw good stands of Echinacea along the highway. Whether they were natural or sown there I don’t know. The Echinacea pallida in today’s mostly pallid photograph from the Diamond Grove Prairie in southwestern Missouri is presumably natural.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 16, 2016 at 5:09 AM

18 Responses

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  1. Great color, Steven.


    July 16, 2016 at 6:22 AM

  2. I’ve known the word “echinacea” for years, since one of my cousins swears by it as an antidote for every illness, and keeps trying to convert the rest of the family. And I’ve seen plenty of coneflowers of every sort this year — even a white one — but if I knew the scientific name, I’d forgotten it.

    Now, I have the flower and the name properly joined, along with the delightful detail that echinacea is rooted in echinos: the Greek word for the spines of a disturbed hedgehog. Looking at the seedhead, it seems apt.

    Wonderful photo, with all of the colors perfectly balanced. The spotted rays are pretty, even in decline.


    July 16, 2016 at 7:27 AM

    • None of the echinaceas I’ve seen except this one have had spots on their rays, so I’m glad I spotted it. I, too, have heard the claims for echinacea (not necessarily this species) as a medicine but I don’t know how true they are.

      It’s good of you to bring up the etymology. From the same root come echidna and echinoderm.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 16, 2016 at 7:46 AM

      • I never would have expected to land among the starfish, sea urchins, and sand dollars after reading about a flower on a Missouri prairie. It’s yet another example of John’s Muir’s famous point: everything in this universe is somehow hitched to everything else.


        July 16, 2016 at 8:39 AM

        • Your citation of the Muir just reminded me that there seem to be almost no hitchhikers on the sides of roads anymore.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 16, 2016 at 8:43 AM

          • And fewer and fewer people getting hitched. (This is turning into a hitching post.)


            July 16, 2016 at 8:44 AM

            • Good ones! You’re like butter, which is to say you’re on a roll.

              Steve Schwartzman

              July 16, 2016 at 8:46 AM

              • Which reminds me of a wonderful, old-time Texas saying: “Well, butter me up and call me a biscuit.”


                July 16, 2016 at 8:47 AM

                • Speaking of rolls and biscuits, those old sayings are like bagels: they go round and round.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  July 16, 2016 at 8:55 AM

              • Such word-fun! I’d go on, but there’s a farmers’ market waiting, and it’s time to roll.


                July 16, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    • That is interesting. I love hedgehogs and pale purple coneflowers, and now I can enjoy knowing how they are linked.


      July 16, 2016 at 8:18 AM

      • Be careful, or you and a hedgehog might get linked. I’m stuck on etymology but it’s painless.

        Steve Schwartzman

        July 16, 2016 at 8:35 AM

  3. What a stunner Steve .. Love it!


    July 18, 2016 at 1:36 AM

    • There are lots of wildflowers in the sunflower family with yellow rays or white rays, but not many with the pink of echinacea.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 18, 2016 at 5:31 AM

  4. Prairie sure does sound natural. Around here, some roadsides and medians are wildflower meadows planted by the state.

    Steve Gingold

    July 18, 2016 at 2:54 PM

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