Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Tulip poplar

with 29 comments

Tulip Poplar Leaf 8699

While on the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, on June 20 I saw some tulip poplar trees, Liriodendron tulipifera. Their leaves have a distinctively simple yet pleasing shape, don’t you think?

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 30, 2016 at 4:59 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

29 Responses

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  1. I am always impressed with the venation and, when zoomed in, the intricacy of the patterns.

    Steve Gingold

    August 30, 2016 at 5:16 AM

  2. I agree. Have I ever shown you this post before? https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/me-the-tree-and-helen/ I have a feeling you have seen it.


    August 30, 2016 at 5:29 AM

    • No, somehow I missed that post but enjoyed reading it and its linked article now. Did you know at the time of your planting that this type of tree grows so tall?

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2016 at 7:20 AM

      • I believe the women (old girls of Helen Connon Hall) who chose the tree knew about its growth habits. What none of us knew was how drastically that entire area would change, thanks to the earthquakes. It has been a while since I checked on the tree. I must do another drive by.


        August 30, 2016 at 7:40 AM

      • I went to visit the tree this afternoon. It looks stately. But there is no foliage yet; perhaps in a week there will be something to photograph.


        August 31, 2016 at 12:39 AM

  3. Oh that’s a lovely shape; looks as though someone has come along and snipped the top off that leaf with a pair or scissors. So did you take this home and photograph it on a black background?


    August 30, 2016 at 5:37 AM

    • I’m glad you find it a lovely shape too. Interesting that you imagined scissors snipping off the top of the leaf.

      Some photographers do what you mentioned, even to the point of carrying a piece of black cloth or some other dark object around with them to serve as an isolating background. Coincidentally I do carry a black mat with me when I go photographing in nature, but it’s strictly for kneeling, sitting, or lying on; I’ve never used it as an artificial backdrop. In taking the picture of this leaf I followed technique number 4 at


      The background came out dark but not completely black, so I darkened it a little more with software when I processed the photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2016 at 7:30 AM

      • I wondered as I haven’t known you to do any photography indoors. It worked out well 🙂


        August 30, 2016 at 11:10 AM

  4. Very pleasing and makes me think about tulips.


    August 30, 2016 at 5:46 AM

  5. These are lovely, elegant trees right down to their megaphyllous leaves.


    August 30, 2016 at 7:41 AM

  6. I agree as to the shape and the structure of those leaves: very pleasant to the eye.


    August 30, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    • Did you ever stop to think that, in spite of the difference in meanings, the German cognate of leaf is Laube?

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2016 at 3:47 PM

  7. There is little in this world that is more fabulous than a tulip tree in full bloom.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    August 30, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    • I hope I get to see that sometime. The closest place to Austin that the tree grows natively is the Houston area, though I believe there are some cultivated ones in Austin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2016 at 3:59 PM

  8. it’s a beautiful shape. It does remind me of a truncated fleur-de-lis. Perhaps we could call it a fleur-de-leaf.


    August 30, 2016 at 12:36 PM

  9. They most certainly do Mr Schwartzman 🙂 Your photography makes them even more appealing


    August 31, 2016 at 1:51 AM

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