Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Snow in Texas in August

with 24 comments

Snow-on-the-Mountain Flowers and Bracts by Pond 7661

Okay, so afternoon temperatures are still in the 90s (30s C), but by the week before last the snow-on-the-mountain plants (Euphorbia marginata) in central Texas had already begun flowering. I photographed the ones shown here alongside a pond in the town of Cedar Park yesterday. All the attractive white comes from bracts; the inconspicuous flowers are much too small to see unless you get a lot closer.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 31, 2016 at 4:53 AM

24 Responses

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  1. These lovely “snow” flowers are often seen in tandem with bluebells down southeast of Austin. The snow has arrived but nary a touch of blue (okay, purple). Where were they this season?

    Esther

    August 31, 2016 at 7:04 AM

  2. This is such an attractive plant.

    melissabluefineart

    August 31, 2016 at 7:15 AM

  3. I found a large, thick patch of this on Saturday: the first I’ve seen this year. It was hidden in a small clearing between woods and a tributary of Clear Creek, and probably has been blooming for a little while. Now I think the Brazoria prairies filled with snow-on-the-prairie probably are turning white, too. It’s time to go have a look.

    shoreacres

    August 31, 2016 at 8:22 AM

    • Sounds like this species is on a similar schedule there and here this year. I’m toying with the idea of heading east of Austin today or soon to see if I can find some good stands of snow-on-the-prairie. I haven’t noticed even one plant of that so far this year but I haven’t been on the prairie side of town much lately.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2016 at 9:06 AM

  4. Such a wonderful accent in the landscape, love the photo you attached.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    August 31, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    • Yes, it’s great to see these out on the land at this time of year. Today’s photograph is just one of many that I took yesterday.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2016 at 11:30 AM

  5. They used to grow in our garden but haven’t seen them this year.

    Beautywhizz

    August 31, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    • Did they grow in your garden of their own accord or did someone plant them there? I’m no gardener, but I have the impression that many people in Texas would consider snow-on-the-mountain weedy and wouldn’t plant any in a garden.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2016 at 1:43 PM

  6. Quite a catchy title; I suspected you had something like this up your sleeve. And are you going to take us closer?

    krikitarts

    August 31, 2016 at 2:58 PM

  7. […] of the prominent brightness in yesterday’s photograph came from the white-margined (marginata) bracts of Euphorbia marginata, a species known on account […]

  8. Does the snowy look of these plants help make you feel cooler? Autumn colours seem to add a warmth to the cooling environment.

    Gallivanta

    September 1, 2016 at 6:46 AM

    • The simple answer to your question is no. Snow-on-the-mountain emerges during the hottest season of the year here, so I’m afraid no amount of pleasant white can do much to help with the heat. I wear a hat and a long-sleeve shirt to ward off the sun, but after a few hours roaming around in August, I’m usually pretty tired out by the time I get home. Fortunately October and November are drawing nearer, and those autumn months are cooler and less exhausting.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 1, 2016 at 7:58 AM

  9. Now I have to find some of these so we can say we have another in common. They are here somewhere although not locally native. Your image says that they would be difficult to miss.

    Steve Gingold

    September 4, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    • Yeah, I think these would jump out at you at this time of year (or maybe a little earlier up there) if you saw them. The USDA map shows a broad distribution across the country, but there’s no way to tell from that alone how common the species is in any given place.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 4, 2016 at 5:48 PM

  10. […] you’ve been able to confirm from the recent pictures of snow-on-the-prairie and snow-on-the-mountain and goldenrod, central Texas has gone into full fall botanical mode, even if afternoon high […]


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