Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 8th, 2016

And what is so rare as a day in June?*

with 16 comments

Castilleja sessiliflora, downy yellow painted cup. "An extremely rare plant in our area...Probably the world's easternmost colony of the natural range of this species occurs near Zion in Lake County, Illinois, where it grows in sandy soil..." ~Swink & Wilhelm

Make that: And what is so rare on a day in June? Answer: Castilleja sessiliflora, known as downy yellow painted cup, which I photographed at Illinois Beach State Park on June 9th. In identifying this wildflower for me, Melissa Pierson quoted Swink and Wilhelm: “An extremely rare plant in our area…. Probably the world’s easternmost colony of the natural range of this species occurs near Zion in Lake County, Illinois, where it grows in sandy soil….” Here’s a closer look from lower down:

Castilleja sessiliflora, downy yellow painted cup. "An extremely rare plant in our area...Probably the world's easternmost colony of the natural range of this species occurs near Zion in Lake County, Illinois, where it grows in sandy soil..." ~Swink & Wilhelm

Most Castilleja species I’ve seen in person or in pictures have had reddish-orange bracts. The closest in color that any central Texas Castilleja species comes to what you see in this photograph is Castilleja purpurea var. citrina.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


* The title is the opening line of a once-well-known poem by the once-well-known American poet James Russell Lowell.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 8, 2016 at 5:01 AM

%d bloggers like this: