Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Not yet its own flowers

with 26 comments


As of September 9th these poverty weed bushes (Baccharis neglecta) along BMC Drive in Cedar Park hadn’t yet produced any of their own flowers but were adorned with those of Ipomoea cordatotriloba, known as purple bindweed or tievine, which had been having a great time around central Texas for some weeks already, both crawling along the ground and climbing on other things. Notice how the vine was questing into the air in several places, looking to go higher even when there was nothing any higher to latch on to.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 21, 2016 at 4:56 AM

26 Responses

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  1. Bindweed’s such an enthusiastic plant. I’ve been watching it make its way along some abandoned railroad tracks I pass every day. Once it appeared, it went right to work, and before long, the tracks were a swath of pink cutting through the landscape. It looks like these are taking the admonition to reach for the sky literally. Maybe they’re hoping to wrap around that cloud.


    September 21, 2016 at 5:53 AM

    • I like the way you called this bindweed enthusiastic. I remember that in the summer of 2011 purple bindweed still had in its usual quota of flowers in spite of the drought.

      We’re on the same wavelength: when I looked at this image last night I also imagined the purple bindweed reaching up and grabbing the cloud. Your mention of it this morning made me wonder if anyone has used photo-editing manipulation to create an image of a climbing vine wrapping around a cloud. I did a Google image search just now and as my first hits got a bunch of pictures showing cupcakes. Puzzled, I followed up and discovered there’s an item described as “Vine Filigree Cupcake Laser Cut Clouds Design Cake Paper Wrapper Muffin Wrap Surround Edge Birthday Party Decor.” Hits lower down included some tattoos with vines in them but I never found what I was after. There’s an opening here for someone with more-advanced Photoshop skills that I have.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 21, 2016 at 8:43 AM

  2. Around here we have Hedge False Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) which has the same morning glory climbing habit. I often find it climbing everything it can get its tendrils on in a favorite local meadow. USDA map says you have it there as well. Where your Purple Bindweed indeed appears entirely purple as indicated by the name, ours can be found in either white or a mix of white and pink.

    Steve Gingold

    September 21, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    • I checked the USDA map and found the nearest to Austin this species grows is in the county that includes Houston. I looked at photographs of the flowers and see what you mean about the different colors. I also checked your site but you seem not to have shown pictures of that species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 21, 2016 at 3:54 PM

      • I haven’t photographed them in years and am not in love with my previous attempts.

        Steve Gingold

        September 21, 2016 at 6:40 PM

      • I’ve seen the hedge false bindweed. There’s some growing on a chain-link fence behind a local auto supply store, and it’s on the plant list for Armand Bayou. I laughed at the entry at Wildflowers.org. This is exactly what it says:

        “It can be a pest, twining among and engulfing desirable ornamentals, and is difficult to ”

        That sudden stop gave me visions of the bindweed sneaking up from behind, and strangling the writer in mid-sentence.


        September 21, 2016 at 8:31 PM

        • That’s a funny image you’ve come up with of the writer strangled in mid-sentence. I assume the next word was supposed to be eradicate or something similar.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 21, 2016 at 8:40 PM

  3. We have bindweed at our place .. But the flower is white. Horrid vine that hauls other plants to the ground ..


    September 22, 2016 at 3:15 AM

  4. Methinks this crazy Second Spring rainy year is confusing the seasons of many a plant. To the betterment of our enjoyment, for the most part! Hope you’re staying above water level there, at least. Our surfeit of water hasn’t become particularly hazardous yet, but it’s amazing how the rains have continued… Here’s to beauty in green and bloom, without the dangerous side-effects. 🙂


    September 26, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    • Down here I’d say that now we’ve got not a surfeit but a sure fit. Until yesterday we were almost 3 inches below par for September (though somewhat above for the year as a whole). After a two-week hiatus from picture taking, yesterday I thought that this morning I’d go out and photograph some stands of Maximilian sunflowers, but then came a downpour, with light rain continuing this morning, so things are still too wet for pictures.

      I noticed yesterday that the poverty weed bushes are beginning to bloom, so this extra water should bring them out in force. It should be the same for you up there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2016 at 1:25 PM

  5. I’ve always loved the name Ipomoea, and the description of it as enthusiastic is wonderful. Now I’ll be smiling all day thinking of the enthusiastic hairdo the shrub is wearing.


    October 12, 2016 at 8:37 AM

    • And the photographer got enthusiastic as soon as he saw this poverty weed adorned with bindweed.

      I like pronouncing Ipomoea with the full complement of five syllables: I-po-mo-e-a. I just learned from Shinners and Mahler’s that the components of this made-up name are Greek ips ‘a worm,’ and homois ‘resembling,’ on account of the twining habit of plants in this genus.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2016 at 9:29 AM

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