Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A different kind of fluff

with 13 comments


In contrast to the fluff of the snake-cotton from Arizona that appeared in the previous post, behold the fluff I saw yesterday along Misting Falls Trail in my Austin neighborhood. I was driving to the store when I caught sight of a pearl milkweed vine (Matelea reticulata) hanging in some denuded tree branches. Several pods had opened, and as I watched them the breeze occasionally scattered bits of their seed-bearing fluff.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 28, 2016 at 4:53 AM

13 Responses

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  1. I love this photo!!!


    December 28, 2016 at 6:20 AM

    • Thanks for letting me know. I haven’t taken a lot of pictures in Austin lately, but when I saw the milkweed vine pods and fluff I drove the mile and a half round trip back home to get my camera.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 28, 2016 at 6:32 AM

  2. I really love this image, Steve! The colours, the contrast and the details are magnificent! Just my kind of thing!

    Pete Hillman

    December 28, 2016 at 6:50 AM

  3. I came to know this plant through your exquisite photos of the flower — which I still think would make great earrings — and it’s fun to see the fluiff. I must say, the thought of looking up to see milkweed is counterintuitive, and delightful.

    I took another look at the USDA map, and discovered that there’s not much likelihood of my seeing it here in any form. I’d have to get almost to Austin before I’d be in its range. But it’s shown in Kerr, Bandera, and Real counties, where I do roam, so I’ll have to keep my eyes more open.


    December 28, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    • I’ve noticed this vine sometimes climbing pretty high, so it can take more than a little looking up to see all of its pods. When I drove home to get my camera, I also brought a step ladder, though I didn’t end up needing it much.

      Good to hear it’s not only deer and antelope and you that roam those hilly Texas counties, but also pearl milkweed vines.

      As for the pearl earrings, I hope someone with the technical know-how will follow your idea.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 28, 2016 at 8:37 AM

  4. You’ve made the seemingly mundane appear miraculous here. It is really beautiful.


    December 28, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    • Thanks. That’s been my goal in this blog and more generally in my nature photography: to transform and make special our native species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 28, 2016 at 8:57 AM

  5. I’m with Bunty .. wonderful pic Steve 😃


    December 30, 2016 at 1:56 AM

  6. I have a number of blogging friends in Europe, and in the UK, a common term for the wind-wandering milkweed seeds is faeries (or fairies). How wonderfully appropriate!


    December 30, 2016 at 10:52 AM

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