Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

California sunflowers

with 19 comments


Outside the visitor center at the John Muir National Historic Site on November 2, 2016, I couldn’t help noticing a tall, bushy plant that I later learned is a California sunflower, Helianthus californicus, a species I hadn’t even known exists. Below is a closer look at one of its flower heads. Those of you in the depths of winter could probably use a dose of cheery yellow ‘long about now.


© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 11, 2017 at 4:57 AM

19 Responses

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  1. Very cheery, even for those of us in the heat of summer.


    January 11, 2017 at 5:24 AM

  2. serene


    January 11, 2017 at 6:35 AM

  3. There nothing like a bright spot of yellow to cheer up a day. I noticed that this is another example of the red stem/yellow flower combination I enjoy, and it seems to grow differently than the ones we have. It’s a sweet tangle of sunshine, that’s for sure.


    January 11, 2017 at 7:47 AM

    • Like you, I couldn’t help noticing those reddish stems, which are a good aid to identification. The tangled growth habit, different indeed from any sunflowers native in Texas, is another. Speaking of sunshine, Austin and Houston are both showing a 70% chance of rain this weekend.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2017 at 7:53 AM

  4. I’ll happily accept the gift of sunny yellow!


    January 11, 2017 at 12:53 PM

  5. Excellent.


    January 11, 2017 at 1:14 PM

  6. This California girl and nature lover appreciates your cheery offering. Beautiful, thank you.


    January 11, 2017 at 7:01 PM

    • You’re welcome. Did you already know about this native California species? It was new to me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2017 at 8:58 PM

      • No. And in truth I got very excited by your post.


        January 11, 2017 at 9:01 PM

        • There’s so much in nature in California to get excited about. If you’d like, you can scroll down through the posts about California that have recently appeared here:


          Steve Schwartzman

          January 11, 2017 at 10:59 PM

          • I plan to, thank you. So glad I stumbled upon you here. I’m a former ocean lifeguard in love with our coastal fauna and flora, a lifetime of appreciation, still discovering.


            January 11, 2017 at 11:16 PM

            • I was happy to see California again after an absence of about 20 years. Austin is four hours from the nearest part of the ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, which I rarely visit and which isn’t as scenic as the California coast. The last time I’d seen the Pacific Ocean was two years ago in New Zealand.

              Happy discovering to you.

              Steve Schwartzman

              January 12, 2017 at 6:46 AM

  7. Just what I needed Steve, on a grey and white day here! Thanks!


    January 12, 2017 at 1:59 PM

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