Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

When pink is white

with 6 comments

Last June, after arriving home from a sight-filled trip to the Chicago area, I wondered if it was too late for the season’s mountain pinks (Centaurium beyrichii) back in Austin. It wasn’t, as I showed in a post entitled “I would have missed them if I’d missed them.” This year, after we returned from our latest American road odyssey, I wondered the same thing. On June 21st I went out to check the likely places along Capital of Texas Highway, which swings a big arc through the hilly country on the west side of Austin. Although I found the expected mountain pinks, they looked a bit past their prime, or possibly 2017 was a meager year for them. Still, I did take some pictures, and while I was doing so a young Chinese guy walked by and asked if I’d seen the naturally white variant of mountain pinks nearby. When I asked where, he pointed and said they were about a hundred feet down the road. He walked on, and I went in the opposite direction, to the place he’d indicated. Sure enough, I found several mountain pink plants with white flowers.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 28, 2017 at 4:00 AM

6 Responses

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  1. What a wonderful story! The white variant is beautiful!

    • It is, and I haven’t often photographed it. One of my early observations after I got interested in native plants in 1999 was that wildflowers down at the purplish end of the spectrum often seem to have white variants.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 28, 2017 at 8:17 AM

  2. Serendipity strikes again — and in such a wonderful way. This is a perfect example of a lesson I’ve learned; even if I don’t find what I’m looking for when I head out, I’ll find something. I’m certainly glad you found these!

    You may remember my excitement when I found white basketflowers in Palacios. They weren’t as rare as I imagined (I’ve seen more since), but they still are delightful. I’ve since come across white blue-eyed grass, white bluebonnets, and white meadow pinks (Sabatia). I wonder what will be next?


    June 28, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    • Serendipity indeed. You and Lisa were commenting at the same time, and in my reply to her I mentioned that purplish wildflowers often seem to sport white variants. The white variants may or may not be common for a given species. For example, more than a decade ago I photographed some white spiderworts but I haven’t seen any in years. Maybe I’ve just been in the wrong places at the right times. I wish you some right times in right places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 28, 2017 at 8:22 AM

  3. Good find Steve .. lovely flowers


    July 1, 2017 at 10:11 PM

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