Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Sphaeralcea coccinea

with 28 comments

Remember Nebraska’s Chimney Rock? When we visited on May 28th, I photographed these flowers of Sphaeralcea coccinea, called scarlet globemallow, caliche globemallow, and copper mallow. The article linked to in the previous sentence points out that “While on the course of his expedition, near the Marias River [in what is now Montana], Meriwether Lewis collected a specimen of this species.” In fact it grows across much of the western United States. I’ve seen scarlet globemallow in Texas’s hot Trans-Pecos region, so the species tolerates a broad range of temperatures.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 31, 2017 at 4:45 AM

28 Responses

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  1. Copper or tangerine springs to mind. Very pretty.


    July 31, 2017 at 5:58 AM

    • I don’t quite buy scarlet, either. Your third and fourth word taken in their own right made me wonder if there’s anywhere on earth called Tangerine Springs. Google Maps didn’t find such a place, but I searched the Internet and discovered that in an early story, the writer Sinclair Lewis created a fictional Tangerine Springs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 31, 2017 at 6:13 AM

      • Haha… your mind really does fly off at a tangent! Tangerine Springs is a great name!!


        July 31, 2017 at 6:48 AM

        • I give you leave to found a town so called in Cornwall.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 31, 2017 at 6:54 AM

          • Thank you!


            July 31, 2017 at 8:32 AM

            • There’s not much hope of getting a tangerine tree to grow in Cornwall, at least not outdoors, but you might be able to find a spring emerging from tangerine-colored rocks. Then all you’d have to do is found a town around it.

              Steve Schwartzman

              July 31, 2017 at 8:50 AM

  2. That is a stunner. I’ve seen ‘ordinary’ mallow flowers (not sure if you have them there, they grow as a tiny wild flower here) and the shape is similar, but certainly nothing like this.


    July 31, 2017 at 6:50 AM

  3. Very pretty. Its petals seem to shine like those of buttercups. It reminded me of a flower I found in a cemetery south of El Campo. That one turned out to be Carolina bristlemallow (Modiola caroliniana), which is a much smaller plant with a much smaller flower and less intense color. It’s always fun to see “the same, but different” pop up.


    July 31, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    • There are so many instances of theme and variations in the mallow family. The Carolina Modiola (which makes me think of Motorola) grows in Travis County, but for some reason I’ve rarely come across and photographed it. I hope you were able to get some good pictures of yours.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 31, 2017 at 7:29 AM

  4. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!
    Have a great week,


    July 31, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    • Too bad we have to drive out to west Texas to find this wildflower. On the other hand, we have plenty of other mallow species in the central part of the state.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 31, 2017 at 9:33 AM

      • 🙂 Well, West Texas is always worth driving there – albeit a long drive.


        July 31, 2017 at 9:52 AM

        • A little less long for you, but still tedious. Nonetheless, the desert repays the effort.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 31, 2017 at 10:03 AM

          • We’ve been there once, in 2009, for our honeymoon, and have always wanted to go back. Well, one day we will!


            July 31, 2017 at 1:11 PM

  5. Somehow this reminds me of that iconic pose of Marilyn Monroe 🙂


    July 31, 2017 at 2:30 PM

  6. That’s really pretty!


    July 31, 2017 at 7:59 PM

  7. Seems like we might need it here then as the temperature soars and some plants leaves are scorched!


    August 1, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    • I’m afraid Sphaeralcea is a genus of the Americas, but I’ll bet many of its species would do well in the dry parts of Spain.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2017 at 9:03 AM

  8. So pretty Steve .. glorious colour 😃


    August 3, 2017 at 2:05 AM

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