Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Maximilian sunflowers in far north Austin

with 15 comments

On October 12th, four weeks after returning from Alberta, I finally went out onto the prairie side of Austin in search of fall wildflowers. I found them. Maximilian sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani) seemed to be at their peak. If you could use a blast of yellow today, you’ve got it.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 14, 2017 at 4:51 AM

15 Responses

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  1. i love this blast of yellow –


    October 14, 2017 at 4:57 AM

  2. There was quite a stand of them.


    October 14, 2017 at 6:28 AM

  3. Yellow fireworks, I would say! 🙂


    October 14, 2017 at 6:58 AM

  4. How unusual to find so many open flowers with not one insect – bee, butterfly or moth busy gathering pollen!


    October 14, 2017 at 7:27 AM

    • It was momentary, I assure you. Lots of insects were on the flowers in that field, particularly on the goldenrod, which drew honeybees in particular. In some of the other pictures I took of Maximilan sunflowers, I photographed butterflies (monarch, painted lady, gray hairstreak) and a caterpillar I haven’t yet identified.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2017 at 8:07 AM

  5. What a delight these are. I haven’t seen any yet this year, but maybe today. I learned yesterday they’re going to burn the Nash prairie this coming week, so I’m going to put everything on hold today and go out there to see what I can see.

    I did find fields filled with sunflowers last weekend, but couldn’t identify them. I finally figured out that they’re swamp sunflowers: another species that seems to be happy with all the extra water that’s around. I hope to find a way to get past some fences and photograph them, because they’re fully as stunning as these Maximilians you found. I like the way the seed heads dominate the top of their stalk. It’s a nice contrast.


    October 15, 2017 at 7:08 AM

    • Agreed: ever a delight.
      Hope you have a delicious nosh at the Nash.
      Don’t know that I’ve ever seen a swamp sunflower in Texas. To my surprise, when I looked at the USDA map just now, I found Helianthus angustifolius marked for Long Island, so maybe I unwittingly saw some when I was a kid.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM

  6. Just beautiful .. especially nice against the blue sky 🙂


    October 19, 2017 at 11:06 PM

  7. […] four” here. I could even split them into two groups of two according to color: yellow Maximilian sunflowers and goldenrod, plus white snow-on-the-prairie (or -mountain) and poverty weed. It’s the last […]

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