Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Skipper on Gregg’s mistflower

with 29 comments

While at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on October 25th I couldn’t help noticing that the Gregg’s mistflowers (Conoclinium greggii) in particular acted as scent magnets for many butterflies, including several types of skippers. Thanks to Dan Hardy for identifying this one as a female sachem (Atalopedes campestris).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 28, 2017 at 4:50 AM

29 Responses

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  1. Were you attracted to the scent too?


    November 28, 2017 at 6:30 AM

  2. With my sensibilities, I may have been like the skipper and flitted over to the perfumery.


    November 28, 2017 at 7:06 AM

    • And while you were at the perfumery you could have dipped into Jane Austen’s novel Scents and Scentibility.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 28, 2017 at 7:21 AM

  3. I do enjoy the skippers. I’d forgotten how small they are until I saw one (of a different species) on a blooming green milkweed on Sunday. In Kansas last fall, I photographed six of them on a single thistle head. There seemed to be more than enough flower for them all, and they were scentsable enough to share.


    November 28, 2017 at 7:45 AM

    • Some might say that if there’d been a hundred centsable ones they’d have been worth a dollar. I’d say that even one is worth more than that to a nature photographer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 28, 2017 at 8:20 AM

  4. Wonderful capture. We have them here as well, so another species in common. I have mist flower growing in my garden and I love it. It blooms forever but the butterflies are largely gone by the time it does.


    November 28, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    • Let’s hear it for another species in common. It’s one I’d rarely photographed, and not for years, so I was glad to get a few pictures, even if I didn’t know at the time what species it was. As for the flowers, various plants in that branch of the sunflower family go by the common name mistflower. Do you know which species of mistflower you have in your garden? And are you aware of other mistflower species growing wild in your area?

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 28, 2017 at 9:24 AM

  5. We see a lot of skippers in our area, though I have never paid much attention to various plants they prefer. I see them mostly on our red Salvia Greggii. I suspect many folks have no idea that skippers, butterflies and moths differ from each other.


    November 28, 2017 at 9:30 AM

    • I’ve heard people refer to butterflies as moths and vice versa.
      At a recent presentation for the Austin Butterfly Forum, Val Bugh described skippers as falling between moths and butterflies in the Lepidopteran branch of the insect family.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 28, 2017 at 9:42 AM

  6. So pretty – love skippers!!!


    November 29, 2017 at 7:47 AM

  7. scent magnets! that made me smile!

    a few days ago my neighbor and i were walking/birding/noticing fine details of nature.. i pointed to the lovely orange/yellow milkweed in bloom, and beside it was the lavender ‘mistflower’… i said that the mistflower grows in mississippi and in central america and also here in ecuador.. perhaps it has an importance that we’ve yet to discover!…

    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    November 29, 2017 at 9:38 AM

  8. […] The orange flowers at the far right are Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides). They were as plentiful as the mistflowers but the butterflies ignored the lantana and couldn’t seem to get enough of the mistflowers. For a better view of those lepidopteran-magnet flowers, you’re welcome to look back at a butterfly post from 2017. […]

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