Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Densely wildflowerful

with 32 comments

I’ve linked a larger-than-usual version of this picture. Click to expand it and see more details.

You’ve heard that some of the places in central Texas that usually produce lots of springtime flowers have fallen short this year. Still, every spring offers at least a few good displays. Take this piece of prairie in Round Rock along Gattis School Rd. across from Rolling Ridge Dr. as I happily experienced it on April 16th. The bright yellow flowers are square-bud primroses, Calylophus berlandieri. The few yellow-orange flower heads with brown centers are greenthread, Thelesperma filifolium. The predominantly red flower heads are Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels and Indian blankets. The violet-colored flowers are prairie verbenas, Glandularia bipinnatifida.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 22, 2018 at 4:48 AM

32 Responses

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  1. Wonderful

    Sisir Ghosh

    April 22, 2018 at 4:51 AM

  2. Really stunning!

    exploringcolour

    April 22, 2018 at 4:59 AM

  3. I think I have located this field on Google Maps but of course in the map the wildflowers are not present. The area looks very bland without these beautiful wildflowers.

    Gallivanta

    April 22, 2018 at 6:01 AM

    • It’s fun to look places up on a detailed map, isn’t it? This field is what native plant people in the area used to refer to as the Mokan (i.e. Missouri-Kansas) Prairie. About 15 years ago some of us attended a meeting of the Round Rock City Council and made a case for having Round Rock buy the property and preserve it as a rescued piece of prairie. Unfortunately we didn’t succeed, and some of the land got built on. Other parts are still undeveloped, like the piece that hosted all these wildflowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 22, 2018 at 7:15 AM

      • How sad you didn’t succeed. I wonder if the Council would feel differently these days if the proposal were put to them again.

        Gallivanta

        April 23, 2018 at 2:03 AM

        • That’s a good question. I never thought about a new appeal. Working against it is the fact that the land would cost a lot more now than 15 years ago, given the large growth in the population I mentioned last week.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 23, 2018 at 6:27 AM

          • Yes that is true but crowd funding may be another way to buy the land. I think you are aware of the Beach which New Zealanders bought http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/themes/beaches/88304640/A-year-on-visiting-Awaroa-Bay-the-beach-that-Kiwis-bought

            Gallivanta

            April 23, 2018 at 6:52 AM

            • I don’t recall reading about the campaign to buy Awaroa Beach. Good to hear that the people succeeded.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 23, 2018 at 6:58 AM

          • It’s true that the land would cost more now, but sensitivities are different, too. The success in preserving the Nash prairie, the Deer Park prairie and the Paul Mathews blackland prairie suggest corporations as well as individuals are willing to give it a go. With so much happening around the state — even in terms of pocket prairie development and restoration in places like Houston — maybe a nice appeal to the “you don’t want to be left behind, do you?” bone in everyone’s body would work.

            shoreacres

            April 23, 2018 at 1:16 PM

            • I’ll check with a native plant person in Williamson County to see if the NPSoT group there has contemplated making a new pitch to Round Rock to buy the land.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 23, 2018 at 2:08 PM

  4. Spectacular display! Verbena grows everywhere here in the pasture and fields, and the deer love it so we let it grow. Gallardia is common here too, but I’ll have to check out those other two and see if they exist in these parts. I bet they do.

    Littlesundog

    April 22, 2018 at 7:15 AM

  5. You have been capturing some of the most beautiful displays of flowers!

    montucky

    April 22, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    • Yeah, for a spring that’s on the whole below par when compared to other years, I did manage to find some local displays that are excellent. The key was to go eastward rather than westward.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 22, 2018 at 9:57 AM

  6. That’s a glorious swath of color!

    composerinthegarden

    April 22, 2018 at 9:16 PM

  7. So, so beautiful — I’m glad you found some mixed bouquets, so to speak. I think I found both Calylophus berlandieri and beach evening primrose (Oenothera drummondii ) yesterday, but now that I’ve read up on them, I need another look. Another question I had to ponder last night was “greenthread, or coreopsis?” I decided on coreopsis.

    I stopped by the Galveston cemeteries to see how things were there, and it looks to me as though cold and heavy rain have slowed things a bit. The flowers were spotty, with thick patches here and there, but there are buds galore. That needs to be on the re-visit list, too.

    shoreacres

    April 23, 2018 at 1:27 PM

  8. Lovely to see so many wildflowers 🙂

    Julie@frogpondfarm

    April 27, 2018 at 12:48 AM

    • Ah, if only you could experience them in person.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 27, 2018 at 8:23 AM

      • I would love them! The council used to sow them next to the motorway in some places .. they looked beautiful

        Julie@frogpondfarm

        April 27, 2018 at 2:31 PM

        • There have been many highway beautification programs in the United States, led off in the 1970s by Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of former President Lyndon Johnson.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 27, 2018 at 4:40 PM

  9. This is just so pretty I can hardly stand it! Thank you for posting it.

    melissabluefineart

    May 2, 2018 at 10:10 AM

    • You’re welcome. This is how a Texas wildflower meadow is supposed to look in the spring, and I was relieved to find it after the slow start the season had been having.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 2, 2018 at 10:15 AM

      • Spring seems to have been slow to arrive everywhere. Yesterday we zoomed up to 85 degrees! And all the flowers on my magnolia popped open. It is putting on quite a show and I’m savoring it because thunder storms are predicted.

        melissabluefineart

        May 2, 2018 at 10:19 AM

        • Rain is forecast here too. I’m supposed to host a native plant walk in Great Hills Park on Saturday morning but the ground may be too muddy from rain from Friday night through to the next morning.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 2, 2018 at 10:45 AM


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