Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Blackfoot daisies, one and many

with 17 comments

Way back on March 31st I made a portrait of a blackfoot daisy flower head, Melampodium leucanthum, along Yaupon Dr. in my extended neighborhood. Then on April 17th I photographed a colony of flowering blackfoot daisies beneath the power lines west of Morado Circle.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 11, 2018 at 4:44 AM

17 Responses

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  1. Do black-footed ferrets live among them?

    melissabluefineart

    May 11, 2018 at 9:40 AM

  2. This is a new one for me, I believe. It is sweet, with its recurved ray flowers.

    melissabluefineart

    May 11, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    • I checked and found that the species grows only in Texas in a few nearby states, which is why you haven’t seen it up there. Down here it’s common and can be seen for much of the year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 11, 2018 at 12:16 PM

  3. I thought the name referred to the native American tribes, but looked it up and see it refers to dark coloring at the base. It’s a neat-looking flower, I’ve never seen one.

    Robert Parker

    May 11, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    • For some reason, even after years and years and years, I never once thought of the name of this wildflower in connection with the Indian tribe. Maybe it’s because that tribe doesn’t exist down here

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 11, 2018 at 12:18 PM

      • Perhaps the Tribe was named after the flower rather than poor hygiene.

        tonytomeo

        May 12, 2018 at 11:13 PM

        • The website at https://study.com/academy/lesson/blackfoot-tribe-history-facts-beliefs.html has this to say: “The reason for the tribe’s name is disputed to this day. One story is that they were called ‘Blackfoot’ because they blackened their moccasins with ash. Other scholars argue that it is because the tribe wore black moccasins in order to distinguish themselves from other tribes. Yet other scholars say that ‘Blackfoot’ is a name for war societies among tribes on the Great Plains.”

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 13, 2018 at 6:22 AM

          • It sort of makes one wonder how much information was lost, not only because those directly involved did not document it, but because those who came later did not find it to be important enough to document.

            tonytomeo

            May 13, 2018 at 9:33 AM

            • I’ve occasionally thought the real wonder is that so many things have somehow survived. Most things are doomed to disappear quickly. Of all the people who ever lived, we know nothing about most of them.

              Steve Schwartzman

              May 13, 2018 at 11:54 AM

              • Sadly, I have found that even the relatively modern history of my hometown and adjacent towns has been ‘improved’ at the expense of accuracy. Perhaps not knowing is better than knowing.

                tonytomeo

                May 13, 2018 at 11:59 AM

              • Goodness! This is about a native wildflower, not cultural anthropology!

                tonytomeo

                May 13, 2018 at 12:00 PM

                • Yes, and I think that for the most part botanists don’t get caught up in ‘improvements’ of the sort you mentioned.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  May 14, 2018 at 2:52 PM

  4. When I first met this flower and learned its name, my first thought was of the Blackfoot nation, but I suppose that’s because its territory was much closer to where I grew up and especially to where we vacationed: in Minnesota and Canada.

    Until last year, I’d only seen it in native plant nurseries, where it tends to be pristine. I think that’s why I enjoyed that first photo so much. It reminds me of where I have seen it — along a barbed wire fence, and growing out of the same cliffs where I found the claret cup cacti — and of the way that all the stages of growth combine together in a more natural setting.

    shoreacres

    May 13, 2018 at 6:37 AM

  5. That’s a very special portrait Steve .. I said wow when I saw it 🙂

    Julie@frogpondfarm

    May 15, 2018 at 10:45 PM


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