Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Yellow and purple

with 41 comments

In the woods along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 2nd I found this bright and brightly lit flower head of a Silphium radula, known as roughstem rosinweed.

The daubs of contrasting color beyond the rosinweed came from a few flowers on a purple bindweed vine, Ipomoea cordatotriloba. Below is a side view of one of those flowers in its own right and in focus.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2018 at 5:13 PM

41 Responses

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  1. Beautiful!


    September 19, 2018 at 5:36 PM

    • This is an area I count on visiting every now and then. Fortunately it’s a greenbelt and can’t be developed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 19, 2018 at 6:48 PM

  2. Wonderful flowers, Steve, and gorgeous photos.

    Jet Eliot

    September 19, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    • Many people mistake rosinweed for a sunflower. They’re in the same family, of course, and both are photogenic. Purple bindweed is common here for at least half the year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 19, 2018 at 6:50 PM

  3. It is the purple and gold season, isn’t it? This is a combination I’ve never seen, and it’s lovely, despite being not quite so dramatic as beautyberry and goldenrod.

    I think the seeds of rosinweed are terrific. There’s just something about them that makes me smile. But the detail I really love is the purple stem attaching the bindweed leaf to its vine. I’ve never noticed that, and it’s beautiful.


    September 19, 2018 at 9:34 PM

    • Yes, the purple and gold season it is. I saw my first seasonal bunches of prairie agalinis today and I’m looking forward to goldenrod (no buds seen yet) and Maximilian sunflowers (one plant today with flower heads beginning to form. I also photographed another gold that will appear here next week.

      It’s always exciting when we look at a familiar subject and notice something new about it. I can’t remember whether all parts of bindweed stems are purplish. Always more questions to be answered….

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 19, 2018 at 10:32 PM

  4. Sometimes, like this, the background can really finish off an image. Here, yellow and purple would be goldenrod and New England aster.

    Steve Gingold

    September 20, 2018 at 3:53 AM

    • In central Texas, yellow and purple could similarly be goldenrod and Aster patens, though September is still too early for them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 20, 2018 at 4:41 AM

  5. Good to see the purple bindweed flower come out of the shadows. Purple and yellow combinations work so well together.


    September 20, 2018 at 7:13 AM

    • They do work well together. Fortunately we have lots of wildflowers here of those two colors, and it’s not unusual to find them close to each other.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 20, 2018 at 7:31 AM

  6. That is a beautiful bindweed.


    September 20, 2018 at 8:24 AM

  7. That bindweed looks more like a garden variety morning glory than what I know as bindweed. Does it get to be invasive like other bindweeds do? I mean, is it a problem if it gets into the garden?


    September 20, 2018 at 11:44 PM

    • Not being a gardener myself, I don’t know the answer to your question. And yes, purple bindweed is in the morning glory family, which is why you see a family resemblance. As for native species with bindweed in their common name, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower lists a couple of dozen. In addition there are non-native ones as well, like the invasive field bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 21, 2018 at 5:39 AM

      • Oh, of course. I know only the garden varieties. There might be only one native species that is an annoying weed, but I do not remember what it is. I just know I want it dead. The common perennial morning glory, which we know as blue dawn flower, can be invasive where it gets water. It is a serious weed in coastal regions of Peru and Chile.


        September 22, 2018 at 4:12 PM

        • Some of our natives have become invasive elsewhere, and vice versa. And so it continues.

          I seem to recall reading that farmers here didn’t like Texas bindweed because it interfered with their crops, which got planted on land that was the bindweed’s natural habitat.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 22, 2018 at 5:23 PM

  8. A treat for sore eyes, Steve. Beautiful work as always.


    September 23, 2018 at 8:36 AM

  9. Ah bindweed, one of my least favourite weeds .. nice pic though Steve


    September 25, 2018 at 12:53 AM

    • I found online that “bindweed is a term used to describe many creeping and climbing weeds including convolvulus and blue morning glory.” Texas bindweed and purple bindweed are both native in Austin and have provided me with many portraits over the years.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 25, 2018 at 5:26 AM

  10. That first image illustrated the lovely combination of complementary colors – excellent example of yellow paired with purple/violet. The second image pairs well with my own study of blue ipomoea that grows near the house in ecuador. the vine sprawls along the roadside and is very drought tolerant and manages to hold the bloom most all day. shhhhh, don’t let anyone here know that it’s considered an evil pest in the usa! I think the ipomoea is sometimes an ingredient in ayahuasca, depending on the shaman who is making the aguita!

    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    October 2, 2018 at 2:15 PM

    • I’m big on having background colors that complement my subject, as you’ve noticed.

      I had to look up ayahuasca to find out that it’s “an entheogenic brew made out of [the] Banisteriopsis caapi vine and other ingredients. The brew is used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin….”

      Do you happen to know the species of the blue ipomoea you mentioned? Is it as alien in Ecuador as in the United States?

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 2, 2018 at 2:23 PM

      • I don’t know about the species; it’s lovely and I suspect a native, but what do I know? We also have one with a very small red flower but doesn’t have that frilly ferny looking leaf like the ones grown in the usa for ornamentals. And there is a very sweet and small blue one that doesn’t grow in my area but is prolific near the ocean. it’s stunning and also stays open all day… I’ll try to find some images of all and post them one of these times online…

        Playamart - Zeebra Designs

        October 5, 2018 at 2:31 PM

  11. I wrote the above comment when offline a few days ago, and this morning when driving ‘out’ I noted the flowers in bloom – and yes, they are a lovely pure blue, some almost cobalt and others a lighter (more timid?) blue. I think they probably play an important role in holding down erosion when the rainy season hits – esp. in el niño years….

    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    October 2, 2018 at 2:17 PM

    • Ah, I just finished replying to the offline part of your comment. I can understand how an Ipomoea might well work to minimize erosion.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 2, 2018 at 2:26 PM

  12. […] Park on May 6th. (In contrast, a different species, Ipomoea cordatotriloba, is common in Austin and has appeared here from time to […]

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