Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

But I wasn’t finished with basket-flowers for 2019

with 23 comments

I did much of my basket-flower (Plectocephalus americanus) photography for this year on May 26th, which provided the pictures you saw of a colony and an individual flower head. On the morning of June 9th, as part of a mostly cultural jaunt to Dallas and Forth Worth, we sauntered up Flower Mound’s flower mound, where basket-flowers were still putting on quite a show. (Presumably the season was the reason, with spring coming a little later to the area 200 miles north of Austin than it does to central Texas). Some of the basket-flowers I saw there seemed different from what I’m used to in central Texas. Among the differences were baskets that seemed somewhat metallic, almost as if made with copper or brass.

Several of the basket-flowers struck me as more bundle-like than usual as they opened.

Some had florets of a richer purple than I recall seeing in Austin. Naturally I welcomed the novelties.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 24, 2019 at 4:32 AM

23 Responses

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  1. The geometry of these flowers is astonishingly beautiful, Steve.

    composerinthegarden

    June 24, 2019 at 5:59 AM

    • The geometry of these flowers has long fascinated me, Lynn. Their baskets are unique; I have no idea why the little flanges are shaped the way they are, but a photographer can rejoice that they are.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 24, 2019 at 6:57 AM

  2. What a cool looking flower. It really does resemble a basket. The third photo is absolutely stunning.

    melissabluefineart

    June 24, 2019 at 7:59 AM

  3. Great floral macros, Steve! I wonder how you make a frame around the photos you posted. Is there a feature in WordPress I may have missed?

    Peter Klopp

    June 24, 2019 at 8:47 AM

    • In Photoshop I put a 2-pixel black border around each picture before saving it as a jpeg and then uploading it to my blog. WordPress, or perhaps the theme I’m using within WordPress, adds a thin border of its own that alternates between blue and red depending on where the mouse pointer is.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 24, 2019 at 10:43 AM

  4. I don’t know, which I like the most, the second or the third picture. Both are fantastic.

    Pit

    June 24, 2019 at 9:01 AM

  5. Gorgeous portraits, each one.

    Michael Scandling

    June 24, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    • And importantly for me, each is different in some way from earlier basket-flower portraits I’ve done.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 24, 2019 at 10:45 AM

  6. That purple would make any basket lovely. Three nice views.

    Steve Gingold

    June 24, 2019 at 12:06 PM

  7. This is fascinating. One reason I was so eager to photograph the basketflowers I found was that some of them looked odd to me. At least a half dozen had baskets that looked more like hockey pucks than anything.

    At first, I wondered if they were fasciated, because the stem at the base of the basket was larger than usual, and flattened. But when I got a look at the top of the basket, I decided that wasn’t it. The one that I measured was 4″ in diameter with a consistent 2″ rise all around. It looked more like a biscuit-flower than a basket-flower!

    They weren’t purple, like yours, but the ray flowers were a much deeper rose color. I’ll get some photos up eventually, and you can see. Maybe we have spotted a trend.

    shoreacres

    June 24, 2019 at 4:22 PM

    • You’re good: “more like a biscuit-flower than a basket-flower!” I’m eager to see that as soon as you can post some pictures. Basket-flowers grow in a multi-state range, so I’ve wondered about the phenotypes the species may have in different places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 24, 2019 at 6:24 PM

  8. Steve these shots are stunning … thanks for sharing! 👏

    Julie@frogpondfarm

    June 29, 2019 at 4:41 AM

    • You’re welcome, Julie. The basket-flowers have faded now after having enjoyed a good season.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2019 at 5:03 AM


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