Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Pink before yellow

with 25 comments

Growing out of the caliche along Capital of Texas Highway on June 18th was this square-bud primrose (Oenothera berlandieri). The complementary color beyond it came from mountain pinks (Zeltnera beyrichii). And now that I’ve mentioned those, I guess I owe you a picture of them in their own right.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 1, 2019 at 4:43 AM

25 Responses

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  1. Perhaps we should paraphrase the old cautionary line and say that pink and yellow pleased a fellow. This is a nice view of the primrose leaves. I find distinguishing the various species of yellow primroses difficult, and those additional details really help.

    Even though we don’t have mountain pinks, I have found Lady Bird’s centaury (Zeltnera texensis) in this area. It’s fun to be able to recognize family resemblances.


    August 1, 2019 at 6:48 AM

    • Ah, you caught my drift in the allusion to the cautionary line.

      I, too, have trouble distinguishing some of the evening primroses.

      Central Texas is home to both of the centaury species you mentioned, but mountain pinks outshine the other.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2019 at 6:52 PM

  2. Both are lovely flowers, but I like the primrose more. I don’t know why, though. Just a gut feeling, I suppose.


    August 1, 2019 at 7:41 AM

  3. Yes, both lovely, but I like the pinks better. 🙂 I came across a centaury here a year ago but I don’t think it was native. Pretty, though. The first photo is such a gorgeous, sun-saturated shot.


    August 1, 2019 at 8:09 AM

    • One likes yellow, the next pink. As I replied to Pit, semi-translating from French: each to his own goo. Sun-saturated flowers are something we find in abundance in Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2019 at 7:28 PM

  4. Great shots, both. I’ve attempted to grow the square-bud, but it pooped out on me. I think it prefers bad soil and my garden soil is decent. I did grow it in a spot at Zilker Botanical when I worked there and it was very happy. I love the combo of yellow and pink; there’s something genuinely sweet about those two colors together.


    August 1, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    • I think you’re right about the square-bud primrose thriving in “poor” soil (one plant’s poverty is another’s wealth). You’ve noticed that I’m fond of playing one color off against another, and the pink-yellow combination seems to work especially well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2019 at 8:10 PM

  5. The mountain pink makes a nice background for the primrose.


    August 1, 2019 at 11:00 AM

  6. Wow, those mountain pinks are stunning!


    August 1, 2019 at 11:03 AM

    • Yes, they’re among our most impressive wildflowers. They can often be seen seeming to grow right out of the rocks in cliffs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2019 at 8:24 PM

  7. Wow, what explosion of colour! I like especially the first picture with its blurry background, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    August 2, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    • I’m fond of using the color of an out-of-focus background to emphasize a subject of a different color in the foreground.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 2, 2019 at 8:32 PM

  8. Pink before yellow, or yellow before pink? Or yellow before pink-with-yellow? 😊


    August 4, 2019 at 4:18 PM

  9. That species of primrose sounds familiar. There are a few that are native here, but that one should not be.


    August 4, 2019 at 5:03 PM

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