Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Grindelia papposa

with 27 comments

On this date in 2006 I spent some time on the flower mound in Flower Mound, near Dallas. One species I photographed there was Grindelia papposa, apparently known in various places as Spanish gold, saw-leaf daisy, wax goldenweed, and clasping-leaved Haplopappus; to me it was another species of gumweed. If your eyes zoomed in on the upper flower heads, you’ll have noticed the curled ribbons effect (not to be confused with the Ken Burns effect) that I saw again on the flower mound 13 years later in a different member of the sunflower family.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 4, 2019 at 4:39 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

27 Responses

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  1. Floral exuberance, as if it is saying “yippee!”

    Michael Scandling

    October 4, 2019 at 7:08 AM

    • Of course I’m happy you see it that way, even if by Texas wildflower standards this isn’t out of the ordinary.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 4, 2019 at 5:28 PM

  2. The flower looks like a typical desert plant. Now that the weather here is turning cold and damp your bright cheerful picture brings some joy on this gray morning.

    Peter Klopp

    October 4, 2019 at 8:47 AM

    • You’re right. At this time of year the disparity between our two climates becomes so noticeable. It was 96°F (36°C) here yesterday.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 4, 2019 at 5:33 PM

  3. Let us burst forth with life and reveal ourselves with delight to the glorious sun.

    Steve Gingold

    October 4, 2019 at 9:21 AM

  4. Wow, yes, what they said! 🙂
    I’m not familiar with this plant. Is it a Silphium?


    October 4, 2019 at 9:33 AM

  5. Brilliant shot. The curled petals did jump out at me… So interesting to see.

    Birder's Journey

    October 4, 2019 at 4:16 PM

  6. I remembered Grindelia as soon as I saw the name. I found G. squarrosa, the so-called curley-top gumweed, in the far southwest corner of Kansas, and an obliging ranger helped me identify it. It wasn’t precisely in a desert, but it was thriving in a dry and somewhat barren grassland. The sample I took to the ranger’s station is still with me, atop a bookshelf.

    The common name ‘curley-top’ keys in on one similarity with this one: those gorgeous, ribbon-like curls that are so attractive. Is this one slightly sticky, like the gumweed I found?


    October 5, 2019 at 6:47 AM

    • I assume this plant was sticky, because that’s been my experience with gumweeds; given that I took this picture 13 years ago, I don’t actually remember.

      The name curley-top is new to me. It sure is appropriate to describe those ribbony ray flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 5, 2019 at 4:42 PM

  7. Very nice against the blue sky!


    October 5, 2019 at 11:05 AM

    • That’s one of my standard techniques: aim somewhat upwards so as not to see distracting objects in the background. In this case the blue of the sky did a good job of complementing the yellow flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 5, 2019 at 4:44 PM

  8. Somehow I think Grindel is an apropos name for this plant, but don’t ask me to rationalize it. 🙂


    October 5, 2019 at 9:38 PM

  9. Love those curly rays…very nice, and the linked photo is beautiful. We have Grindelia here and I’ve enjoyed seeing its cheerful yellow flowers and gummy buds. I just found out there are two, very similar-looking plants. I’ll have to pay closer attention next time I see one and figure out for sure which one I’m looking at. Thanks for alerting me to that.


    October 14, 2019 at 6:48 PM

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