Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two views of flameleaf sumac

with 20 comments

Longtime visitors here know that central Texas is too warm to get the kind of fall foliage that colder parts of the country are famous for. That said, we do get some autumn color, and one reliable source of it is the aptly named flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata. On November 9th I spent time on part of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail in Cedar Park, where I made the two flameleaf sumac pictures in today’s post.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 10, 2019 at 4:40 AM

20 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The fall colours are the most beautiful natural phenomena in our northern climes. I am glad that you have found some in Texas, Steve. Great shots against the pure blue and black backgrounds!

    Peter Klopp

    December 10, 2019 at 7:08 AM

    • Having grown up in New York, I know what fall foliage is like. I traded away that for a warm climate that my body is much more comfortable with.

      Till you pointed it out, I hadn’t really paid attention to the fact that both pictures have solid-color backgrounds. I often use a blue sky to isolate a subject. That’s easier than finding a dark area to play a subject off against.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 10, 2019 at 2:32 PM

  2. These are beautiful images of one of my favorite plants. Coincidentally, I was collecting old issues of the NPSoT magazine to take to my computer-less friend in the hill country later this month when I came across that marvelous cover photo of sumac you provided for the Fall 2016 issue. It looked pretty good there, too.


    December 10, 2019 at 8:12 AM

    • May your computer-less friend enjoy the NPSoT issue. You reminded me that the cover photo, which remains one of my all-time favorite pictures (I have a print on metal hanging on a wall in our house), introduces an article in that issue of the magazine which includes other sources of all color as well:

      Click to access NPSOT_v34_04_16.pdf

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 10, 2019 at 2:37 PM

  3. Flameleaf indeed! Against black is arresting.

    Michael Scandling

    December 10, 2019 at 10:03 AM

  4. Gorgeous plants and your second shot shows off its rich colors and textures.

    Jane Lurie

    December 10, 2019 at 11:26 AM

    • I was fortunate to find an angle at which I could line up the backlit leaflets with a shadowed area of trees.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 10, 2019 at 2:40 PM

  5. Also one of my favorites–so gorgeous along hillsides. You captured their beauty, especially against the blue, blue Texas sky!


    December 10, 2019 at 12:06 PM

  6. Amazing colour contrasts.. love these!!

    Ms. Liz

    December 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM

    • We who live in central Texas love them, too, as they’re a principal source of the autumn color that’s largely denied to us in warm regions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 10, 2019 at 4:39 PM

  7. Can’t imagine those leaves with any other comparison but fire.

    Steve Gingold

    December 11, 2019 at 6:33 PM

  8. The sumacs are favorites of mine and you’ve done them proud in these shots.


    December 21, 2019 at 9:19 AM

  9. Sumac is another I noticed in Oklahoma. Although already defoliated at the time, it was recognizable. I do not know what species it was, or if there was more than one species in the region. It was one of the few species that I did not investigate. The only species of Rhus I know here is Rhus diversiloba, poison oak.


    December 23, 2019 at 3:34 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: