Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Early blackfoot daisies

with 22 comments

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center I found a few precocious blackfoot daisies
(Melampodium leucanthum) already budding and even flowering on February 3rd.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 19, 2020 at 4:44 AM

22 Responses

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  1. Superbly crafted photos of a daisy!

    Peter Klopp

    February 19, 2020 at 7:32 AM

    • In central Texas we’re fortunate to have many daisy-like wildflowers. This species can be found flowering at least seven months of the year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 19, 2020 at 8:21 AM

  2. Love, love, love Blackfoot daisies! I grow two where curb of my property meets the street. They’re happy there, baking in the west sun.


    February 19, 2020 at 8:24 AM

    • That’s a good place, as passers-by get to see them too. Is there a particular feature of blackfoot daisies that makes you so fond of them?

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 19, 2020 at 8:31 AM

      • Gosh, what’s not to love? They’re daisies, so there’s that, and they’re tiny daisies, which is a bonus. I love their toughness. Funnily enough, I haven’t noticed that they’re particularly great pollinator plants, but they’re good enough that honeybees and little skippers visit. If you stick your nose right up to the flower, it smells like honey. That’s a little tricky for me, because when I do that, my bum is out in the street. Sometimes, drivers in Austin are…less than careful. 🙂


        February 19, 2020 at 9:12 AM

        • Let’s hope you don’t get the bum’s rush, so to speak.

          I’ll have to try sniffing a blackfoot daisy, as I’ve never noticed a scent. The one local member of Asteraceae that I’ve noticed has a sweet fragrance is nerve-ray, Tetragonotheca texana.

          Interesting that you favor the blackfoot daisy because it’s small.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 19, 2020 at 9:21 AM

  3. I’ve mentioned before the day I found Lindheimer’s senna at the edge of TX16 between Kerrville and Medina. As it happened, that was my first sighting of this flower as well. It was more eye-catching than the senna, even on a gloomy day. I don’t remember seeing any buds, though. It’s intriguing that they have that tinge of pink. So many white flowers (especially in the asteraceae) have pink in their buds; I wonder if it serves some purpose.


    February 19, 2020 at 8:40 AM

    • I’ve often noticed (and mentioned) that purple flowers have white variants. I wonder if flowers that are now primarily white, like the blackfoot daisy, could have evolved from ancestors that were primarily purple. That’s merely speculation that I have no evidence for.

      Those of us who are into such things seem to remember where we first came across a given species. At least we have two examples to support that conjecture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 19, 2020 at 8:56 AM

      • I still laugh when I remember my first sighting of a white prickly poppy. I was toodling down TX35 at about 65 mph, just outside Angleton, when I spotted that big clump of white. After admiring the flower so many times on your blog, I instinctively knew what it was. I slammed on the brakes, pulled over, turned on the flashers, and went to make its acquaintance.


        February 19, 2020 at 9:05 AM

  4. Beautifully taken, Steve! I like the white one best of these two. It looks perfect.


    February 19, 2020 at 9:19 AM

  5. Thank you for such a nice introduction to your floral friend.

    Michael Scandling

    February 19, 2020 at 9:50 AM

    • We’ll give a new meaning to BFF: Best Floral Friends (with the plural allowing for many of them).

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 19, 2020 at 9:52 AM

  6. Simply beautiful!


    February 20, 2020 at 7:54 AM

    • This is a common little wildflower in central Texas, and it can be found flowering in many months of the year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2020 at 10:38 AM

  7. That is such a pure and well exposed white. Lovely flower and a nice sign of Spring.

    Steve Gingold

    February 22, 2020 at 4:12 PM

  8. Love it when flowers have a touch of colour below their ‘skirts’. Exquisite details here.

    Nature on the Edge

    February 22, 2020 at 11:17 PM

  9. Look at the teeth on that leaf! That second image is so elegantly composed, I love it.


    March 22, 2020 at 11:07 AM

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