Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Gray vervain flowering

with 36 comments

From the West Pickle Campus of the University of Texas on March 18,
here are two flower stalks of gray vervain, Verbena canescens,
one of several kinds of verbena that grow in Austin.
The yellow flowers were four-nerve daisies.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 8, 2020 at 4:31 PM

36 Responses

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  1. Great background, Steve. These two stalks really stand out with that nice rim lighting, and I like how they lean in towards one another just slightly.

    Todd Henson

    April 8, 2020 at 4:37 PM

    • “Rim lighting” is a good way to describe it. I was grateful to get so much dark background to delineate the soft hairs that characterize this species. I looked back just now at all the pictures I took of these two stalks, and in every case they lean in slightly toward the top.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 8, 2020 at 5:15 PM

  2. Nice composition, Steve!

    Lavinia Ross

    April 8, 2020 at 5:10 PM

  3. Ours are of a different kind: much closer to the ground.


    April 8, 2020 at 5:11 PM

  4. At what point in their lives (if any, except maybe after they’ve completed them) are they grey?


    April 8, 2020 at 7:20 PM

    • The foliage, like the species name, is described as canescent. In plain English, the green of the leaves shades somewhat toward gray.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 8, 2020 at 8:58 PM

  5. Love the backlight!


    April 8, 2020 at 9:25 PM

  6. Great shots, Steve! I bet the petals of these flowers are not bigger than a quarter of an inch. Great backgrounds as usual!

    Peter Klopp

    April 8, 2020 at 9:53 PM

    • Even smaller: one of my field guides says each flower is an wight of an inch (3mm) in size.
      And yes, I pay a lot of attention to backgrounds.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 9, 2020 at 7:40 AM

  7. Stunning, you minimalist, you.

    Michael Scandling

    April 8, 2020 at 11:11 PM

  8. Great detail and an awesome background.

    Steve Gingold

    April 9, 2020 at 5:41 AM

  9. The combination of colors in this photo certainly sings. If these flowers could sing, one might be serenading the other with a chorus of:

    “You’re vervain;
    You probably think this song is about you…”


    April 9, 2020 at 6:18 AM

    • That’s a good one. And the venerable book publisher Simon and Schuster could have been Simon and Schwartzman.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 9, 2020 at 7:28 AM

  10. I love vervains, and this is a wonderful photo of one. This is much more delicate and pink than the two we have here, blue and hoary.


    April 9, 2020 at 8:34 AM

  11. I love how the backlight highlights the fuzz on the edges.


    April 9, 2020 at 8:59 AM

  12. If my eyes don’t fail me, it seems that the buds inferior and superior to the blossoms are still closed. I find it very interesting that the middles ones have opened first.


    April 9, 2020 at 9:48 AM

  13. So pretty and delicate … they look like twins, or maybe sisters! Again, a perfect bokeh background!


    April 11, 2020 at 6:51 PM

    • You’re welcome to cast them as twins or sisters, which I never would have thought of.

      The background worked well for me, but the low light and the fact that the two stalks didn’t lie in a plane meant I couldn’t get both fully in focus.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2020 at 11:56 AM

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