Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Green milkweed flowers and pods

with 30 comments

From May 29th at the Benbrook Ranch Park in Leander you’re seeing the flowers and pods of green milkweed, Asclepias viridis. And how about those great clouds? Because I took these pictures only three minutes apart, the clouds hadn’t changed that much, so if you compare you can still match some of them up.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 16, 2020 at 4:40 AM

30 Responses

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  1. We’ve been having clouds and strong wind! No flower photography for me until the wind settles down. Thanks for sharing your flowers!


    June 16, 2020 at 8:03 AM

    • Sure thing. When there’s a breeze I’ve gotten pretty good at taking a picture of a plant using my right hand while steadying the plant with my left (although I didn’t need to do that with these milkweeds).

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2020 at 9:27 AM

  2. We’ve been having innocent blue skies here, not a cloud in sight for days. Cool, too. Looks and feels like September. But better.
    The way you have the plant against the clouds makes the flowers and pods look quite epic.


    June 16, 2020 at 8:19 AM

    • I think that’s the first time I’ve come across the phrase “innocent blue skies.” As for “epic,” I’m always happy to have my portraits render their subjects that way. If we’re having September in June here, it’s only because both months are hot in Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2020 at 9:29 AM

      • I’m happy to introduce you to the phrase. I see it in books sometimes. I’ve also seen it as, “blameless blue skies”. It’s English, and I suppose they appreciate a day without clouds.


        June 17, 2020 at 11:02 AM

  3. The clouds add a sense of drama to the milkweed flowers. The shadows cast on the leaves make them look striped. Or are they?

    Peter Klopp

    June 16, 2020 at 8:45 AM

    • Yes, I played various things off against those dramatic clouds that morning. In addition, I took many pictures of the clouds in their own right, so appealing were they.

      The pattern of light-colored veins on the green milkweed leaves is natural.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2020 at 9:33 AM

  4. And, wow, how about that composition?!

    Michael Scandling

    June 16, 2020 at 9:55 AM

  5. I actually saw a hint of a rainbow in the distance while out there walking last evening. I didn’t see a rain drop.

    Jason Frels

    June 16, 2020 at 12:12 PM

  6. Interesting compositions highlighting the clouds. Is this milkweed the type that Monarchs need? They look like sturdy plants.

    Jane Lurie

    June 16, 2020 at 3:27 PM

    • You’re right: milkweeds are sturdy plants. And yes, this is among the various species of milkweeds monarchs depend on.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2020 at 4:16 PM

  7. Bees will be happy with the milkweed!


    June 16, 2020 at 4:33 PM

  8. You picked the perfect sky!!


    June 17, 2020 at 8:14 PM

  9. Our sky this afternoon could rival yours for a change. I grabbed some iPhone shots while shopping and will share them later. Unfortunately, mine don’t have your interesting milkweeds to add the nice interest of these shots.

    Steve Gingold

    June 20, 2020 at 1:06 PM

    • I used my wispy clouds as a backdrop for the milkweed and also for horsemints, Mexican hats, and several kinds of trees. I’m glad you got a crack at clouds like these, too, but sorry you didn’t have something to play off against them—unless you did; we’ll see what you post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 20, 2020 at 1:39 PM

  10. Two things surprised me: the milkweed’s height, and the deep purple markings on the pods. Our green milkweeds tend to me much shorter; at least, those that I come across are about half the height of these. It may be that mowing’s the reason. I don’t remember seeing such striations on the leaves, either. I suspect my inattention rather than a real difference among plants.


    June 21, 2020 at 3:59 PM

    • Because I don’t come across green milkweed all that often (antelope horns is by far the dominant species here), I don’t have a feel for whether the specimens I found were abnormally high. If you run into some more green milkweed near you, you can check to see if they do indeed have the features shown here. I know I sometimes notice new things about familiar species, and I suspect we all do.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2020 at 4:43 PM

  11. Super! 👏 I’m with Michael, what about the composition! I’m in heaven, clouds and flowers 🙂


    June 22, 2020 at 4:06 AM

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