Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Texas bluestars

with 36 comments

An online report on the morning of March 24th quickly prompted a 45-minute drive northwest to the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County, where I hoped to see some flowering Texas bluestars, Amsonia ciliata, a species I almost never come across in Austin. After a mile-and-a-half of wandering I found the reported colony.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 2, 2021 at 4:37 AM

36 Responses

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  1. Gorgeous, and congratulations on your laudable and successful quest.. They remind me of the vinca/periwinkle that grew in our garden in Omaha.


    April 2, 2021 at 4:51 AM

    • Regarding my bluestar quest, vinca in Italian is an imperative that means ‘conquer,’ and so I did.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2021 at 5:57 AM

  2. These are really beautiful !


    April 2, 2021 at 6:06 AM

  3. Exquisite. So much beauty in nature.


    April 2, 2021 at 7:46 AM

  4. I love this photo—the contrast of colours and the sharp focus and soft blur.


    April 2, 2021 at 7:48 AM

  5. Adorable! It was worth the drive!

    Alessandra Chaves

    April 2, 2021 at 7:51 AM

    • Yes, it was. I also got good portraits of two other kinds of wildflowers, plus some non-floral things.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2021 at 7:55 AM

  6. This is one of my favorites. I should say “these,” because we have a different species down here: Amsonia tabernaemontana. I usually find those closer to the coast, while I see this one west of Kerrville, around Utopia, Medina, and such. I didn’t realize there were two species until I noticed the difference in the leaves. Then, I thought about the possibility that the same plant would grow on hill country soil and Brazoria prairies, and went, “Oops!”

    Their buds always are especially attractive, with that transition from purple to blue.


    April 2, 2021 at 8:29 AM

  7. You turned your Texas bluestars into a fascinating image that looks more like a painting than a photo. Happy Easter, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    April 2, 2021 at 8:46 AM

  8. Your search and tenacity paid off, Steve. I think this photo is truly exquisite.

    Jet Eliot

    April 2, 2021 at 8:55 AM

  9. It’s pretty. I think it worth the drive and wandering to find it.


    April 2, 2021 at 10:38 AM

  10. Beautiful shot, Steve. Simple and elegant.


    April 2, 2021 at 12:29 PM

  11. These are so pretty I had to look them up and ‘yay’ I can buy them over here. Apparently hardy down to -10C
    “They are not invasive, easy in any soil or situation, slug and snail resistant, fully hardy, and flower reliably each year.” Anything that is resistant to the S&S is a bonus!


    April 2, 2021 at 1:50 PM

  12. Beautiful color, lighting, and composition in general.

    Lavinia Ross

    April 3, 2021 at 11:49 AM

    • Thanks for appreciating it. I tried out various compositions and this was one that pleased me the most.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 3, 2021 at 11:56 AM

  13. Nice needle in a haystack stalking, Steve. It’s a lovely little flower and your shot made the seeking well worth the effort.

    Steve Gingold

    April 3, 2021 at 6:48 PM

    • After I finally spotted my first bluestar, I realized it was at the fringe of a whole colony of them, so I had my pick of individuals to portray. This one worked well. Lovely little flowers they are.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 3, 2021 at 7:15 PM

      • That’s been my experience often too. Look and look and look, then find one and there were many there the whole time.

        Steve Gingold

        April 4, 2021 at 2:37 AM

        • Unlike other species, including the one in my post this morning, the blue stars were ample in the colony of them that I found, yet I came across no other group or even individual the rest of the two hours we walked around.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 4, 2021 at 5:05 AM

  14. So worth the drive Steve!


    April 8, 2021 at 4:24 AM

    • Definitely. We took a much longer drive last Friday in quest of wildflowers (which we found) and may take another tomorrow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 8, 2021 at 5:10 AM

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